UKULELE MUSINGS 2020—No. 2—“In Heaven There is No Beer, Wine, Whiskey”

UKULELE MUSINGS 2020—Number 2, “In Heaven There is No Beer, Wine, Whiskey” or, “How’s your New Year’s Resolution Now?

Most of us, I am sure, have made at least a couple of New Year’s resolutions–listen to more music, practice more, learn how to finger that awkward E chord and the like. Others of us vow to eat less meat, eat more kale, and Heaven forbid, drink a tad less or a bit less often. Well, as good ukers, a few of us do tend to enjoy a wee dram from time to time; so why not muse on that perennially popular link between ukuleles and so-called “adult beverages.”

To get us started, here’s a great old polka (sometimes bluegrass, too) song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnRe70XlWDw   

Try it on your uke:

  [G]In Heaven there is no [C]beer, (no beer!)

              [D7]That’s why we drink it [G]here. (right here!)

              [G]And when we are gone from [C] here, (from here!)

              Our [G]friends will be [D7}drinking all our [G]beer, (our beer!)  

As can be expected with any “folk” song, there are a few dozen additional verses, some more colorful (ribald?) than others.  You could, of course, write your own verses to highlight your favorite adult beverage and, of course, accompany yourself on the ukulele. 

Here is a rather boozy, dorm room version of our tune, but with some rather good ukulele strumming: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59mao16b9Ns

Anyway, on to ukuleles as part of the so-called adult beverage culture.

Needless to say, the ukulele has been associated with various forms of drink over the years—not just beer, but wine and spirits too.  There are ads featuring ukuleles and booze, ukuleles shaped like beer bottles.

There are various ukulele events with an alcoholic theme—including the great annual Ukulele Hooley in Ireland sponsored by, who else, Guinness.  

And, let’s not forget the ever popular Tiki Bar!

So, whether it’s the instrument, the music, or the good company, get out the cork screw, shaker, or opener and tune up the uke!

Here’s a nice British version of an old favorite–a rowdy strum of ukers at the neighborhood pub: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYYr7fSaOMU

And because all we ukulele players in our “Happy Valley” consider ourselves to be—to an extent—intellectuals, here is a more cultured (?) version of the old favorite “Show Me the Way to Go Home“:

              I’m [F]fatigued and I want to re- [C]pose.

              I had an adult beverage sixty minutes ago,

              And it’s gone [G7]straight to my cerebellum.

              [C]Where ever I may perambulate,

              On [F]land or sea or agitated [C]water,

              You can always hear me singing this melody,

              [G7]Indicate the direction of my [C]abode.

Cheers!  Try to stay tuned!  Keep that home address on your GPS!

And to close, here is one of the better booze songs out there and one that’s in our Blue Book–“Scotch and Soda” on the ukulele, no less: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtDT1qvSZts

I’m sure that the folks at Forbes Library–particularly in our beloved Calvin Coolidge Room–would frown on any sort of imbibing on their turf, but we can always find someone to show us the way to go home!

Guys too!

STAY TUNED!

Author: NohoBanjo of Northampton, Mass.

Hi Fellow Strummers. These “musings” are based on my interest and study of Banjo and Ukulele history, lore, and music. My goal is to both educate and enlighten by sharing what I have learned within a broad musical and historical context—with honesty and, at times, a bit of humor. These are my personal thoughts, not those of any group or sponsor. Needless to say, your thoughts and comments are, as always, welcome.

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