Country’s Best Drinking Songs, No. 11: Roger Miller, “Chug-a-Lug”
Cheers-worthy lines: "Sumpin' like I ain't never seen / And I'm just going on 15 / But with the help of my finaglin' uncle I get snuck in / For my first taste of sin."
"Chug-a-Lug" was written and recorded by Roger Miller, and it chronicles a boy's experience drinking booze at the age of 15. In 1964, Miller released the song that became renowned for its humorous reminiscence of youthful encounters with homemade alcoholic beverages. Fermented grape juice, moonshine, a few friends and a scheming uncle all make for a rather funny story, captured in "Chug -a-Lug."
According to Miller, the song was based on a true person: his friend could down (or chug-a-lug) a beer in three seconds. The lyrics are memorable for their hilarious depiction of what happened after downing it: "I swallered it with a smile / (sound of swallowing) / I run ten mile! Chug-a-lug, chug-a-lug / Makes you want to holler, 'Hi-dee-ho!' / Burns your tummy, don't ya know / Chug-a-lug, chug-a-lug."
"Chug-a-Lug" hit No. 1 on the country charts and No. 9 overall, making it his second pop hit. It's no surprise to us that the song soared -- and the number of innocent kids who asked their parents "What does chug-a-lug mean?" probably did too.