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Owed to liquor

Ode to Liquor is a fictional anti-alcoholic poem that appears in the pilot episode, "Boardwalk Empire".


Coward, monster, vicious brute
Friend to thief and prostitute.
Heartless, Godless, hell's delight
Crude by day and lewd by night
Conscience dulled by demon rum
Liquor, thy name's


Mrs. McGarry reads the poem before the Women's Temperance League of Atlantic City on the night of January 16 1920. Shortly after, she introduces Atlantic County Treasurer Nucky Thompson to her audience, who asks Mrs. McGarry for a copy of the poem as part of the act.

Three days later, Mrs. McGarry finds Nucky in the Atlantic City Boardwalk and informs him that League member Margaret Schroeder has lost the child she was expecting and is hospitalized after receiving a brutal beating from her husband, Hans Schroeder. She also hands Nucky the copy of the poem he asked for, framed and decorated. Nucky takes a look at the poem and throws it in a trash bin out of McGarry's sight.


Season one appearances
Boardwalk Empire The Ivory Tower Broadway Limited Anastasia
Nights in Ballygran Family Limitation Home Hold Me in Paradise
Belle Femme The Emerald City Paris Green A Return to Normalcy