Drinking songs
February 5, 2008 7:30 PM   Subscribe

Drinking Songs & Barroom-lore is an unbelievable collection of audio , textual and other materials related to "traditional drinking songs (many bawdy), toasts, recitations and other bar-room folklore." If that's not enough, check out ARRR!!!'s sea shanties and drinking songs and/or Barstool Mountain's Top 100 Drinking Songs. Still not enough? Well, OK.

Collections of songs:

A select collection of English songs (Volume 2) (1783)

The stag's hornbook (1918)

A tankard of ale, an anthology of drinking songs (1919)

Wine of Endless Life: Taoist Drinking Songs from the Yuan Dynasty (Google Books preview)

Texts about drinking songs:

'Beve, beve con me': An Operatic Brindisi-For and to Gian-Paolo Biasin (PDF)

Carven from the laurel tree; essays (p. 29 - 35)


Banter/Drinking songs (Javier Trejo, MP3)

Drink Friends Drink (Unkindness of Ravens, OGG or MP3)

California Drinking Song (Cal Band, MOV)

Drinking Song (Bob Schneider, FLAC)

La canción de bebiendo (José Suarez, MP3)

El borracho celebra la Semana Santa (José Suarez, MP3)

Steven Taylor class on [Greek drinking] songs, July, 1987 (Steven Taylor, big MP3)

Sheet Music:

Down, down in the cellar

Sons of temperance

I'm all broke up to day!

Down deep within the cellar - Im tiefen keller sitz'ich hier

Little more cider

Drinking song, brindisi, in the opera Macbeth

The land we live in

Here's how

Trim the lamp, a favorite ballad

Here's a health to thee Tom Moore

Johnny Darling!

Brandy and water, ballad

Here's a health to thee Tom Breese

Catawba waltz

Beviamo, cheour favori d'Ernani

Libiamo ne lieti calici = Gaily thro' this life

We won't go home till morning, a favorite glee

Way-side flowers

La brindisi, drinking song from Lucrezia Borgia, with brilliant variations

A Drinking song

Drinking song - Le punch scintille, Girofle girofla

Drinking song - Trinklied

Drinking song

Drinking song

Drinking song

Here's to you, my sparkling wine (PDF)

I drink from my heart to you (PDF)

If e'er I be Lord God of all; Comic drinking song

Rolling home in the morning

Drinking song (PDF, pages 3-4)

The song of the cider (The flagon) (Goixian on), Basque drinking song (Canción humoristica)

The toast, a drinking song

All the boy's love Mary (PDF)

Down where the Wurzburger flows (PDF)

Good old German beer (PDF)

Hello Mr. Stein (PDF)

How do you like your oysters (PDF)

Here's to the nut brown ale

Mum's the word (PDF)

On the banks of the Rhine with a stein (PDF)

Schooners that pass in the night (PDF)

Song to the foaming stein (PDF)

Under the Anheuser Bush (PDF)

Burton Ale: a song
posted by cog_nate (30 comments total) 53 users marked this as a favorite
WOW, cog_nate. Nice job.

I can sing about 65% of the sea songs, and will happily do so in person-, for a consideration.
posted by Miko at 7:35 PM on February 5, 2008

This is excellent. Although my singing and drinking team has a bit of a rugby problem that might get in the way of fully making use of this.
posted by Smedleyman at 7:45 PM on February 5, 2008

/boggles, lifts glass to grog_nate
posted by mwhybark at 7:46 PM on February 5, 2008

Plato, they say, could put 'em away...
posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:49 PM on February 5, 2008

As a proud Newfoundlander, I am delighted to say that I recognize many of these songs, and consider "Barrett's Privateers" to be one of the finest songs ever written, by the greatest Canadian musician of all time, Stan Rogers.
posted by newfers at 7:54 PM on February 5, 2008 [1 favorite]

My high school drinking song (sung to the tune of the Notre Dame Fight Song):

Beer, beer for Oceana High,
You bring the whiskey, I'll bring the rye,
Send those Juniors out for gin,
Don't let a sober Senior in,
We never stagger, we never fall,
We sober up on grain alcohol,
On you SOTS of OHS it's onward to Sylvia's.

(Sylvia's was the coal miner's bar of choice in the day).

I miss the 70's.
posted by wv kay in ga at 7:56 PM on February 5, 2008

"Baby Got Back" is totally not on here.

Great job, cog_nate.

And, since you brought it up, I was trying to remember where I saw something on the song "Drinking Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee" (#4 on the Barstool Mountain list) here. Turns out I spend too much time on metafilter or I was right, whatever you want to call it.
posted by sleepy pete at 7:56 PM on February 5, 2008

I put my head
To a cask of brandy
It was my fancy, I do declare
For when I'm drinking
I am not thinking
And wishing Peggy Gordon was here.
posted by Miko at 8:01 PM on February 5, 2008

I like this one.
posted by moxiedoll at 8:05 PM on February 5, 2008

When I was on the sideshow in the early 1990's, we found ourselves on a large European ferry sailing across the English Channel, if I remember correctly. In the distance, I hear singing coming from a large group of people who must have congregated in one of the lounge areas. It sounded like English, and I began to think that I must be one of those OLDE ENGLISH DRINKING SONGS I'd heard so much about. I figured that this must be the one time in my life to hear an honest-to-goodness Olde English Drinking Song, so I made my way to the lounge.

Imagine my disappointment when I arrived in time for the chorus:

We all live in a yellow submarine
Yellow submarine, yellow submarine

posted by Tube at 8:08 PM on February 5, 2008 [1 favorite]

There was Johnny McEldoo and McGee and me
And a couple of two or three went on the spree one day
We had a bob or two, which we knew how to blew
And the beer and whiskey flew and we all felt gay
We visited McCann's, Maclaman's, Humpty Dan's
We then went into Swan's, our stomachs for to pack
We ordered out a feed, which indeed, we did need
And we finished it with speed, but we still felt slack

Johnny McEldoo turned red, white and blue
As a plate of irish stew he soon put out of sight
He shouted out "Encore!" with a roar for some more
That he'd never felt before such a keen appetite
We ordered eggs and ham, bread and jam, what a cram
But him, we couldn't ram, though we tried our level best
For everthing we brought, cold or hot, mattered not
It went down him like a shot and he still stood the test

He swallowed tripe and lard by the yard, we got scarred
We thought it would go hard when the waiter brought the bill
We told him to give o'er, but he swore he could lower
Twice as much again and more before he had his fill
He nearly supped a trough full of broth says McGragh
"He'll devour the tablecloth if you don't hold him in"
When the waiter brought the charge, McEldoo felt so large
He began to shout and barge and his blood went on fire

He began to curse and swear, tear his hair in despair
To finish the affair, called the shop man a liar
The shop man, he through out and no doubt, he did clout
McEldoo he kicked about like an old football
Tattered all his clothes, broke his nose, I suppose
He would have killed him with a few blows in no time at all
Mceldoo began to howl and to growl, by my soul
Through an empty bowl at the shop keepers head
It struck poor Mickey Flynn, took the skin from his chin
An eruction did begin and we all fought and bled
The peelers did arrive, man alive, four or five
At us they made a dive for us all to march away
We paid for all the mate that we ate, stood a trait
And went home to ruminate on the spree that day

"Johnny McEldoo" by Tommy Makem
posted by christopherious at 8:21 PM on February 5, 2008 [1 favorite]

Miko, if my wife and I are ever in NH -- and we may be coming through this summer -- you're on! (I'll bring the cider.)

sleepy pete, we always called it jungle juice. I'd say I have some bad memories of drinking that stuff, but for some reason it's all a little vague.
posted by cog_nate at 8:35 PM on February 5, 2008

This list is useless without Heino.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:35 PM on February 5, 2008 [1 favorite]

I guess these are meant to be 'traditional' drinking songs, but I'm still surprised that there's nothing by the Pogues.

For example, every song they ever recorded.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:38 PM on February 5, 2008 [1 favorite]

sleepy pete, we always called it jungle juice.

Yeah, so did we. And yeah, I have the same memory problems when it comes to that drink.
posted by sleepy pete at 8:39 PM on February 5, 2008

UbuRoivas, there are some Pogues songs in this here AskMe.
posted by cog_nate at 8:42 PM on February 5, 2008

I've always liked the twin Ween drinking songs of "The Blarney Stone"* and "Booze Me Up and Get Me High."

*Bad fan-made video
posted by Bookhouse at 8:53 PM on February 5, 2008

Maybe someday I'll go back again to Ireland
If my dear old wife would only pass away
She nearly has my heart broke with her naggin'
She's got a mouth as big as Galway Bay

See her drinking sixteen pints of Pabst Blue Ribbon
And then she can walk out without a sway
If the sea was beer instead of salty water
She'd live and die in Galway Bay

See her drinking sixteen pints at Padgo Murphy's
The barman says I think it's time to go
Well she doesn't try to speak to him in Gaelic
In a language that the clergy do not know

On her back she has tattooed a map of Ireland
And when she takes her bath on Saturday
She rubs the Sunlight soap around by Claddagh
Just to watch the suds flow down by Galway Bay
posted by Smedleyman at 8:56 PM on February 5, 2008

Simply amazing, thank you thank you thank you!
posted by jrb223 at 9:34 PM on February 5, 2008

cog_nate if you get in touch with me through my profile, I'll send you my band's cd (it's not all drinking songs, but we appreciate a good drinking song, and we're acquiring them as fast as we can). It's the least I can do in exchange for using your entire post to impress my peer group. They tell me drinking is cool.
posted by smartyboots at 11:16 PM on February 5, 2008

My old band made our own version of a classic drinking tune back in '97.
It's been adopted by some of the youtube crowd (nsfw)
(none of the videos are ours, just the music)
posted by Bighappyfunhouse at 12:40 AM on February 6, 2008

As the Dropkick Murphys so feelingly put it: So kiss me, I'm shitfaced.
posted by Pallas Athena at 1:55 AM on February 6, 2008

John Barleycorn Must Die.
posted by emf at 2:22 AM on February 6, 2008

Click newfers' Youtube link, now.
posted by Skorgu at 4:32 AM on February 6, 2008

This list is useless without Heino

Bier! Bier! Bier!
posted by chillmost at 6:01 AM on February 6, 2008 [1 favorite]

Awesome post! I just started a band over here in Europe playing Texas drinking songs, I'll use this as a rescource if I ever need some new tunes!!!

Thanks for that!
posted by Slash_fan at 8:37 AM on February 6, 2008

The sons of the Prophet are brave men and bold
and quite unaccustomed to fear,
But the bravest by far in the ranks of the shah,
Was Abdulla Bulbul Amir.

If you wanted a man to encourage the van,
Or harass the foe from the rear,
Storm fort or redoubt, you had only to shout
for Abdulla Bulbul Amir.

Now the heroes were plenty and well known to fame
in the troops that were led by the Czar,
And the bravest of all was a man by the name
of Ivan Skavinsky Skavar.

One day this bold Russian, he shouldered his gun
and donned his most truculent sneer,
Downtown he did go where he tred on the toe
of Abdulla Bulbul Amir.

"Young man," quote Abdul,"has life grown so dull
That you wish to end your career?
Vile infidel know, you have trod on the toe
Of Abdulla Bulbul Amir.

So take your last look at the sunshine and brook
And send your regrets to the Czar
For by this I imply, you are going to die,
Count Ivan Skavinsky Skavar."

Then this bold Mameluke drew his trusty skibouk,
Singing, "Allah! Il Allah! Al-lah!"
And with murderous intent he ferociously went
for Ivan Skavinsky Skavar.

They parried and thrust, they side-stepped and cussed,
Of blood they spilled a great part;
The philologist blokes, who seldom crack jokes,
Say that hash was first made on the spot.

They fought all that night neath the pale yellow moon;
The din, it was heard from afar,
And huge multitudes came, so great was the fame,
of Abdul and Ivan Skavar.

As Abdul's long knife was extracting the life,
In fact he was shouting, "Huzzah!"
He felt himself struck by that wily Calmuck,
Count Ivan Skavinsky Skavar.

The Sultan drove by in his red-breasted fly,
Expecting the victor to cheer,
But he only drew nigh to hear the last sigh,
Of Abdulla Bulbul Amir.

There's a tomb rises up where the Blue Danube rolls,
And graved there in characters clear,
Is, "Stranger, when passing, oh pray for the soul
Of Abdulla Bulbul Amir."

A splash in the Black Sea one dark moonless night
Caused ripples to spread wide and far,
It was made by a sack fitting close to the back,
of Ivan Skavinsky Skavar.

A Muscovite maiden her lone vigil keeps,
Neath the light of the cold northern star,
And the name that she murmurs in vain as she weeps,
is Ivan Skavinsky Skavar.

(My Mom and Dad's favorite drinking song, "Abdulla Bulbul Ameer", written by Percy French in 1877. He sold it to a publisher for five pounds, who published it without crediting French and he never received royalties for its later success.)
posted by misha at 9:26 AM on February 6, 2008


Thanks for sharing that one!

My favorite drinking song is still "Beer, Beer, Beer" (you might also know it as "Charlie Mops").
posted by ShawnStruck at 10:59 AM on February 6, 2008

misha - i'd love to hear Nick Cave do that one!
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:57 PM on February 6, 2008

I know a rather different version to yours, misha:

The maidens of Russia were fair to behold,
But the harlots were better by far,
And the best one to mount was owned by a count,
Count Ivan Skavinsky Skavar.

A travelling brothel came to the town,
Twas owned by a Turk from afar,
And oft did he brag, that he could out shag,
Count Ivan Skavinsky Skavar.

Well fixed was the date for this spectacle great,
A holiday proclaimed by the Czar,
The streets were all lined with harlots assigned
To Ivan Skavinsky Skavar.

They arrived at the track with their tools hanging slack,
The starters gun punctured the air,
And amidst cheers and sighs, the prick did arise,
Of Adbul a Bull Bull Emir.

The cunts were all shorn, and no frenchies were worn,
And Adbul's arse revved like a car,
But he couldn't compete with the slow steady beat,
Of Ivan Skavinsky Skavar.

Now Ivan had won and was cleaning his gun,
And bent down to, polish his pair,
When something red hot up his back passage shot,
Twas Adbul a Bull Bull Emir,

The ladies turned green, and the men shouted "Queen!"
They were ordered apart by the Czar,
But Abdul was stuck (it was bloody bad luck).
Up Ivan Skavinsky Skavar.

Now the cream of this joke when apart they were broke,
Was laughed at for years by the Czar,
For Abdul, poor fool, left three parts of his tool,
Up Ivan Skavinsky Skavar.

My personal favourite though, is a toss up between 'She was poor but she was honest' and 'My God how the money rolls in'. The latter is usually sung to the tune of My Bonnie:

My God How the Money Rolls in

My father makes book on the corner
My mother sells makes illicit gin
My sister sells kisses to sailors
My God, how the money rolls in!

(Chorus:) Rolls in, rolls in, my God, how the money rolls in, rolls in!
Rolls in, rolls in, my God, how the money rolls in!

My auntie's a bawdyhouse keeper
Every night when the evening grows dim
She hangs a red light in the window
My God, how the money rolls in!

My grandma makes cheap prophylactics
She punctures the end with a pin
My grandpa does quickie abortions
My God, how the money rolls in!

My brother's a poor missionary
He saves gorgeous fallen women from sin
He'll save you a blonde for a guinea
My God, how the money rolls in!

My cousin's a Harley Street surgeon
With instruments long, sharp, and thin.
He only does one operation.
My God, how the money rolls in!
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:20 PM on February 6, 2008

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