#03212
Moonshine Can (Dick Nolan) videos
See also: The Moonshine Can (Kenneth Peacock)
#1966: YouTube video by qucikaccent2006
©2011 ~ Used with permission ~

Come all you moonshine drinkers,
and ye will plainly see,
The work of the bold informers
and the way they service me;
I'll tell of the bold informers
who lately been around,
What jealousy they can't agree,
they put me moonshine down.

It came on an Easter Sunday morn,
as down the road I seen,
Old Mickey waving both his arms
and headed straight for me;
Old Mickey loudly he did shout
as down the road he ran,
Saying, Dick, me b'y, there's an
awful kick about your moonshine can.

And next there came a summons,
they said that I must go,
They made me walk that lonesome trail
up to me knees in snow;
They made me walk that lonesome trail
and put me on the stand,
Saying, Dick, me b'y, you'll have to pay
for having the moonshine can.

I'd like to know how the moonshine's made,
the magistrate did say.
Of yeast cake and molasses,
sure that's the proper way.
Of yeast cake and molasses?
Yes, that's the cutest plan,
The magistrate was happy then,
he took me moonshine can.

The magistrate was happy then,
God bless his eyes of blue,
He sent me home with a constable
and told me what to do;
To hear them break me moonshine can
it nearly bust me heart,
But when they threw it in the bay
it tore me soul apart.

Now here's to this good magistrate,
may the Lord reprieve my friend,
And when he dies we'll bury him
and he'll go to the other end;
Saint Peter there will greet him
and the gates he will unlock,
Saying, Come right in, good magistrate,
you're welcome to the flock.

And here's to the man that wrote this song,
I'm sure he was not lying,
And if you want to know his name,
his name is Patty Ryan;
His name is Patty Ryan, me b'ys,
from Goat Town he belongs,
And when the moonshine time comes 'round,
he'll make it twice as strong.

####.... Variant of a ballad originally written by Patrick (Pat) Troy [1867-ca.1942] of Goose Cove, NL, per Boyd Manuel who informed GEST that he personally knows Pat Troy's family, and his own father used to tell him the story about the song ....####
Recorded by Dick Nolan (I'se The B'y That Catches The Fish, trk#4, 1966 LP, Arc Sound Ltd, Toronto, Ontario); and (Newfoundland Songbook, Volume 2, trk#16, 2008 CD, Unidisk Music Inc, Pointe-Claire, Quebec).

A variant was collected as The Moonshine Can by Kenneth Peacock in 1959 from Kenneth Pink [1938-?] of Rose Blanche, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 1, pp.75-76, by The National Museum Of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved. Peacock published the name of the song's author as Pat Roy, which obviously sounds the same as Pat Troy.

Similar variants were collected in 1951 from George Hatfield [1865-?] of Tors Cove, NL , and Francis (Frank) Knox [1918-?] of St Shott's, NL, and published as The Moonshine Song in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

Kenneth Peacock noted that when he collected this song most outport grocery stores still sold home-brew kits of malt extract, hops, and yeast to make beer, a perfectly legal practice. Those with a taste for something stronger, however, had to go to one of the few government liquor stores (some Newfoundlanders lived more than 200 miles from the nearest), or run the risk of distilling their own moonshine from home-brew. Peacock was told that many had chosen this latter course and, like the hero of The Moonshine Can, had been caught with their pipes showing. Others had been more fortunate and had even gone into local commercial production with great success.

A variant was recorded by Omar Blondahl [Sagebrush Sam] (Down to the Sea Again, trk#B.03, 1955, Rodeo RLP 7, LP).


See more songs by Omar Blondahl.

The video below features a variant recorded by Ian and Sylvia (Northern Journey, trk#2, 1964, Vanguard LP).

#669: YouTube video by AnalogueAudio1985
©2009 ~ Used with permission ~


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