The one day a year when binge drinking is socially acceptable and every asshole with a Guinness in their hand is suddenly one-sixteenth Irish is upon us again. The RIFF team would be remiss in our duties if we did not supply you, our dear readers, with a soundtrack for your St. Patrick’s Day pre-gaming ceremonies.
So without further ado, we submit to you 10 of the best boozy ballads around, with the pledge that not one of the artists rhymes with Grogging Golly or Mopstick Slurpies, because we care.
1. The Devil Makes Three — “Old Number Seven”
The Devil Makes Three’s “Old Number Seven” and a little hair o’ the dog will help you begin the transition from hangover to locked and loaded (please excuse the pun). This bluegrass ode to Tennessee whiskey has frontman Pete Bernhard singing about drinking his way to the mountain top: “Thank you Jack Daniel’s Old Number Seven/ Tennessee Whiskey got me drinking in heaven.”
2. Turbonegro — “Wasted Again”
“Wasted Again,” by Norwegian punks Turbonegro, pairs nicely with the crack of the day’s first beer. If you weren’t awake yet, Hank Von Helvete’s in-your-face vocals, backed by bracing guitar solos, are sure to shake any residual cobwebs from your morning’s hangover. The line, “My body is a temple/ And tonight I’ll tear it down!/ Wasted again/ Tanked up on the juice and gin,” pretty much says it all.
3. Snoop Dogg — “Gin & Juice”
Speaking of which, a list of drinking songs would be incomplete without “Gin & Juice” by Snoop Dogg (née Snoop Doggy Dogg, for those born in the ‘90s). This song speaks for itself, “Rollin’ down the street smokin’ endo/ Sippin’ on gin and juice/ Laid back.”
4. Against Me! — “Pints of Guinness Make You Strong”
Laura Jane Grace will keep your blood pumping as you knock back another one with “Pints of Guinness Make You Strong.” Pro tip: She’s not wrong, so drink up. And try not to think too much about the fact that this song is actually about Grace’s grandmother who “never loved again” after her alcoholic husband relapsed and died on St. Patrick’s Day in 1964.
5. The Hammerbombs — “Too Drunk”
By now you should be well on your way, so it’s an appropriate time to introduce you to the East Bay’s the Hammerbombs. And this is really a twofer, because the Internet’s only video of their song “Too Drunk” happens to also be a cute cat video. The song is about using alcohol to black out feelings of rejection, much like the cat wants to black out that whole chip-bag incident: “Too drunk to give two give shits about all the stupid shit you do/ And I’m three drunk to give three shits about you.” We’ve all been there.
6. AC/DC — “Have a Drink on Me”
The guys from AC/DC are pretty much authorities when it comes to partying, so when Brian Johnson tells you to have a drink, you have two. You may be seeing double soon anyway, so it’s not a far leap.
7. Street Dogs — “Tobe’s Got a Drinking Problem”
This rollickingly tipsy tune about the Street Dogs’ former bassist’s taste for booze should get you ready for an evening of imbibing. “Tobe’s Got a Drinking Problem,” is only kind of tongue-in-cheek, because Tobe Bean really did have one. The lyrics are about all the hiccups it caused on tour, but somehow this song is still an uproarious, glasses-raised singalong. And yes, we said no Dropkick Murphys, but one former member doesn’t count, even if he was their lead singer.
8. Beastie Boys — “Brass Monkey”
This is another no-brainer. If you need to get pumped, this classic track has got you covered: “Got this dance that’s more than real/ Drink Brass Monkey/ Here’s how you feel/ You put your left leg down, your right leg up/ Tilt your head back, let’s finish the cup.” If you’ve made it this far in our sloshy song crawl, you’re probably familiar with the dance.
9. NOFX — “Bottles to the Ground”
Another fine example of the wisdom that experienced partiers have to offer can be found in NOFX‘s “Bottles to the Ground.” As you prepare to commence St. Paddy’s Day shenanigans, take some advice from Fat Mike: “One more round then it’s bottles to the ground/ Smashing of the glass what a supersonic sound/ Gotta pull the plug when it’s time to die.”
10. Jawbreaker — “Kiss the Bottle”
I recommend saving this Jawbreaker gem for tomorrow morning, when you’re kneeling before the porcelain throne, squinting at your iPhone’s shattered screen to figure out how many times you texted your ex. Frontman Blake Schwarzenbach does angst like no one else: “I know I painted you a prettier picture, baby/ But we were run out on a rail/ Fell from the wagon to the night train/ I kissed the bottle/ I should’ve been kissing you.” It’ll feel like salve on your wounded soul, or it might make you feel worse, but either way, the band basically invented the genre of emo-punk and it’s one of their best songs.
Our St. Paddy’s Day playlist includes these songs and many, many more—check it out below!
Tell us in the comments if we missed your favorite song to get sauced to.