I’ll admit, I don’t really like Uncle Tupelo. I don’t actively dislike Uncle Tupelo or Son Volt or Wilco, for that matter. To me, these are the parsley of bands, something that appears, that you know must serve some purpose, but you don’t really understand it, and you sure as heck aren’t going to consume it.
But I’m going to tell you that I think “I Got Drunk” is one of the most perfect songs ever written. It contains the exact right balance of rage, self-loathing, self-pity, and truth.
Here’s the first verse:
Well I took a fifth, and I poured me a shot
And I thought about all the things that I haven’t got
And I drank that down, and I poured me some more
Kept drinking and pouring till I felt the floor
I don’t drink like that anymore. It’s no way to live–from cringe to warm belly to pissed off to passed out. But when you’re doing it, it feels like a perfectly reasonable course of action. It feels like a quick way to be a long way gone.
And I love to run away. I like to think about running away and I love to do it. I know a lot of folks run to see who will follow, to see if they matter as much as they hope they do or suspect they don’t.
But not me. I hit the road hoping to outrun myself, to find that everything that ties me here, ties me down, will peel off and leave me with nothing but an empty girl with no ties to anything.
And this time, this time, I think, I will fill that girl with hope and parcel off for me a good life. This time I will try harder to give me the things I need.
It never works. I never get far enough to make that happen.
But I keep running, just the same.