Videos by American Songwriter
And now, the second installment of American Songwriter‘s countdown of the best drinking songs of all time.
7) “Whiskey in the Jar” – Traditional
Even though the Irish-alcohol connection is a stereotype, no list of drinking songs would be complete without a traditional Irish drinking song. Whether the tipsy reputation is justified or not, the people of Ireland wrote many of the world’s most recognizable and memorable songs to get soused by. For proof, just visit your local “authentic” Irish pub and hit up the jukebox.
One of the most well known Irish drinking songs is “Whiskey in the Jar.” Covered by The Dubliners, Thin Lizzy, Belle & Sebastian, U2 and Metallica among others, nobody knows the exact origins of the song. Most likely, “Whiskey in the Jar” originated way back in the 17th century and may have even inspired an opera.
The song expresses love for the Irish highwaymen that robbed English landlords coming to collect their rent. These gentlemen robbers were folk heroes and regarded as patriots, so it’s unsurprising that the song was also popular in Colonial America where colonists hated the British, too.
There’s nothing like thumbing your nose at the Brits while downing some brown – very old school.
6) “Brass Monkey” – Beastie Boys
Yes, that funky monkey – the Beastie Boys introduced to legions of party people everywhere back in 1987 on their debut release Licensed to Ill. According to the Boys, “Brass Monkey” all but guarantees success with the ladies and is particularly enjoyable on ice. But what the hell is a brass monkey, anyway?
The recipe for said cocktail varies from hood to hood. It could be a combination of vodka, orange juice and dark rum. Alternatively, it could be a 40-ounce bottle of beer drank to the label and then filled to the top with orange juice. The Beastie Boys version is probably the latter.
No matter what the recipe, the chorus is perfect for sing-along simplicity: “Brass Monkey / That funky monkey / Brass monkey, junkie / That funky monkey.”
5) Gin and Juice – Snoop Dogg
“With so much drama in the L-B-C / It’s kinda hard bein’ Snoop D-o-double G.”
And so begins the infamous ode to Tanqueray, Seagram’s, and a certain illegal herb.
Snoop Dogg, then known as Snoop Doggy Dogg, released “Gin and Juice” as the second single off his 1993 debut album Doggystyle. Produced by Dr. Dre, the song peaked at number eight on Billboard’s Hot 100 and launched Snoop as a star in his own right. The West Coast rap invasion was in full effect, and Snoop launched an empire adding “‘-izzle” to the end of every word and endorsing candy, shoes, action figures, and of course, his own pet accessory line.
The song found a new audience when The Gourds covered “Gin and Juice” in 1996. It remains a solid drinking song and one that offers a bit of free advice courtesy of the Snoop D-o-double-G: Keep your mind on your money and your money on your mind.
(Click here to read about the first three songs in the countdown.)