It is a speech that I am going to quote here in this post… a whisky speech… and then I am going to try to write the same speech as if it were a poem. I’m sure all those who love their malt are going to be nodding in appreciation.
Noah “Soggy” Sweat made his famous “If by whisky” speech and this is what I am going to reproduce here:
If when you say whisky you mean the devil’s brew, the poison scourge, the bloody monster, that defiles innocence, dethrones reason, destroys the home, creates misery and poverty, yea, literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children; if you mean the evil drink that topples the Christian man and woman from the pinnacle of righteous, gracious living into the bottomless pit of degradation, and despair, and shame and helplessness, and hopelessness, then certainly I am against it.
But, if when you say whisky you mean the oil of conversation, the philosophic wine, the ale that is consumed when good fellows get together, that puts a song in their hearts and laughter on their lips, and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes; if you mean Christmas cheer; if you mean the stimulating drink that puts the spring in the old gentleman’s step on a frosty, crispy morning; if you mean the drink which enables a man to magnify his joy, and his happiness, and to forget, if only for a little while, life’s great tragedies, and heartaches, and sorrows; if you mean that drink, the sale of which pours into our treasuries untold millions of dollars, which are used to provide tender care for our little crippled children, our blind, our deaf, our dumb, our pitiful aged and infirm; to build highways and hospitals and schools, then certainly I am for it.
This is my stand. I will not retreat from it. I will not compromise.
Now if we take the speech and break the sentences so they adopt the format of free verse, the effect is that of the sort of poetry that a good whisky always results in:
If when you say whisky
You mean the devil’s brew
The poison scourge
The bloody monster that defiles innocence
Destroys the home
Creates misery and poverty
Yea, literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children
If you mean the evil drink that topples
The Christian man and woman
From the pinnacle of righteous, gracious living
Into the bottomless pit of degradation
And despair and shame and helplessness and hopelessness
Then certainly I am against it.
But, if when you say whisky you mean
The oil of conversation
The philosophic wine
The ale that is consumed when good fellows get together
That puts a song in their hearts and laughter on their lips
And the warm glow of contentment in their eyes
If you mean Christmas cheer
If you mean the stimulating drink
That puts the spring
In the old gentleman’s step on a frosty, crispy morning
If you mean the drink which enables a man
To magnify his joy and his happiness
nd to forget, if only for a little while
Life’s great tragedies, and heartaches, and sorrows
If you mean that drink
The sale of which pours into our treasuries
Untold millions of dollars
Which are used to provide tender care
For our little crippled children
Our blind, our deaf, our dumb, our pitiful aged and infirm
To build highways and hospitals and schools
Then certainly I am for it.
Just look at the difference that prose and poetry make to the same words, the same emotions, the same direction of conversation. You will no doubt realise that it is the same difference that pulls a Black Dog high above the other scotch whisky brands even though they may tend to call themselves a whisky… or is this why they remain content to call themselves a ‘whiskey’ and BD prefers to be distanced from that aberration?
So far as I am concerned, I wait for someone to pen poetry or some panegyrics on the newest addition, that is, Black Dog TGR or the Triple Gold Reserve variant that make maturation an art-form!
Disclaimer: The content of this post is meant only for people above the age of 25.
18 May 2014