An Alcohol-Themed Quarantine Music Playlist

In isolation, the drinks are always on the house

click to enlarge Tom Waits - Photo: Michael O'Brien // tomwaits.com/press
Photo: Michael O'Brien // tomwaits.com/press
Tom Waits

For the second volume of my quarantine playlist (here's the first), I decided to spotlight one of America's favorite indoor sports: the consumption, enjoyment and aftermath of copious amounts of alcohol. With the legal restrictions on public gatherings, bars and restaurants were naturally the first entities on the chopping block, ultimately making solitary drinkers out of all of us who tip the glass on a regular or semi-regular basis.

I enjoy a beer, a gin and tonic or a margarita from time to time, but I don't drink nearly as much now as I did in younger, wilder days. Alcoholism runs through my paternal DNA like brown hair and brown eyes, and even with that knowledge graphically reinforced over the years, I have often found myself on the wrong end of overindulgence.

When I was 18, my dad's girlfriend, Jane, soon to be my second stepmother, shared with me her secret recipe for the perfect Screwdriver, which was fairly simple — open a can of Awake, a popular frozen orange juice concentrate of the 1970s and, instead of adding three cans of water to the icy juice cylinder that you'd just coaxed out of the container, substitute three cans of vodka. Voila! A lethal and yet delicious coma in a pitcher.

At any rate, drinking has clearly been a popular subject for songwriters for a very long time. In fact, it's safe to assume that the very first song ever written was likely inspired by heartbreak, and the second song was probably inspired by the alcoholic haze that was inspired by heartbreak.

And so, with all due respect to our many brothers and sisters who have found the courage and fortitude necessary to eliminate drinking from their lives, I offer this bartending playlist.

If I were to give it a title, I would consider Bottom's Up (although that could be the title of a completely different playlist), Toast and Jam, or The 100 Proof Woods, but my odds on favorite would be Quarantini.

And remember, if you've got any additions of your own, share them in the comments below. Stay well, stay safe, stay away.

  • “Chardonnay” - Game Theory
  • “Bourbon” - Rory Gallagher
  • “When the Hangover Strikes” - Squeeze
  • “The Piano Has Been Drinking” - Tom Waits
  • “Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee” - Jerry Lee Lewis
  • “Alcohol” - Howlin'  Maggie
  • “Sports & Wine” - Ben Folds Five
  • “Cold Gin” - Kiss
  • “Drunken Blue Rooster” - Todd Rundgren
  • “When the Tequila Runs Out” - Dawes
  • “The Drinking Song” - Royal Crescent Mob
  • “Gin and Juice” - Snoop Dogg
  • “The Usual” - John Hiatt
  • “Whiskey in the Jar” - Thin Lizzy
  • “How Much Tequila Did I Drink Last Night” - Steve Goodman (Dedicated to John Prine, the song's co-writer, who succumbed to coronavirus April 7)
  • “Too Drunk to Dream” - Magnetic Fields
  • “Milk and Alcohol” - Dr. Feelgood
  • “Beer Run” - Todd Snider
  • “Hangover” - Max Webster
  • “Brass Monkey” - Beastie Boys
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