Sing a song of whisky, a malt or blend or rye,

Eight and twenty units, makes you bleary-eyed
When the bottle’s opened, some begin to sing,
Others raise their glass and say, ‘This is fit for kings!’

Who said I can’t write cheeldren’s verse? Oh wait, it was me. Anyway, that’s ‘Sing a song of sixpence’ for the modern era. I expect all those cloned girl-singers to release cover versions at any moment. It’ll be sampled by every techno band out there, even the ones that sound like someone put up an IKEA kitchen without remembering to use any screws, and then slammed the door.

By the end of the week, that new nursery rhyme will be on every three-year-old’s iPhone.

It won’t, not really, but since the Puritans will all have had heart attacks and/or turned to Twitter to compress all their pent-up outrage into 140 characters before they get this far, it’s safe to admit that now.

Currently, (thanks to View from the Solent via Email), the Righteous Ones are wringing their jelly-fish-like hands because some songs, sung by adults, mention a wee dram or two.

Really. They think this will turn kids to drink. Have you seen the price of drink these days? If your kids are buying regular shots of strong booze you are giving them far too much pocket money and can you adopt me please?

The report, published in the journal Psychology of Music, used four focal years for analysis, comparing music charts across four decades. They found a significant jump in the number of times alcohol was mentioned.

They started in 1981. So they just missed ‘Day Trip to Bangor‘ which all the kids were singing in 1980, they missed by far ‘Lily the Pink’ by the Scaffold and they definitely missed the song that, with a concerted effort, I think could see a resurgence to be this year’s Christmas no. 1:

Or maybe no. 2, just behind ‘Sing a song of whisky’ dubstep version. (thud thud thud thud sing a song thud thud of whisky thud thud thud – drink or no drink, you’re getting a headache).

Let’s be honest, Chicory Tip’s song is far better than the terrible drone of the earlier Puritan version. I think ‘that bum’ was probably a relative or ancestor of mine…

If the research had not been cherry picked they would have found a massive drop in booze-references in music between about 1940 and 1981, which I will bet has not recovered. Start in 1981? What a load of crap. They found the low point and started from there.

Another band of pseudoscientists. The rest of science really should do something to oust their charlatans, or the next time they laugh at a TV medium, they will find that medium laughing right back. Harder. And justifiably.

Assuming, of course, it hasn’t already happened.

 

(For the record, I once visited Bangor. The rain was like stair rods and it’s the only place where I have ever felt rain that actually hurt. The only way they had a lovely time would be if they drank all the cider before they arrived)

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31 thoughts on “Sing a song of whisky, a malt or blend or rye,

  1. They started in 1981.

    Really?

    Y’all probably never heard of him, but there used to be this skinny Italian boy singing over here about “One more for my baby and one more for the road” and before that whiskey-soaked crooner a notorious boozer by the name of Glenn Miller was talking up the hootch. There was this fellow named John Lee Hooker who may have briefly mentioned consumables, but to really appreciate the allure you need the original Big Rock Candy Mountain.

    Thank heavens nobody popular ever hyped alcohol back in the day, no telling how it might have turned out.

    And don’t even ask about country and western music. Were it not for drinking, and cheating women, and good old dogs the genre would disappear.

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  2. Yes, Dick Puddlecote covers this, usefully juxtaposed with a couple of graphs showing alcohol consumption levels since 2001.

    It won’t, not really, but since the Puritans will all have had heart attacks and/or turned to Twitter to compress all their pent-up outrage into 140 characters before they get this far, it’s safe to admit that now.

    I think you should get a Twitter account LI. With your pithy and succinct style you’d have great fun! All you’d need to do would be to follow a host of sour-faced, pursed-lipped puritans, and you could have hours of wicked amusement. Mind you, you’d probably find they blocked you pretty sharpish. They can’t cope with having their belief structure questioned. I’m not really a big fan of Twatter; sometimes I ignore it for weeks on end, but on the occasions I log on, I invariably find something to comment on. It can be quite cathartic.

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    • XX All you’d need to do would be to follow a host of sour-faced, pursed-lipped puritans,XX

      Hmmm. I appear to heve made a mistake with Twatter. On opening the “account” I clicked on “Private/Only Friends” Or whatever they call it there.

      I would LOVE to have these arseholes “stalk” me, but I can not find the button to make my links and comments “Public.” 😦 😦

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  3. Eight and twenty units, makes you bleary-eyed
    When the bottle’s opened, some begin to sing,
    Others raise their glass and say, ‘This is fit for kings!’

    Someone’s been at the juice. 🙂

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      • Once lived on the Wirral (Walasey). The local corner shop was run by a mix of Chinese and vietnamese. Sunday. Before midday you could buy as much “Apple juice” as you could drink. AFTER Midday, and the rest of the week, it was called cider.

        To quote Monty Python; “I like Chinese, they come up to your knees, they always say pleas, I LIKE Chinese.”

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  4. L-i,
    A quick browse through my memory and Wikipedia dredged up this handful of references to the dreaded booze. So, with dates:-

    Beer Barrel Polka (Roll Out the Barrel) 1927

    Champagne Charlie 1866

    The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám (1048–1131) The poet, not the poem. “A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread–and Thou.”

    Also I have a vague memory of Noah. The first thing he did after the Flood was to plant a vineyard and fall down drunk. I suppose I would too, if I’d been through the same as him.

    Regards,
    h

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    • XX The first thing he did after the Flood was to plant a vineyard and fall down drunk. XX

      Fucking HEL Laddie! Thats the fastest wine I have EVER heard of!

      I am sure Terry Pratchett wrote about something similar… a PRE-hangover…. (I.E, you have it just in-case)

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  5. Cliff Richard – Mistletoe and Wine
    Dean Martin – Little Ole Wine Drinker Me
    Elvis Costello – I Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down
    Gerry Rafferty – Baker Street
    Neil Diamond – Cracklin’ Rosie
    The Wurzels – I’m A Cider Drinker
    The Eagles – Tequila Sunrise
    Thin Lizzy – Whiskey In The Jar
    Oasis – Champagne Supernova
    UB40 – Red, Red Wine
    Lynyrd Skynyrd – Budweiser Nights
    Frank Sinatra – One For My Baby (And Another One For The Road)
    Frank Sinatra – Mister Booze
    Frank Sinatra – Come Fly With Me “If you can use some exotic booze…”

    And almost every Country & Western and Rock song since the dawning of time.

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      • A couple of mine were indeed post ’81… but that’s the point though isn’t it. We’ve always had songs celebrating the demon drink and probably always will? I grew up with rock music and hand on heart never felt the need to partake even after listening to Whisky in a Jar endlessly – chances are I was probably already wasted anyway. If anything, watching or reading about your rock heroes getting smashed out of their skulls and cancelling gigs or performing badly likely did much to warn of the dangers of over doing it.

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