KISSES SWEETER THEN WINE

Posted on Posted in Breedloves's Folk Songs
  • “Kisses Sweeter than Wine” is a popular love song written by The Weavers in 1950, and a
    hit for Jimmie Rodgers in 1957 and Frankie Vaughan in 1958. In his 1993 book “Where
    Have All The Flowers Gone”, Pete Seeger described the long genesis of this song.
    Apparently the folk musician Lead Belly heard Irish performer Sam Kennedy in
    Greenwich Village singing the traditional Irish song “Drimmin Down” aka “Drimmen
    Dow”, about a farmer and his dead cow. Lead Belly adapted the tune for his own
    farmer/cow song “If It Wasn’t For Dicky” which he first recorded in 1937. Leadbelly did
    not like the lack of rhythm, which had been a part of many free flowing Irish songs, so he
    made the piece more rhythmic, playing the chorus with a 12-string guitar.
    Seeger liked Lead Belly’s version of the tune, and his chords. After his group The
    Weavers hit version of Lead Belly’s Goodnight Irene in 1950 they were looking for new
    material. Seeger and Lee Hays wrote new lyrics (Hays wrote all new verses, Seeger re-
    wrote Lead Belly’s chorus), turning it into a love song. It was published in 1951 and
    recorded by The Weavers on June 12, 1951 in New York City for Decca Records. It made
    #19 on the US Hit Parade.
    Well, when I was a young man never been kissed
    I got to thinkin’ it over how much I had missed
    So I got me a girl and I kissed her and then, and then
    Oh, lordy, well I kissed ‘er again
    Because she had kisses sweeter than wine
    She had, mmm, mmm, kisses sweeter than wine
    (Sweeter than wine)
    Well I asked her to marry and to be my sweet wife
    I told her we’d be so happy for the rest of our life
    I begged and I pleaded like a natural man
    And then, whoops oh lordy, well she gave me her hand
    Because she had kisses sweeter than wine
    She had, mmm, mmm, kisses sweeter than wine
    (Sweeter than wine)
    Well we worked very hard both me and my wife
    Workin’ hand-in-hand to have a good life
    We had corn in the field and wheat in the bin
    And then, whoops oh lord, I was the father of twins
    Because she had kisses sweeter than wine
    She had, mmm, mmm, kisses sweeter than wine
    (Sweeter than wine)

    Well our children they numbered just about four

  • And they all had a sweetheart a’knockin’ on the door
    They all got married and they wouldn’t hesitate
    I was, whoops oh lord, the grandfather of eight
    Because she had kisses sweeter than wine
    She had, mmm, mmm, kisses sweeter than wine
    (Sweeter than wine)
    Well now that I’m old and I’m a’ready to go
    I get to thinkin’ what happened a long time ago
    Had a lot of kids, a lot of trouble and pain
    But then, whoops oh lordy, well I’d do it all again
    Because she had kisses sweeter than wine
    She had, mmm…kisses…sweeter…than…wine