The Best Bar-Fight Song Of All Time: "Colorado Kool-Aid"

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"I's sittin' in this beer joint down in Houston, Texas/ Drinkin' Colorado Kool-Aid and talkin' to some Mexicans..."

So begins one of the greatest bar fight songs of all time.

Along with "Pardon Me (I've Got Someone To Kill)," "Colorado Kool-Aid" is one of the high-water marks of Johnny Paycheck at his existential meanest, the consummate tough-guy anthem. The B-side of Paycheck's massive hit "Take This Job and Shove It," "Kool-Aid" stands alongside "Pardon Me" as some of the grittiest, most realistic output of the entire Outlaw era.

David Allan Coe always presented himself to be the bad boy of the Outlaw movement, but there isn't a song in Coe's catalog that approaches the blunt reality of "Colorado Kool-Aid."

The song is as much Charles Bukowski and Jack Kerouac as it is Hank Williams or the Stanley Bros., who did some of the best bluegrass versions of these meaner types of songs. With his matter-of-fact delivery, like a regular sitting at his usual spot at the bar, Paycheck sells this one as few artists could.

It is literally almost perfect as a dramatic monologue. Paycheck's droll delivery never waivers as he delivers lines like "Now, big man, if you get urge to spit a little beer/ Just open up your hand and spit it in your own ear."

What really sets the tune apart from the usual macho bar-fight song is that the little unnamed Mexican guy, when pushed far enough by the bar bully, turns out to be the badass. And you can't but love it when this fellow cuts the bully's ear off, then "bent over with a half-way grin, picked it up and handed it back to him."


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5 comments
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Kokomo
Kokomo

Great article, but failed to metion the songwriter, Phil Thomas. :)

Kokomo
Kokomo

And I can't spell..."mention: :)

Rick
Rick

CLASSIC!!!

Brad Boyer
Brad Boyer

My dad grew up in Alice, Texas in the decade of the 70's and this song was presented to me growing up as a "matter of fact." This is what happens if you go around shootin' yer mouth off. Judging from the "real life" stories I've grown up with, this seems like it absolutely must have happened...somewhere...more than once. Great blog!! Thanks LOM.

RichHB
RichHB

I would love to see this song used in a video commercial for the title product.

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