Travelogues

Campbeltown Loch: I wish you were whisky

Campbeltown Loch is a sea loch in Scotland. As legend goes, this was famous for its whisky distilleries. And when the tax collector came, people hid their casks of whisky in the lake tied by long ropes. These casks were retrieved when the tax man went away. But as expected, some of the casks would be damaged in the process and their contents would spill out. And the locals believe that the Loch is now made up of whisky! This legend is popularized by the famous ‘Campbeltown Loch- I wish you were whisky, I would drink you dry’ song. It is fun, infectious and will have you singing the chorus is minutes. Here’s the Andy Stewart version- wonderfully sung. Play it- I have put down the lyrics for you too to sing along!

Oh, Campbeltown Loch, I wish you were whisky,
Campbeltown Loch, och aye!
Oh, Campbeltown Loch, I wish you were whisky,
I would drink you dry.

Now, Campbeltown Loch is a beautiful place,
A place where the whisky is trim;
How nice it would be if the whisky was free,
And the loch was full up to the brim.

Oh, Campbeltown Loch, I wish you were whisky,
Campbeltown Loch, och aye!
Oh, Campbeltown Loch, I wish you were whisky,
I would drink you dry.

I’d buy a yacht with the money I got,
I’d anchor her out in the bay;
If I wanted a nip, I’d go in for a dip,
I’d be swimming by night and by day.

Oh, Campbeltown Loch, I wish you were whisky,
Campbeltown Loch, och aye!
Oh, Campbeltown Loch, I wish you were whisky,
I would drink you dry.

We have a gathering of the clans,
They come from near and far;
I can see them grin as they’re wading in,
And jumping from the bar.

Oh, Campbeltown Loch, I wish you were whisky,
Campbeltown Loch, och aye!
Oh, Campbeltown Loch, I wish you were whisky,
I would drink you dry.

But what if the boat should overturn,
And drowned in the Loch was I?
You would hear me shout, you would hear me call out,
“What a wonderful way to die!”

Oh, Campbeltown Loch, I wish you were whisky,
Campbeltown Loch, och aye!
Oh, Campbeltown Loch, I wish you were whisky,
I would drink you dry.

But what’s this I see, ochone for me,
It’s a vision to make your blood freeze;
It’s the police afloat in a dusty bright boat,
And they’re shouting, “Time, gentlemen, please!”

Oh, Campbeltown Loch, I wish you were whisky,
Campbeltown Loch, och aye!
Oh, Campbeltown Loch, I wish you were whisky,
I would drink you dry.

Oh, Campbeltown Loch, I wish you were whisky,
Campbeltown Loch, och aye!
Oh, Campbeltown Loch, I wish you were whisky,
I would drink you dry.

PS: Should Scotland’s famous beverage be spelt ‘whisky’ or ‘whiskey”? Well, the ‘water of life’ as the Scots call their brew, was originally called whisky (plural=whiskies). And the Irish and Americans concocted their own versions which they felt was superior and to distinguish it from the Scottish version called it whiskey (plural=whiskeys). Ask a pure bred Scot and he will tell you the Scottish whisky is the original and the Yankees can’t spell right! A simple rule of the thumb is that if your drink comes from a country which has an ‘e’ in its name, spell whisky with an ‘e’; else dispense with it!

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