Crying in your beer: Drinking songs for the New Depression

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To help you drown your sorrows, there's a mordant little item by Gregor Macdonald that's reffed by Seeking Alpha here.

The headline, "Media Take on Banking Crisis Defensive and Overly Optimistic," is a little deceiving, though the item makes a good point up at the top:

The Anglo-American banking system, insolvent, is lucky to have a mill of Op-Ed writers and TV commentators working overtime, cranking out defenses on its behalf. While the British press has been substantially out in front of the New York press in confrontation of the problem, even London routinely shoo-shoos away the severity of the mess.

The two most common tropes I see are 1. blame of political leaders, even ones that only came to office 40 days ago. And 2. self-delusion that other nations and capitols, outside of the London-New York axis, will suffer even more. As if that would alleviate pain, if true.

But the item is really about all the bad news driving you to drink, and where to drive to:

I've identified a number of balms and salves, now produced regularly by the London-New York media, that sound to me like drinking songs. Here are the new standards:
"The Dollar's Still King. It's Empire Bling."
"My Depression's Bad, But Your Depression's Worser."
"We Accept the Blame. But You Get the Pain."

Nice try on the songs, but why compose titles (with no lyrics) for new ones? There are classics that don't exactly make Macdonald's point, but they're perfect for the times and require little updating. From the "Big Rock Candy Mountain/Barstool Mountain Top 100 Drinking Songs." (Click on the song titles to listen):

"What's Made Milwaukee Famous (Has Made A Loser Out Of Me)," by Jerry Lee Lewis. All you have to do is change "Milwaukee" to "Wall Street." The lyrics aren't a great match to current times, even if you change "go" to "invest," but who gives a shit. It's a great song.

"Bubbles in My Beer," by Bob Wills. The title speaks for itself, and so does the passage "...while scenes from the past rise before me..." For a history lesson, see Jacob Freifeld's "Speculative Bubbles: Financial Genius Before the Fall."

And then pour yourself a belt. Or light up a blunt and try to sing "You'se a Viper," a 1936 reefer tune by Stuff Smith and his Onyx Club Boys. (Click for the Manhattan Transfer cover.)

If you're not slumped over your keyboard after all that drinkin' and druggin', feel free to send me [wharkavy at villagevoice.com] your own best ways to wash those blues away.