Thursday, January 19, 2012

Mountain Dew

Another great Appalachian invention:

My grandfather knew the Mountain Dew inventor from Marion VA.

Mountain Dew (currently stylized as Mtn Dew) is a carbonated soft drink brand produced and owned by PepsiCo. The original formula was invented in the 1940s by Florida beverage bottlers Barney and Barney Hartman and was first marketed in Marion, VA, Knoxville and Johnson City, Tennessee. A revised formula was created by Bill Bridgforth in 1958. The Mountain Dew brand and production rights were acquired by the Pepsi-Cola company in 1964, at which point its distribution expanded more widely across the United States.

Mountain Dew was originally Southern and/or Irish slang for moonshine (homemade whiskey), or poitín as it is called in Ireland. An 1882 song from Ireland "The Rare Old Mountain Dew" (Words by Edward Harrigan. Music by Dave Braham) begins:
Let grasses grow and waters flow
In a free and easy way,
But give me enough of the rare ould stuff,
That's made near Galway Bay,
Come gougers all from Donegal, Sligo and Leitrim too,
And we'll give them the slip and we'll take a sip,
Of the rare ould Mountain Dew.
A 1947 version by Grandpa Jones (1913-1998) may be better-known to Americans:
There's a big holler tree down the road here from me
where you lay down a doller er two.
When you come round the bend and when you come back again
there's a jug full of good old Mountain Dew
Oh they call it that old mountain dew and them that refuse it are few.
I'll shut up my mug if you fill up my jug with some good old Mountain Dew

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