While we’re on the topic of the joys of Colorado Kool-Aid, lemme turn you on to an underappreciated example of the bar fight ballad sub-genre of country music: Colorado Kool-Aid by Johnny Paycheck. (It is a larger sub-genre than you might think, because, well, country music. To hear it from the belligerent drunk’s perspective, I recommend this Hank Williams song.
The narrator is sitting at a bar in Houston, drinking Coors beer (the titular Colorado Kool-Aid) and talking to a Mexican, when a belligerent drunk spits beer in the Mexican’s ear. I will let Paycheck tell the rest.
It is a great country song: it tells a story and very well, it is casually violent, there is a moral to the story, it is a little tongue-in-cheek and a little not tongue-in-cheek. It doesn’t say anything at all about mamas, or trains, or trucks, or prison, but it does include getting drunk. It is basically spoken word, my kinda poetry, which allows Paycheck to provide exactly the right delivery the story needs at all times.
Colorado Kool-Aid is off Paycheck’s album Take This Job and Shove It (it was also the B-side to the Take This Job and Shove It single). You can also find it on The Soul & The Edge: The Best of Johnny Paycheck.
William Michael Smith on Colorado Kool-Aid at Houston Press.
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