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Necessary Roughness
I wear my sunglasses at night, if that helps you form an opinion of me.

In this article Trace discusses drinking songs.


Great Drinking Songs (Will Neil Young Remember?)

 article about drinking songs
2014-01-13 06:58:35

This article belongs to Necessary Roughness column.


"Every phase comes to an end, or else it wouldn't be a phase."

I said that.

Some people may think that it's a bit conceited to quote oneself, but in this case, I'm going to have to disagree. I just happen to know a good quote when I see (or say) one.

We all have our phases: some good, some bad, and some that we have no intentions of ending anytime soon. Back in the day, there were no phases. People graduated from high school and immediately turned 43. They embraced the concept of responsibility, bought a home, and started reproducing. After that, they quit having sex, bought a plethora of cardigans, and started watching The Lawrence Welk Show on Saturday nights. These folks were all about meatloaf (cow and ketchup, not "Paradise by the Dashboard Light"), pot-roast, and cups-o-tea. Life was a rollercoaster - that is - if you consider an hour on a paddle boat and dinner at 4:30 p.m. a rollercoaster.

Then it happened: the film Animal House was released. Immediately, colleges began popping up in every city across the Midwest. Fraternities were formed, The Kingsmen's "Louie, Louie" became retro-active, and females across the nation began having topless pillow fights every Tuesday and Thursday evening. College extended our youths and expanded our minds. And, of course, boys could stay boys for a few more years.

Now, if you're a stickler for accuracy, some of the previous two paragraphs may be off just a bit. I don't claim to be a historian. However, I do have the authority to acknowledge the existence of several post-high school phases that are now a cornerstone of the maturation process. Of course, the phase-length, as well as the amount of phases, depends on the individual. Some people go to grad school. Others work, stay single, and hit the night clubs. So in a time where 30 is the new 20 and 40 is the new 30, why not let a phase drag on until you get bored with it? Then, you just start a new phase.

Since music is a vital element involved in these phases of youth extension, it is necessary to create a new list of songs that reek of "good times." But before I get rolling, I need to address an issue of high importance . . .

There's a buzz from the "hip" and "trendy" crowd that lists - the very lists that I am attempting to deliver to you, the beautiful readers - are so 2002. They sip on Soco & Limes and make comments like, "Hey, you know, lists are so 2002."

Well, these people are correct. However, as a resident of Appalachia, I get like a 15 year grace period because we don't know what is actually "in" until it is "out." (More accurately, three years after it is out.) So feel free to send anything from Eddie Bauer shirts to trucker hats to an Appalachian school near you. We appreciate your charity, that is - if you consider getting rid of shit that you don't want because it takes up space - an act of charity.

Anyway, there are certain songs that get played at the exact moment they need to be played. These are songs that we tend to ignore while driving in our cars because we have only heard them 75,000 times. We are, in a respectful sort of way, pretty much sick of them. But add booze, cleavage, and weekend into the mix, and these songs instantly become the classics they always were before the deterioration of FM radio (and, honestly, society as a whole).

So without hesitation, I share with you the "Top Five Songs to Sing to While Intoxicated with Your Pals and Some Lovely Co-eds in a Dark, Graffiti-covered, Fire-hazardous Bar."

5) "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond.
Yes, good times never seem so good (so good . . . so good . . . so good). This tune always seems to get people singing at the top of their lungs. And when Neil starts shouting "hands, touching hands . . . reaching out" and that whole deal, it's always nice to be near a few drop dead gorgeous women to make the classic Diamond song a complete experience. Neil wouldn't want it any other way. (By the way, the Saturday Night Live skit doing a parody of Neil's VH1 Storytellers is by far one of the best skits since Phil Hartman's days)

4) "Summer of '69" by Bryan Adams
Even though none of us (except for a few of the divorced, old guys playing pool, hitting on the college girls) were alive in the summer of 1969, this song makes all of us want to buy a six-string at the Five& Dime and play it until our fingers bleed. (Um, have any of you ever seen a Five & Dime store? Do these really exist? I mean, Bryan Adams bought his first "real" six-string there. Prince, while working for Mr. McGee, met a girl who wore a "Raspberry Beret" (the kind you find in a second-hand store) there. Where are all of these stores located? Anyway, this nostalgic classic, although haunted by the sadness of a band breaking up because one member "quit" and another "got married," brings out the Canadian, '80's, L.L. Bean Bryan Adams raspy rock voice in all of us.

3) "Sweet Home Alabama" by Lynyrd Skynyrd (Turn it up.)
It's amazing how one song about a state that none of us are from can make us go completely wild. I've been through Alabama once in my life. (Lovely state, God's country, ya know?) But somehow, when this song blares from the speakers, it makes everyone in the bar sing from their hearts like they were born and raised in the state that brought us Forrest Gump, segregated schools, Scout Finch, and the Crimson Tide. For some reason, this song is often saved for last. I'm not sure why. I'd play "Closing Time" last.

2) "Livin' on a Prayer" by Bon Jovi
Although most of us lower-middle to lower-upper class, college educated students will never have to go through a financial struggle like "Tommy" and "Gina's," it's nice, for three minutes of this Bon Jovi classic, to have a drink and pretend that we someday will. There are few things greater in life than being around hundreds of people that would never admit to liking Bon Jovi, and then, when this song comes on, go absolutely wild. The truth is that we all go back to 1986 and sing at the top of our lungs about how we "will make it, I swear." This proves that - deep down - we all love the boys from Jersey, and always will.

1) "Pour Some Sugar on Me" by Def Leppard
I'm not sure if it's the lyrics, the drum/guitar beat, or the song-title itself, but something . . . something about this song makes you want to take a bottle, shake it up, and then pour some sugar on someone. Or, in my case, just lift up your beverage and dance like a dorky white guy. (It's all about choice really.)

Funny story: a friend of my brother's named Blatz once asked me if during the "breakdown" segment of this song, the lyrics are "you got the bitches, I got the weed." Although I laughed and immediately corrected him by pointing out that the words are "you got the peaches, I got the cream," it amazed me that young Blatz had a legitimate reason for his mix-up. Listen to the song; listen for that part. In an Ice Cube, 1994-sort of way, Def Leppard does sort of sound like they are confirming that there are both ladies and the chronic present. And somehow, that would explain the pouring of all of this "sugar" now wouldn't it?

In the song "Summer of 69," Bryan Adams--or more accurately, the character in Adam's song, said that "that summer seemed to last forever." And when it came down to it, he considered that frame of time to be the best days of his life.

Although it seemed to last forever, it didn't. The phase ended. The band broke up. As for me, in an L.L. Cool J. Comeback sort of way, I have my six-string ready. My band is back. I've called Master P, Spade, J-Lo, Goose, and that crazy-ass pirate "The Captain" to join me in future missions to entertain you - the readers, the heroes - for a phase that will last into the unforeseeable future. After all, it's now or never. And good times never seem so good.





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