Top 10 Drinking and Driving Songs: Contents May Shift in Transit
!!!!!!!DISCLAIMER!!!!!!! First off, let’s be clear that the authors in no way condone drinking and driving, unless it’s done on a closed course by professionals while filming a car commercial or approaching a club house where you’re not a member and the descent isn’t too steep. Drunken go-karting is to be judged on a case-by-case basis.
The same could’ve been said about our other lists, The Top 10 Cocaine Songs of All Time or the litany of other vices we’ve chronicled here, however unlike someone who’s taken to the nose candy like an anteater grazing, who can at least be forgiven for the occasional indulgence, drinking and driving, or as it’s sometimes called, ‘how the hell else am I gonna get home, walk?’ is quite rightly considered a very serious offense (unless you’re an actor or some kind of celebrity). However, this doesn’t prevent us from hopefully one day earning a Wikipedia entry on the subject of DUI Songs and cornering our little piece of pop culture real estate by tracking down a few of these and saving you restless nights poring over Time Life hits compilations from the 1970s–or hours that could’ve been better spent finding novel ways to waste your company’s time.
In this list, we focus on songs whose origin (much like our Top 10 Bar Songs of All Time) came about when someone put pen to paper, mused ‘hmm, maybe I should write what I know’, and thought about that time they tossed a can of Schlitz out onto the interstate. We figured brunch reservations with Pol Pot or whatever else would be on the itinerary should a place be set aside for us in hell, would be our just desserts if we were to say, compile a list of songs TO LISTEN TO WHILE DRINKING AND DRIVING; but since we aren’t, it seems the road ahead is clear (unlike that same road if you’ve been pulled over and trying to explain to the arresting officer that you’re not really drunk, you’re heavily medicated and having one of your ‘spells’).
Without further ado, in hopes of being handed editorial reins for Blender’s ‘Moral Decay’ issue, or at least landing a free monthly subscription here are the Top 10 Drinking and Driving Songs of All Time!
[!!!! Disclaimer!!!! Again, we advocate that NOBODY get drunk and get behind the wheel, unless you're on the set of a Michael Bay movie in which case feel free to take out the director's chair and use a fruit stand for brakes]
10. Lovin’ Cup as performed by the Rolling Stones
During the recording of their seminal Exile on Main St album, apparently so much heroin was flowing through the French mansion where recording sessions were taking place that Keith Richards had to direct his creative energies elsewhere–to songs extolling the virtues of heavy alcohol abuse. What he left us is arguably one of the finer songs on the album and a great one to kick off our list here.
“Yes I’m fumbling and I know my car won’t start.
Yes I’m stumbling and I know I play a bad guitar.
Give me a little drink, from your lovin’ cup. Just one drink and I’ll fall down drunk.”
9. Sugar Magnolia as performed by the Grateful Dead Now, with enabler lyrics like “She takes the wheel when I’m seein’ double, pays my ticket when I speed‘ Jerry might’ve well been referring to any of the whole host of chemicals he regularly ingested, as his body wasn’t exactly a temple (and if it was…he was an agnostic) but more than likely the protagonist’s diagonal driving in his hymn was influenced by the hooch. [Editor's note: any resemblance [right] to Mike Myers is coincidental]
8. Get Buck as performed by Young Buck
Mr Congeniality takes Sugar Magnolia enabling to new heights with this bangin’ track, off the album ‘Buck the World’. Buckin’ A.
“Let’s play the game I’m the quarterback, don’t stop homey
I’ll go to jail if I get sacked, so block for me…”
“Drunk drivin’ in my Cut dawg, I got my truck parked.” While this could refer to his truck being parked and being chauffeured around in a Cutlass, it’s highly doubtful as Mr Buck hardly looks like he’d employ a ‘Jeeves’.
7. Arrested for Drivin’ While Blind as performed by ZZ Top
It seems that every ZZ Top song is about cars, somewhat limiting creatively especially if you cannot garner inspiration from a bio-diesel retrofitted pick up. It was inevitable that DUIs became source material.
“Now just the other night with nothin’ to do
We broke a case of proof 102
And started itchin’ for that wonderful feel
Of rollin’ in an automobile”
6. It’s So Easy, as performed by Guns ‘N’ Roses. Back in the day, The Gunners weaved more magic into their songs than plugs into Axl’s scalp. Appetite for Destruction is aptly named if you put a ‘self’ in front of ‘Destruction’ and is EASILY one of the greatest albums of all time, Never Mind the Bollocks. Or. Nevermind.
“Cars are crashing every night, I drink and drive everything’s in sight.” Their career might have skidded into the ditch and Chinese Democracy shows about as much promise as its titular reference, but nobody chronicled mindless self-indulgence and bodily self abuse better than GNR, whose line up currently comprises a beefed up Axl Rose and a bunch of other guys [Please see our review of the GNR album, Chinese Democracy]
5. Wreck on the Highway as performed by Dorsey Dixon, Acuff, Springsteen, etc
At the time this creepy gem was penned, talkies were nearly a decade old, cars were becoming an increasing presence on the roads and drivers more gassed than their mode of transportation became all too common especially soon after prohibition was lifted.
“There was whiskey and blood all together, mixed with the glass where they lay
Death played her hand in destruction, but I didn’t hear nobody pray ”
4. You Drink You Drive You Spill as performed by NOFX Drinking and Driving as performed by Black Flag. One band a walking public service announcement and another a lyrical one, punk holds down the number 4 spot. We’re nothing if not fair, including as we do here, a vehemently anti-DUI song. Regardless, as Bart Simpson noted, ‘all the best bands are affiliated with Satan’ so we’ll put the preaching aside with the rest of our list.
“I say don’t drink and drive, you might spill your drink.
Before you get behind the wheel stop and think.”
“Party down. Drink til you can’t even see. In your car with your buddies. And wrap it around a tree. Make sure to tell yourself this is cool.”
3. That Smell as performed by Lynyrd Skynyrd That Smell is unique in that it’s the only song that makes both our Top 10 Cocaine list and this one as well. As we noted there, this tune contains a portion of one of the worst phrases in the English language, ‘what’s that smell?’ Ronnie Van Zant offers a cautionary tale of the dangers of narcotics, referencing Quaaludes, heroin, booze, cocaine and weed all in one song–giving us ideas for yet another one of these lists (which will surely include ‘That Smell‘ just for the sake of consistency)
“Whiskey bottles brand new cars, oak tree you’re in my way.”
2. One for My Baby (and One More for the Road) as performed by Frank Sinatra
The catchphrase that started it all for the asphalt slalom set, as sung by the Chairman of the Board. If we’d socked a few away at a board meeting, we’d no doubt outlast Sammy, Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop. Frank and Dino would’ve been another story.
“We’re drinking my friend, to the end of a brief episode.
So make it one for my baby and one more for the road.”
1. If Drinking Don’t Kill Me Her Memory Will as performed by George Jones
This somber ode is from a man singing it like it is, if it IS really really bad. The quintessential drinking and driving song.
“I lay my head on the wheel and the horn begins honkin’
The whole neighborhood knows, that I’m home drunk again.”