Disclaimer: Some of these songs contain lyrics which delicate ears may not like. You have been warned.
In no way is this an attempt to glamourise drinking, but hopefully it'll make you interesting in some form of dancing.
Over the last few months, I've heard several tunes on the dancefloor that got me thinking about the relationship between music, alcohol and dancing. Who said white men can't dance sober? Musicians certainly seem fond of a drink. There aren't many dance floor classics that have the word wine in the title, so I've rummaged and broadened the remit to include general alcohol to provide you with:
The (not quite definitive) Purple Teeth Guide to Getting Grooving, or, Boogie by the Boozy Blog...
But, feeling nervous before competitions and keeping friends company led me down the slippery slope. Dancing was no longer an opportunity for my liver to recover, but instead became a chance to experience such joys as calvados concealed in an apple juice bottle. Oh how very classy I am.
West Coast Swing isn't a genre of music like "blues". We dance it to a few different kinds of music from blues to modern R&B & pop classics. I wish I could find some videos showing the dance with the songs I'll mention but here are a few drinking classics that will fill the west coast swing dance floor.
Almost nobody dances sober, unless they are insane. - H.P. Lovecraft
"I got me some Seagrams gin
Everybody got they cups, but they ain't chipped in"
It's not Shakespeare, but the predicament of the one who always seems to bring the bottle is as universal as any theme by the bard.
When the music changes, so does the dance. - African proverb
Stick seemed well aware that if you want to get along as the new boy in town, passing around some wine is a fine way to do it. I'm not sure how well this would work nowadays with the nickel and dime elderberry and blackberry wines he mentions in his lyrics, but it's still a reasonable strategy.
Lightnin' Hopkins however threw away his gin bottle and implored us not to pass him any wine. Can there be any musical genre better suited to the plight of the dipsomaniac? In this case though, it's probably not the song that will send me rushing onto the dance floor...
"Clearly, the pleasures wines afford are transitory – but so are those of the ballet, or of a musical performance. Wine is inspiring and adds greatly to the joy of living." --- Napoleon
For those more likely to do their dancing in a nightclub than with a partner at a blues or west coast swing club, there are plenty of tippling tracks for you too. For example Drinking from the bottle by Calvin Harris will certainly work up a sweat, though I prefer Theophilus London's Wine and Chocolates - and not just because it extols the virtues of two of my favourite things.
I may have mentioned it before but, I'm Scottish, so it wouldn't do for me to go without including a tune by one of my favourite Scottish bands of the late 1980s, Love and Money (two more of the things which, like wine and chocolate, make my world go round). Whisky Dream is in waltz timing so it probably won't make it onto any playlists for dance events I'll be attending in the near future, but it contains the lyric "dance with me, dance with me, in a whisky dream" and I'm not sure anything else sums up a blog post about booze and bopping so well, so humour me.
Dancing with the women at the bar - Whiskeytown
Drunk in a band - Del amitri
Lilac Wine - Jeff Buckley
Last of the big time drinkers - Stereophonics
You may wonder at me including "The humours of whiskey" which is a traditional Irish folk song... I guess you can jig to it. My real excuse is based on meeting an expert on sea shanties at a Blues dancing event, so I'm sure there is someone out there who may enjoy this apart from me.
Rehab - Amy winehouse
Old red eyes is back - Beautiful South
But if you ever get in the state the Dead Kennedys did after drinking and dancing all night, well, it might be time to seek out the 12 steps, and I don't mean those to the dance floor.