traditional

Let your quacks and newspapers be cutting their capers
About curing the vapors the scratch and the gout
With their medical potions, their pills and their lotions
Defending their notions, they’re mighty put out.

Who can tell the true physic of all things pathetic
And pitch to the divil, cramp, colic and spleen
For you’ll know it I think if you take a big drink
With your mouth to the brink of a jug of poteen

So stick to the cratur’ the best thing in nature
For sinking your sorrows and raising your joys
Oh what botheration, no dose in the nation
Can give consolation like poteen me boys.

As a child in me cradle, me nurse from her ladle
Was swilling her mouth with a notion of pap
When a drop from her bottle fell into my throttle
I stumbled and capered clean out of her lap

On the floor I lay crawlin’ and screaming and bawling
‘Til me mother and father were called to the fore
All sobbing and sighing they feared I was dying
But soon found I only was crying for more.

So stick to the cratur’ the best thing in nature
For sinking your sorrows and raising your joys
Oh lord how they’d chuckle if babes in their truckle
They only could suckle on poteen me boys

Through youthful aggression and times of depression
My childhood’s impression still clung to my mind
And at school or at college the basis of knowledge
I never could gulp ’til with whiskey combined

And as older I’m growing times ever bestowin’
On Erin’s potation, a flavor so fine
And how ere they may lecture on jove and his nectar
Itself is the only true liquid divine

So stick to the cratur’ the best thing in nature
For sinking your sorrows and raising your joys
Oh lord, ’tis the right thing for courting or fighting
There’s nowt so exciting as poteen me boys.

Come guess me this riddle, what beats pipes and fiddle
What’s hotter than mustard and wilder than cream
What best wets your whistle, what’s clearer than crystal
What’s sweeter than honey and stronger than steam

What’ll make the lame walk, what will make the dumb talk,
The elixir of life and philospher’s stone
And what made Taliesin depart from all reason
To drink form the basin and a poet become*

So stick to the cratur’ the best thing in nature
For sinking your sorrows and raising your joys
Oh lord, it’s no wonder, that lightning and thunder
Weren’t made from the plunder of poteen me boys.

Now you maidens pathetic, with lovers athletic
For liquid cosmetic, you can’t beat the drop
Put a glow to your cheek, it will make your heart leap
It’ll quiet a stallion or cure an old cob
At the mouth you would drool, be reduced to a fool
You’d kick up your heels and you’d peel to the buff
Then ’tis he’d be pathetic and you’d be athletic
If only you’d take a few drops of the stuff

So stick to the cratur’ the best thing in nature
For sinking your sorrows and raising your joys
For there’s nothing like whiskey to make maidens frisky
It soon separates all the men from the boys.

*The more traditional line here is
“And what helped Mr. Brunnell to build the Thames Tunnel
Wasn’t it poteen from ould Inisowen”
The line was changed by Susan Csikos of the Rambling Sailors because she felt singing about the Thames Tunnel wasn’t appropriate at a renaissance faire. I agreed, and since her version was the first version I heard, I kept it. –Phillip