Dunhill's Dram

Culligan1984 at English Wikipedia, CC BY 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
A wee dram.
The Dunhill Confederacy boasts a long history of music. Songs generally fall into three categories: sentimental songs of family and home, wartime songs about overcoming an oppressor, and self-deprecating songs about rogues and the glories of drinking. This song falls squarely into the third category.

Many know Dunhill's Dram by the tune if not the lyrics. Endless regional variations exist, and many bards choose the version of the lyrics they learned as hills to die on. At least six verses make up the full song, but many performers stick with these three as the best known. This version goes back hundreds of years to soon after the founding of Fellport, with its references to magic schools and the Great Potter "importing" Dunhill laborers to build the Breakwater, so most performers accept this version as the "Fellport Standard".

Dunhill's Dram

While a child in the cradle, my nurse, with a ladle,
Was filling my mouth with a notion of pap,
When a drop from her bottle slipped into my throttle,
I capered and wriggled clean out of her lap.
On the floor I lay sprawling, all kicking and bawling,
'Til father and mother was called to the fore:
All sobbing and sighing, conceived I was dying,
But soon found I only was screeching for more.

So stick to the craytur, the best thing in nature,
For sinking your sorrows and raising your joys!
Oh gods, how they’d chuckle, if babes in their truckle
They only could suckle with whiskey, me boys.

Let philosophers dabble in magic and babble
'Bout Conjurin', Divinin', Evokin's fame;
For their potions, I'm thinking, they ain't worth the drinking;
Their labor's all lost, and their learning a shame.
They may prate by the score of their elements four,
That all things earth, air, fire, and water must be.
For their rules I don't care, for in Dunhill I swear
By the gods there's a fifth, and that's whiskey machree!

So stick to the craytur, the best thing in nature,
For sinking your sorrows and raising your joys!
'Gainst all art and science myself bids defiance
To yield in appliance of whiskey, me boys.

Come guess me this riddle: What beats pipe and fiddle?
What’s stronger than mustard and milder than cream?
What best wets your whistle? What’s clearer than crystal?
Sweeter than honey and hotter than steam?
What'll make the dumb talk? What'll make the lame walk?
What’s th'elixir of life and Philosopher’s Stone?
What helped The Great Potter to build the Breakwater?
Sure wasn’t it whiskey from Auld Inishowen?

So stick to the craytur, the best thing in nature
For sinking your sorrows and raising your joys!
And lads I’d not wonder if lightning and thunder
Was made from the plunder of whiskey, me boys.

Note: I came across the song known as "Paddy's Panacea", "Stick to the Craytur", "Whiskey, Me Boys", and "The Humours of Whiskey" just today, and I obsessively listened to different versions for an hour. With a few lyrical tweaks, this fits right into Beneterra. I just love a song to portray a vibe, doubly so when it's "Screw your magic, whiskey's better than all that!" Here's a video of Tom Lenihan singing a couple of verses in 1967, which has a photo of the 6 verses published in 1900 at around 2:17. I didn't dare take on the "quacks in newspapers" verse today. Maybe later.

Word Notes:
Craytur = Literally "creature", in the sense of "creature comforts". Also slang for whiskey.
Machree = My heart or my dear.

Part of T.W.Wombat's Lore 24 project, detailing the world around Fellport.
For all city posts, see the Fellport Index. For posts about the wider world, see the Beneterra Index.

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