Songs for Drinking: The Hangover’s Best

14 Mar

The Hangover’s extensive research into music and libation has been thorough and produced meaningful results.  It’s shown that a good drinking song will spiritually and physically enhance any alcoholic beverage.  Contrary to some popular notions, the best tunes are not meant to be screeched by a bus full of skunked English soccer fans.  Instead, they connect personally to a drinker, offering reason to imbibe, a road map to revelry, and a blockade against regret.   

(This list may come in handy with St. Patrick’s Day dead ahead.)

The following are The Hangover’s Five Best along with corresponding drinking recommendations : 

“One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer”–George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers (on Greatest Hits: 30 Years of Rock)

Thorogood took John Lee Hooker’s classic “my baby’s left me and it’s last call” blues tale and expanded it into a slide guitar-powered “War and Peace” of down on your luck woes.  The song provides plenty of reason to listen and drink–triple fisted as the title suggests.  While Hooker’s version is good, Thorogood’s is great.  George’s narrator is a vivid barstool storyteller who becomes ironic, sarcastic, and presumably drunk.

The Hangover recommends:  a shot of Jim Beam, a shot of Ballantine’s, and a draft of the cheapest domestic beer on tap. 

“Are you drinking with me Jesus?”–The Beat Farmers (on Viking Lullabys)

The bible tells us that Jesus liked his wine, but we don’t know if he enjoyed a brew.  Sung by the legendary Country Dick Montana, this song brings a twisted spirituality to slugging down beer.  It’s a romp that asks the musical questions, “I know you can walk on the water, but can you walk on this much beer?” and “If you’re drinking with me Jesus, won’t you buy a friend a beer?”  It also sounds as if there might have been a bottle or two kicking around the studio during recording.

The Hangover recommends:  A shot of Jagermeister (Country Dick’s favorite, which he often drank out of the bottle while standing on the bar in the midst of a Beat Farmer’s show) and a beer (Ask yourself:  What brand would Jesus drink?) to chase it down.

“I Got Loaded”–Los Lobos (on How Will The Wolf Survive

This Mexican influenced rock celebrates a bender.  Last night it was gin; night before last it was whiskey; tonight it might be wine.  The chorus consists of variations on: “But I feel all right/I feel all right/I feel all right/I feel all right.”  The Hangover is with you, boys.  Fans of Bull Durham will recall hearing this song as Crash Davis and his teammates let loose with the ball field sprinklers and then slid and flopped around the bases in their civvies while drinking cans of beer.

The Hangover recommends:  A six pack of Miller High Life, in cans, in the spirit of the movie.

“Thunderbird”–Shaver (on Electric Shaver)

Songwriter Billy Joe Shaver’s character traces a failed relationship through the rising price of Thunderbird wine.  The song is sung to his woman, with the singer longing for the good ol’ days when “loving you was fun and the price was forty twice.”  Of course, things have gone to hell with the girl and the jug now costs $1.29.  The singer longs for yesterday.  Who could blame him?

The Hangover recommends:  Toughen up and grab a jug of Thunderbird.  That’s how the professionals do it.

“Alcohol”–Gang Green (on Another Wasted Night)

This is an old school punk ode to, yes, alcohol.  Chris Doherty screams his allegiance while his band buzzsaws through the power chords.  The lyrics are simple and to the point:  “No doubt about it/I can’t live without it/Alcohol.”  There are also references to 100 proof blood and cocaine.  And they’d “rather drink than fuck.”  It’s always a pleasure to see a band passionate about their subject matter.  Check out the video on youtube to see what you’re getting into with these guys.

The Hangover recommends:  This band’s T-shirts were formatted as Budweiser labels.  Go find yourself a forty, or at least a quart.

Other songs that were considered:

“Red Red Wine”–Neil Diamond (original artist).  Great song, but if you’re drinking to forget, as the singer here is, one might need something stronger.

“Cuervo Man”–The Syphlloids.  While extremely obscure, this song extols the virtues of tequila and makes fun of martini drinkers.  Could not be chosen for the Fab Five because The Hangover co-wrote it–no conflicts of interest allowed (This isn’t the McCain campaign, after all).

“If You Don’t Start Drinking (I’m going to leave)”–George Thorogood.  This is a good song by a master of drinking songs.  It just isn’t as good as the one that heads the list. 

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3 Responses to “Songs for Drinking: The Hangover’s Best”

  1. george in the sticks March 20, 2008 at 1:24 am #

    Small, useless validation of your points. I once saw Country Dick stage dive into the crowd and have them carry him across the floor(a good twenty-five yards) to the bar for a shot of Jager. He sang the entire way. I used to have a 13 minute live version of George and the Delaware Destroyers. It rocked. It might still be in cyberspace somewhere, it was recorded at the Tower in Philly and the Philly radio stations used to play it alot. Fitting, I lost it in a drunken stupor.

  2. Rob O'Regan March 25, 2008 at 6:44 pm #

    these three should be on your list (maybe you need a Top 10):

    “Tequila,” as made famous in Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. Recommended beverage: Duh!
    “However Much I Booze,” Who By Numbers (Blackberry Brandy)
    “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead,” Zevon Live at the Roxy (vodka, but only before 10 a.m.)

  3. aaron, of course March 26, 2008 at 11:27 am #

    How ’bout ‘Why Don’t We Get Drunk and Screw’-Jimmy Buffet…and Margueritaville, and most of his songs now that I think of it.

    Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down-Merle Haggard

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