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Whiskey Rivers and Bourbon Jockeys

A Brief List of Whiskey-Drinkin' Songs

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Elliott Smith, "Miss Misery"—Whiskey might not have been the lone vice of Portland's finest singer/songwriter, but Smith's opening line, "I'll fake it through the day with some help from Johnny Walker Red," still wields as much emotional weight today as it did in 1997. EZRA ACE CARAEFF

Van Morrison, "Moonshine Whiskey"—The only thing in this world sweeter than whiskey's tender kiss and slow burn is the soulful voice of Van Morrison. Now where is that Texas girl with the moonshine whiskey and Southern love? EAC

Molly Hatchet, "Whiskey Man"The opening track of Flirtin' with Disaster proves that even the mighty Molly Hatchet isn't immune to the seductive call of the bottle. If whiskey can defeat Molly Hatchet, what hope do we have? Bow down to your liquid God. EAC

Tom Waits, "Jockey Full of Bourbon"—Waits isn't known for his uplifting material—dwarves, mules, dead children—but this longtime staple of his live sets always brings to mind the drunken swagger ("I'm full of bourbon/I can't stand up") of his role in Jim Jarmusch's Down by Law. EAC

Anything by the Pogues—If whiskey could sing, I believe with all my heart that it would sound like Shane MacGowan. Mix his unsteady smoke-filled warble with driving Irish reels and a jig is almost inevitable. PATRICK ALAN COLEMAN

Drive-by Truckers, "Women without Whiskey"—"If I make it through this year, I think I'm gonna put this bottle down." Oh sure you say that now, but a few verses later you come clean: "When I'm six feet underground, I'll need a drink or two." Mmmm, zombie whiskey. EAC

John Lee Hooker, "Whiskey and Women"—The operative word in Hooker's moaned refrain, "Whiskey and women almost wrecked my life," is the word "almost." He might have lost all his money, but he did have whiskey AND women, and his life wasn't completely ruined. Let that be a lesson. PAC

Willie Nelson, "Whiskey River"—It's a song about killing the memory of lost love with booze, but there's something about drowning in a river of whiskey that sounds kind of pleasant. Keep the amber currents flowing. PAC

Miranda Lambert, "Jack Daniels"—In this trashy country music classic, alcoholism is the most stable long-term relationship a girl can hope for. Whiskey's founding father is "the only man who's ever knocked me to my knees/the only man who's ever set my spirits free." SARAH MIRK

Anything by the Dickel Brothers—This local whiskey-driven quintet, inspired by backwoods music from the 1920s and '30s, creates a sound thick with the sweat and hay of a Kentucky barn dance. If you're lucky, you might even catch them in action. PAC

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