Song Lyrics

Copper Kettle

by Albert Frank Beddoe

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Get you a copper kettle
Get you a copper coil
Cover with new-made corn mash
and never more you'll toil

You'll just lay there by the juniper
While the moon is bright
Watch them jugs a-fillin'
In the pale moonlight

Get you a fire of hickory
Get you a fire of oak
Don't use no green or rotten wood
they'll find you by the smoke

While you lay there by the juniper
While the moon is bright
Watch them jugs a-fillin'
In the pale moonlight

My grandpappy he made whiskey
My daddy he made it too
We ain't paid no whiskey tax since 1792

We just lay there by the juniper
While the moon is bright
Watch them jugs a-fillin'
In the pale moonlight

Get you a copper kettle
Get you a copper coil
Cover with new-made corn mash
and never more you will toil

You'll just lay there by the juniper
While the moon is bright
Watch them jugs a-fillin'
In the pale moonlight

Footnotes to Copper Kettle

Copper Kettle is a song composed by Albert Frank Beddoe and made popular by Joan Baez. Pete Seeger's account dates the song to 1946, mentioning its probable folk origin, while in a 1962 Time readers column Beddoe says that the song was written by him in 1953 as part of the folk opera Go Lightly, Stranger. The line "We ain't paid no whiskey tax since 1792" alludes to an unpopular tax imposed in 1791 by the fledgling U.S. Federal Government. The levy provoked the Whiskey Rebellion and generally had a short life, barely lasting until 1803.

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