Why Don't We Get Drunk
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|"Why Don't We Get Drunk"|
|Song by Jimmy Buffett|
|from the album A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean|
|A-side||"The Great Filling Station Holdup"|
|Recorded||Glaser Sound, Nashville, Tennessee|
D-4348 (U.S., 7")
|Songwriter(s)||Marvin Gardens (pseudonym of Jimmy Buffett)|
"Why Don't We Get Drunk" is a novelty song written and performed by American singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett. It was a B-side to "The Great Filling Station Holdup", the first single from his 1973 album A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean. The song is a fan favorite and, up until the 2007 Bama Breeze tour, was almost always performed at Buffett's live concerts.
Buffett wrote the song under the pseudonym Marvin Gardens, derived from a property on the original Atlantic City version of the Monopoly game board.
The song is a parody of standard country music love songs. Buffett states that he made the song "as a total satire [and] wasn't even going to put it on the album. We did it foolin' around in one take. But immediately that song became controversial, and there were jukebox sales." Buffett further notes, "I was hearing a lot of very suggestive country songs—in particular, Norma Jean's"Let's Go All the Way". I figured I would write a song that would leave no doubt in anybody's mind. I thought back to a late night in an Atlanta diner where I was eating and watching this out-of-focus businessman trying to pick up a hooker. That's all the inspiration I needed."
Soon after the release of the single "The Great Filling Station Holdup"/"Why Don't We Get Drunk", it had sold over 50,000 copies just to jukebox operators, according to B.J. McElvee, country promotion manager for ABC-Dunhill Records. Billboard magazine reported that only the A-side, "The Great Filling Station Holdup," was promoted to country radio, because the word "screw" was not generally acceptable in country radio programming at the time; however, "Why Don't We Get Drunk" was played by some underground stations on FM radio. "Why Don't We Get Drunk" was identified by Billboard as a "jukebox favorite" more than three years after its original release.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Buffett frequently sang the song in concert with one of the choruses replaced with "why don't we get stoned and screw." This can be heard on the 1978 live album release You Had to Be There, where Buffett declares "I just bought some Colombian herb and we'll smoke it all, me and you."
On the other hand, in the 1990s, Buffett modified the lyrics to include references to using condoms and getting a designated driver if necessary. He was quoted as saying, "It's my way of saying this is the nineties and that I don't want any of the fans to get drunk and drive, and to remind them about using a condom. By sticking the message in the song, it's a way to get the point across subtly, using some humor."
During the Havaña Daydreamin' Tour in 1997/98 and Party at the End of the World Tour in 2006/07, Buffett sang the lyrics as "Why don't we get lunch in school", usually prefacing the song by acknowledging the fact that children are now attending his concerts alongside their adult parents and he wanted to make the song more family friendly. For the first time, after several years of criticism by fans of being overplayed and/or too obscene, the song was dropped from the opening show in Texas and hadn't been played until, on April 24, 2008, in "The Year of Still Here" concert in St. Louis, Missouri, Buffett played this song.
- Bob Anderson. "Jimmy Buffett." High Times. December 1976. At CoBO.org.
- Boats, Beaches, Bars & Ballads liner notes.
- "Blue Lyric in Country Release Gets Airplay". Billboard. 1973-05-19. p. 39. Retrieved July 18, 2009.
- Wood, Gerry (1976-11-27). "Colorado Country". Billboard. p. C-12. Retrieved July 18, 2009.
- Stambler, Irwin; Grelun Landon (2000). "Buffett, Jimmy". Country Music: The Encyclopedia (3rd ed.). Macmillan. p. 58. ISBN 0-312-26487-9. Retrieved 2009-07-18.