Liquor Book (Newfoundland Showband) videos
Also see: The Old Liquor Book (Dick Nolan)
#713: YouTube video by oldirishladdie
©2009 ~ Used with permission ~

After workin' all this livelong year,
there finally comes the day:
Me two weeks summer holidays,
me trip around the bay;
Kickin' off me overalls,
I marched out in me glee,
Determined to get a bottle of Screech
to take along with me.

There were people there from everywhere:
Grand Falls and Corner Brook,
From Joe Batt's Arm and Billy's Farm
all waitin' for their book,
From Greenland's icy mountains
and Tex's Kitty Brook,
All waitin' tired and thirsty
for to get their book.

There were young men with curly hair
and old men with bald heads,
And pretty little maidens,
old maids with wooden legs,
Old men with whiskers on their chin
who gave an awful look,
And their whiskers they grew longer
as they waited for their book.

Well, along came a policeman,
he lines us up in twos,
He had a billy in his hand,
so none of us refused.
"How much longer must we wait?"
said one man to the cop.
He smiled and said,
"I guess you'll be too old to take a drop."

An old man looked like Noah,
hung down his weary head.
He said "My God!
I got to send my grandson here instead.
Saw service in the Boer War
but little did I think,
I'd spend my last days tryin'
to get a book to get a drink."

Well, after waitin' two long weeks,
and goodness knows I tried,
With half a dollar in me hand,
I finally got inside;
And walkin' to the wicket
along with many more,
Such names and occupations,
I never heard before.

There were tradesmen and mechanics,
McIsaacs and McInns,
A couple of men of eighty years
who said that they were twins,
Grave diggers and undertakers,
dishwashers, stewards and cooks,
Wooden-leg and glass-eye makers
all waitin' for their books.

Too late to go around the bay,
my book I finally got,
So I bought myself a bottle of Screech
and drank the whole damn lot;
I passed out just like a light
unto the world I seen,
Boy, oh boy, while I was out
what a terrible thing I dreamed!

I saw Adam eat the apple,
Matthew chasing Mark,
Noah with the scrubbin' bucket
scrubbin' off the Ark,
King Solomon tryin' to counthis wives
and Abel chasin' Cain,
So is there any wonder why
I'll ever drink again?

####.... Johnny Jones of St John's, NL ....####
This variant and the video above was arranged and recorded by the Newfoundland Showband on their self-titled album (Newfoundland Showband, trk#1, 1971, Paragon Records, Toronto, Ontario).

See more songs by Newfoundland Showband.

Although usually attributed to Dick Nolan who popularised this song through his many recordings, Jack Fitzgerald, journalist, writer, columnist, reporter, editor, and government administrator, in his 2005 edition of Ghosts And Oddities (Jesperson Publishing), notes that The Liquor Book Song is a comic song about the practice in the 1940s and 1950s to restrict the sale of alcohol to two bottles per week per customer with a liquor book. The song was written by Johnny Jones and appears in The Newfoundland Song Book to commemorate the Canada Games of 1977.

The video below features a recording by Dick Nolan (Newfie Hits, trk#9, 1968, Arc Sound Co, Toronto, Ontario) and (Lukey's Boat, trk#4, 1968, Arc Sound Co, Toronto, Ontario) and as The Old Liquor Book (Down By The Sea, trk#7, 1998, Heritage Music, Scarborough, Ontario).

See more songs by Dick Nolan.

#727: YouTube video by oldirishladdie
©2009 ~ Used with permission ~


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