Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Beer Barrel Heaven

We've got another guest poster, Richard Solensky, today, who's got a bone to pick with us about a classic drinking song we've left off the Top 100 Drinking Songs list. He'd also like to chat with you a bit about #32 on the list. Mr. Solensky, the Barstool is yours:

"Polka is the forgotten genre of world music. Associated with Germans and
Poles, it's deemed "too square" to get the same love and respect that, for
example, Celtic/Irish music gets among today's rockers. It's a shame,
because there's nothing livelier or more suited to partying than a polka.

"In Heaven There Is No Beer" (#32) is one of those songs that everyone knows
the words to. A simple, four-line verse with an easy rhyme scheme (AAAA)
means anyone can create their own versions. And it seems everyone has -
Brave Combo, The Pogues, assorted college marching bands... Perhaps the
earliest recorded version belongs to the great Frankie Yankovic, in an
arrangement by his protégé Joey Miskulin.

Here's Frankie Yankovic's version, and a "klezmerpunk" version from Brave Combo.

Frankie Yankovic: In Heaven There Is No Beer (mp3)

Brave Combo: In Heaven There Is No Beer (mp3)

Another great, traditional polka is the "Beer Barrel Polka" (inexcusably left off the list, in my opinion). Based on a nineteenth century melody, it was given its current form by Czech composers Jaromír Vejvoda and Eduard Ingris in the 1920's. It was an instrumental known as the Polka of Modřany, and got its first lyrics in 1934 from Václav Zeman. His words made it a song about unrequited love, which really doesn't go well with the lively tune.

The song became a hit when a German version was published in 1938. The
English lyrics, that we all know and love, were written by Lew Brown and Wladimir Timm the next year. The Andrews Sisters had a smash hit with it almost immediately. Many others would follow with their own renditions (even the Grateful Dead recorded it!), making it perhaps the best selling polka of all time. And why not? After all, it's about a keg party, right?

Here are the Andrews Sisters showing why The Supremes were the Andrews
Sisters of the 60s with their version, and an instrumental version for two
banjos by Roy Clark and Buck Trent."

Andrews Sisters: Beer Barrel Polka(mp3)

Roy Clark and Buck Trent: Beer Barrel Polka(mp3)


Richard said...

Well, I was hoping I wouldn't be the first person to comment on my own post, but...

I can only blame myself for the omission of "Beer Barrel Polka". Figuring someone else would have taken care of it, I didn't even make sure it was nominated! Oh well.

By the way, you can get a live performance of the song by the Grateful Dead here at the Internet Archive.

If anyone else here at the bar is contemplating their own guest post, I note that three of the Top 100 Songs (5, 57, 83) deal specifically with moonshine...

Greg said...

Glad to see that Barstool Mt. is still up. Are you working on getting Big Rock Candy back from some spammer? (I guess you saw that songs:illinois was spammed yesterday but Craig has it back now.)

Anonymous said...

runescape money
runescape gold
runescape money
runescape gold

Anonymous said...

You smart and buy Sword of the New World Vis, you play the game is right, Sword of the New World Gold. you have a wonderful time, buy vis, I have it cheap snw vis, I buy Sword of the New World money.

I find job Tales Of Pirates gold, this is a nice work andTales Of Pirates money. I do not want to rely on my parents cheap Tales Of Pirates gold, They look after me so long time, they pay me too much and very tired buy Tales Of Pirates Gold.

Anonymous said...

I like play online game, I also buy hero gold and hero gold, the hero online gold is very cheap, and use the hero online money can buy many things, I like hero money, thanks, it is very good.

I like play online game, I also buy kal geons and kal gold, the kal online geons is very cheap, and use the kal online gold can buy many things, I like kalonline Geons, thanks, it is very good.

Anonymous said...


very nice post... enjoyed it very much.

Thank you


good site


Anonymous said...

China Wholesale has been described as the world’s factory. This phenomenom is typified by the rise ofbusiness. Incredible range of products available with China Wholesalers “Low Price and High Quality” not only reaches directly to their target clients worldwide but also ensures that wholesale from china from China means margins you cannot find elsewhere and buy products wholesaleChina Wholesale will skyroket your profits.