Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Chug-A-Lug, Chug-A-Lug: The Quest For The Perfect Drinking Song

Attention STWOF Readers!
I need your help.

I'm attempting to put together the ultimate compilation of drinking songs. As a fan of both drinking and song, this task is close to my heart, but I can't do it alone.

Your vast knowledge of the musical landscape is necessary to ensure that no stone is left unturned. This is a quest for quality, not quantity. Please send your suggestion in the comment section below. There are no genre limitations. Include as many as you wish. Supporting arguments are welcome but not required. (Optional: You might also wish to tell us the perfect drink to go with the song or songs you have selected.)


I'll get the ball rolling with this nomination:

Roger Miller – Chug-A-Lug (buy album)

The perfect drink to accompany this tune is a crisp German lager.

[Note: This has been done before. I'm not trying to re-invent the wheel here, or anything, but it's a process worth repeating.]

Thanks for your help!

St. Patrick's Day is nearing, so don't delay.


Tim said...

First one I thought of was "Kiss Me I'm Shitfaced" by the Dropkick Murphys. Which, as I see, is already on the previous list.

boyhowdy said...

I was going to call this for Star Maker Machine, but certainly, there's enough to go around.

Other than the obvious (Snooks Eaglin, and the Pogues, anyone?), my list would have to include these less obvious choices. Some are swaying drunks, some are maudlin; few are the obvious pub sing-alongs, but there you go. Let me know if you need any:

Session Americana: Cigareets and Whiskey

I Gotta Get Drunk (Redbird does an awesome version of this; so do The Little Willies, but the Willie Nelson original is probably best)

Scott Miller and the Commonwealth: Drunk all Around This Town

Some version of english folk song Blue Bleezin' Blind Drunk (James Yorkston, or Rachel Unthank and the Winterset)

Tom Waits: The Piano has Been Drinking

The Steeldrivers: Drinking Dark Whiskey

A billion versions of Moonshiner

Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss: Whiskey Lullaby

Paul said...

Please feel free to duplicate the previous list. There's a lot of great ones on that list.

Paul said...


I'm only taking nominations for now, so having a bunch of songs posted at SMM would be good synergy!

boyhowdy said...

I WAS going to call it for St. Patty's Day...but sooner might be okay.

toomuchcountry said...

Beer Run - Todd Snider
Billy's Got His Beer Goggles On - Neal McCoy
Drinkin' On The Job - The Rainmakers
Alcohol & Pills - Fred Eaglesmith
Time To Switch To Whiskey - Corb Lund
One Bud Wiser - John Rich
Ol' Milwaukee's Best - Adam Carrol
Horseshoe Lounge - Slaid Cleaves
Whole Lotta Liquor To Like Her - Pete Schlegel
Talking Thunderbird Blues - Townes Van Zandt
Barlight - Charlie Robison
Late Last Night - Todd Snider
Women Without Whiskey - Drive-By Truckers
Drinking Too Much - Fred Eaglesmith
A Bar in Bakersfield - Merle Haggard
Bourbon - Nicole Witt
Six Empty Bottles - Royal Court of China

godoggo said...

Live Fast Die Young by the Circle Jerks. I think the lyrics pretty much say it all on this subject, don't you?

BigSteve said...

Guilty by Randy Newman is about more than drinking though it does start "Yes, baby, I been drinking." Same with the Pogues' A Pair of Brown Eyes ("One summer evening drunk to hell...).

Annie said...

This was the 1st thing that popped in my head.....Jimmy Buffett "Why Don't we get Drunk and Screw"

Lucas Hare said...

Can I suggest that you investigate the 'Drinking' episode of Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour? Even if you just take Mary Gauthier's stunning 'I Drink' from it.


Nicolas L said...

All right, a few from my own field (blues)

1) Drinkin' Wine Spo Dee O Dee by Sticks McGhee
2) I Keep On Drinkin' by Little Brother Montgomery, a piano player from New Orleans. I've got a live version that always break my heart
3) Whiskey Head Woman by Tommy McClennan : real piece of Delta blues
4) Bad Whiskey by Skip James
5) Canned Heat by Tommy Johnson : this one's really great and gave its name to a famous band
6) One Scotch, One Burbon, one Beer by Amos Milburn or John Lee Hooker
7) Drunken Hearted Man, by Robert Johnson
8) Drunkard's special by Coley Jones (this one's on the Harry Smith anthology)
9) Sloppy Drunk, by John Lee Sonny Boy Williamson
10) Pink Champagne by Joe Liggins
11) Hey Bartender by Floyd Dixon, and a ska version by Laurel Aitken
12) Jimmie Rodgers : Gambling Barroom Blues

In pop : A Drinking Song by The Divine Comedy

I can send you some of these tracks, or post them on my blog

one country song :

Johnny Vandal said...

1. Drunk - Jimmy LIggins
2. Tanqueray - Johnnie Johnson
3. Just One More - George Jones
4. The Bartender Looks Like A Mother - Slim Gaillard
5. What's The Use of Getting Sober - Louis Jordan

WILLIAM T. VOGT, JR. said...

Merle Haggard's Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down has to be on the list. A classic country drinking song.

fantom said...

Gang Green 'Alcohol', Big Bill Lister, 'Tear in My Beer'

Duncanmusic said...

Charlie Rich -I Can't Even Drink It Away ...B-Side of Most Beautiful Girl from early Epic LP

Lou & Peter Berryman - Are You Drinking With Me Jesus? ...fairly obscure used to be Husband & Wife singing duo ...somg is about as irreverent as you can get...my favorite verse is: "Should we take a taxi Jesus? Should we try to walk from here?I know you can walk on water. Can you walk on this much beer?"
Chorus: "Are you drinking with me Jesus? I can't see you very clear. If you're drinking with me Jesus, won't you buy a friend a beer" (last time ending like an A-Men) "A Beer"

Mushi Loola said...

In the great art of the mistaken lyric, my younger sister always enjoyed that great Steve Miller (drinking) tune with the ever famous chorus, "Chug-a-lug, it's drivin' me mad — It's makin me crazy."

Vaughn said...

"Yes I Guess They Oughta Name a Drink After You", by John Prine is a mighty fine drinking song. It goes down well with "near beer"

Dave said...

The obvious;
Jerry Lee Lewis - 'What Made Milwaukee Famous (Made a Loser Out of Me)' Accompanied by a can of Schlitz obviously.

Some other beer songs:
Willie Nelson - 'Bubbles In My Beer'
Big Bill Lester or Hank Williams Jr. - 'There's a Tear In My Beer' (as mentioned above by 'fantom')
Tom Waits - 'Warm Beer and Cold Woman'
Each to be accompanied by a cold beer of your choice but not necessarily a cold woman.

A few not specifically about beer:
Merle Haggard - 'Drink Up and Be Somebody
George Jones - 'White Lightning', 'You're Still On My Mind', 'Heartaches and Hangovers'
Dubliners - 'A Partin' Glass'

A comparative rarity;
Ramblin' Ed Bailey - 'Eight Weeks In a Barroom'

Finally, only if you believe an opposing viewpoint should be included;
Louvin Brothers - 'The Kneeling Drunkards Plea'


Greg said...

Great posts.

The Skeletons: Waiting for My Gin to Hit Me

Dave Alvin/Tom Russell: Out in California

godoggo said...

And, damn, I was trying to think of an X song...Nausea, duh.

Caitlin said...

Paul, have you heard this Phosphorescent album "To Willie" yet? All Willie Nelson covers.
His version of I Gotta Get Drunk is awesome.

Tsuru said...

@Tim - Great Suggestion, it was the first thing that came to my head too!

I'll add then, unless it's been mentioned, Aidan Moffat And The Best-Ofs - The Last Kiss

it's a got a sweet drinkin' song feel to it!

it's here --> http://blog.tsururadio.com/2009/01/tsururadio-presents-extremely-premature.html


Tsuru said...

Oh... and I'm SURE there's a Social Distortion song that should work too!

OH.. and The The's cover of Tear In My Beer? Yeah.

Greg said...

Social D:

What about Ball and Chain?

Matt.H said...

Where to start, well... with St. Patrick's Day looming 'Wild Rover' by the Dubliner's has to be up there, mainly because I know I'll be hearing it on a rotation non-stop along with 'Whisky In The Jar', the Dropkick Murphy's and tons of other Irish anthems this St.Patrick's Day.'Wild Rover' though will always have more significance for the refrain "I Spent All My Money On Whiskey And Beer" which pretty much summed up my life ages 18-26. Slobberbone have some great drinking anthems such as 'Haze Of Drink', 'Meltown' etc..'Dead, Drunk and Naked' by the Drive By Truckers also has to be up there with my all time favourite drinking songs along with 'White Lightning' by George Jones(though many more do great versions) 'I Got Drunk' Uncle Tupelo, 'I Gotta Get Drunk' Wille Nelson 'Down Where The Drunkards Roll' Richard&Linda Thompson and Hank Thompson's 'Let's Get Drunk And Be Somebody'. Of course where there's booze there is always room for more sombre reflection and among my favourites in this category are Lucinda William's tribute to Blaze Foley 'Drunken Angel',the Louvin Brothers, 'Kneeling Drunkards Plea', Alejandro's 'I Was Drunk' and the Smith's 'Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now' where Moz whines gloriously about being "Happy In The Haze Of A Drunken Hour" which is perhaps a song left for the morning after. These are all great drinking songs and there are many more that have been mentioned in previous posts but two of my favourites are a couple of oddball ditties that always come to mind when I think of drinking songs. One is John Hartford's 'No Beer In Heaven' which many readers of this blog probably know and the other is a Bill Callahan(Smog) B side 'Bowery' for which I've alwaya had a strange affection. With an opening line like "My Grandfather Died, A Bowery Bum" how could anyone not? By the way, a friend of mine plays in a band called the Bible Code Sundays(Celtic folk-rock in the vein of the Pogues and Men They Couldn't Hang) who I'm pretty sure will be supporting the Dropkick Murphy's somewhere in the New York/Boston area this St.Paddy's Day. Wherever you're gonna be though, happy St.Patrick's Day. And remember, the only cure for booze, is more booze. So, in the words of Hank Thompson, "Let's Get Drunk And Be Somebody".

Stian said...

Youngbloods - Sugar Babe
(..got drunk and fell on the floor, well that's good for the whiskey mama, now I'm gonna have some more..)

Byrds - Your're Still On My Mind
(empty bottles, broken hearts, you're still on my mind..)

The Phosphorecent version of Willie Nelson's I Gotta Get Drunk is very good as mentioned before in this thread.

Dwight Yoakam - This Drinkin' Will Kill Me

Plasticsun said...

Has anybody mentioned Webb Pierce's classic "There Stands the Glass"? And as to the last comment, as much as I like the Byrds version (which of course I heard first), the George Jones original version of "You're Still On My Mind" is much better. My personal favorite drinking song these days is "I Got Loaded", by New Orleans singer Little Bob.

Anonymous said...

Soul Happy Hour - Jazz Butcher
Quiet Whiskey - Wynonie Harris
The Piano Has Been Drinking (Not Me) - Tom Waits
What's the Use of Getting Sober (When You're Only Going to Get Drunk Again) - Louis Jordan
Tired and Emotional (And Probably Drunk) - Billy Bremner
Tequila Sheila - Bobby Bare
Goodbye Booze - Delmore Brothers
Hey Bartender - Floyd Dixon
One For My Baby (And One More for the Road) - Frank Sinatra
She's Acting Single (I'm Drinking Doubles) - Gary Stewart
Bartender's Blues - George Jones
If Drinkin' Don't Kill Me (Her Memory Will) - George Jones
When the Hangover Strikes - Squeeze
Heartaches and Hangovers - George Jones
Tennessee Whiskey - George Jones
Must've Been Drunk George Jones
Whiskey Girl - Gillian Welch
Broken Whiskey Glass - Jason & the Scrochers
Are You Drinkin' With Me Jesus - Mojo Nixon & Jello Biafra
Sangria wine - Jerry Jeff Walker
What's Made Milwaukee Famous (Has Made A Loser Out Of Me) - Jerry Lee Lewis
Dirty Martini - Joe Jackson
Pink Champagne - Joe Liggins
Drunk - Jimmy Liggins
I Ain't Drunk - Jimmy Liggins
Texas Wine - Jon Wayne
Whiskey, Women & Loaded Dice - Joe Liggins
Whiskey, Gin & Wine - Joe Liggins
One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer - John Lee Hooker
White Lightning and Wine - Heart
Drinkin' Wine, Spo-Dee-O-Dee - Johnny Burnette Trio
What've I Been Drinking - Long John Baldry
Whiskey Drinkin' Woman - Nazareth
Don't Come Home A Drinkin' (With Lovin' On Your Mind) - Loretta Lynn
Good Ol' Alcohol - Mooney Suzuki
Surfin' in the Bars - The Nomads
Drunken Hearted Man - Robert Johnson
Jose Cuervo - Shelly west
There Stands The Glass - Webb Pierce
My Drinkin' Problem - Hank williams III
There's A Tear In My Beer - Hank Williams
It All Depends (Who Will Buy The Wine) - Jerry Lee Lewis
Have a Drink on Me - AC/DC
Whiskey You're the Devil - The Pogues
Streams of Whiskey - The Pogues
Too Drunk to Fuck - Dead Kennedys
Too Drunk to Fuck - Nouvelle Vague
Last Call - Lee Ann Womack
I Think I know - Lee Ann Womack
Jack Daniels if You Please - David Allan Coe
Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down - Merle Haggard
Drinkin' Whiskey - Laurel Aitken
Drinkin' A Beer And Singing A Country Song - Johnny Russell
Drunken Lullabies - Flogging Molly
Don't Take My Whiskey Away From Me - Wynonie Harris
Who Threw the Whiskey in the Well - Wynonie Harris
Six pack - Black Flag
Whiskey in a Jar - Thin Lizzy
That Woman's Got Me Drinking - Shane MacGowan
Beer, Beer, Beer - Clancy Brothers
Maloney Wants a Drink - Dubliners

Whiskey, Weed & Women - Hank Williams III
I've Been Drinking - Jeff Beck Group
The Have Nots - X
Bloody Mary Morning - Willie Nelson
Cold Gin - Kiss
Gin and Juice - Snoop Dogg
Gin & Milk - Dirty Pretty Things
Gin & Tonic Blues - Rev. Horton Heat
Gin Drinkin' Baby - Sunnyland Slim
Gin Soaked Boy - Tom Waits
Gin Guzzlin' Frenzy - Mojo Nixon
I Like Beer - Tom T. Hall
Beer Drinkers And Hell Raisers - ZZ Top
Whiskey Do Your Stuff - Louis Jordan
You & Me & the Bottle makes Three - Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Rum & Coke - Prof. Longhair
Suicide Solution - Ozzy Osbourne
I Got Loaded - Los Lobos
Whiskey River - Willie Nelson
Alabama Song - The Doors

Dave D. said...

Lots of good ones already mentioned. Here's a few I didn't see (or overlooked):

I Think I'll Just Sit Here and Drink - Merle Haggard
Whiskey or God - Dale Watson
Cocktails - Bill Anderson/Robbie Fulks
Mama Brought Me Up (the bottle brought me down) - Steve Newhouse
(I've Got My) Future on Ice - Hank Williams Jr
The Lord Knows I'm Drinking - Cal Smith
Drivin' Nails In My Coffin - Hank Thompson
How You Drink the Wine - Mel Tillis/Amber Digby
Between the Whiskey and the Wine - Miss Leslie
The Stuff Inside - Dallas Wayne
Daddy's Drinking Up Our Christmas - Commander Cody

Rockstar Aimz said...

The very first one that popped into my head was "Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound" by Hank Williams, Jr. I also have a sweet version of Aretha Franklin singing a blues tune called "Drinking Again."

DMattsson said...

Wine with Dinner - Loudon Wainwright

Bad Bad Whiskey - Amos Milburn

Gimme that wine - Lambert Hendricks & Ross

Glenn said...

Black Flag. Six Pack and TV Party.

Also, Bonnie Prince Billy, I am Drinking Again.

Anonymous said...

Lots of great songs, and while the Pogues have been mentioned several times, I haven't seen Sally MacLennane yet I think -"so buy me beer and whiskey cause I'm going far away"

godoggo said...


Since nobody's mentioned them...

Any list without "One for the Road," by Frank would be a bit weird.

Richard Thompson's "God Loves a Drunk," is one of my favorite songs ever, despite that presumably unintended double entendre the last verse.

My 1st drinking song was the Barucha, of course.

godoggo said...

I meant my final comment, or course, and anyway I was obviously lying.

brendan said...

Drinkin Thing - Gary Stewart
or anything by that guy

simon2307 said...

Top ten from me..........

Beer Drinkin´Woman - Three from Chip Hanna and the Berlin Three

Drunk All the Time - Ryebender

Drunk and Disappointed - Matthew Ryan

Day Drinkin' - Dave Dudley & Tom T. Hall

I Got Me Drinking Again - Kristofer Åström

Drinkin' and Cheatin' and Death - Waco Brothers

There's No Drinking After You're Dead - Paul Weller

Drunk Again - Halfway

I'm Not Drunk - Octoberman

Drunk and Lonesome (Again) - Southern Culture on the Skids

toomuchcountry said...

That Paul Weller song title is great. I bet he was living the Halfway and Ryebender songs as he wrote his own.

fantom said...

Two more, both from 'It Came From Memphis': Ross Johnson's 'Wet Bar' and The Martinis' 'Hung Over'...

bostig said...

Hi there,

I agree with anything with Gary Stewart but especially An empty glass or Whiskey trip.

Why not David Allan Coe with Drink my wife away.

And of course my favourite Joe Ely with Everybody got hammered.

Congrats to a very good site.

best regards from Sweden


MarkG said...

Your list is missing, "I don't even have to ask" by Martha Scanlan.

Brilliant. Drink up!

Nate said...

I would like to nominate "Drunk Front" by Moe Bandy & Joe Stampley and "Drinkin' My Way Back Home" by Jerry Jaye.

Past40 said...

The Power of Positive Drinkin' by Lou Reed

Chris P. Rull said...

well, if you've seen "heartworn highways," you should be familiar with gamble rogers' version of "jack daniels if you please" with the 5 minute spoken word intro. This performance is one hell of a classic and can be found on the doc's soundtrack. check out rodney crowell's "bluebird wine" as well.

i'd also like to see oasis' "cigarettes and alcohol" on the list. this is from their wicked debut, "definitely maybe."

and last but not least, i recommend the hank williams sr.'s acoustic version of "i got a bucket with a hole in it." everytime i hear it, i feel like heading to the liquor store and buying the most expensive pint i can find.

thanks-- i enjoy your site.

Nate said...

I'd recommend "If You Don't Mind" by Bob Heppler, which contains the following (awesome) chorus - "If you don't mind, I'd like some service, If you don't mind, I'm getting nervous, and when I get nervous, I get out of line, so bring me my beer, if you don't mind".

Plus it's western swing, which has got to be one of the best types of drinking music around.

Mr. Jones said...

Guess They Oughta Name A Drink After You, by John Prine

The Wild Rover, by the Pogues

Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

Screaming White Jefferson's "Gin Pig" is the greatest drinking song of all time. "Give me all you got."

PopsDK said...

You probably already have Drank So Much (Just Feel Stupid) by The Gear Daddies, but if not it deserves a place near the top of the list. Maybe goes best with Carling Black Label or Pearl, some cheap beer

Nigel Smith said...

I posted a dozen or so excellent drinking songs on my blog Carnival Saloon inc Loretta Lynn, Webb Pierce and The Felice Brothers.

You can hear and download them here:
Carnival Saloon: Six Pack to Go

Carnival Saloon: This Round's On You

By the way, if you like Setting the Wood on Fire you'll probably like what I post in general so why not bookmark or subscribe to my RSS feed!

Annie said...

I haven't seen this one yet - "One Bourbon One Shot One Beer" by George Thoroughgood.

Annie said...

Sorry - I think it's "One Bourbon, One Scotch One Beer".....

Richard said...

Hopefully not too late to have some influence…

"Good Old Mountain Dew" – Louis "Grandpa" Jones: "Grandpa" was one of the best ever on the banjo, and this is a fine demonstration.
"In Heaven There is no Beer" – Frankie Yankovic: The master of the accordion, his recording career spanned seven decades.

And you know, just as an aside, there’s more to drinking then getting drunk and/or drowning sorrows. You can also drink in celebration:

"Beer Barrel Polka" – The Andrews Sisters: Listen to the lyrics – it’s about a keg party!
"Drink, Drink, Drink" – Mario Lanza: The finest tenor between Caruso and Pavarotti shows off.
"Cocktails for Two" – Spike Jones and his City Slickers: It’s a classic, and it’s a drinking song.
"Tiny Bubbles" – Don Ho: Nothing like sharing a bottle of champagne with your sweetheart.
"Stein Song" – Rudy Valee: The official song of the University of Maine.
"In Munchen Steht ein Hofbrauhaus" – The theme song for Oktoberfest

And finally, a tale of horror:

"A Pub With No Beer" – Slim Dusty

Larry Bird said...

"Please call me baby" Tom Waits - is my favorite song to drink to, even if it's not about drinking.