Tag Archives: Drivin’ Nails in my Coffin

What’s made Milwaukee Famous

All good things must come to an end, include my little list of drinking songs. I hardly scratched the surface really, but hopefully you enjoyed the ones I selected. For Drinking Song #50, I’ve selected The Killer performing What’s Made Milwaukee Famous (has made a loser out of me). This was recorded at the Holiday Inn in Memphis in 1969.This wasn’t actually my first choice for #50. Back in the 80s we used to enjoy going to performances by Sneezy Waters and his Excellent Band. Mr. Waters recorded a song many years ago called You Got Sawdust on the Floor of Your Heart. I still recall some of the lyrics:

I used to court you proudly
Without regret or shame
But now each and every honky tonk in town knows you by name
Your hard liquor drinkin’ is tearin’ us apart
And you got sawdust on the floor of your heart.

However, I couldn’t fine a version of that tune on the inner-nets, so I went back to the drawing board and remembered this tune by Jerry Lee Lewis…

You may recall that I called this list Drivin’ Nails in my Coffin. As a bonus, I’d like to go out with the most excellent Ramblin’ Jack Elliott singing that tune…

It’s Quarter to Three…

Here’s Frank, singing One For My Baby (Drinking Song #48)

This song was written by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer for the 1943 musical The Sky’s the Limit. It was first performed in the film by Fred Astaire but popularized by Frank Sinatra. This song has been very well covered over the years by such performers as Perry Como, Chuck Berry (!), Etta James, Lena Horne, Iggy Pop (!!), Frankie Laine, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Lou Rawls, Marlene Dietrich, Marvin Gaye, Sammy Davis Jr., Tony Bennett, Bette Midler and many more. There are in fact a few performers since 1943 who have not recorded this song. I might have to do a little research to find them.

A Cowboy Way to Go

While posting selections for our little list of drinking songs, I’ve failed to consider that cowboys drink too. Drinking Song #44 features Ian Tyson – Alcohol in the Bloodstream.

#45 is another Ian Tyson song. “All the beer parlours all down along Main Street” Here’s Steve Earle performing Summer Wages.

Here’s another version (#46) – Ian Tyson with Sylvia and Emmy-Lou. Tuffy and I were at this show. It was the Ian and Sylvia reunion show way back in the day.

I could listen to Summer Wages 100 times in a row. It’s only the line about beer parlours that lets this song sneak into the list, but that’s ok. My dad used to love this one too. He like to sing bits of song around the house, and I often heard him singing, “Never hit 17 when you play against the dealer…”

It’s not all fun and games….

I’ve been posting all these drinking songs and that might lead you to believe I think this drinking business is all fun and games. No no no. Today I’d like to feature a tune about what happens when things get carried away. Drinking song #39 is an old gospel number, possibly a Carter Family tune (please correct me if I’m wrong on that) called Kneeling Drunkard’s Plea. Thanks go out to my pal East Texas Red for suggesting this one.

Here’s Johnny

I haven’t looked this up but it seems to me that Mr. Cash was accompanied by members of Tom Petty’s band, The Heartbreakers, on this one.

Now let’s go back a bit and hear a couple older versions (#40). The Louvin Brothers did a lovely slower version.

Finally (#41), here’s June Carter Cash. Perfect. You can hear the weight of the world in her voice.

 

Drunker’s Lament #polkaholic

Until today, I haven’t focused our little list of drinking songs on the polka. Drinking Song #35 features the Concertina All Stars performing The Drunker’s Lament. I love the dancers in this video.

And for #36 here’s Walter Ostanek and friends performing The Bartender’s Polka

Brave Combo does a great version of Down at the Friendly Tavern (#37)

Finally, here’s Scrubby and Trojak performing Life of a Drunk (#38). Let’s polka, friends