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Smashed Hits

2009-07-28 15:10
Smashed Hits

Sitting on your pity potty when you wake up scrambling to get ready for work on Monday morning after a stellar weekend bender will never heal your hangover. Nope, the best medicine is tuning into some good old fashioned smashed hits. Whether it's those wild hair of the dog rockers dedicated to those of us who bring drunken 'buddies' we met at a bar back home to play strip poker at 3am or more cautionary Sunday morning comedowns for anyone who always seems to wake up on the toilet floor in a puddle of pee and puke.

1. Kris Kristofferson "Sunday Morning Come Down"
The ultimate hair of the dog hangover hit. Is there a more poetic soundtrack to the pain and discomfort of a serious hangover than this opening line: "Well I woke up Sunday mornin’ with no way to hold my head that didn’t hurt/and the beer I had for breakfast wasn’t bad so I had one more for desert"? No wonder its been covered by everyone from Johnny Cash to our own Steve Hofmeyr. Listen to Steve's cover here or watch Kristofferson and Cash’s duet rendition in hi-definition on here.

2. AC/DC "Touch Too Much"
Few rock songs about having one tipple too many pack as much of a prophetic autobiographical punch. This rampant rockers off Highway to Hell is ostensibly a cautionary tale about the dangers of excess - something the infamous Aussie party animals were only too familiar with, of course. Only problem is that lead singer Bon Scott clearly wasn’t listening to his own lyrics. He drank himself to death 12 days after his last performance with the band on British TV show Top of the Pops. Watch the video in normal broadband or high quality.

3. Sublime "What Happened"
Taken from their rather aptly titled 1992 debut album 40 Oz, this brassy amphetamine ska-punk-pop anthem about morning after the night before amnesia is a laugh-a-verse classic for anyone who wakes up to find that all their friends hate them. And just in case you're thinking it’s a morality caveat of getting plastered, how do these lyrics grab you: "Wake up in the morning, clock says half past one, I have no sunglasses as I step into the sun/There's no recollection of the evil things I’ve done/It feels like I must have had some fun"? Watch the video.

4. Koos Kombuis "Bomskok en Babalaas"
Hangovers weren’t just a nuisance on the Voëlvry Tour, they were a fact of life. Koos’ Niemandsland classic captures the misery of a hangover spent alone, but also perhaps the camaraderie of a hangover shared with equally hammered friends. It's also a hectic reminder of how heavy life was for an alternative Afrikaner back in the bad old days. Not convinced? Try these poetic lyrics on for size: “Vanoggend sien ek weer grou oggendlug, wit son/Ek haal my T-Shirt van die draad op Kerkorrel se balkon/Sy broer se daggastompies le die hele wereld vol/Ek weet nie waar is Dirk nie, nog iewers op ‘n jol/Ek vat die pad skuins oor Kotze Straat se traffic/Soek dringend na 'n coffee bar met sagte laid back music/Bruce Springsteen specials speel tot vervelens toe op vyf/Oos van my Chelsea Hotel en herinnering van 'n lyf/Ek's weer Bomskok Babbelaas, opgejack en uitgepass."

5. Katy Perry "Waking Up In Vegas"
What list is complete without a Vegas hangover hit? You know when you caused some world-class sh*t last night, but no one really cares, because what happens in Vegas... well, you know. "You’ve gotta help me out/It's all a blur last night/We need a taxi because you're hung over and I'm broke" coos the sassy pop tart, setting the scene for what quickly turns into a classic lover's tiff. The next time you're trying to make up for your pole dancing/flirting/tiger-stealing shenanigans, make sure you remember that if "you put your money where your mouth is/that's what you get for Waking Up in Vegas". Watch the video here

6. Tom Waits "The Piano has Been Drinking (Not Me)"
So you've finally run out of lame excuses to give your wife, girlfriend, mom or dad for continually coming home pissed, eh? Right, let this legendary booze hound lounge ballad off Tom's Small Change (1971) do the talking for you. There's not a chance in hell that anyone will ever buy it's sloppy drunk sentiments, but Tom's slurred beatnik drunk satire is so surreal, at least they might have a laugh. Watch Tom perform the song live on a bizarre 70s talk show here or download a cover version here.

7. Dead Kennedys "Too Drunk to F**k"
Who doesn't fancy getting lucky on a Sunday morning? Of course, if you've been on after an especially stellar bender, you're probably not going to be up to it. No worries, you can always take solace in this American punk caveat from Jello Biafra and crew. Watch the original live version here or try Nouvelle Vague’s Bossa Nova version here.

 8. Fokofpolisiekar "As Jy Met Vuur Speel Sal Jy Brand"
You destroyed yourself in a bottle or seven of Tassies last night, but by some twisted miracle, you're still alive this morning. Opening line, "Elke oggend is ek in die hel" is proof that no matter how bad your hangover is, real rock stars are always game to do it all again tonight. Later on you'll be singing "Gee my alkohol, gee my 'n lewe" - or is that 'lewer'? Hell, you'll probably need both. Download the MP3 here.

9. The Beatles "I’m So Tired"
"I'm so tired, I haven't slept a wink/I'm so tired, my mind is on the blink/I wonder should I get up and fix myself a drink/No, no, no" croons John Lennon on this off the White Album. Who hasn't been there on a Monday morning after a bit of an all nighter, eh? Slip this laid back ballad onto you car stereo and you'll be so chilled you probably won’t even bother about going in to work. Listen to the song here.

10. Jason Mraz "Sleep All Day"
Retinas on fire, mouth a sandpit and synapses feeling seriously sizzled? Forget the black coffee and the greasy fry up, the only cure for a raging hangover is to draw the curtains, switch off the lights and take this singer songwriter’s advice. Sure this ditty off Jason’s debut 2002 album Waiting For My Rocket To Come is actually a parable about depression, but then again getting plastered is often a manic pit stop on the path towards depression and who knows maybe even a full blown bipolar breakdown isn't it? Ah, what the hell, having an all day siesta cures most hangovers. Watch the video here.

Also worth inclusion on every iPod's Smashed Hits playlist

Nazareth "Hair of the Dog"

Lyrically speaking it isn't 100% clear whether this title track off Nazareth's 1975 album is actually about a hangover cure at all. Ask Warrant, Britny Fox and Stonerider (who've all covered it) and they'll tell you it still rocks though. It's Guns n' Roses swaggering all star version off 1993's The Spaghetti Incident that really puts hair on your hangover though. Watch Axl and co's live video here.

Moby "Last Night"
Yep, even vegans have hangovers. Actually, as it transpires it is guest jazz songbird Sylvia Gordon (from the band Kudu) who’s feeling a bit worse for wear. Moby said this about the song in the The Sun newspaper back on May 8 2008: "Sylvia had been up for two days straight. She had written these lyrics on the subway and sang a rough demo and it was perfect. She came to re-record but the demo was faultless. You can almost hear the exhaustion in her voice as she had been awake all night. She was in that state between still being drunk and hung-over."

Amy Winehouse "Wake Up Alone"
Strange as it may seem coming from a bad ass diva like Amy, this might not be a pity potty jam. Hers is an ambiguous lyrical hangover: is she wailing on about the consequences of an all night booze bender? Or just an empty bed? Decide for yourself by watching the video here.

Michelle Williams "Hungover"
Well, the title says it all doesn't it? You'd think so, but the only problem is that this Destiny's Child not prone to hyping hangovers. If you decode the lyrics from this bedroom soul jam off her third solo album Unexpected, you'll see her hang over is emotional. Watch the video: here.

Smash Mouth "Then the Morning Comes"
Guitarist and chief songwriter Greg Camp explains the genesis behind this gem off Astro Lounge: "If you've ever been on a tour bus, you've seen what happens - it's crazy. You drink and do stupid things and you wake up the next day and go, 'What was I thinking?' Of course I was doing that long before we started going on the road, and I'm sure I'll be doing it long afterward."

Alkaline Trio "I'm Dying Tomorrow"
"Did I at least try to kiss the prettiest girl / At the right time / Did I remember to keep your beer as full as mine / Did I remember to say cheers / Did I at least try to make sure everybody had a good time?" ask these indie rockers, articulating every drunken amnesiac's nightmare. Still, feeling like crap the next morning is one thing - but not knowing why adds a whole new dimension to your hangover.

"I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning that's as good as they're gonna feel," quipped Frank Sinatra when a reporter once asked him how large his hangover was. Old Blue Eyes bravado? Maybe, but the swinging Rat Pack star had a point.
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