Friday, September 10, 2010

Whiskey in the Jar

I went into my chamber
All for to take a slumber
I dreamt of gold and jewels
And for sure it was no wonder
But Jenny drew me charges
And she filled them up with water
And sent for Captain Farrell
To be ready for the slaughter
      --Luke Kelly, Whiskey in the Jar (Traditional)

You lie on fabric as soft as clouds roped and pulled down to Earth. Not coarse and filthy. Not shared as often with your horse as your own ground-hardened bones.

Sun hovers in the tiny bubbles frozen in the window glass. The morning is the purest you can remember. Its rays tuck you into the pretty room she keeps in the inn. The highest chamber atop one long set of stairs.

Her fragrance is everywhere in the soft light. Her perfume glints on the tabletop, but it has poured into everything, not content for the dainty bottle. Imprisoned flowers bloom in the pillow under your head, in the fine linen curtains. Their mysteries dance on your skin where her body pressed.

You drowse, not ready to rise.

You nearly will yourself to dream again.

But the silence is clattered with metal and voices. First, far off like an unpleasant memory. Then closer. Gathering on the cobblestones below.

You leap and peer down at foot soldiers pounding on the door. They're flanked by their foul Captain. Soon that one set of stairs to your chamber will be blocked. You could jump, but two shattered legs would not bear your flight.

You grasp your pistol and cock the flint.

Maybe you'll fire. Or maybe you'll not.

You have no sword because the scabbard is hanging empty.

When the locked door breaks, you do pull the trigger. But then you understand. Your powder is muddied with water, and already the gun is clogged with rust.

Captain Farrell smiles as you're taken.

You feel hot winds on your face. Then winter-cold.

He smiles with what must be his own memories of Jenny's perfume.



Carrie Clevenger said...

Totally awesome interpretation here Jason!

Tabitha Bird said...

all I can say is I love your stuff :)

Charles Gramlich said...

Nice piece. I enjoyed that. As for Whiskey in the jar, I like the Metallica version.

Oddyoddyo13 said...


Love how you twist it right at the very end!

Aine said...

I still chuckle at the memory of you teaching the girls this song and of our youngest trying to sing the "mush-a ring dum-a do dum-a da" line. Even funnier is how she just may become a "Jenny" type.

Maybe we need to warn the boys that start calling when she's 16-- LOL.

Wild Rose said...

Great write and I enjoyed reading this piece. However, I go with what someone else mentioned for the song I truly prefer the Metallica version of 'Whisky In The Jar'.

Wild Rose or @LarvK from twitter~

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Lovely writing - catching the essence of the song in your own literary style. I enjoyed this.

Anonymous said...

Carrie, I appreciate that!

Tabitha, if I had to be told one thing only, that would be high on my list. :)

Charles, I like the Metallica version very much too! I didn't want it for this post, however, because I would have felt compelled to put a modern spin on it.

Oddyoddyo13, this one was pretty fun to do!

Aine, I think we need to dust off that song! I think they can actually do it now. ;)

LarvK (aka Wild Rose), how are you!? Great to see you over from Twitter. I prefer the Metallica version too, but I wanted an older, more traditional feel for this.

Kaye, I liked trying a little older, more formal writing style for this. Fun to change it up!

J. Elis Morgan said...

This piece had a rhythm that absolutely enraptured, even though he did get taken in the end. I enjoyed how you juxtaposed Jenny's perfume with the ruthlessness of the moment. Just wonderful.

Seré Prince Halverson said...

"Sun hovers in the tiny bubbles frozen in the window glass. The morning is the purest you can remember. Its rays tuck you into the pretty room she keeps in the inn."

So lovely...I really loved this.

Anonymous said...

J. Elis, thanks for mentioning the perfume motif! :) I did want to juxtapose two very different emotions.

Sere, thank you! I enjoyed putting a human, almost romantic edge on this old, old drinking song.