Screamin' Jay Hawkins: Alligator Wine (1963?)

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Screamin' Jay Hawkins: Alligator Wine (1963?)

When Oasis celebrated cigarettes and alcohol on their debut album Definitely Maybe, they were onto something.

These twin poles of working people are traditionally the escape from the drudgery of life (if these days much frowned upon)  . . . although we'd have to concede for an increasing number of young people they seem to be de rigueur for a lifestyle with not a lot of back-breaking work to escape from.

Still, Oasis were part of a very long tradition celebrating liquor and smokes and the blues has always had a long lineage of songs about one bourbon, one scotch, one beer, or whiskey and women (John Lee Hooker offering a deadly combination), food and booze (Nina Simone called in for Give Me a Pigfoot and a Bottle of Beer) and any number of songs about cigarettes.

Jeez, kd lang did a whole album about smoking. (And I don't think she does.)

So let's be clear: a song is a song is a song and we aren't here to moralise. Just to enjoy the great Screamin' Jay Hawkins taking on the Leiber-Stoller downhome celebration of a drink not many know of, or would ever want to become overly familiar with.

Nice to have the recipe though. 

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory use the RSS feed for daily updates, and check the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.

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