What Good Can Drinkin' Do

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"What Good Can Drinkin' Do" is a blues song by Janis Joplin, the first song she ever recorded.[1]

The song has six verses, following the 12-bar blues pattern. Lyrics in the first and last verse are almost identical: "What good can drinkin' do ?" is sung twice, then answered with "Lord, I drink all night but the next day I still feel blue."

Recordings of this song can be heard on Early Performances, or on the box set Janis. Record Collector cites her intro to the song: Up steps a feisty young woman, one month short of her twentieth birthday. "Uh, this is a song called 'What Good Can Drinkin' Do', that I wrote one night after drinkin' myself into a stupor." ...[1]

In 2009, Austin musician Carolyn Wonderland began including the song in some of her live performances after appearing at The American Music Masters tribute to Janis Joplin, "Kozmic Blues: The Life and Music of Janis Joplin."


  1. ^ a b Paytress, Mark (March 1994), "Janis Joplin. Mark Paytress assesses Columbia's three-CD 'Janis' retrospective", Record Collector, #175: 140–141