PLAYLIST: A New Year’s Booze Menu as Curated by the Songs of Tom Waits

Your doctor says no, but your local moonshine dealer says yes, yes, yes.

When it comes to surviving the holiday season, Tom Waits has a bit of advice: “Strangle all the Christmas carols / Scratch out all the prayers / Tie ‘em up in barbed wire / And push ‘em down the stairs.” Ok, so maybe that isn’t how your Sunday school teacher taught it to you. But then again, for a guy who’s spent forty years serving as the little devil on his audience’s shoulder, it shouldn’t be too surprising to find out that he likely won’t be releasing an album of Christmas standards anytime soon.

Of course, that’s not to say that Tom doesn’t have any holiday spirit. After all, if there’s one other tradition that’s just as time-honored as being worn down by the family dinners and office parties of this time of year, it’s getting blitzed to the point of not noticing them much at all in the first place. And for that subject—the drinking, that is—Mr. Waits has an entire catalog to back up his, uh, spirit.

Pulling from Closing Time to Bad As Me, featured below is a holiday drink menu of sorts (in addition to accompanying playlist), specifically compiled and curated by the iron-stomached rain dogs of Tom’s songs. FLOOD would like to point out that not everything on here is exactly FDA approved (and a few of these items will need to be paid for at market price), but if you’re in search of some new ways to go about your holiday drinking, then this is certainly an excellent place to start. Careful with that roadhouse corn, though…


A couple Mickey’s Big Mouths (in the car) – “Frank’s Wild Years”

A cold one at the Dragon – “Shore Leave”

Bourbon (from a broken cup) – “Jockey Full of Bourbon”

A few tall cool ones (hoisted up) – “I Wish I Was in New Orleans”

A half a pint of Ballantine’s (each day) – “Swordfishtrombone”

Rum (poured strong and thin) – “Rain Dogs”

A thimble full of whiskey (on a train through the Bronx) – “Potter’s Field”

Roadhouse corn – “Gun Street Girl”

Potato and tulip wine fermented in the muddy rain – “Don’t Go Into That Barn”

Chivas Regal (in a four dollar room) – “Downtown”

Bathtub gin – “Down, Down, Down”

(Good) Bloody Marys – “Frank’s Wild Years”

A drum of bourbon – “I’ll Be Gone”

Another stout – “I Hope That I Don’t Fall In Love With You”

A pint of green chartreuse – “’Til the Money Runs Out”

Rusted brandy (in a diamond glass) – “Temptation”

The bottom of a bottle of bargain scotch – “Bad Liver and a Broken Heart”

Opium, fireworks, vodka, and meat – “Top of the Hill”

Blood and whiskey (on an old shirt) – “Tom Traubert’s Blues”

A bottle of heat – “Mr. Siegal”

Wine (inside a broken clock) – “Rain Dogs”

Half pint of festival brandy (in church) – “Union Square”

Whiskey in a teacup – “Black Market Baby”

Whiskey in the shade – “Chocolate Jesus”

Pruno and Kool-Aid – “Circus”

Rum (dumped out) – “New Year’s Eve”


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