Here's the original recorded version of the tune that
Jerry Lee Lewis had a big hit with. Love that guy doing
the "bah bah" (cheaper than a horn section!) and, of course,
the "wine wine wine". All in all, this has a delightfully
amateurish quality to it that's very refreshing. And yes,
in fact, it makes me want some wine. Pass that bottle to me!
Gil hips us to the darker side of alcohol here, lets us know
just how evil it can be...
Love Amos Milburn's ultra relaxed delivery... smooth. The
groove just sits there so nice and relaxed too. Heck, the
whole thing is just so niiice and relaxed, until that bridge,
just before the fadeout, where Amos belts a little harder,
and almost sounds like a different person. That's when
you realize things could potentially get a little rowdy.
But, ever the gentleman, Amos brings it back down to
chillsville again, right away. After all, the man doesn't
wanna get thrown outta the bar, right?
Some very raw doo-wop here, which is, as far as I'm
concerned, the best kind! "They say I drink wine, ah but
the people are lyin' ... I like moonshine!" Alright!
A little bit of country product from two giants of the genre.
I think the whole song was pretty much just an excuse
to have that "there's more old drunks than old doctors" line.
"Put the bottle on the bar and let me do it up right".
OK, Ernest, you got it. Drink up!
Loretta spells it out in no uncertain terms for you, mister.
Some of that deep, raw stuff that Muddy does so well.
"The whole neighborhood knows that I'm home drunk again"...
George Jones has the quintessential country voice, no?
As threatened above, here's Webb once again, three
sheets to the breeze, attempting to sing his hit about
drinking but, well, too drunk to do a decent job of it...
That ol' bottle let Merle down again. Don'tcha hate when that happens? All you can do is try again tomorrow night and
hope for the best.
Jerry Lee works the C&W vibe on this one, to very good
effect. Love how he couldn't keep those trademark piano glissandos out of the proceedings, though, even though
they're totally inappropriate! Great lyric hook too, right?
Wow, did ol' Webb's voice cut like a knife or what? Maybe
that's why his name was Pierce... Well, anyway, If you can
take any more, you'll notice that I've included another
version of this song, down at the bottom of the page, that
the estimable Mr. Pierce performs (appropriately enough)
while stinking drunk.
Man, these cats are JUMPING! Tell you what, too, that is
surely one of the most gloriously out of tune guitar solos
ever released on an American recording.
What a great sound: so warm, so warm. Love that tinkly
piano tripping around through the tune, and those bridges, with that descending chord pattern, so clever. Wonderful stuff.
Let's take it over to China, then, shall we? They drink over
there too, after all. Have been doing so for quite a few
years now. Matter of fact, this song's lyrics are from, um,
let's see... oh yes, around the year 743. The poem, by the
way, is achingly beautiful, wise and funny. An unbeatable
combination. You can learn about the poet, Li Po, and
read an English translation here. Now, as for the singer
in this clip, he seems pretty damn good to me. I'd love
to hear him duet with George Jones.
The great Skip James with a later recording of his tune
portraying some poor fool who pawned his watch, pawned
his chain and pawned his diamond ring. All for some of that
booze. Tsk tsk... I do a cover of this tune with my band,
the Ghost Steppers, which you can see here.
Tommy deftly slipped some straight-up anti-war protest
lyrics into this curious little tune celebrating inebriation!
I like this spoken version best of any I've heard. Tom
Waits can work a schtick like nobody else.