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Whiskey Seller

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The Whiskey Seller

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The Whiskey Seller

Of all the crimes that ever has been,
Sellin' whiskey is the greatest sin;
Caused more sorrow, grief, an' woe
Than anything else that I know-

The old distiller an' the whiskey seller
Has ruined many a clever feller;
Caused more sorrow, grief, an' woe
Than anything else that I know.

You rob the rich man of his store
An' cause him to beg from door to door
You cause his wife an' children to mourn
Because they have no home of their own.

You rob the strong man of his stren'th,
An' throw him in the mud full len'th,
Leave him there for to curse an' roll,
An' don't care nothin' for the pore man's soul.

You rob the statesman of his brains,
An' fiil his head with achin' pains;
He's often in the gullies found
A-feelin' upwards for the ground.

You rob the children of their bread,
An' they are hungry sent to bed;
It causes them such bitter cries,
An' makes tears flow from the mother's eyes.

From Ozark Folksongs, Randolph
Collected from Clint Maxwell, Joplin, MO 1922
note: A temperance song to the tune of Little Brown Jug. Randolph
     traced it back to late 1880s. Aside from "A-feelin' upwards
     for the ground", which I admire, it demonstrates that sincerity
     and fervor don't necessarily make for inspired literature. RG
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