Farewell to Whiskey


Composed by the legendary Scottish fiddle player Niel Gow in 1799, this tune's title is apparently a reaction to the temporary prohibition of distillation in Scotland due to the failure of that year's barley crop. Played on this recording by master musician Monsignor Charles Coen, it first came to my attention when Ciarán Mac Mathúna, the well-known broadcaster on Radio Éireann, featured it on his Ceolta Tire programme. He had recorded it from Paddy Neil, a concertina player from near Newport, County Tipperary. Paddy's version, in particular the second part, is different from what is usually played. Thanks to Monsignor Coen for learning and recording it for me, and to Nicky McAuliffe from County Kerry for the tune information.


Séamus Connolly
Boston College Libraries
Some transcriptions are based on historical source recordings. More info.

Song & Tune Type

Part of:


Coen, Charles (concertina), McElroy, Kevin (guitar), and Gow, Niel (composer), “Farewell to Whiskey,” The Séamus Connolly Collection of Irish Music, accessed July 16, 2024, https://connollymusiccollection.bc.edu/document/551.