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

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