Top 10 Country Songs About Addiction
In the 1995 comedy film Clueless, lead character Cher (Alicia Silverstone) offers this little nugget of wisdom: "It is one thing to spark up a doobie and get laced at parties, but it is quite another to be fried all day."
And although this particular countdown, devoted to herbal refreshment, hard liquor and mood-altering pharmaceuticals, should probably come with a warning label, we hope the above sage advice is enough to encourage you not to overindulge in the recreational activities depicted below.
With apologies to the Surgeon General, The Boot presents our countdown of the Top 10 Country Songs About Addiction.
"Smoke a Little Smoke"Eric Church
Vice-gripped lyric: "Kick back, give the blues spin, break out the wine, just forget again / Dig down deep, find my stash, light it up, memory crash."
At first it seems Church is just looking for a good time, but he's actually trying to put the past behind by exorcising the memory of an old love. We've heard that smoking a little smoke can lead to memory loss. But we can't remember where we heard it.
"I'm Gonna Hire a Wino to Decorate Our Home"David Frizzell
Vice-gripped lyric: "There'll be Monday Night Football on TV above the bar and a pay phone in the hallway when your friends can't find their car."
Although it sounds like a bad (or brilliant?) idea for a new show on HGTV, having a wino do interior design just so your man can stay home and drink himself into a stupor is called being an enabler. Liquor license denied!
"Alcohol and Pills"Todd Snider
Vice-gripped lyric: "The fame don't take away the pain, it just pays the bills, and you wind up on alcohol and pills."
Fame might be the most dangerous gateway drug of all. And no amount of celebrity can guarantee a pain-free existence. Just ask Hank Williams, Elvis Presley, Janis Joplin, Gram Parsons and Jimi Hendrix -- if only we could. Lesson to future generations: Know what you're getting into so you know better how to handle it all.
"Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die"Willie Nelson
Vice-gripped lyric: "Then take me out and twist me up and point me towards the sky / And roll me up and smoke me when I die."
Nelson has never made any secret of his fondness for herbal remedies, and in this song, he proposes a unique solution to deal with his funeral arrangements -- a new form of cremation. There might actually be enough THC residue in Nelson's body to make this feasible.
"Tip It on Back"Dierks Bentley
Vice-gripped lyric: "Tip it on back, make it feel good, sip a little more than you think you should, let the smoke roll over your lips."
Nothing cures the ills of an economic downturn quite like investing in your neighbor's cash crop or patronizing the local liquor store (or bootlegger). This tune from Bentley's album Home is less about a wild party and more about a relaxing, mind-altering diversion.
"She Took a Lot of Pills (and Died)"Robbie Fulks
Vice-gripped lyric: "But something went wrong, 'cause 40 years on, she took a lot of pills and died."
Young, gorgeous starlet hits the big time, but the sweet ride soon screeches to a halt. It's a short trip from a Hollywood mansion to a "hovel on the lower East side." Although it's a zippy little tune, the message is a sad, sobering one.
Vice-gripped lyric: "You'll have some of the best times you'll never remember with me, alcohol."
Paisley's unique take on a drinking song is told from the perspective of the actual intoxicating substance. Paisley -- who is a complete teetotaler in real life -- manages to make a fun song into a warning as well: "I can help you up or make you fall."
"Sunday Morning Coming Down"Johnny Cash
Vice-gripped lyric: "There ain't nothin' short of dyin' half as lonesome as the sound of a sleepin' city sidewalk."
Forget the funny movies; there's nothing comical about a hangover. And a hangover mingling with memories of a simpler time is even worse. So much worse, in fact, that all you long for is to just be stoned again. Sobering thoughts indeed.
"If Drinking Don't Kill Me (Her Memory Will)"George Jones
Vice-gripped lyric: "Lord, it's been 10 bottles since I tried to forget her, but the memory still lingers lying here on the ground."
It's all fun and games until someone's passed out on the steering wheel. The lesson here, as in all of these cautionary tales, is that there are real consequences to drowning your sorrows in your chosen vice. Jones knew that better than most.
"Takin' Pills"Pistol Annies
Vice-gripped lyric: "Well, who in the hell's gonna pay these bills when one's drinkin', one's smokin', one's takin' pills."
Holler, Lonestar and Hippie Annie have three distinct personalities -- and each has a preferred vice. Our favorite line rhymes "hills of Kentucky" with "'til she lights up her Lucky" (as in Lucky Strike cigarette). We love all the clever songs, Annies, so please drink, smoke and take pills responsibly.