Singing along, usually poorly, to your favorite tunes is a time-honored tradition. Often, it’s alone in the car along with the stereo or your voice masked in a crowd at a live performance. But let’s not forget the favorite sing-alongs of hobbits, vagrants, and barflies; sitting around with friends, drinking a pint, and belting out songs loudly and crudely. With that in mind, your new monthly mix is titled “Songs to Sing While Drinking.” Your lyrical highlights this month are the ones I’ve deemed best for swaying back and forth with your arms around your friends, singing loud. So get down to your local pub, grab your mates, take a sip, and turn it up. The full playlist can be heard on Spotify and Apple Music.
Mexico- The Refreshments
Really, the entire song makes for a fantastic sing-along. If you don’t believe me, just take in the next Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers (the current incarnation of the Refreshments) show in your area. So sing it all. It’s early in the night so you can keep up and the second verse is the same as the first. You’ve got this.
Sing-Along Lyrics: now the good guys and the bad guys, they never work past noon around here, they sit side to side in cantinas, talk to senoritas and drink warm beer
Salty Dog- Flogging Molly
This one may tempt you to stand up and dance a jig, but do you really want to be that person? We’re in public and we’re only two songs in. Just try to keep up with the lyrics.
Sing-Along Lyrics: anarchy, the scourge of every sea, the antichrist aboard a rig with us, your cutthroat thieves
Drinkin’ Friends- Fifth on the Floor
Sadly, Fifth on The Floor is no longer together, but I highly recommend singer Justin Wells’ solo work. This is technically a hidden track...is that still a thing in the age of digital music? See, kids, once we had these objects we called CDs...
Sing-Along Lyrics: i got an empty bottle, an empty soul, done lost my job, ain’t got a thing no more, i’m outta means and i’m outta ends, thank god i still got my drinkin’ friends
W-I-F-E- Old 97s
Don’t worry if you get the numbers mixed up. No one is paying attention anyway.
Sing-Along Lyrics: i've got my wife, the other women, and the whiskey killing me, well the first two make it so that i see red, the third one makes it so that i can't see, if i had half a brain left after my debauchery, i'd give up the other women and the w-i-f-e
Life In Shambles- Sons Of Bill
A band of brothers from Charlottesville, Virginia and one of my favorite finds from getting to a concert early enough to catch the opener. Always see the opener.
Sing-Along Lyrics: take a shower, call your mom, you ain’t livin like you should
Every Song’s A Drinkin’ Song- Midland
We’re a few songs/drinks in at this point, so let’s slow it down and take a break. Enjoy this track from Midland’s 2019 album, Let It Roll.
Sing-Along Lyrics: you don't have to wait on nelson, if you're trying to raise some hell, son
The Ballad of Me and My Friends- Frank Turner
This is Rest Song Number 2. How are ya feeling? Maybe get some water, get up, walk around. We’ll wait for you.
Sing-Along Lyrics: and we're definitely going to hell, but we'll have all the best stories to tell.
Wagon Wheel- Old Crow Medicine Show
With respect to Darius Rucker, the original version of this song is the superior version (sorry, Dylan Roberts). But let’s not argue. Let’s sing!
Sing-Along Lyrics: walkin' to the south out of roanoke, i caught a trucker out of philly, had a nice long toke
Country Roads- Me First & The Gimme Gimmes
This is my favorite Me First & The Gimme Gimmes cover. And here’s a shoutout and a “fire up” to Coach Gunn and the original version of the song. I’ll never forget that West Virginia jukebox and the tears in your eyes, my friend.
Sing-Along Lyrics: country roads, take me home, to the place i belong, west virginia, mountain mama, take me home, country roads
Keasbey Nights- Catch 22
There are two versions of this song, the original from Catch 22 and the version from Tomas Kalnoky’s later band, Streetlight Manifesto. Both are solid, but this one was my first, so it gets priority.
Sing-Along Lyrics: when they come for me, i'll be sitting at my desk with a gun in my hand, wearing a bulletproof vest, singing “my, my, my, how the time does fly when you know you're going to die by the end of the night”
Because You’re Young- Cock Sparrer
Turn it up loud and scream at the top of your lungs. It’s ok. We’re right there with you.
Sing-Along Lyrics: you're always sure, you're always right, you see it all in black and white, you never listen to anyone, because you're young
Now We Can See- The Thermals
A seriously, viciously fun tune. If you can’t keep up with the lyrics at this point, just stick with the “oh way-ow oh-whoa-ohs”.
Sing-Along Lyrics: our enemies lie dead on the ground and still we kick, hey
Hook- Blues Traveler
I mostly put this here to see if you could get through the third verse without stumbling. It’s also the most brilliant pop song ever written. Facts.
Sing-Along Lyrics: suck it in, suck it in, suck it in, if you're rin tin tin or anne boleyn, make a desperate move or else you'll win and then begin to see what you're doing to me, this mtv is not for free, it's so pc, it's killing me, so desperately i sing to thee of love, sure but also rage and hate and pain and fear of self, and i can't keep these feeling on the shelf, i've tried, well no, in fact i lied, could be financial suicide but i've got too much pride inside, to hide or slide, i'll do as i'll decide and let it ride till until i've died, and only then shall i abide by this tide, of catchy little tunes of hip three minute diddies, i wanna bust all your balloons, i wanna burn of all your cities to the ground, but i've found, i will not mess around, unless i play, then hey, i will go on all day hear what i say, i have a prayer to pray, that's really all this was and when i'm feeling stuck and need a buck, i don't rely on luck, because the hook brings you back, i ain't tellin' you no lie, the hook, on that you can rely
Go To Sleep- The Avett Brothers
We’re slowing down now. It’s getting late and the bartender is giving us the eye. Or maybe they joined us at the table. But either way they worked hard and are probably tired. This song makes for a fantastic sing-along and gave me the memory of my favorite live-band encore, when The Avett Brothers had the entire crowd swaying and singing “la la lalalala” over and over, then exited the stage, the room singing the entire time they were gone, then returning to the stage to pick up where they left off.
Sing-Along Lyrics: lay back, lay back, go to sleep my man, wipe the blood from you face and your hands, forgive yourself if you think that you can, go to sleep, go to sleep my man
Mekong- The Refreshments
And we return to where we started, with Roger Clyne’s band, The Refreshments and my favorite song of all time.
Sing-Along Lyrics: is it true it's always happy hour here, cause if it is i'd like to stay a while, and, as cliche as it may sound, i'd like to raise another round and if you bottles empty, help yourself to mine, thank you for your time, and here's to life
Here’s to life indeed. Keep on singing. Cheers.