Drinkin’ Songs

March 17, 2020

Drinkin’ Songs 5 (St. Patrick’s Day Edition) : Kiss Me, I’m Shitfaced by Dropkick Murphys

There is nothing like a good old Irish drinking song.  Being old school and this being St. Patrick’s Day I was tempted to pick one of The Pouges many great drinkin’ songs (and former Pouges’s front man Shane McGowen is arguably the punk poet laureate of drunken songs), but I decided we will save gems like Fairytale of New York for our Christmas edition. Given our current COVID 19 global funk, something a little more up tempo seemed in order.  The Dropkick Murphys 2003 (on the album Blackout) classic, Kiss Me, I’m Shitfaced fits the bill. The band is generously doing a livestreamed show– no audience show for free in response to the COVID 19 crisis.  Checkout the information here: http://www.dropkickmurphys.com/2020/03/14/streaming-up-from-boston-free-st-patricks-day-live-stream/ . Pop a Guinness Stout or pour a dram of Ireland’s finest whiskey and forget about the damn plague for a while. Slainte! 

To see the band perform the song check out this YouTube video or many of the other posted versions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBa-5gZRHJ8

Here are the lyrics:

I play in a band, we’re the best in the land 
We’re big in both Chelsea and France 
I play one mean guitar and then score at the bar 
There’s a line of chicks waiting for their chance 
So come on now honey, I’ll make you feel pretty 
These other gals mean nothing to me 
Let’s finish these drinks and be gone for the night 
‘Cause I’m more than a handful, you’ll see 

So kiss me, I’m shitfaced
I’m soaked, I’m soiled and brown 
In the trousers, she kissed me
And I only bought her one round

I can bench-press a car, I’m an ex-football star 
With degrees from both Harvard and Yale
Girls just can’t keep up, I’m a real love machine 
I’ve had far better sex while in jail 
I’ve designed the Sears Tower, I make two grand an hour 
I cook the world’s best duck flambé 
I’ll take the pick of the litter, girls jockey for me 
I don’t need these lines to get laid 

So kiss me, I’m shitfaced
I’m soaked, I’m soiled and brown 
In the trousers, she kissed me
And I only bought her one round

I’m a man of the night, a real ladies’ delight 
See my figure was chiseled from stone 
One more for the gal, then I’ll escort her home 
Come last call, I’m never alone
I’ve a house on the hill with a red water bed 
That puts Hugh Hefner’s mansion to shame 
With girls by the pool and Italian sports cars 
I’m just here in this dump for the game

So kiss me, I’m shitfaced
I’m soaked, I’m soiled and brown 
In the trousers, she kissed me
And I only bought her one round

So kiss me, I’m shitfaced
I’m soaked, I’m soiled and brown 
In the trousers, she kissed me
And I only bought her one round

Ahh, fuck it
Who am I shitting? 

I’m a pitiful sight, and I ain’t all that bright 
I’m definitely not chiseled from stone 
I’m a cheat and a liar, no woman’s desire 
I’ll probably die cold and alone 

But just give me a chance, ’cause deep down inside 
I swear I got a big heart of gold 
I’m a monogamous man, no more one-night stands 
Come on, honey, let me take you home 

So kiss me, I’m shitfaced
I’m soaked, I’m soiled and brown 
In the trousers, she kissed me
And I only bought her one round

So kiss me, I’m shitfaced
I’m soaked, I’m soiled and brown 
In the trousers (It was tiny!)
And I only bought her one round

One road!

So kiss me, I’m shitfaced
I’m soaked, I’m soiled and brown 
In the trousers, she kissed me
And I only bought her one round

So kiss me, I’m shitfaced
I’m soaked, I’m soiled and brown 
In the trousers, she kissed me
And I only bought her one round

February 26, 2020

Drinkin’ Songs 4: Thrash Unreal by Against Me

For anybody who is a little bit older than 30, you can probably think back drinking in a college bar or young adult and seeing someone that long overstayed his or her stay.  Ben Fold’s song Silver Street is a nice example of the male version of this person who can’t seem to transition into adulthood.  While that song is mildly depressing, Thrash Unreal by Against Me is a darker version of this phenomena with a female taking on the “over the hill” role. Sure, the heroine of the song is probably on now on heroin, but at it’s a heart I think the song is about the dark side of the bar and party scene that starts with drinking. It’s a drinkin’ song in spirit. It also feature a lyric that I often find best describes what I’ve found repeatedly I my research : “Sometimes the party takes you places you never really planned on going.” 

I was lucky enough to see Against Me singer and guitarist, Laura Jane Grace (at the time still Tom Gable) perform this song solo at the Casbah, San Diego’s landmark alt music watering hole.  Laura was part of the Revival Tour and the alt-star lineup featured Ben Nichols (Lucero), Tim Barry,  and Chuck Ragan. This song was the highlight of the night.  You can hear it here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NT_ZRHQayg4.

Here are the lyrics:

If she wants to dance and drink all night
Well, there’s no one that can stop her
She’s going till the house lights come up or her stomach spills onto the floor
This night is gonna end when we’re damn well ready for it to be over
Worked all week long, now the music is playing on our time
Yeah, we do what we do to get by, and then we need a release

You get mixed up with the wrong guys
You get messed up on the wrong drugs
Sometimes the party takes you places that you didn’t really plan on going
When people see the track marks on her arm, she knows what they’re thinking
She keeps on working for that minimum
As if a high school education gave you any other options, you know

They don’t know nothing about redemption
They don’t know nothing about recovery
Some people just aren’t the type for marriage and family

No mother ever dreams that her daughter’s gonna grow up to be a junkie
No mother ever dreams that her daughter’s gonna grow up to sleep alone
No mother ever dreams that her daughter’s gonna grow up to be a junkie
No mother ever dreams that her daughter’s gonna grow up to sleep alone

She’s out of step with the style
She don’t know where the action’s happening
You know the downtown club scene ain’t nothing like it used to be
You reach a point where there’s not a lie in the world
That you could use to make the boys believe you’re still in your twenties
But they keep getting younger, don’t they, baby?

She’s not waiting for someone to come over and ask for the privilege
She can still here that rebel yell just as loud as it was in 1983, you know
There ain’t no Johnny coming home to share a bed with her, and she doesn’t care

No mother ever dreams that her daughter’s gonna grow up to be a junkie
No mother ever dreams that her daughter’s gonna grow up to sleep alone
No mother ever dreams that her daughter’s gonna grow up to be a junkie
No mother ever dreams that her daughter’s gonna grow up to sleep alone
No mother ever dreams that her daughter’s gonna grow up to be a junkie
And if she had to live it all over again, you know she wouldn’t change anything for the world

February 17, 2020

Drinkin’ Songs 3: Drink Till We’re Gone by Lucero

This week’s Drinkin’ Song is Drink Till We’re Gone by Lucero. This Memphis-based band is one of my personal favorite groups!  Equal parts alt-county, rock and roll, punk and whiskey, this band puts on a great live show if you ever get to see them (I’ve lost count of the number of Lucero shows I’ve seen!). In my humble opinion, Lucero has recorded some of the best drinkin’ songs out there.  This crowd favorite appeared on their self-titled album, Lucero in 2005 and again on their 2014 live album, Lucero Live From Atlanta: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjlHWrfnqak.

To hear the original album version of the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlMtDt9mz6A .

Here are the lyrics:

Life is short
In spite of your plans
So, tell the girls they’re pretty while you can
One day they’re gone
And all you got left is
Some empty bottles and an old country song
That plays on and on

I wasted my time with these cigarettes
And these ashes all I’ve got left
Wash this old town
Nothings left for me
Washed down stream into the sea
This big ol’ river will kill us in time
’til then we’ll drink it’s weight
In cheap beer and wine
We can drink just as fast as the river is strong
And we’ll drink ’til we’re gone
We’ll drink ’til we’re gone

Life is short
In spite of your plans
So, tell the girls they’re pretty while you can
One day they’re gone
And all you got left is 
Some empty bottles and an old country song
This big ol’ river will kill us in time
’til then we’ll drink it’s weight
In cheap beer and wine
We can drink just as fast as the river is strong
And we’ll drink ’til we’re gone
We’ll drink ’til we’re gone

Source: https://genius.com/Lucero-drink-till-were-gone-lyrics

Live version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5iufTIfqkk

February 1, 2020

Drinkin’ Songs 2: Moonshiner by Bob Dylan

Recorded by Bob Dylan in 1963, Moonshiner has been recorded by numerous other artists over the years and there is some dispute over whether the song is an American or Irish folk song of unknown authorship.  Indeed, you can find versions of the song performed by the likes of folk legends The Clancy Brothers and others. Interestingly, the lyrics of Moonshiner can vary widely depending on the version and the artist.  The meaning of the song is pretty self-evident and requires little interpretation.  My favorite lyrics are the Dylan version and my favorite performance of the song  is the Uncle Tupelo version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppiol9oetOk, followed by the Redbird version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJ_W3l6uHFA.

Here are the lyrics from the Uncle Tupelo version: 

I’ve been a moonshiner
For seventeen long years
I’ve spent all my money 
On whiskey and beer

I go to some hollow
And sit at my still 
And if whiskey don’t kill me
Then I don’t know what will

I go to some barroom
And drink with my friends
Where the women can’t follow 
And see what I spend

God bless them pretty women
I wish they was mine
Their breath is as sweet
The dew on the vine

Let me eat when I am hungry
Let me drink when I am dry 
A dollar when I am hard-up 
Religion when I die

The whole world’s a bottle
And life’s but a dram
When the bottle gets empty
It sure ain’t worth a damn

(Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Jay Stuart Farrar / Jeff Tweedy

Moonshiner lyrics © BMG Rights Management)

Other versions come from Cat Power (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lx120yg_JDk) and Elliot Smith (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiQnwl51E9s).

Take a listen, tip a libation of your choice, pick your favorite version and let us know what you think!

January 24, 2020

Drinkin’ Songs 1: Kiss the Bottle by Lucero

One of the more interesting things I do in the “science” part of my job is examine how environmental factors influence drinking behavior.  One environmental factor that is particularly interesting how music influences drinking.  Of the handful of studies out there, here’s what we know: 

  • Listening to music while drinking increases the likelihood of risky decisions
  • Songs with references to substance use (regardless of genre) increase substance abuse
  • Songs with lyrics about drinking increases drinking in bars 
  • Rap and country music have the most songs with drinking lyrics
  • Loud music leads to heavy drinking
  • The faster the tempo of a song, the slower people drink

It has been suggested that lyrics about drinking often reflect the artist’s experience or portray a composite of what they commonly experience in their own lives and social circles. Still other researchers (and journalists) have suggested that alcohol serves to fuel the creative process. That is, alcohol is a muse at times, and others it is just part of the most common stories being told in songs.  That music effects the listener’s own drinking shouldn’t be surprising—but it isn’t something we commonly think about when we drink.  The fact many of my favorite artists pepper their music with alcohol-related lyrics probably says something about me.  

Since I love music and find alcohol lyrics and themes interesting, I decided to add an occasional blog related to the main podcast called “Drinkin’ Songs”.  Since the internet is full of lists of drinking songs (think Red Solo Cup, Gin and Juice, Margaritaville), I’ll feature songs and artists here you probably won’t find on any list.  I hope you enjoy!

Drinkin’ Song #1: Kiss the Bottle

The first Drinkin’ Song is Kiss the Bottle.  Originally released by the punk band Jawbreaker in 2002 on their album ’17 Reasons: The Mission District’ 3×7 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZTvqUvgYCI).

So, what is the song about?  The meaning of lyrics are often up for interpretation by the listener, and you can read some listeners thoughts on what the song means here:  https://songmeanings.com/songs/view/33196/. When I first heard the song, I was struck by some experiences working with youth who were living on the streets.  I remember one interview with a particular kid, who described his desire not lose his girlfriend over his drinking.  He was just as worried about her drug use but he also had no intention of stopping drinking or panhandling or looking for permanent shelter.  He told me he belonged on the streets.  That was his truth and this song really makes me think of him and other kids like him.

Here are the lyrics:

Kiss The Bottle

It gets loneliest at night
Down at the liquor store
Beneath the neon sky
Our moonlightSix a.m. the floor comes alive with lice
The pan’s dried up so tight
With hardened beans
We’re hungrySo, I lean on you sometimes
Just to see if you’re still there
Your feet can’t take the weight of one
Much less two
We hit concreteHow were we born into this mess?
I know I painted you a prettier picture, baby
But we were run out on a rail
Fell from the wagon to the night train
I kissed the bottle
I should’ve been kissing you
You wake up to an empty night
With tears for two
Cigarettes they fill the gaps
In our empty days
In our broken teeth
We’re jonesin’
Say mister, can you spare a dime?
Some change could make a change
Could buy some time
Some freedom
Or an ear to hear my story
It’s all I’ve got
My fiction beats the hell out of my truth
A palm upturned burnt blue
Don’t call it sunburn
You’ve been shaking on the job
Just one drink ahead of your past
There’s a white light coming up
You draw the blinds hoping it’ll pass
I kissed the bottle
I should’ve been kissin’ you
You wake up to an empty night
With tears for two

The song was covered by Lucero and quickly became a fan favorite at their shows.  When Jawbreaker reunited in 2107 (the originally broke up in the mid 90s), Lucero stopped playing the song live. You can find their version of the song on their album the Attic Tapes (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ydB8fG8Csg).   

The Foo Fighters also covered the song (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hY4e2wM9hcQ) as did Rise Against (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWMa01n5EBg).

Other covers of the song have been done by Brandon Kelly (available on Spotify) and The VanSanders (also on Spotify).  

I am personally partial to the original and the Lucero versions.   What do you think? 

Scroll to top