The 10 Best Songs About Alcohol (For Better or Worse)

In a cruel, cruel irony, the day after the inaugural Flavorpill Media office piss-up karaoke night turns out to be… the 80th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition. The last thing anyone wants to be doing right now is thinking about alcohol, but this seems like an anniversary worth commemorating, especially since alcohol has had an all too intimate relationship with art over the years. In particular, it’s an integral part of music, for better or worse — and beyond the ranks of silly drinking songs, plenty of songwriters have investigated the pernicious nature of the demon drink over the years. So here’s a selection of songs about getting wasted, both celebratory and, well, less so.

Tom Waits — “Tom Traubert’s Blues (Four Sheets to the Wind in Copenhagen)”

No one does romantically dissipated better than Tom Waits, and if there’s a song that’s a better evocation of the sort of melancholy that alcohol brings, of wandering lonely foreign streets with a bottle in your hand as the rain comes down, well, I’d love to hear it. Also, this gets extra points for referencing “Waltzing Matilda.”