Playing singles, drinking doubles
Get lucky this St. Patrick's Day with SN&R's drinking-inspired playlist
A beer and a shot. These two mind-altering beverages go together better than luck and a four-leaf clover or, perhaps, like a well-stocked bar and a decent jukebox. Whatever the case, a night out drinking with friends wouldn’t be complete this St. Patrick’s Day without a proper music playlist. And, no, Dropkick Murphys didn’t make the cut. Nor did Flogging Molly. Instead, here are some tunes by which to sip (or pound) those green beers as you contemplate all the colorful debauchery this Irish holiday brings.
The Pogues, “Sally MacLennane”
Of course, this list is going to include Celtic punk greats, the Pogues. Fitting, too, since vocalist Shane MacGowan left the band in ’91 because he liked the sauce a little too much (he did eventually rejoin the group). After a long debate, the decision for the perfect Pogues song was clear for two reasons: The song title refers to a type of stout beer—perfect for St. Paddy’s Day—and the song is also the story of a man returning to the pub where he was born, learning of an old friend’s passing. “So buy me beer and whiskey ’cause I’m going far away.”
City of Vain, “Old Tavern”
A song dedicated to the Old Tavern Bar & Grill on 20th Street in Midtown and the variety of characters that repeatedly fill the bar including “pushers, punks and hipster cliques.” All this and a cold Pabst for less than two bucks? Sold.
John Lee Hooker, “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer”
Now there’s the George Thorogood & the Destroyers’ version of this classic, but I’d rather go with John Lee Hooker’s rendition. The original song was written by Rudy Toombs, who also wrote songs for Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers and was originally titled “One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer,” but Hooker obviously preferred to drink in his own order.
The Cramps, “Let’s Get Fucked Up”
Vocalist Lux Interior and his wife, lead guitarist Poison Ivy, met in Sacramento in the early ’70s and lived above a Midtown laundromat before moving to Ohio and then to the Big Apple. When it comes to love and drinking, this song says it all.
Dead Kennedys, “Too Drunk To Fuck”
Jello Biafra openly admits he’s simply too inebriated for any amount of sexy time in this 1987 jam. Fellas, sometimes it’s best just to sleep it off. “And now I got diarrhea / Too drunk to fuck.” Yikes.
Black Flag, “Six Pack”
The punks in Black Flag tell the short tale of a young man with a mere $35 to his name and, yes, a six-pack. “My girlfriend asked me which one I like better / Six pack! I hope the answer won’t upset her / Six pack!”
Johnny Cash, “I Hardly Ever Sing Beer Drinking Songs”
Johnny Cash, an American country badass until the day he died. Or, until the day he released his version of that emo song “Hurt,” originally written by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. But let’s erase that from our memory and admire Cash for classics like this.
Murder City Devils, “Rum to Whiskey”
It’s organ-heavy and damn catchy, plus, whoever “he” is within the lyrics of the song is definitely making some good decisions, because “He switched from rum to whiskey.”
Snoop Dogg, “Gin and Juice”
I’m not much for smokin’ indo, but I do fancy gin and a variety of juices: carrot, apple, orange. And what good would a drinking playlist be without mentioning the Doggfather himself?
Blvd Park, “Swerve on”
They may have packed up and moved to Seattle, but the members of Blvd Park will always be from Sacramento. The song starts off with the “99 Bottles of Beer” chant and then mentions local Sac bars, Downtown James Brown and ending a hard day of work with a few drinks.