Daily Song Study

Willie Nelson – I Gotta Get Drunk (And I Shore Do Dread It)

In songs on January 13, 2012 at 9:03 am

Yesterday’s ramble through classic country alerted me to the fact that I haven’t yet included a Willie Nelson song in this series yet. That must be remedied.

One component that can separate an average song from a really great one is self-awareness. Take the subject of today’s tune, i.e. drunkenness. You could just write a song saying “hey everyone, I’m gonna go get drunk!”

Or you could write a song announcing that you were going to do so, while lamenting the realities that surround it. Which doesn’t take the fun out of the process, as the last verse reminds us:

There’s a lot of doctors that tell me
That I’d better start slowing it down
But there’s more old drunks than there are old doctors
So I guess we’d better have another round

This song is also a good example of doing more with less. Clocking in at a mere 2:14 and containing only a few chords with sparse instrumentation, it is nonetheless extremely memorable, and encourages a repeat listen every time. A gift to jukebox owners everywhere.

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  1. […] The outlaw country movement of the 1970s was similar to the punk movement in that it emphasized a return to simplicity, and Waylon Jennings certainly exemplified that approach. […]

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