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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

10 Favorite Drivin' and 10 Favorite Drinkin' Songs

        Songs about drinking or to be sung whilst drinking have a pretty solid tradition in the history of music.  The modern era of rapid transportation has added another category of driving music, which is an offshoot of traditional traveling music.   Today we will look at some lists of favorites in the categories of driving songs and drinking songs.

          This idea was forwarded to me by Stephen T. McCarthy who had been initially inspired by a friend of his.  After I had incorrectly attributed this in an earlier post Stephen sent me this correction:

     .... it was actually my friend Mr. Paulboy who suggested the Drinking and Driving Songs lists. DiscConnected and I (and you, too) just kind of picked up that ball and ran with it.

So thanks to Mr. Paulboy, Stephen T. McCarthy, DiscConnected, et al for the suggestions.
Here are my lists:

10 Favorite Drivin' Songs (songs about driving or songs good to drive to)

1.  Radar Love by Golden Earring  -- Hands down considered one of the all time classic driving songs

2.   Route 66 by Nat King Cole and many others -- Someday I'll do a post about my travels on Route 66.

3.   Ramblin' Man by Allman Brothers --  The title tells the story.

4.  Born To Be Wild by Steppenwolf -- Iconic road song made legendary by the movie Easy Rider.

5.  I've Been Everywhere by Johnny Cash and others-- An incredible list of recited of place names encountered while driving.

6.  Whipping Post by the Allman Brothers-- the Allmans have a lot of good driving music.   The version of this song off of the Live at the Fillmore East album is a long up tempo piece of music that makes it great road trip music.  The entire album is ideal for driving.

7.  On the Road Again by Canned Heat--- A good driving boogie beat that makes the song perfect for driving.

8.  On the Road Again by Willie Nelson --There are several different songs with this title and the jaunty tune by Nelson is one that I enjoy having on when I'm driving.

9.  Take It Easy by the Eagles --- Last time I was driving through Winslow, Arizona I had to put this song on.  I'm probably not the only person who has ever done this.  After all, it just seems like the right thing to do.

10.  Running On Empty by Jackson Browne -- A driving anthem that I've listened to on many a road trip.

10 Favorite Drinkin' Songs (or so I've heard)

1.  Margaritaville by Jimmy Buffet -- The Parrothead anthem and in case you don't know a parrot head is what they call a rabid Jimmy Buffet fan.  They love their margaritas so much there is a chain of bar/restaurants called Margaritaville.

2.  One For My Baby (One  More For the Road) by Frank Sinatra and many others-- This is a song about drinking that makes you feel like you've been drinking just to listen to it.

3. I Love This Bar by Toby Keith -- A good time drinking song about a place where everyone can go and drink and get along with one another.   There's a chain of "I Love This Bar" Restaurant and Bars.  Guess Toby's got a lot of fans as well but I don't know what they're called.

4.  Those Were The Days by Mary Hopkins and others-- Based on an old Russian song, this one suggests it's better to rejoice in your past than cry in your beer.  It's a truly infectious tune.

5. Chug-a-lug by Roger Miller -- A funny song about teenage drinking.  It's not as bad as it sounds and captures the "first taste of sin" pretty well. 

6.  Bottle of Wine by the Fireballs ---  A rollicking paean to winos.

7.  Spill the Wine  by Eric Burdon and War --- Crazy dream vision that sounds like it could have been inspired by too much drink.  No matter what, they're singing about wine.

8.  Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar) by the Doors--  This was actually from the Kurt Weill / Bertholt Brecht opera The Rise and Fall of  the City of Mahagonny and has been done by many artists.  It always sounds like whoever is singing it has been drinking--it's just that kind of song.

9.  Drunken Sailor is a traditional sea chantey.  Also known as "What Shall We Do With a Drunken Sailor" it is often played by Irish bands and played in pubs.

10.  Star Spangled Banner ---Yes, the National Anthem of the United States was based on an old drinking song called "To Anacreon in Heaven".   Now we know why the National Anthem is so hard to sing when you're sober.

          There you go with my take on the lists.  Make sure you check out the other participants to see what they came up with.


  1. I've said it twice, and I'll say it again. When I drink, I listen to the same song over and over, so I'm afraid participating in this would be useless :o) Great list, btw!

  2. Awesome list Lee, strange how different people get different songs but all very good.

    Have a good day,

  3. My we have such similar tastes in music ... I love ALL those songs!

  4. i like this idea a lot and I like some of your songs... I dont' know them all....

  5. "Flogging Molly" has great drinking songs too! They're taking traditional Irish music into the next generation.

  6. Fun selections...quite a few work for me.

  7. All good songs Arlee. There are so many more, I would have trouble choosing! Love Di ♥

  8. Great lists. Gotta have Willie on the road. For the drinking songs, almost any from Jimmy Buffett including your Margaritaville. Also Brown Eyed Girl - a staple in Irish bars everywhere.

  9. Jessica --No matter what, I usually cannot listen to something over and over--Well maybe some classical pieces.

    Yvonne -- Between us we have a pretty comprehensive list.

    Marvin-- they are pretty classic songs.

    Lisa --I have become list obsessed of late.

    Will -- I've seen a video of Flogging Molly's "Drunken Sailor".

    Liza -- Yeah, I thought it was a couple of good lists.

    Diana -- I thought I was going to have a hard time thinking of 10 of each-- I could have kept on listing songs.

    Carol -- Willie has several good drinking songs too. I had "Whiskey River" on my list at first, but other songs knocked it off. And those Parrot heads! What can I say?

  10. Ahh I should have visited sooner to see that this was the theme today! Great list!

  11. My driving songs weren't driving related, other than they are what I crank when I drive.
    I didn't do the drinking songs, but Me and My Wine by Def Leppard comes to mind.

  12. Sweet song i have an award for you:

  13. R-LEE-B ~
    Good list, Brother. You, DiscConnected, and I all had “Born To Be Wild” (I haven’t seen the other participants’ lists yet, but they’re next). And you and I both included “Radar Love” (of course!!!) These two songs would probably turn up on at least 90 out of every 100 Driving Songs lists. True classics.

    I had considered “Route 66” by Nat King Cole (and even considered the Nelson Riddle theme music for the Route 66 TV show) but they finally got the axe as the competition was very stiff. I also thought about Willie’s “On The Road Again”, Roger’s “Chug-A-Lug”, “Take It Easy”, “Margaritaville”, “One For My Baby (And One More For The Road)”, but they didn’t make the final cut either.

    What I DIDN’T think of was “I’ve Been Everywhere” and “Alabama Song”, and those are EXCELLENT choices!

    I think “Spill The Wine” will have a great chance of making my “Top Ten Favorite LSD Songs” list. ;o) When we gonna post THAT list? (Ha!)

    ~ “Lonesome Dogg” McD-Fens

  14. Jennee -- feel free to add your list. Linky will stay open for a couple more days I think.

    Alex -- Cranking up the music oftne helps the drive.

    Swimmer -- Thank you.. I'll acknowledge on my Saturday post.

    Stephen -- Hmmm, best LSD trippin' songs. I don't know, when do you want to do it? Wonder if we'd get much participation on that one. Hmmmm-- Actually there are an awful lot of drug related songs.

  15. Great choices..I love Radar Love, I have a heavy foot and have to turn it when it comes on the radio.
    I've Been it and
    Willie Nelson, we sang that a lot driving on the Al-Can Hwy!

    Those Were The Days-one of my favs; love it! Frank's music always finds a place, great song, some I don't recognize! Great choices...Roger Miller always makes me smile! Thanks for taking me back, nice memories~

  16. Hello Arlee
    Have enjoyed all your recent music posts - you really are list crazy these days aren't you. My lists always seem to consist of things to do lol
    Maybe its because of the different continents we've lived in/on? but there are some there I've never heard of. Never mind I'll just have to trawl the net and find out what they sound like
    Take care
    Still Waters

  17. Ellie -- Thanks for visiting. I like sharing my memories with those who have the same memories.

    Cathy --I think my choices were pretty mainstream. You'd probably recognize them if you heard them.

  18. Hello Arlee -

    Fantasta-list. "Radar Love" has to be there; I'd forgotten "Ramblin Man", but that's a great choice. The Steppenwolf and Eagles numbers would prob. be on my list, too. Johnny Cash was a good one.

    I don't know the two "On the Road Again"s... I'll YouTube it and check it out.

    Don't know squat about drinking... but how about "Red, Red Wine" by UB40 (the best version)? "The Pusher" by Steppenwolf will be a good one if you guys dare to do a drug blog!

    Thanks for the fun effort.

    Mr. Paulboy

  19. Ain't never dropped acid in my life, rLEE-b, so any drug song list from me would not be based on experience.

    But just considering the weirdness factor, "Spill The Wine", "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds", and "Like A Virgin" would probably make my list.

    That last one... well, it's just way weird to even consider the possibility that Madonna could ever remember what it was like to be a virgin. And I'd have to be tripping on LSD to ever listen to ANYTHING she recorded.

    Madonna's music is better than Classical!
    (Ha! Hack!-Choke!-Cough!)

    ~ "Lonesome Dogg" McD-Fens

  20. Lee-

    Well McCarthy and I are only a couple years apart, so it can't be age.

    I wonder if it's a coastal thing, since driving is not really a religion where I'm from. I just don't get Radar Love as such an essential driving song.

    I realize I'm in the minority. I actually think of it as a workout song because me and my friend the Rock used to blast it in his basement when pumping iron.

    Oh well. Good lists.

    Was Mary Hopkins the original singer for "Those Were The Days?"


  21. Mr Paulboy -- Thanks for your comment. "The Pusher" was a song that always has disturbed me. I feel uncomfortable with "goddamn" in the first place and that song takes it to the extreme.

    Stephen -- I don't care for Madonna the flake, but I do like a lot of her music. Believe it or not I have just about every one of her recordings and enjoy them. I guess acid had mostly gone out of style when you were in your twenties, but it was pretty prevalent when I was in college. I do have experience and now you know more about what happened to me (as he nods his head knowingly saying, "I thought so").

    Disc-- "Radar Love" is all about driving isnt' it? Mary Hopkins was the first that I know of to have had a hit with "Those Were the Days", but someone else may have recorded it first.

  22. Being of Russian decent - "Those Were the Days" was a big hit with my family! :-)

  23. I don't think Driving songs have to go much farther than Radar Love and Detroit Rock City, or something by the Beach Boys in the summertime. Drinking songs? Anything after Buffett's Changes In Latitude is okay for me.

    1. CW, you caught this error in posting rather quickly. I was making a correction and accidentally reposted to today's date. After a few minutes I went back and fixed the date. Caught you at just the right time I guess.



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