Music

Whiskey Before Breakfast

Whiskey Before Breakfast - The Pressley Girls

The girls learned the fiddle tune Whiskey Before Breakfast from Lynn and Liz Shaw in the spring of last year. Well, I should say they were introduced to it by the Shaws. Its one of those tunes that’s tricky to play until you get it-then you wonder why it was so hard in the first place.

The girls played it for Paul and he said he’d heard it before, but never really learned it.

Throughout the summer the girls would bring the tune out at every practice and play around with it. Their hopes were that by the time they met up with Lynn and Liz again they’d be able to join right in on the tune. That isn’t exactly what happened.

It was September before we got to spend time with the Shaws again. There was a fairly large group of musicians jamming and when Whiskey Before Breakfast was mentioned as the next tune the girls got ready. Chitter said “They took off so fast I was left in the dust. I couldn’t even pretend to keep up.” Chatter agreed they better practice the song some more, so the girls continued to try and learn the song on their own.

Over Christmas we really solidified our version of the song and once we all got it down pat it was so much fun to play!

My nephew Mark aka mandolin man was here for Christmas and he got to play along with us. I was so proud of our accomplishment on Whiskey Before Breakfast that I shared a picture of my notes about the song on the Blind Pig and The Acorn Instagram page.

One of my friends commented “Lord preserve us & protect us!”

I thought “Oh my goodness she’s worried about us! We don’t drink whiskey before breakfast-heck we don’t drink whiskey anytime of the day!”

Turns out there are lyrics to the song that we didn’t know about and my friend was referring to them…not to our non-existent drinking problem.

Here’s the lyrics:

Words from Mike Cross album “Live and Kickin”‘

Early one day the sun wouldn’t shine
I was walking down the street not feeling too fine
I saw two old men with a bottle between ’em
And this was the song that I heard them singing

Lord preserve us and protect us,
We’ve been drinking whiskey’fore breakfast

Well I stopped by the steps where they was sitting
And I couldn’t believe how drunk they were getting
I said “old men, have you been drinking long?”
They said ‘Just long enough to be singing this song”

Lord preserve us and protect us,
We’ve been drinking whiskey’fore breakfast

Well they passed me the bottle and I took a little sip
And it felt so good I just couldn’t quit
I drank some more and next thing I knew
There were three of us sitting there singing this tune

Lord preserve us and protect us,
We’ve been drinking whiskey’fore breakfast

One by one everybody in the town
They heard our ruckus and they came around
And pretty soon the streets were ringing
With the sound of the whole town laughing and singing

Lord preserve us and protect us,
We’ve been drinking whiskey’fore breakfast

Lord preserve us and protect us,
We’ve been drinking whiskey’fore breakfast

—————-

The song is most often played as an instrumental and that’s how we’ll continue to do it I’m sure. Give our version a listen and see what you think.

I hope you enjoyed the song! To read more about the history of the tune you can go here. From what I gather the tune is much older than the lyrics.

Tipper

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16 Comments

  • Reply
    Lisa Snuggs
    January 16, 2017 at 11:24 am

    The girls sound better each time I hear them. Good stuff!

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    January 15, 2017 at 10:33 pm

    Tipper,
    Guess my old eyes were blurry this mornin’! I shore thought your lead in line was “Whisking before breakfast” and I thought why shore I whisk my aigs before they get scrambled! Went on with my keeping on and reread the line later. Loved the tune, danced a little rollator jig and love the fiddlin’ and git-pickin’! They are just getting better and better! I spect one of these days my grandchildren will be reading a book about the music playing and heritage of the Pressley Girls!
    Thanks Tipper,
    Perky and lively post to entertain, a just about blind old worman, of a Sunday mornin’!

  • Reply
    Leslie Haynie
    January 15, 2017 at 10:01 pm

    Mike Cross plays lots of great old fiddle tunes and original songs as well.
    I love the girl’s version!

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, PhD
    January 15, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    Tipper: The music is lively and just fine for SQUARE DANCING – as I use to do ON THE SQUARE – but NO MORE!
    Will be traveling to Murphy to attend a funeral – but no visits with Hayesville folks! Hope all is well there and NO SNOW!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    Miracle WhiteHorse
    January 15, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    Oh, I like this tune. Are you going to put it on the music playlist?

  • Reply
    EAA
    January 15, 2017 at 11:35 am

    As I said on Youtube, the only thing in the picture that’s less than perfect is the sun glaring through the kitchen window. This is an example of Appalachian folk music in it’s purest form.

  • Reply
    Howland
    January 15, 2017 at 11:11 am

    Anybody that’s got the gumption to tackle “Whiskey Before Breakfast” has got my vote for sure. I tried it on the fiddle and couldn’t ever get it to suit me. Well done, y’all. Well done!

  • Reply
    Tom
    January 15, 2017 at 11:01 am

    We love this, great job as usual!

  • Reply
    Kim Campbell
    January 15, 2017 at 10:17 am

    Love, love, love!

  • Reply
    Dolores
    January 15, 2017 at 9:35 am

    Made me want to dance across the floor! I really enjoyed listening to the tune. Thanks! Keep up the great work!

  • Reply
    Larry Griffith
    January 15, 2017 at 9:28 am

    I’ve been listening to it on you tube. I got one of my Dad’s fiddles and have been trying to play it, but I’m not a fiddler, he was. They do a really good job. Anyone who likes good old time fiddling an guitar should enjoy it.
    With my fiddling I could have really scared those mules.

  • Reply
    Larry Griffith
    January 15, 2017 at 9:28 am

    I’ve been listening to it on you tube. I got one of my Dad’s fiddles and have been trying to play it, but I’m not a fiddler, he was. They do a really good job. Anyone who likes good old time fiddling an guitar should enjoy it.
    With my fiddling I could have really scared those mules.

  • Reply
    Larry Griffith
    January 15, 2017 at 9:28 am

    I’ve been listening to it on you tube. I got one of my Dad’s fiddles and have been trying to play it, but I’m not a fiddler, he was. They do a really good job. Anyone who likes good old time fiddling an guitar should enjoy it.
    With my fiddling I could have really scared those mules.

  • Reply
    Larry Griffith
    January 15, 2017 at 9:28 am

    I’ve been listening to it on you tube. I got one of my Dad’s fiddles and have been trying to play it, but I’m not a fiddler, he was. They do a really good job. Anyone who likes good old time fiddling an guitar should enjoy it.
    With my fiddling I could have really scared those mules.

  • Reply
    Tamela
    January 15, 2017 at 9:18 am

    Jolly little tune. Perked up a gloomy morning for a day threatened with storms.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    January 15, 2017 at 8:03 am

    Nice job! I can see how that tune could be speeded (that may not even be a word) up.

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