|Comment||Marketed in a variety of formats and variants, this timely title attained considerable popularity, especially after July 1919, when the prohibition amendment took effect. It was taken up by diverse performers, with lyrics freely adapted to suit the occasion. After 1920 the song moved into the country-western repertory, where it remained a popular novelty for many years.|
- At least seventeen recordings and sixteen piano rolls were issued before 1923, by nearly all the major companies.
- This is the third of four printings that are distinguished by back covers; the third printing was issued after March 18, 1919. The first copyright was for the manuscript; a second copyright was issued for the published copy on the very day (January 16, 1919) that Prohibition (the Eighteenth Amendment) became law. The first two printings were relatively small, and early promotion relied on recordings and piano rolls, but the song was also taken up by diverse performers, with lyrics freely adapted to suit the occasion. The third and fourth printings were large; sheet music sales peaked after July 1, 1919, when the Wartime Prohibition Act took effect, and interest was sustained when prohibition began to be enforced on January 17, 1920.
|Musical Note||This novelty is a stylistic hybrid: the verse follows Tin Pan Alley conventions, using secondary dominants and melodic sequence in a sixteen-bar structure, but the chorus, twenty-four bars long, contains two twelve-bar blues. Syncopation hints slightly at ragtime, but the juxtaposition of duple and dotted rhythms strongly suggests swung rhythms, confirmed in some of the recordings.|
- [refrain 2]
- [verse 2] Prohibition that’s the name, / Prohibition drives me insane. / I’m so thirsty, soon I’ll die, / I’m simply goin’ to ’vaporate, I’m just that dry. / I wouldn’t mind to live forever in a trench, / Just if my daily thirst they only let me quench; / And not with Bevo or Gingerale / I want real stuff by the pail. /goodbye whiskey, you used to make me frisky. So long highball, so long gin. Oh, tell me when you comin’ back agin [sic]? Blues, I’ve got the blues, since they amputated my booze, Lordy Lordy, war is well, you know, I don’t have to tell, oh I’ve got the alcoholic blues, some blues, I’ve got the blues. Prohibition, that’s the name, Prohibition drives me insane. I’m so thirsty, soon I’ll die, I’m simply goin’ to ‘vaporate, I’m just that dry. I wouldn’t mind to live forever in a trench, just if my daily thirst they only let me quench
- [refrain 1] I’ve got the blues I’ve got the blues, / I’ve got the alcoholic blues. / No more beer my heart to cheer; / Goodbye whiskey, you used to make me frisky. / So long highball, so long gin. / Oh, tell me when you comin’ back agin? / Blues I’ve got the blues / Since they amputated my booze / Lordy, Lordy, war is well, / you know, I don’t have to tell / Oh, I’ve got the alcoholic blues, some blues
- [verse 1] I love my country, ’deed I do, / But oh, that war has made me blue. / I like fightin’, that’s my name, / But fightin’ is the least about the fightin’ game. / When Mister Hoover said to cut my dinner down, / I never even hesitate, I never frown; / I cut my sugar, I cut my coal, / But now they dug deep in my soul.