Monday, September 22, 2008


Listen to I HAD TO GET DRUNK LAST NIGHT by Gary Stewart.

How about another week of depressing songs? Yippee!

The country music drinking song is a time-honored tradition, and one that is usually approached with a certain ironic stance. Like yuppies attending a rodeo is more "fun" than fun, drinking songs aren't quite meant to be taken at face value. Take for example, these Gary Stewart song titles:

Drinkin' Thing
I Had To Get Drunk Last Night
Broken Hearted People (Take Me to a Barroom)
Drinking Again
She Actin' Single (I'm Drinkin' Doubles)

Pretty "depressing," right? Like, LOL. The song titles practically invite you to laugh along with the narrator while he hams up his buffoonish escapades.

The deeper irony here is that Gary Stewart really was a drunken wreck. Have a listen to I Had To Get Drunk Last Night. The intensity of his vocal performance might remind you of somebody like Will Farrell, who whatever you might say about him always gives total commitment to his characters, but is safe to laugh with because you know he's really kidding.

The fascination for me (and for many music fans) is that you don't necessarily know with Stewart, whether he was winking or whether he really did have to get drunk last night, and he's completely destroyed & disappointed by his life the next day. That makes a song like this so much more interesting or even disturbing.

Photo: Estes Park rodeo (1).