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Patios (Drinkin Wine Spo-dee-o-dee)

In the coming days we’re going to see quite a few patios opening up in the Toronto area. I have some mixed feelings about this. On the one hand I want those businesses to succeed and I want to see some return to activities that were normal prior to COVID-19. On the other hand, I have no idea if the timing on this is reasonable or not. Are we going to see new cases shoot up or have our health officials and politicians got it right?

For us, going out to a restaurant is an occasional treat and it isn’t something I’ve been really yearning to do here. I will say I have enjoyed getting take-out once every week or two just for a change. I know that hanging out on a patio drinking and socializing is a popular activity, but I can’t even remember the last time I’ve done that, so I won’t be rushing out to my nearest patio anytime soon, virus or not.

Still, I’m sure there are a lot of people who have felt cooped up laying low in their homes and I’m betting patios that open will be filled to whatever the social distancing capacity turns out to be. It seems to me a song about drinking wine is appropriate for the occasion. Drinkin Wine Spo-dee-o-dee was written by Sticks McGhee and J. Mayo Williams during the second world war. The original version featured a good deal of profanity…

Drinkin’ that mess is our delight,
And when we get drunk, start fightin’ all night.
Knockin’ out windows and tearin’ down doors,
Drinkin’ half-gallons and callin’ for more.
Drinkin’ wine motherfucker, drinkin’ wine!
Drinkin’ wine motherfucker, drinkin’ wine!
Drinkin’ wine motherfucker, drinkin’ wine!
Pass that bottle to me!

Sticks McGhee got his name because he was known as a kid to be pushing around his brother, who had contracted polio, in a wagon. His brother had a nickname as well. He was known as Brownie. Sticks and Brownie wrote a new cleaned up version of the song, which was released in 1949. Along with Rocket 88 by Ike Turner, it’s one of the songs we identify as a prototype for rock ‘n’ roll.

Here are Brownie McGhee and his musical partner Sonny Terry performing Drinkin Wine.

Here is the original….

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