Apr 262012

In honor of the 18 years in the making “breaking news” regarding Joe Walsh‘s sobriety, let us conduct a Last Man Standing on songs about sobriety. Remember, especially considering this contest’s theme, don’t bogart the thread! Please limit yourself to one entry per post. Thank you.

  39 Responses to “Last Man Standing: Songs About Sobriety”

  1. tonyola

    Iggy Pop – “Lust For Life”

    “I’m worth a million in prizes
    Yeah, I’m through with sleeping on the sidewalk
    No more beating my brains
    No more beating my brains
    With the liquor and drugs
    With the liquor and drugs”

  2. “The No No Song” by Ringo Starr

  3. “I’m Straight,” The Modern Lovers

  4. misterioso

    “Alcohol,” The Kinks

  5. Slaid Cleaves — Drinkin’ Days
    He names some great bars in this, if you’ve never heard it, I invite you to give it a listen.
    “My drinking days are over
    No more nights at the Carousel
    My buddies say their gonna miss me
    They can go to hell
    I never knew what time it was
    Til closing time came round
    My drinking days are over
    But I’m still troublebound”

  6. “The Christian Life,” The Byrds (but the Louvin Brothers first, right?)

  7. Happiness Stan

    Ferlin Husky – The Drunken Driver

    “Friends there’s somethin’ been hauntin’ me and I just got to tell you bout it
    I saw an accident one day that would chill the heart of any man
    And teach them not to drink a drop while the steering wheel’s in their hand”

  8. Dion (and later, Mott the Hoople), “Your Own Back Yard”

  9. John Hiatt – “Stood Up” (I think Nick Lowe played bass on the original studio version of this):

    “Now they gave last call for alcohol
    And no one has to carry me home
    You see I only work here now man
    My drinking days are long gone

    I couldn’t stand up after one, no
    ‘Til twenty had me down on the floor
    Now the first one doesn’t get me
    Even though I’m still the last one out the door”

  10. “Sad memories I can’t recall…”

  11. “Got to Give It Up” Thin Lizzy. I’m not sure Lynott is sober yet, but he’s thinking about it.

  12. “Life By The Drop” – SRV


  13. cherguevara

    “I won’t ever go drinking again” – Squeeze

  14. ladymisskirroyale

    “The Twelve Steps”-Spiritualized

  15. “Dope Smokin Moron” – Replacements

  16. Lou’s “New Sensations” is all about enjoying the clean & sober life.

  17. “Clean” Depeche Mode. I don’t think sobriety took for Dave Gahan either.

  18. misterioso

    Pete/Who, “However Much I Booze.” Longing for sobriety but not there.

  19. cliff sovinsanity

    Knock Me Down – Red Hot Chilli Peppers, a somewhat cautionary tale. Been there, don’t do that.

  20. Lou Reed’s “Underneath the Bottle” falls into this subcategory as well.

  21. John Lennon’s “Cold Turkey” – the painful struggle to get clean.

  22. ladymisskirroyale

    Hem: “When I Was Drinking”

  23. Happiness Stan

    Modern Lovers (again) – She Cracked

  24. “Wake Up Alone” has the line “I clean around the house / at least I’m not drinking”. Sorry, Amy Winehouse.

  25. ladymisskirroyale


    I love Kristin Hersh and she has had a public battle with mental illness, substances and attempts to steady her life. This song does double duty: it’s a chronicle of a crackpot (but not crazy enough to make it to tonight’s SNSI) and her attempt to clean up her act. Here’s a live version of “Listerine.”

  26. And Afroman’s “Because I Got High”…maybe…sorta.

  27. Flipside of the longing for insobriety, “Sunday Morning Coming Down”.

  28. Elliott Smith – “Twilight”:

    “You don’t deserve to be lonely
    But those drugs you’ve got won’t make you feel better
    Pretty soon you’ll find it’s the only
    Little part of your life you’re keeping together”

  29. I used to see Throwing Muses, back when they only had self-released EP and cassette out, at a tiny bar (Johnny D’s) down the street from where I lived in Allston, MA. I remember liking them at that point, but I’d stopped paying attention by the time they released an album (maybe moving to New York had something to do with it, I dunno…). Anyway, this (and the handful of other tunes I just listened to on YT) sound pretty damn good to me, so, thanks for the reminder!

  30. cliff sovinsanity

    Detox Mansion – Warren Zevon

    “Well, it’s tough to be somebody
    And it’s hard not to fall apart
    Up here on Rehab Mountain
    We gonna learn these things by heart”

  31. Minor Threat – “Straight Edge” (What a buncha killjoys!)

  32. ladymisskirroyale

    I would highly recommend K. Hirsh’s solo stuff.

    Mr. Royale also used to see the TM’s and the Pixies back when they they regularly played The Rat. Maybe you were there?

  33. H. Munster

    Procol Harum — “Whiskey Train”

    Ain’t gonna ride that whiskey train
    Ain’t gonna burn up no more flame
    Throw away my bottle down the drain

  34. The Pogues…..Nah, I was just kiddin’..

  35. I may have seen them there, too (I spent plenty of time in the place), I can’t really remember. I do have specific memories of seeing them several times at Johnny D’s on Franklin St. in Allston. They used to move the pool table aside at night to make room for bands. The Rat was ritzy in comparison.

  36. BigSteve

    Charlie Rich, Sittin’ and Thinkin’

    If I didn’t spend so much time… sittin’ and drinkin’.
    We’d still have a love that we once knew.
    Oh, I won’t promise the same thing won’t happen again.
    But I can promise, it’ll be a long, long time till then.
    ‘Cause when I’m drinkin’ I am nobody’s friend.
    But, please baby wait for me until they let me out again.

  37. H. Munster

    Paul Revere and the Raiders — “Kicks”

  38. “Don’t mess with a needle or a spoon or any trip to the moon…” Lynyrd Skynyrd.

  39. H. Munster

    “Bottle of Wine” — The Fireballs

Lost Password?

twitter facebook youtube