Drink up thy Zider

Thursday, 23 February 2012
My friend, colleague and partner-in-musical-crime, Oliver, reminds me that while searching for hidden meanings in Wurzel songs, I have thus far neglected what the group are perhaps best known for - cider.

The Holy Trinity of Cider: Thatchers, Roger Wilkins and  Hecks.
In Nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritius  Sancti. Amen.
I am attempting to put this right over the next few entries, were we dig deep into the holy trinity of Drink up thy zider, Drink drink thy zider up, and I'll never get a scrumpy 'ere.

Drink up thy Zider was the song that launched the Wurzels to fame in 1966, when it stormed the charts and nestled at number 45 for a number of weeks - mostly on the strength of the single's B-side, Twice Daily, deemed too saucy for the airwaves by the Beeb. Drink up thy Zider appeared on the 1967 LP Adge Cutler And The Wurzels, nestling alongside Pill Pill, The Champion Dung Spreader and When the Common Market Comes to Stanton Drew. 


Our song's hero is George, presumably a farmer, muckspreader - or just someone who likes to walk around covered in dung and wearing gaters, while quaffing a jug or two of scumpy and revelling in his drunken behaviour. The song itself is a cheerful number, with an unbeat tempo and a sing-along-wave-your-glasses-around chorus, and a clever way of warning in the links between binge-drinking, obesity and sexual importance.

..sorry. Impotence.

Hint for ladies: If he's having problems in that department, prop it up with a
couple of lollipop sticks and have a good old laugh. 
Drink up thy zider George, pass us round the jug
Drink up thy zider George, thy garden's well nigh dug
There's dung all o'er thy tater's, and half way up thy gater's
And there's still more zider in the jug

He doesn't look THAT jolly. More...like he's brewing a  fart.
So, here's George. Celebrating the end of a hard working day with his mates down the pub - because obviously drinking home, alone would make him an alcoholic, and that's not very funny at all. George has dug up his garden, spread muck on his potatoes - and in the process, all over himself, and all is right with the world. So off we pop, down the pub to blow off some steam after a very successful night. George is perhaps one of many of us who has come to associate the taste of alcohol with the smug satisfaction of achievement, a job well done, and that warm, fuzzy feeling you get from being one of the gang. Good ol'd George. Drink up, lad.


Drink up thy zider, drink up thy zider
For tonight we'll merry be
We'll knock the milkmaids over and roll 'em in the clover
The corns half cut and so are we

Mmmm. Classy.
Hello. What? This is the grand plan? Get smashed, hunt down a few milkmaids and have your wicked way with them? You're drinking cider, not Stella, for goodness sake. These are simpler times, not the times of Bacardi Breezers and stumbling out of nightclubs with your chicken fillets clutched in one hand, your hair extensions in another and a Daily Mail photographer waiting to snap a photograph of you as the definition of all that is wrong with the world.

On top that, those milkmaids really should be getting to bed - they've got an early start in the morning. It's not like those cows will milk themselves.

Drink up thy zider George, thee's been going far
Drink up thy zider George, thee's getting quite a star
Thy cheeks are getting redder, from charterhouse to cheddar
And there's still more zider in the jar

Oh, yes. Here we go. Bit of peer pressure. "Nah, I really should go." "Oh, c'mon mate. What difference is one more gonna make?" and the next thing you know you've gone from a nice cosy pub to a terrible nightclub, paying a tenner for a luke-warm bottle of Becks and getting punched in the chops for staring at the bouncer's girlfriends boobies.

Not a good look. For anyone. 
The effects of the alcohol is already having an affect on poor old George - his cheeks are red, and..he's apparently putting on an alarming amount of weight - not a beer belly as much as a cider...er.. smile? All unfocused eyes and a nose that's starting to look like a tomato that's been left out in the sun too long. Along with his buzz, he's experienced that temporary high that a bit of dutch courage can give him. He's awesome. He can take on the world. He's a cool, funny guy. Everyone loves him. He's a star. And just think how much better he'll feel if he keeps drinking! Brilliant!

Chorus goes here.

Drink up thy zider George, get up off the mat
Drink up thy zider George, put on thy gurt big hat
We're going to Ballyverney, to see my brother Ernie
And there's still more zider in the vat

If the Hoff can't make it cool, you know it sucks. 
Whoops. There goes George. Slipping gently off his stool, under the table to the sticky floor, where he can lie amongst a tangle of his friends feet and giggle hysterically. The cider is flowing, and the big ideas are coming. "Ohmigod, right. We should totally open our own pub. At the flat. And invite all our friends. It'll be brilliant!"

"I've never had a battered Mars bar."
"Are you..are you serious."
"Totally. Never!"
"This is a trave- ..traj- ..that's really bad. We're going to get one. Right now."
"Now. 'Ere, Dave. Dave! 'e's never 'ad a battered Mars bar!"

So, poor old George is retrieved from the floor, his hat put upon his head, and off he's dragged to Balamory to hang out with Miss Hoolie, PC Plum and Archie and sing about their pro-

Lets go here!
..er..maybe not.

But still. Lets go visit Ernie! In Ireland! At 2.37am! That's the best idea EVER! Forget the milkmaids! They have milkmaids in Ireland right? And Ernie's got this huge house and it's been ages since he's seen me, and his wife's sister is a bit of a hotty and...I bet she's got loads of hot mates.

Chorus, yo.

Drink up thy zider George, get it off thy chest
Drink up thy zider George, it's time we had a rest
There's nothing like more zider to make thy smile grow wider
And there's still more zider in the west

You know how at the end of every party there's a girl in tears, being comforted by her friend? Well, there's also a guy with his shirt off, wearing only one trainer, telling some guy he's just met that he's NEVER liked you, but never had the guts to say it before, and why don't they take this outside?

Hawt man on man action

C'mon George, he ain't worf it.
Leave it George, just forget him. Come have another drink.

Bouncers wading in with a wary eye, crowds of drinkers parting like the Red Sea before Moses, eager to see blood spilled, or at least a little drama.

And he's out.

Whatever. It's a stupid nightclub, anyway. And they could totally have taken the bouncer if they wanted to, but they didn't want to. He wasn't worth it. Right?

Let's go to the Kebabby, right, George?

No-one has ever eaten a kebab sober. Fact. 
Throw up on the pavement shortly afterwards? Maybe spend the night in a bush and wake up covered in your own vomit, with your wallet missing, one shoe on, a black eye you have no memory of getting, and your head feeling like it's been ran over by a naked rugby team.

Why naked? I don't know.

Do the walk of shame, eyed by strangers who pass you, stinking of stomach acid and garlic, wearing what looks like Big Soup down your chest.

And not a milkmaid in sight.

Binge drinking is no laughing matter, George. And your friends are jerks.

Sing the chorus again. Twice. But really quiet, because otherwise George's head will explode.


Anonymous said...

Where in Somerset is "Ballyverney"?! Try Barrow Gurney!

Also you missed that "see my brother Ernie" is the euphemism for vomiting in the song.

Post a comment



Total Pageviews