Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sittin' In A Honky In Chicago


















"I'd rather have a bottle in front of me..." Go on, finish it.

Today we're gonna feature a tune that could very well be our theme song 'round these parts, if it weren't for our "title" song, which maybe deserves the next post. It's about time.

It takes a cool cat to carry off a brilliant tune like "Little Ol' Wine Drinker Me". It's a swingin' little boozer about, well, gettin' dumped. And grapes. Yummy yummy grapes. And the song takes us from California to Chicago (hooray!) to Florida (where we used to think "his" baby left a "floater" on the train...don't ask) to Tennessee. But it's all about a guy in the corner, listening to the jukebox and hugging the bottle of vin. It doesn't get much better than that.

We said it takes a cool cat to sing this song. Well, it doesn't get much cooler than our hero, Dean Martin, all laconic slurred fuck-off attitude, and heart-broken self-pity. We've been there, each and every one of us. Far as we're concerned, his is the definitive version. You may disagree.

But then you've got Robert goddam Mitchum, mighty Merle Haggard, Lefty Frizzell, and Charlie Walker adding their cool as ice renditions, and you've got one of the greatest sot-sodden tales of woe and wine ever crafted.

Frankly, the song is a Country song. I can't imagine another scenario where the tune would work. All these artists give it their best drawl'n'twang, and take a so-called novelty and turn it into a classic tavern turned gem of stem and drank.



I'm praying for a rain in California
So the grapes can grow and they can make more wine
And I'm sitting in a honky in Chicago
With a broken heart and a woman on my mind.

I'll ask the man behind the bar for the jukebox
And the music takes me back to Tennessee
And when they ask who's the fool in the corner, crying
I'll say, little old wine drinker, me.

I came here last week from down in Nashville
'Cause my baby left for Florida on a train
I thought I'd get a job and just forget her
But in Chicago a broken heart is still the same.

I'll ask the man behind the bar for the jukebox
And the music takes me back to Tennessee
And when they ask who's the fool in the corner, crying
I'll say, little old wine drinker, me...


Recommended Reading: The Alcoholics by Jim Thompson

Salute!

Dean Martin: Little Ol' Wine Drinker Me (mp3)

Robert Mitchum: Little Ol' Wine Drinker Me (mp3)

Merle Haggard: Little Ol' Wine Drinker Me (mp3)

Lefty Frizzell: Little Ol' Wine Drinker Me (mp3)

Charlie Walker: Little Ol' Wine Drinker Me (mp3)

Please support your local train station and vinter.

5 comments:

Psigney said...

The title of this song is based upon a series of commercials for the now-defunct Italian Swiss Colony Winery. The commercials featured a older man, dressed in ethnic costume, who would finish each commercial with the phrase "That little old Winemaker, me". The voice for the character was Jim Backus.

bigrockcandymountain said...

Excellent! I did not know that. Thanks for the info! That's what we like, more on the songs we love. Wonder if we can find the commercial(s) on the youtube...

dino martin peters said...

Hey pallie, doesn't ever get cooler then our Dino...nice to see you liftin' up the name of our great man....never was, never will be anyone as cool as the King of Cool...oh, to return to the days when Dino walked the earth...

Johnny Vandal said...

Nice to see that Bar Stool Mountain has opened its doors once again. Cool & frosty.

Daniel said...

I just want you to know that I am VERY much looking forward to your treatment of "Barstool Mountain".

Cheers,
Dan