Lord of Whisky

WHISKY
You can’t grow up in Scotland without encountering the water of life, whisky. I confess that I’ve drunk my self senseless occasionally but not on whisky. You can’t approach whisky like that. It’s more than an alcoholic beverage. It’s a way of life. As one whisky taster told me. ‘Whisky is a successive series of emotional waves as affecting as the lilt of Gaelic singing ’

For me whisky has always been about stories: Glass of double malt in one hand, fiddles resting on the table, the sounds of the session still circling like swallows in your head. One of the company will
take a deep contented breath and say ‘I was once…’

The stories need not be true but they are often based on some truth. For example, the ‘true’ story of The Fish is below, told by my eldest brother. I was there when he left at night and came home at six in the morning with the trout. By the time I was telling the tale the sea trout had become a salmon. For the rest you have to judge for yourself.

Whisky is not supplied with the album but it’s highly recommended.
Slainte Mhath

THE FISH
It was over thirty five years ago. Eric Arnott and I were thirteen years old and were paying a ‘visit’ to the estate of the late Lord John Clerk. The river was the Esk, above Penicuik; the weather gloriously sunny as it always was in the school holidays. But to bear this out, the river was very low, so there must have been a long dry spell.
I had lost my rod and reel in a previous escapade; chased by Clerk’s gamekeeper and his dogs; fell twenty feet down a gulley in the darkness. I wasn’t back for revenge though, only fish.
We were guddling and had caught the odd normal sardine-sized brown trout when I lay prone on the banks and stuck my nose under a large Rocky outcrop. It was then that I spotted the monster: A sea trout the length of my leg. I just about fainted; lucky not to fall in headfirst with the shock.
We spent what seemed like hours trying to guddle it. Each time we almost got the fish out of the water it nonchalantly flicked its tailed and disappeared with a huge splash. Eventually it made the fatal mistake of swimming into shallows and we waded in and managed to throw it onto the bank.

For the records it weighed 4lb 10oz.

Wandering proudly back to Penicuik we were approached by two local ruffians with beady eyes on the prize. Can’t remember the words that were exchanged, but the presence of a small pen knife, and the look in our eyes was enough of a deterrent to save the day. After being paraded on an SMT bus back to town and a number 4 to Northfield, the trout was sold to the cook at the Lady Nairn hotel for the princely sum of £1.
Keith Herbertson – the fisherman

LORD OF WHISKY
All songs arranged by Feuerstein/Herbertson except Angels Share Feuerstein/Jackson
Produced by Guntmar Feuerstein
All tracks published by Clay Hill Music except Angels Share(Feuerstein/Jackson) and London Exile (Jock Herbertson)
THE COMPANY
Max Brücher: tenor banjo: borrowed from shanachie.de
Rob Carroll: classical guitar: stolen from www.zingariswing.com
Marc Decker: uilleann pipes, bodhran, whistles: pilfered from ‘Wet the Whistle’
Guntmar Feuerstein: piano, ukulele, whisky bottles, bass, guitar, banjo, mandolin: his place
Dave Jackson: backing vocals, guitar: claimed to be sober
Alex Herbertson: wee voice: carried oot
Craig Herbertson: voice, guitar, fiddle, whisky bottles: still owes for the drinks www.craigherbertson.com
Thomas Hecking: diatonic accordion, tin whistles: pockled from www.shanachie.de
Michael Poelchau: fiddle: started in Dallas, Texas; found in Cologne/Bonn
Ed Westerdale: fiddle: on loan from www.scapaflow.de
Roland Heinrich: Drums: last seen in Berlin www.rolandheinrich.com
Design: Brad Waters www.bwgd.co.uk
Cat No: SJCD007

1. Lord O Whisky 2:52
2. Ace of Clubs 3:41
3. The Fish 5:16
4. Jock Stewart 2:54
5. Nancy Whisky 4:10
6. Drink 3:08
7. Old Erin’s Daughter 3:45
8. Scapa Flow 2:14
9. The Wallace 3:21
10. Angels Share 4:39
11. East of Aberdeen 4:32
12. Lady Whisky 2:54
13. London Exile 1:36
14. The Parting Glass 1:431.

Lord O Whiskey
Craig Herbertson
For Fred McKenna, who knows how to drink
Craig: voice, guitar Guntmar: guitar, backing voc.
Michael: fiddle Marc: bodhran Dave: backing voc
The Lady Nairn provided four
The Sheep’s Heid Inn provided more
The kirk saw me at half a score
As drunk as drunk could be!
The company then drank to me
A’ happy wit and merrily
And a’ their speech being bold and free
They called me Lord o Whiskey

Please tae call me lord o whiskey-o
Please tae call me lord o whiskey-o
Hud yer weesht those beyond
Here comes the son o’ John Barley corn
The harvest moon was riding high
I climbed the Ladder to the sky
And from the Seat I took the view
And fell asleep as tipplers do
And then when I was in my dreams
Screams awoke me from the deep
Burning lights surrounded me
Cackling screams and shouts of glee
A fire threw up sweet perfume
Smoked curled up unto the moon
Forms arose from the mist
Witches crying to be kissed
A clamjafrae o’ cutty sarks
Were thrown into the fiery sparks
And naked saw the loons advance
And dance and dance and dance
‘On Lammas nicht we cut the corn
And wish for golden yellow dawn
The land o cakes where we are born
Reveres the son, John Barley corn
As Ceres rises in the night
We hold our scythes up to the light
To bring them down upon the head
And in a blow we wake the dead’
I saw that they had cornered me
A sacrifice to barbarity
And in their lust I would be torn
For Lugh must die to be reborn
I screamed then with a mournful cry
I knew I was about to die
And reflected if it must be so
There are worse ways to go
2. Ace of Clubs
Craig Herbertson
For Chas the gambler
Craig: voice, guitar Guntmar: guitar
Michael: fiddle Marc: bodhran
Beneath the chandeliers
Upon the Persian rugs
Carousers take their stand
Fine whiskey in their hands
Th e rakes are in the halls
Th e dugs are in the yards
As Fortune’s lost and won
Upon a deck o cards
Haloo the horse and hounds
The  fox and cubs
The gamblers and the rakes
The sporting bloods
Adieu the decks o cards
The dice and dugs
Adieu my luves
And on yer grave
The Ace of clubs
The Earl o Carrick’s son
Has penniless become
The whisper’s in the hall
Prestonfield must fa
Up Sir William stands
The deck is in his hands
‘I stake my house and lands
Upon a single card!’
The portraits on the wall
The ghosties in the hall
The ancestors appalled
Prestonfield will fa
And Cold is she
The cold North Sea
She’ll howl and she’ll heave
And will not be subdued
So raise up your glass
To those who have seen her
From no friendly shore
But East, East of Aberdeen
12. Lady Whisky
Craig Herbertson
For John Barley Corn
Craig: voice, guitar Guntmar: guitar, banjo Michael: fi ddle
Whiskey, whiskey I loved you tae well
Promised me heaven wi a wee kiss and tell
Ye’ll aye be the lady in good company
My Lady whiskey, whiskey and me
When first we met you were bonnie and blithe
Warming ma heart wi yer waters o life
You’re ay the cure for the trouble and strife
Its whiskey today and whiskey tonight
When I picked you up you were golden and gay
Breath sweet as heather on a morning in may
We kissed and we kissed till night turned to day
Singing whiskey tomorrow, whiskey today
Now you have gone you bold courtesan
You’re tasting the lips o every young man
And just to kiss you its silver to pay
Singing whiskey tomorrow whiskey today
13. London Exile
Jock Herbertson
For Grandfather, who liked whisky, golf, cards and music,
doubtless in that order
Craig: voice Rob: guitar Ed: fiddle
Noo Winter’s blast an’ sleety rain
Drum dourly on ma window pane
Th e numbus’d moon, nigh on the wane
Rides watery skies
Distant the fleet electric train
Shrieks owre the ties
Ma slippered feet splay owre the rug
Beside me, Nell, the collie dug
Stretches an’ cocks enquiring lug
At ilka cheep
Th en sniff s, an’ wi’ disdainful’ shrug
Gangs aff tae sleep
Sune noo ma heavy eyelid blinks
I steal awa’ for forty winks
In dreams I’m back on Gullane links
On hilltop high
Ayont the Bridge the red sun sinks
In saffron sky
Northward the Paps o’ Fife haud sway
Frae Inchkeith tae the Isle o’ May
The gulls sweep Aberlady Bay
In twilight ‘oors
The chevroned wild geese wing their way
Frae Lammermuirs
O’ what wad I no’ gi’e tae be
At Gullane whaur the winds blaw free
Wi’ kindred spirits on the tee
Some simmer morn
an’ walk again that Lothian lea
Whaur I was born
14. The Parting Glass
Traditional
For anyone left standing
Craig: voice Marc: uilleann pipes

Oh, of all the money I have spent
I spent it all in good company
And of all the harm that e’r I’ve done
Alas it was unto me alone
Of all I’ve done for want of wit
To memory now I can’t recall
So fill to me the parting glass
Good night and joy be with you all

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