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Two Current critics choose their favorite drinking songs

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Beastie Boys’ “Brass Monkey”

Also known as a poor man’s mimosa, “Brass Monkey,” as referenced by the Beasties, is a mixture of malt liquor and orange juice — a very funky monkey indeed. (Traditionally, Brass Monkeys had been one part each vodka and dark rum with orange juice.) When Adrock says he’s “got a castle in Brooklyn/that’s where I dwell,” you have to wonder if the castle’s white. — CP








Willie Nelson’s “Bloody Mary Morning”

Willie Nelson’s not the first country boy to come back from Los Angeles a little poorer and a lot wiser. Willie’s not one to surrender, but an alcohol-fueled retreat/stay-cation in Houston is the recommended prescription for a broken heart. Of course, that begins with a good-morning-you’re-flying-the-friendly-skies Bloody Mary. He’s feeling smoggy and hazy like the L.A. weather, confessing to the cliché’s essential truth: “The pitfalls of the city are extremely real… temptation and deceit’s the order of the day.” — CP




Todd Snider’s “Beer Run”

It could be part of college orientation with a melody off Sesame Street: “B, Double E, Double R-U-N, Beer Run!” It even comes with instructions: “All we need is a 10 and fiver, a car and key, and a sober driver.” In the story, two frat boys “mistakenly” buy funny cigarettes off a hippie and end up thirsty and hungry, but later find another helpful hippie who saves the day. They go off singing Robert Earl Keen’s “The Road Goes On Forever and the Party Never Ends.” One dog and a train — the perfect country song. — CP




Eagles’ “Tequila Sunrise”

Sort of the flipside for “Bloody Mary Morning,” “Tequila Sunrise” was the Eagles’ second big hit (after “Desperado”), which helped establish their country light-rock credentials. “She wasn’t just another woman… Take another shot of courage/ Wonder why the right words never come, you just get numb.” Of course, that numbness could be the after-effect of too much cocaine (the subject of their subsequent album, Hotel California). — CP

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