A drinking song is, naturally, a song that is best sung (and heard) whilst people are drinking, preferably in crowded pubs or at house parties in the wee small hours of the morning.

Examples of well-known drinking songs are Barrett's Privateers and The Drinking Song by Moxy Fruvous, as well as You're Pretty When I'm Drunk and Home For a Rest.

Most of the best known drinking songs come from England and Ireland, though Germany and America have also contributed some good ones.

"Ahh, who cares what a bunch of drunken lowlifes sing when they get sloshed?" I hear some of you groan. "What about Art? What about Culture?" Pish-posh. Drinking songs are Art and Culture. William Shakespeare included some drinking songs, both original and established, in his plays ("Henry IV, Part II", "Othello", "Antony and Cleopatra", and possibly several others), and the tune of the American National Anthem is based on an English drinking song called "To Anacreon in Heaven".

Not many people write drinking songs anymore, but some fun ones have been performed by Mojo Nixon, the Sex Pistols, George Thorogood, and untold billions of bluesmen and country singers.

(sung to "Doe, a Deer" from "The Sound of Music")

Dough, with which I buy my beer,
Ray, the guy I buy beer from,
Me, the guy I buy beer for,
Far, a long way to the store...
So, I'll have another beer!
La, la la la la la la!
Tea? No thanks, I think I'll have some beer,
But for that, I'll need more dough, dough, dough, dough... (repeat)

A song by or for drunk people, to be sung wile drunk, drinking, or thinking of drinking... Sometimes it is for merry-making like Mary McGregor or In Heaven There is no Beer, or for wallowing in like One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer.

Some, on the other hand, are just plain silly like the Philosopher's Drinking Song of Monty Python origin. Some are distincly Irish like The Night Pat Murphy Died, some are distinclty American like the Ramones song Somebody Put Something in my Drink.

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