Honestly, I’m not sure there are 250-400 words to say about Rio Grand’s “I Love Beer” without padding it with this unnecessary sentence. The song is exactly what you’d expect it to be—a cheerful ode to ale—no more no less. Truth is, I might even admit to enjoying this ditty a little after a few of the titular beverages.
While I don’t fancy a song about the nectar of the Missouri gods being the country equivalent of Shakespeare, it might be nice to hear a unique angle every now and then. That’s not to be in “I Love Beer” which stumbles out of the gate with a laundry list of things the singer hates, including the rising price of gas and the falling value of the stock market (perhaps Rio Grand hasn’t been watching the ticker lately).
This is of course the logical set up for the chorus to fill us in on what the narrator loves: Hooray, beer!
Verse two moves on to another clichéd country songwriting device: name-checking. Willie likes the green stuff and Bocephus likes the whiskey, but Rio Grand loves beer!
Duly noted, guys.
Perhaps in 20 years, a country song will name-drop Rio Grand thusly: “I love you like Rio Grand loves beer!” It’s only fair.
“I Love Beer” gets no more innovative beyond that point, but playing devil’s advocate here, there’s something to be said for catering to your audience. A three-chord cranking honky tonk band’s average fan isn’t looking for poetry or experimentation in his music. He works hard, loves hard, hates paying bills and has a deep and abiding affection for yeast-fermented malt flavored with hops.
I can certainly empathize with those sentiments.
Country girls who are prone to singing along with “Hell Yeah,” or cowboys who really got a kick out of “Pretty Good at Drinking Beer” are going to love this. It’s for them anyway. The balance of the population should probably steer clear, as the middle ground of opinion on this song will likely be about as wide as a postage stamp.
Tallying up my bottom line: The weak development of the theme makes it difficult to appreciate the song’s simple charm. The responsibility inherent to my position as a fun-hating blogger is the tiebreaker, so this one scores a down-turned thumb.