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Drink and No Drink

At a time of year when much is drunk but just before the centenary of Prohibition, readings by Joe Bannister and Sinead MacInnes, and music by Verdi, Dean Martin and The Coppers

Much drink will be taken over Christmas and New Year. People will enjoy and regret this. Some will look forward ruefully to dry January. A century ago the prospect for Americans was dry forever, because Prohibition was introduced in January 1920. In this Words and Music, Drink No Drink, Joe Bannister and Sinead MacInnes read works that celebrate booze and reflects too the damage it can do to people and their relationships.

Jack Falstaff praises the virtues of sack. Dorothy Parker delineates the slide from 'just the one' to 'never again'. For Leopold Bloom, in Ulysses, the lingering flavour of burgundy triggers the memory of a tryst; for Laurie Lee imbibing cider leads to the erotic encounter itself. Mahler and Mozart encourage cheerful drinking and Sussex folk singers Bob and Ron Copper praise good ale. There are two stunning hangovers, in prose from Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis and song, in Loudon Wainwright III's April Fool's Day Morn, as poignant as its protagonist's behaviour is appalling.


Psalm 60
Just a Little One - Dorothy Parker
Beowulf - translated by Seamus Heaney
Drinking Alone Under the Moon by Li Bai (Li Po)
Jack Falstaff's paean to sack, Henry IV Part II - William Shakespeare
Cider with Rosie - Laurie Lee
I touch a liquor never brewed - Emily Dickinson
The Long Goodbye - Raymond Chandler
Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
The Porter, Macbeth - William Shakespeare
Sloe Gin - Seamus Heaney
Ulysses - James Joyce
Good Morning Midnight - Jean Rhys
John Barleycorn - Jack London
Prohibition - Unknown
Tha an drungair anns an dìg (The drunk is in the ditch) - Iain Crichton Smith translated by Peter Mackay
Lucky Jim - Kingsley Amis
The Beautiful and Damned - F. Scott Fitzgerald
Friend with a Mandoilin - Jeremy Hooker

1 hour, 14 minutes

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:01

    Hank Mills and Dick Jennings

    Little Ole Wine Drinker Me

    Performer: Dean Martin.
    • EMI.
    • Tr4.
  • Psalm 60

    Read by Joe Bannister

  • Dorothy Parker

    Just a Little One, read by Sinead MacInnes

  • 00:04

    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Don Giovanni

    Performer: Dietrich Fischer‐Dieskau.
    • Deutsche Grammophon.
    • CD2 Tr1.
  • Translated by Seamus Heaney

    Beowulf, read by Joe Bannister

  • 00:07

    Cole Porter

    Did You Evah

    Performer: Bing Crosby. Performer: Frank Sinatra.
    • Capitol Records LCT 6116.
    • Tr9.
  • 00:11

    Jean Sibelius

    Symphony no. 6 (Op.104) in D minor, 3rd movement

    Performer: City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Simon Rattle (conductor).
    • EMI Classics.
    • CD1 Tr9.
  • Li Bai (Li Po)

    Drinking Alone Under the Moon, read by Sinead MacInnes

  • William Shakespeare  

    Falstaff's Paean to Sack, read by Joe Bannister

  • 00:17


    Good Ale

    Performer: Bob & Ron Copper.
    • Topic.
    • CD2 Tr14.
  • Dorothy Parker

    Just a Little One, read by Sinead MacInnes

  • 00:20

    Johann Strauss II

    Wine, Woman and Song

    Performer: Alfred Mitterhofer, Alban Beg Quartet, Alban Berg (Arranger).
    • EMI.
    • Tr8.
  • Cider

    Actuality from cider making recording

  • 00:22


    Lord May

    Performer: Dave Swarbrick.
    • Topic.
    • Tr15.
  • Laurie Lee

    Cider with Rosie, read by Joe Bannister

  • Emily Dickinson

    I taste a liquor never brewed, read by Sinead MacInnes

  • 00:26

    Thelonious Monk

    Straight No Chaser

    Performer: Thelonious Monk.
    • EMI.
    • Tr14.
  • Raymond Chandler

    The Long Goodbye, read by Joe Bannister

  • Dorothy Parker

    Just a Little One, read by Sinead MacInnes

  • 00:29

    Richard Thompson

    I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight

    Performer: Richard & Linda Thompson.
    • Island Records ILPS9266.
    • CD1 Tr4.
  • Helen Fielding

    BridgetJones's Diary, read by Sinead MacInnes

  • William Shakespeare

    The Porter from Macbeth read by Joe Bannister

  • 00:36

    Gustav Mahler

    Der Trunkene im Frühling (The Drunkard in Spring)

    Performer: Stuart Skelton (tenor), San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Michael Tilson Thomas (conductor).
    • Avie.
    • Tr5.
  • 00:41

    Manuel De La Roche

    Tobaco y Ron

    Performer: Rodolfo Y Su Tipica.
    • World Circuit.
    • CD2 Tr1.
  • Seamus Heaney

    Sloe Gin, read by Joe Bannister

  • 00:44

    Liam O’Flynn

    The Drunken Gauger

    Composer: Dónal Lunny. Performer: Liam O’Flynn.
    • LOF.
    • CD2 Tr4.
  • James Joyce

    Ulysses, read by Joe Bannister

  • 00:48

    Pietro Mascagni

    Cavalleria rusticana - Mamma! Mamma, quel vino e generoso

    Performer: Jonas Kaufmann (Tenor), Santa Cecilia Orchestra and Chorus, Antonio Pappano (conductor).
    • Decca.
    • CD1 Tr8.
  • Jean Rhys

    Good Morning Midnight, read by Sinead MacInnes

  • 00:54

    Neil Diamond

    Red, Red Wine

    Performer: Mighty Jamma.
    • Hearts Aglow Records.
    • Tr10.
  • Dorothy Parker

    Just a Little One, read by Sinead MacInnes

  • Jack London

    John Barleycorn, read by Joe Bannister

  • 00:59


    John Barleycorn

    Performer: Martin Carthy & Dave Swarbrick.
    • Topic.
    • CD2 Tr5.
  • 01:02

    Dmitry Shostakovich

    Tahiti Trot (Tea for Two)

    Performer: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Riccardo Chailly (conductor).
    • London Records.
    • Tr16.
  • Prohibition

    read by Sinead MacInnes

  • Iain Crichton Smith, translated by Peter Mackay     

    Tha an drungair anns an dìg (The drunk is in the ditch), read by Sinead MacInnes

  • Kingsley Amis

    Lucky Jim, read by Joe Bannister

  • 01:06

    Loudon Wainwright III

    April Fool's Day Morn

    Performer: Loudon Wainwright III.
    • Rounder.
    • Tr10.
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald

    The Beautiful and Damned, read by Sinead MacInnes

  • 01:11

    Anton Karas

    Cafe Mozart Waltz

    Performer: Anton Karas.
    • Decca.
    • Tr9.
  • Jeremy Hooker

    Friend With a Mandolin, read by Joe Bannister


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