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Alcoholiday – 5 Great Lines About Drinking

Shane MacGowan“Ah, beer. The cause of and the solution to all of life’s problems.” Homer Simpson.

And, indeed, the great man neatly addresses the problems rock’n’roll has always had with the demon drink. It’s always been a complex affair; many bands use the juice as a creative lube, or a way of freeing their inner rock God before performing. For some, it becomes a way of life – look at the iconoclastic status of a bottle of Jack Daniels – for some it becomes too much. We’ve all seen a band far too refreshed to play a sentient set. We’ve all heard an indulgent record which reeks of too much whiskey.

But then again, it’s not like they don’t know it. Many a song has been written about an artist’s love of the sauce. Many more have been written about their fear. Here we look at a selection of great lyrics about it.

“That woman’s got me drinking
Look at the state I’m in
Give me one, two, three, four, five, six,
seven, eight, nine, ten bottles of gin”

Shane MacGowan  – That Woman’s Got Me Drinking

Frankly, we feel sorry for the woman here. Let’s face it, you can substitute the word ‘woman’ in the title for ‘table’, ‘iron’ or ‘day of the week with a Y in it’ and it would be as accurate. Yes, London Irish poet of the piss Shane MacGowan, a man who has written some astonishing songs about drinking, being hungover and, erm, drinking again. Indeed, coming from anyone else, we’d reckon wanting 10 bottles of gin would be a touch excessive, but we have no reason to believe the crazy-toothed loon wouldn’t manage it. There’s a great story about Shane being due on at a gig in Glasgow a few years ago and his manager frantically phoning all the bars in the area, only to be told Shane hadn’t arrived yet as he was quietly getting pissed in the bar at Belfast Airport. How is he still alive?!

“It kills me to think
That I’m no longer living
Just looking for excuses to drink”

Grant Lee Buffalo – The Shining Hour

Really harrowing line from one of the great lost bands of our times. Skillfully exposing the desperation and dark stoicism of the hardened drinker, the song’s real strength is the way the protagonist is aware of exactly what he is doing; there is a black realisation that wouldn’t be out of place in a Beckett play. Grant Lee Phillips has a superb back catalogue, but this, his opening statement, still stands up today.

“And so I drank one which became four
And when I fell on the floor, I drank more”

The Smiths – Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before

We’ve all done it. And we’ve all listened to Morrissey telling us about after it. Yes, the drunken faux pas, triggered by a knockback or a rejection. And who better than the Prince of Wails to sum it up? Though the idea of Morrissey drunk….

“He likes the warm feeling but he’s tired of the dehydration”

The Hold Steady – Stuck Between Stations

Perfectly exposing the yin and yang of drinking, Craig Finn anwers the question – why do it? Finn is certainly in a position to comment, as anyone seeing the Hold Steady live will walk away marvelling at the sheer amount they put away on stage. Similar to Renton’s line in Trainspotting about why he takes drugs – ‘it’s a fucking good kick’ – it exposes the ups and the downs of getting wasted. Speaking of which….

“We want fun and we wanna get wasted”

Andrew WK – We Want Fun

It’s not all bad. Otherwise, why would we do it? Andrew WK is a bloated comedy act, but this hedonists manifesto doesn’t try to justify it, it just says go out and have a fucking good time. And sometimes you need that! Killer chorus too.

Well amigos, stick to the limits and I’m sure you’ll be fine!

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6 Responses

  1. What about “Too drunk to fuck”?

  2. sober driver by dengue fever and alcohol by CSS are also worth a mention!

  3. Good shouts guys, though I’ve never had experience of what GGM is on about..

  4. Im a whiskey rock `n` roller
    Thats what I am
    Women ,whiskey , miles of travelin`
    Is all I understand

    ………all hail the glorious Skynyrd !

    I am a cider drinker
    I drinks it all of the day
    Ooh-arr ,ooh-arr-aay

    ……….all hail the glorious Worzels !

  5. PS ; The clocks wrong by an hour ,thats just slovenly !!!

  6. ” I got my beer in the sideboard here , let mother sort it out if he comes round here ”

    ……..all hail the glorious Chas `n` Dave !

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