“The Juice of the Forbidden Fruit”


A story of all the people who drank: "And ever since then all manner of men... Will drink the juice of the forbidden fruit." Henry Ward Beecher is among those accused of tippling, and the drinking habits of many notorious figures are outlined


Among the various figures accused in this song of drinking are:

* Henry Ward Beecher - Congregational minister who campaigned against slavery

* Cleveland and Blaine - The Democratic and Republican presidential candidates of 1884. It was not an attractive campaign; Blaine was (regarded as) corrupt and Cleveland had an illegitimate child

* Ben Butler - Politician turned Civil War general turned politician again. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives for most of the period 1866-1879, and became Governor of Massachusetts in 1883. In 1884 he ran, unsuccessfully, for a presidential nomination

* Frank James - The brother of Jesse

* Charles and Bob Ford - Friends, relatives, and betrayers of Jesse James

* Oscar Wilde - the author/playwright

* Grant - Ulysses S. Grant, widely accused of being a drunkard although he apparently did not drink during the Civil War itself or during his presidency.

On the evidence, it would appear that Randolph's "B" version, at least, was crafted during the 1884 Presidential election. - RBW


  • Neil Morris, "The Juice of the Forbidden Fruit" (on LomaxCD1706)


  1. Belden, p. 441, "The Juice of the Forbidden Fruit" (1 text)
  2. Randolph 403, "The Juice of the Forbidden Fruit" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
  3. Randolph/Cohen, pp. 340-342, "The Juice of the Forbidden Fruit" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 403B)
  4. Roud #3533
  5. BI, R403


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1906 (Belden)
Keywords: drink political
Found in: US(So)