Music To My Beers
As is my wont, I discovered that I have five songs with the word “chicken” in the title in my iTunes music library. (Watch, listen, and do Rufus Thomas’s 1970 Stax hit “Do the Funky Chicken”.) That got me wondering. How many songs do I have with the word “beer”? Turns out I have 20. What I get a kick out is the diversity of them. It starts with the straightforward “Beer” (about how beer is better than every other drug) by Austin’s Asylum Street Spankers, who played the panoply of Americana styles, and is followed by a track with the same title by 1996’s Reel Big Fish, who played third-wave ska.
Admittedly, some of the songs I bought because of the subject matter. I’m looking at you Garth Brooks and George Jones, whose duet “B Double E Double Are You In” may or may not be a country juggernaut (but it’s infinitely better than the Toby Keith/Willie Nelson duet “Beer for My Horses”… Really, Willie?) Speaking of Beer Runs, Todd Snider’s Western ditty is easily a favorite.
And that’s just the thing. Most of these songs I just have. The Brodys were never famous (outside Davis, CA) but their song “Beer Truck Driver” should’ve topped the charts. Of course I have “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer” performed by John Lee Hooker. I’m guessing my wife has George Thorogood’s version (since he’s her cousin). Another awesome blues tune I have is only vaguely beery: “Get Off the Table Mabel (the Two Dollars is for the Beer)” by Bullmoose Jackson and the Flashcats. Similarly, don’t ask how an album by NY hockey-punk band Two Man Advantage ended up in my CD collection, but since they formed in a beer-league, three of their cuts make my list. (Sample lyric from “Beer Today, Gone Tomorrow”: Life’s a bitch without no beer, so buy enough to last all year.)
While blues, country, and rock are duly represented, I really love folk drinking songs. It’s possible—probable—that my German ones all sing the praises of bier, but my Irish one contains one of the best pub songs ever, Beer, Beer, Beer (about the man who invented beer, Charlie Mops… who made it out of hops)
Alas, Ludacris’s hip hop album, Chicken-N-Beer, is not the Holy Grail, as it contains no tracks about the former or the latter.
There’s not shortage of by, about and for beer. What are some of your favorites?