How to Play 'Whiskey in the Jar' (Mandolin)

  • 🎬 Video
  • ℹ️ Description
How to Play 'Whiskey in the Jar' (Mandolin) 4.5

Canadian folk musician Jesse Ferguson teaches how to play the classic Irish song "Whiskey in the Jar" on mandolin. If guitar is your instrument, then check out the companion tutorial.

Whiskey in the Jar
(traditional, arrang. J. Ferguson, Dec. 2013)

108 bpm

C Am
As I was goin’ over the far-famed Kerry mountains
I met with captain Farrell, and his money he was countin’.
C Am
I first produced me pistol, and then produced me rapier,
sayin’, “Stand and deliver, for I am a bold deceiver!”

Musha ring, dumma too, damma ta.
Whack fol the daddy 'o,
whack fol the daddy 'o—
there's whiskey in the jar!

Interlude: C Am F C

I counted out his money, and it made a pretty penny.
I put it in my pocket, and I took it home to Jenny.
She sighed and she swore, that she never would deceive me,
but the devil’s in that woman, and you know she tricked me easy.


I went into my chamber, all for to take a slumber;
I dreamt of gold and riches, and sure it was no wonder.
But Jenny drew me charges, and she filled them up with water,
then called for captain Farrel to be ready for the slaughter.


It was early in the morning, as I arose to travel:
up comes a bunch of troopers and likewise captain Farrel.
I first produced me pistol, for she’d stolen away me rapier,
but I couldn't shoot the water, so a prisoner I was taken.


Now, if anyone can aid me, it's me brother in the army,
if I can find his station in Cork or in Killarney.
And if he'll go with me, we'll go rovin’ in Kilkenny,
and I know he'll treat me better than me only sportin’ Jenny.


Now, some men take delight in the fishin’ in the ocean;
others take delight in the carriages a-rollin’.
Me, I take delight in the juice of the barley
and courtin’ pretty women in the mornin’ bright and early.

Chorus: [repeat]

💬 Comments on the video

Hello Canadian folk singer Jesse Ferguson!



I had an interesting time, imagining your face

Author — R.L. Kramer


Hey been a while. Can u upload Irish washer women it's a great tune

Author — uriel prince


A little trick I'm sure many of you already know, the mandolin is basically the same as the top (bass) four strings on a guitar but upside down. So if you picture a G chord on guitar with the two bass (top) strings, the E string 3rd fret the A 2nd fret, on mandolin you flip it upside down to play the thinnest (E) string(s) 3rd fret, second thinnest (A) 2nd fret. Then its the same with all guitar chords. Incidently, violin is same tuning as mandolin.

Author — Chuffpup


Hey Jesse, wow, your voice has a very nice sound. Can you show some other songs, this song is top explained.

Author — Band Plop


I can't believe how straightforward this was. Thank you.

Author — aspektx


Could you please do Rocky Road To Dublin on mandolin? You had a wonderful video of it with the mandolin a while ago, and I enjoyed it immensely.

Author — Darren Henley


Thank you! I just got my first working mandolin yesterday and this is the first song I'm putting effort in to learning rather than just tinkering. It's a lot of fun and you're a great instructor. Thank you.

Author — Paul Cochrell


Thank you very much, Jesse, for this great tutorial and for taking the time to add the lyrics, and chords, in the description. Long live Trad!!🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀(9 in-a-row ☺)

Author — kurosan


omg, love this song. Im irish (from Kilkenny) and I first got introduced to this song and instrument on holiday to spain when I was younger as me and my friends (also from Ireland, but diff parts) were in an Irish Bar, and the musician (Brendan O'Brian) was playing this.
I was wondering, would you be able to fo Flogging Molly 'If I ever leave this world alive'.

Author — Jess Gibbs


Ok I need to find me a mandolin now. ^^

Author — beorngare


I really like this song and how you teach it. You have a great singing voice.. I will attempt to imitate. Thanks again and please keep these folk song tutorials coming!

Author — RangerOdyssey


Awesome. Can you do Sonny’s Dream on Mandolin please?

Author — Chris Edley


Would you consider "Johnny, I hardly knew you"

Author — Chris


I would love to learn a very very easy version of shady Grove on mandolin please

Author — Ryan Brawn


Until you burst into singing, I thought the mandolin was an arpegio instrument. Thanks for changing my mind. And cheers on the beautiful vocal.

Author — GBatT


this is great! although did you ever continue the "how to" for the mandolin? you should, this is so helpful, thanks!

Author — Jeff


Mandos my first Instrument, and this is my first song I'm learning. I've spent so much time on this video learning this song, I felt it was time to say thanks! So Thank you. Next up is Scotland the Brave Cant wait to learn that first part.

Author — Lorrin Finch


Great tutorial Jesse thanks for taking the time to make it for us beginners

Author — Alan Prince


would you please do a tutorial on "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda" or can't you do it because of the copyright?

Author — Cynkel