Little Brown Jug


Today I return to my series on “Popular Songs of Nineteenth-Century America” with a fun little song on how addiction to alcohol makes you lose everything you love.

Billed as “One of the most popular comic songs in existence” on the sheet music selling it, the song isn’t intended to promote drunkenness, though it probably was comic in the era by treating with humor a situation most people of the time had first- or second-hand experience with.

The accompaniment is simple, fun, and easy to play, with a rollicking tune that makes it easy to sing and not really think about what the lyric is talking about — to sing it without any of the pathos that underlies the words.

My wife and I lived all alone, In a little log hut we called our own;
She loved gin, and I love rum, I tell you what, we’d lots of fun.

Ha, ha, ha, you and me, “Little brown jug” don’t I love thee;
Ha, ha ha, you and me, “Little brown jug” don’t I love thee.

‘Tis you who makes my friend my foes, ‘Tis you who makes me wear old clothes;
Here you are, so near my nose, So tip her up, and down she goes.


When I go toiling to my farm, I take little “Brown Jug” under my arm;
I place it under a shady tree, Little “Brown Jug’ ’tis you and me.


If all the folks in Adam’s race, Were gathered together in one place;
Then I’d prepare to shed a tear, Before I’d part from you, my dear.


If I’d a cow that gave such milk; I’d clothe her in the finest silk;
I’d feed her on the choicest hay, And milk her forty times a day.


The rose is red, my none is, too, The violet’s blue, and so are you;
And yet I guess before I stop, We’d better take another drop.


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