Whiskey in the Jar

Advice to those involved in research assessment

Scene from Molly's Chamber

Whiskey in the Jar


(Traditional, arr. Harding)


Now some men like the fishin’,

And some men like the fowlin’

(worthy, workaday, regular 2* stash)


And some men like to hear the cannon ball a-roarin’,

(explosive, dogmatic, attention grabbing , pure assertion without reason, falls back to 2*)


Me, I like sleepin’, especially in my Molly’s chamber,

(more adventurous, novel, collaborative activity, bold dreaming and stimulating ideas, hey - heading for 4*)


But here I am in prison, here I am with a ball and chain, yeah.

(victim of own success, trapped on the REF tread wheel)


Mush a ring dum a do dum a da,

(example of top quality work)


Whack for my daddy-oh, there’s whiskey in the jar, oh.

(nice little prize for your unit of assessment).


'Whiskey in the Jar' is a traditional Irish folk song, much loved and performed, and exported to North America, and back again to late twentieth century musical performance in Britain (Thin Lizzie, The Pogues and the Dubliners). Like all great poetry and songs, the words can stand as metaphor and be lent for various interpretations. This telling may resonate with many academic researchers and writers, especially those caught up in the British 'Research Excellence Framework' (sic).