Whiskey River

Whisky and freedom are as American as mother and apple pie and listening to this Willie Nelson rendition of the Johnny Bush classic “Whisky River” is a reminder of the connection between free spirits and good spirits.

As has been pointed out elsewhere on The Transcendental Dram, whisky, bourbon and the taxes levied on them were themes that helped pay for the American Revolution. Thanks to Nelson’s support for the Farm Aid movement, “Whisky River” has become something of an anthem for those who advocate individual freedom and toil to produce the grains that make fine spirits… and feel over-taxed for the privilege of doing so.

Somewhere along the line, whisky songs, like blues tunes, inadvertently offer a lamentation on women. “Whisky river, don’t run dry, don’t let her memory torture me…”, Nelson wails

At a time where individual freedom and state power are having at each other in the American political arena, the woman in the song just might be Lady Liberty.


About Author

Eric is a digital nomad who writes on sports, politics and culture. He is a member of PEN, one of the original bloggers on the HuffPo World section and is one of the pioneering contributors to Rolling Stone starting in 1968 working under co-founder Jann S. Wenner. Eric resides in Brazil and is fluent in five languages. His work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, Huffington Post, National Review, New York Times and USA Today. Photo credit, Eric Ehrmann.