Whiskey & Wine: The Story of a Drinking Song

At first listen, Whiskey & Wine sounds like your stereo typical drinking song you'd expect to hear bellowing out of an English pub at just about the right time of the night. The truth is, like many old pub songs, its really a song about life, and friends.

I hail from Florida, but much of my family, is from the Ozark Mountains of Missouri and Arkansas. For a time, I owned property near the border between the two states, and made some of the best friends of my life of the people who live there.

A small group of us developed a weekly ritual were we all got together and played guitar every Tuesday night. It was hosted Chuck and Carol Ellis in an old cabin in their yard that had been there since there 1890's (AKA Alma's Cabin).  There was alot of fun, food, music, whiskey....and wine. In my case, it was more whiskey than anything. 

Our tradition went on every week, for years.  We celebrated birthdays, and anniversaries, and played some really great songs in that cabin. 

Then Carol died.

It was a shock.  Most of us didn't even know she was ill.  She hid her pain all those weeks while she hosted our parties, and cooked us food.  Suddenly, fire that once kept us warm on those cold Ozark mountains nights, had gone out, never to be rekindled again.  The tradition simply wasn't the same without Carol, and the cabin went dark...and silent, forever.

Carol's passing marked a moment that no one warns you about when you are growing up. Part of getting older, is waking up and realizing your friends have started dying. Its surreal.  It was in those moments, thinking about Carol, that I wrote Whiskey & Wine.

Chuck Ellis and Iron Mike Norton

Iron Mike Norton and Jonathan Lawson, sitting in chairs, playing guitar.

Jonathan Lawson of The Railers and Iron Mike Norton at Alma's Cabin.

One of the many special guest guitarists that came to Alma's

Hey my old friend
Good to see you again
Been a long time since we gathered
Come gather round
WIth the friends you have found
Remember the good rimes and laughte

Drinking whiskey and wine
And we'll have a good time
Let's have a toast
To the ones we miss most
and we'll have a good time
Drinking whiskey and wine

Listen my friend
To the sound of the band
Let us all dance and be easy
Let's not forget
All the old friends
Who went on ahead to see glory

Drinking whiskey and wine
and we;ll have a good time
Let;'s have a toast
To the ones we miss most
And we'll have a good time
Drinking whiskey and wine

Let's raise a glass to the times that have passed and move on
Let's have a drink, a laugh and a wink to the times
All the food times

Drinking whiskey and wine
and we;ll have a good time
Let;'s have a toast
To the ones we miss most
And we'll have a good time
Drinking whiskey and wine

- For Carol Ellis

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