Sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll...pretty much defined the music of my youth. On the other hand, many great songs found solace in the bottom of a bottle. There's been some great explorations of drowning out our sorrows over lost love, lost jobs, and just loss of dignity at times.
Let's get right to it...
6. "One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer" - George Thorogood. Thorogood covers this Amos Milburn drinking ballad exceptionally well. He's out on the streets after his landlady kicks him out, his friend won't let him crash on the couch. Only one thing left to do...gonna get drunk until he can't even speak.
5. "Red, Red Wine" - UB40 - England's reggae band got a big hit with this one. About trying to forget that one who broke up with you but you think you still need. The red wine will help you forget, my friend...
4. "I Lie When I Drink" - Dale Watson. Like Merle Haggard's "Swinging Doors," this tune is about a guy who basically lives in the bar. But he's a truthful gent, until he gets a few under his belt. A great honky tonk tune by the best in the business.
3. "Drunken Lullabies" - Flogging Molly. This Irish punk band (by way of L.A.) comes through with this song about dark prospects and the unreal possibility of achieving anything good so we end up the same old way...singing drunken lullabies instead.
2. "Tonight, the Bottle Let Me Down" - The Mavericks. Raul Malo and the Mavericks love to take a dark song and set it to a happy, uptempo tune and this rendering of Merle Haggard's classic tale about how even the alcohol can't make him forget his lost love is a perfect example. Great swing version of the country classic.
1. "Misery and Gin" - Merle Haggard. The king of drinking songs. Nobody did it as prolific and with such expertise as did the Hag. I could do a couple of entire lists of his odes to alcohol...maybe I will someday...but we'll put the cherry on top of this list with this one. Another ode to a lost love, a guy drinking to forget, hooking up with a meaningless fling, trying to make his appearances seem way happier than the sad truth...a masterpiece of a song.
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