Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Man that Waters the Workers' Beer

Here's another song from Rise Up Singing that we thought you would enjoy. Sure, it's about beer, not wine, but if you replace "strychnine" with microoxygenation, or oak chips, or Mega Purple (all legal additives in winemaking), could the song be about cynically made, overly manipulated wines and their producers? Perhaps that's too much of a stretch. A better analogy may be the illegal and sometimes dangerous additions made to wines, such as diethylene glycol in some Austrian wines.

Many thanks to the Workers Music Association, UK, for permission to reprint these lyrics.

The Man That Waters the Workers' Beer
I'm the man, the very fat man who waters the workers' beer (2x)
And what do I care if it makes them ill,
or if it makes them terribly queer?
I've a car and a yacht and an aeroplane and I waters the workers' beer

Now when I makes the workers' beer I put in strych-i-nine
Some methylated spirits and a drop of paraffin
But since a brew so terribly strong
might make them terribly queer
I reaches my hand for the water tap and I waters the workers' beer...

Now a drop of beer is good for a man who's thirsty and tired and hot
And I sometimes has a drop for myself from a very special lot
But a fat and healthy working class is the thing that I most fear
So I reaches my hand for the water tap and I waters the ...

Now ladies fair beyond compare and be ye maid or wife
O sometimes lend a thought for one who leads a sorry life
The water rates are shockingly high and malt is shockingly dear
And there isn't the profit there used to be in wat'ring...

--Paddy Ryan
©Workers Music Assoc, UK

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