Volume 36 , Number 3 , Winter 1997
He took a bottle up to bed, drank whiskey hot each night;
Drank cocktails in the morning, but never could get tight.
He shivered in the evening and always had the blues
Until he had a bowl or two--but he never blamed the booze.
His joints were full of rheumatiz, his appetite was slack;
He had pains between his shoulders and chills ran down his back;
He suffered from insomnia, at night he could not snooze;
He said it was the climate--but he never blamed the booze.
His constitution was run down--at least thats what he said;
His legs were swelled each morning, and he often had swelled head;
He tackled beer and whiskey, and if it didnt fuse,
He blamed it to dyspepsia--but he never blamed the booze.
He said he couldnt sleep at night, and always had bad dreams;
He claimed he always lay awake till early sunrise beams;
He thought it was malaria; alas, twas but a ruse,
He blamed it on everything--but he never blamed the booze.
His liver needed scraping, and his kidneys had the gout,
He swallowed lots of bitters, till at last he cleaned them out;
His legs were swelled with dropsy till he had to cut his shoes,
He blamed it to the doctor--but he never blamed the booze.
Then he had the tremens, and he tackled rats and snakes;
First he had a fever and then he had the shakes.
At last he had a funeral, and the mourners had the blues,
And the epitaph carved for him was--He Never Blamed the Booze."
--By John Dunckel in The Mollyjoggers, Tales of the Camp-Fire (H. S. Jewell, Springfield, Mo.: c. 1906). The Mollyjoggers were railroad men who fished, floated and camped on James River later building a riverside club house.
Copyright Ó White River Valley Historical Quarterly
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