In the good old days, people would drink and they would sing. You’ve seen them in old films, banging together their flagons of ale, bellowing merrily, guffawing and then chucking more beer down their neck. It looks like great fun.
We don’t do much of that now. Unless you count getting hammered and going to the karaoke.
But drinking can inspire some great music – some songs of ecstatic joy, and others of exquisite melancholy. It all begins with a good old fashioned pissed-up sing-along – ‘Drunken Sailor’ (a song a group of three drunk Belgians sang in Flemish for my wife and I in a bizarre bar in Antwerp), keeps up the pace with four celebrations of the drop (three of which can be found on a great rock’n’roll/blues compilation called Gaz’s Rockin Blues), then descends into a bit of misery, melancholy and double-crossing for the final five tracks – a perfect summary of the different directions a wee tipple can send you off in.
- Storm Weather Shanty Choir – Drunken Sailor
- Stick McGhee – Drinkin’ Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee
- Floyd Dixon – Hey Bartender
- Amos Milburn – One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer
- The National – All The Wine
- Hefner – The Hymn for the Alcohol
- Nancy Sinatra – Summer Wine
- Ryan Adams – Strawberry Wine
- Jeff Buckley – Lilac Wine
- Tom Waits – Jockey Full of Bourbon