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"The Moonshiner" is a folk song with disputed origins. It is catalogued as Roud Folk Song Index No. 4301. Some believe that the song originated in America, then later was made famous in Ireland. Others believe that it was the other way around. The Clancy Brothers stated on their recording that the song is of Irish origin, but again, this is disputed. Delia Murphy was singing it in Ireland from the late 1930s. American country music singer Tex Ritter is famous for a song of similar tune and lyrics by the title "Jack of Diamonds" from as early as 1933. Bob Dylan recorded "Moonshiner" in 1963; this version was released on The Bootleg Series Volumes 1-3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961-1991. The song has also been performed by Elliott Smith, Cat Power, Sons Of An Illustrious Father, Rumbleseat, Cast Iron Filter, Peter Rowan, Railroad Earth, Bob Forrest, Roscoe Holcomb, Uncle Tupelo, Jeffrey Foucault, The Tallest Man On Earth, The Floorbirds, Ben Manuel, Dear August, The 2nd St Rag Stompers, Tim Hardin, Charlie Parr, Oscar Lush, Punch Brothers, Fannigan's Isle, the Tumbling Bones, The Dad Horse Experience Rumbleseat, Redbird and Robert Francis, Ekoostik Hookah
(transcribed from Uncle Tupelo's version, from "March 16-20 - 1992".
I am a moonshiner for 17 long years and I spent all my money on whisky and beers and I go to some hollow and set up my still if whisky don't kill me lord, I don't know what will and I go to some barroom to drink with my friends where the women they can't follow to see what I spend god bless them, pretty women I wish they was mine with breath as sweet as the dew on the vine let me eat when I'm hungry let me drink when I'm dry two dollars when I'm hard up religion when I die the whole world is a bottle and life is but a dram when the bottle gets empty lord it sure ain't worth a damn
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