SONGS ABOUT DRINKING


This week’s theme was motivated entirely by a need NOT to do a show full of Xmas tunes. And while I know it was a risk choosing DRINKING as a theme, you’d be surprised how few songs there are that actually praise boozing. So expect a few remorseful anecdotes, a couple of hangover songs and a precautionary tale or two. But, for those of us who don’t mind a tipple, not to worry – I included a  few good old fashioned drinking songs as well. Hey, we couldn’t ignore Xmas altogether, could we?

We got the show rolling with the very upbeat WINE WINE WINE from the brilliant pioneers of electric blues and rock, Electric Flag featuring Mike Bloomfield on guitar and Buddy Miles on drums. Here they are in their heyday in 1967:

One of the great things about living in such a great area as Byron Bay is that we get all the best musical acts coming through here to perform. Recently Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings peformed at our local pub and consummate storyteller Mary Gauthier was here for the Mullumbimby Music Festival in November. Sharon contributed JUST DROPPED IN TO SEE WHAT CONDITION MY CONDITION WAS IN to the playlist and Mary gave us I DRINK, which has become a bit of a signature tune for her.

West Australian band Eskimo Joe’s album  BLACK FINGERNAILS, RED WINE was released in 2006 and the single of the same name went on to win single of the year at that year’s Aria Awards.Here’s why:

When it comes to the Blues, up there with the best is the late great Luther Allison. Love his rendition of CHERRY RED WINE and then it was the ‘King of Soul’, Otis Redding, with CHAMPAGNE & WINE.

Tom Waits was in total denial about his drinking habits back in the late 70’s. He’d have you know that THE PIANO HAS BEEN DRINKING (NOT ME). David Crosby, also had his moments will alcohol and other substances. He wrote EVERYBODY’S BEEN BURNED for The Byrds and its a very telling, and quite melancholic take on self-control and trust.

LCD Soundsystem’s This Is Happening is one of the best albums of 2010 (so there!) and  the video for DRUNK GIRLS is crazy. What’s with the Pandas – I have no clue!

I found Lonnie ‘The Cat’ on one of Bob Dylan’s Theme Time Hour compilations. His song I AIN’T DRUNK was recorded in 1954 with the Bobby Hines Band which included Ike Turner on piano. “I don’t care what the people are thinking. I ain’t drunk, I’m just drinking.” Brilliant.

Steve Earle’s signature tune is a story about a family who love their moonshine. Earle has been quoted as saying that COPPERHEAD ROAD is the world’s first blend of heavy metal and bluegrass. Not sure about that, but it’s certainly a great song.

ZZ Top’s contribution to this week’s show was BEER DRINKERS & HELL RAISERS. They’ll be making their way to the Byron Blues Fest in 2011, and I, for one, can’t wait. Here’s what we have in store for us:

We followed the absolutely crazy ALLIGATOR WINE from Screaming Jay Hawkins with a 1949 recording from  Betty Hall Jones, BUDDY, STAY OFF THE WINE. And then it was AIN’T GOT THE MONEY TO PAY FOR THE DRINK from George Zimmerman & The Thrills with the Bubber Cyphers Band (Whew). That was recorded in 1956.

I don’t think any song in the playlist was as serious as Gil Scott-Heron’s story about the effect of alcohol on family and community: THE BOTTLE.


We can’t stay very serious for long on the Theme Park, so a couple of light-hearted songs about drinking followed: Monty Python’s BRUCE’S PHILOSOPHERS SONG and The Rovers, recalling what sounds like a pretty good get together, on WASN’T THAT A PARTY.

Three more recent recordings, that just might make you think twice about partying too much over the holidays, had to make the list: THE GOOD TIMES ARE KILLING ME from Modest Mouse,  IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS WE DO from The Zutons and  MY ALCOHOLIC FRIENDS from the very lovely Amanda Palmer and Dresden Dolls.

Personally, I never developed a taste for whiskey. And maybe that’s a good thing, according to Skip James who doled out  a little advice about BAD WHISKEY. The Rakes then gave us, what they claim is a true story, with THE GUILT. And then it was drinking music from two of the greats: Nina Simone with a live version of GIN HOUSE BLUES and Billie Holiday with GIMME A PIGFOOT AND A BOTTLE OF BEER.

Before I knew it it was last call for our show on DRINKING and we finished on a very infectious note: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy  reckon YOU AND ME AND THE BOTTLE MAKES THREE. And then it was the sublime Peggy Lee who doesn’t need alcohol at all. She says I GET A KICK OUT OF YOU. Awwww.

Next week is the last show of the year, so I thought I would bring you songs from my favourite albums of 2010. So no nostalgia next week, all new music and a look back at the year that was.

The week after, January 4, I’ll be welcoming members of Orkestra del Sol into the studio. They have wowed audiences at Glastonbury & Edinburgh and will be coming to Byron directly from their performances at Woodford. So make sure you tune in then. Oh, and the theme will be Multilingual songs, by which I mean any song which features two or more languages in the lyrics. Come on, its not fun if its not challenging, right?

As promised on my Facebook page (what? you didn’t know about Theme Park Radio’s Facebook page???), here’s my tried and true recipe for a champagne cocktail: It goes particularly well with hot jazz and good times:

Place a sugar cube in the bottom of a champagne flute, Saturate the cube with two dashes of Angostura bitters (don’t leave this bit out – essential). Then add 1 oz of brandy and then gently pour some very chilled champagne into the flute. Yum.

Have a safe and happy Xmas.

Here’s the playlist:

James Bond movie clip – Shaken Not Stirred (movie clip)

Wine, Wine, Wine – The Electric Flag

Just Dropped In To See What Condition My Condition Was In – The Dynamic Funk and Soul Sound of Daptone Records, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings

I Drink –  Mary Gauthier

Black Fingernails, Red Wine – Black Fingernails, Red Wine, Eskimo Joe

Cherry Red Wine – Martin Scorsese Presents: The Blues [Disc 5], Luther Allison

Champagne & Wine – The Immortal Otis Redding, Otis Redding

The Piano Has Been Drinking (Not Me) – Small Change, Tom Waits

Everybody’s Been Burned – The Byrds Box Set  (Disc 2 -Cruising Altitude), The Byrds

Drunk Girls – This Is Happening, LCD Soundsystem

I Ain’t Drunk – Lonnie ‘The Cat”

Copperhead Road – Essential Steve Earle, Steve Earle

Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers – Tres Hombres, ZZ Top

Alligator Wine – Frenzy Screamin’ Jay Hawkins

Buddy, Stay Off The Wine – Betty Hall Jones

Ain’t Got The Money To Pay For The Drink – George Zimmerman & The Thrills

The Bottle – Winter In America, Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson

Bruce’s Philosophers Song – Monty Python

Wasn’t That A Party – Cleveland International Records 1977-1983, The Rovers

The Good Times Are Killing Me – Good News For People Who Love Bad News, Modest Mouse

It’s The Little Things We Do – Tired Of Hanging Around, The Zutons

My Alcoholic Friends – Yes, Virginia…, The Dresden Dolls

Bad Whiskey – She Lyin’, Skip James

The Guilt – Capture/Release, The Rakes

Gin House Blues – Nina Simone: The Tomato Collection [Disc 2], Nina Simone

Gimme a Pigfoot and a Bottle of Beer – Sophisticated Ladies [Disc 3], Billie Holiday

You & Me & The Bottle Makes Three – Swingers, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

I Get A Kick Out Of You – Sings For You, Peggy Lee

Next week:  MY FAVOURITE ALBUMS OF 2010

Listen to Lyn McCarthy at the Theme Park on BayFM, Tuesdays 4-6pm, Sydney time
Also streaming via BayFM
Tragically also on Facebook and Twitter
Email me at: lyn.themeparkradio@gmail.com
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About Lyn McCarthy

Lyn presents a weekly radio show at BayFM 99.9 in beautiful Byron Bay in New South Wales, Australia

Posted on December 22, 2010, in Broadcasting and media, community radio, Funny songs, general, jazz, music, music - nostalgia, music, blues, music, country, music, r&b, music, soul, pop, Radio Program, rock, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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