Thin Lizzy Premieres Official Video for First Hit, “Whiskey in the Jar,” More than 50 Years After the Song Was Released

Thin Lizzy has debuted an official music video for their breakthrough single, “Whiskey in the Jar,” more than a half century after the famed Irish rock band released its version of the traditional tune.

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Thin Lizzy recorded “Whiskey in the Jar” in 1972 after the band’s then-manager heard frontman Phil Lynott playing the tune while in the group’s rehearsal studio. The band members weren’t enamored with the recording, because they felt it wasn’t representative of the group’s sound. Despite that, the track was released as a single in November 1972, and became Thin Lizzy’s first hit. It topped the Irish singles chart and reached No. 6 in the U.K.

[RELATED: Huey Lewis on How Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott Became His Mentor and the Bond He Shares with AC/DC’s Brian Johnson]

“Whiskey in the Jar,” which dates back to the 1700s, tells the tale of a whiskey-loving Irish bandit who robs an English officer so he can bring home some money to his love, Molly. Unfortunately, Molly betrays him and he ends up in prison.

About the “Whiskey in the Jar” Video

The video features black-and-white animation depicting the story told in the song in the form of a comic book. Interspersed with the story segments are rotoscope-style scenes showing a musician playing the tune’s guitar riffs.

Some of the animated scenes were based Jim Fitzpatrick’s cover art for Thin Lizzy’s 1973 album Vagabonds of the Western World, as well as artwork he created for ads promoting the record.

You can watch the clip at Thin Lizzy’s official YouTube channel.

Thin Lizzy’s Vagabonds of the Western World Reissues

Thin Lizzy recently released expanded, 50th anniversary reissues of Vagabonds of the Western World that feature multiple versions of “Whiskey in the Jar” as bonus tracks. The reissue is available as a three-CD/Blu-ray set, a four-LP vinyl collection, and a two-disc purple-vinyl package.

In addition, a limited-edition seven-inch “Whiskey in the Jar” single pressed on blue vinyl was released.

Other Versions of “Whiskey in the Jar”

Thin Lizzy based its version of “Whiskey in the Jar” on Irish folk group The Dubliners’ 1967 rendition. A number of other artists covered the song, inspired by Thin Lizzy’s version. Among them were Metallica, The Pogues, U2, Simple Minds, and Pulp.

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