Wine, women and song
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Similar tripartite mottoes have existed for a long time in many languages, for example:
- Arabic - "خَمرٌ ونساء" (wine and women)
- Bengali/Hindi/Sanskrit – "Sur, Sura, Sundari" (music, wine and woman)
- Bulgarian – "Пиене, ядене и някоя сгодна женица" (drink, food and a good woman)
- Czech – "Víno, ženy a zpěv" (wine, women and song)
- Danish – "Vin, kvinder og sang" (wine, women and song)
- Finnish – "Viini, laulu ja naiset" (wine, song, and women)
- Georgian – "ღვინო, დუდუკი, ქალები" (wine, duduk, women)
- German – "Wein, Weib und Gesang" (wine, woman and singing)
- Italian – "Bacco, tabacco e Venere" (Bacchus, tobacco and Venus)
- Persian – "Kabab, Sharab va Shabab" (meat, wine and youth)
- Norwegian – "Piker, vin og sang" (girls, wine and song)
- Polish – "Wino, kobiety i śpiew" (wine, women and singing)
- Swedish – "Vin, kvinnor och sång" (wine, women and song)
- Spanish – "Naipes, Mujeres y Vino, Mal Camino" (cards, women and wine, bad ways)
- Portuguese – "Putas e vinho verde" (whores and young wine)
- Serbian – "Pršuta, kajmak i Mr. NO/Пршута, кајмак и Мистер НО" (Ham, cream cheese and Mr. NO)
- Russian– "Чай, кофе, потанцуем/Пиво, водка, полежим" (tea, coffee, dancing/Beer, vodka, sex)
Not all hendiatris including women are positive: in Greek – "Πύρ, γυνή και θάλαττα" ("fire, women and the sea") instead suggest three dangers rather than pleasures, and Turkish At, Avrat, Silah ("horse, woman, weapon") offers the three essentials of quite another culture.
The following "tetrad" (using four concepts rather than three) predates all of the above:
- Persian "دویار زیرک و از باده کهن دو منی فراغتی و کتابی و گوشه چمنی" a popular Ghazal by Hafez (1325–1389):
- "Two sweethearts,
- Two flasks of old wine,
- A book of verse
- And a cosy corner in the garden."
The phrase may have also originated with the following couplet:
- "Who does not love wine, women and song / Remains a fool his whole life long." Variations on this quote have been attributed to Martin Luther, although Bartlett's Familiar Quotations names Johann Heinrich Voss (1751–1826) as a more likely source.
The lines Deutsche Frauen, deutsche Treue/Deutscher Wein und deutscher Sang (German women, German loyalty/German wine, and German song) are found in the (never sung) second verse of Das Lied der Deutschen, the third verse of which is the German national anthem.
In popular culture
- The British poet and mystic Aleister Crowley, in his work Energized Enthusiasm, suggests that "wine, women, and song" may be utilised towards the development of genius in the individual or the attainment of mystical states
- The musical trio Wine, Women and Song consists of award-winning singer/songwriters Gretchen Peters, Suzy Bogguss, and Matraca Berg.
- AC/DC quotes the motto in the title song of their album, High Voltage (1976)
- In a wagon scene in Calvin and Hobbes, Calvin asks Hobbes if he thinks the secret to happiness is "money, cars and women" or "just money and cars".
- Science fiction series Babylon 5 episode "Born to the Purple" reveals that the password to the hedonistic ambassador Londo Mollari's "Purple Files" (i.e., blackmail material on other houses of the Centauri Republic) is "Wine, Women, Song".
- American jam band Umphrey's McGee uses a variation of the phrase in the song "Women, Wine, and Song" on their 2006 album Safety in Numbers.