Written by: Talia Milan. 4 November 2015
“The Everclear Song” may never have been a national chart topper but here in Texas it’s a classic! Since the songs debut in 1998 you can still expect to hear it on Texas Country radio stations and in bars and honky tonks across the state. “The Everclear Song’s” themes of drinking and having a good time are just part of why it has continued to thrive over the years. The key reason it has stayed so popular is due to Creager’s outgoing partier persona being made evident through the lyrics of this intoxicating song, as well as in the energetic performances he is known for. “The Everclear Song” not only encourages the drinking habits of those who already drink but it pushes those who don’t drink to give it a shot through a combination of upbeat music, catchy choruses, comedic memories, his own reputation, some basic alcoholic assumptions, and one of the strongest alcoholic beverages out there!
Through this song Creager is reaching out to an audience who isn’t afraid to go big or go home. Its a song about Everclear, a beverage that is 190 proof! That’s 95% alcohol! The majority of people who drink Everclear are usually looking to get drunk not necessarily looking for a delicious beverage and a buzz. This song takes drinking to an extreme. Creager is encouraging drinking, however, the use of Everclear itself its more of a hyperbole. By making this song about more than just the usual beer or maybe whiskey Creager separates himself from his competition. One thing that this song indirectly shows is that why should you half ass a good time. The audience of this song, drinkers(or those contemplating it), are generally people who aren’t concerned about the consequences. If they want to have a crazy night out, then they are going to do just that. Roger Creager’s performance of this song, shows how his personal life and attitude parallel that of the songs intentions.
According to Roger Creager’s official website, “Whether it’s climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, jumping off his boat to snorkel with wild dolphins, snow skiing in the Rockies, catching tuna 100 miles from shore, piloting his airplane to far-off concerts, spear-fishing around oil rigs, scuba diving coral reefs, surfing in Costa Rica, or playing music through the Italian countryside, he tries to get the most out of what the world has to offer.” Roger Creager is a forty four year old born and raised Texan who brings his love and craving for adventure and excitement to his music and concerts. On CMT’s Artists page they say this of Creager, “His traditional country music had a distinctive twist that resonated with the crowds, and he was named Entertainer of the Year at the 2001 Texas Music Awards.” He is one of today’s most well-known Texas Country musicians because not once has he strayed from who he is; a southern, rowdy, bold, homegrown man.
Creager himself said, in an interview by Jay Wachs of Talking Hits on the Woodlands online radio station, he remembers watching his audience slowly grow as he would play at a barbeque restaurant in College Station for hours all by himself. For Creager it has been a slow climb to fame that’s been focused on his fans and his live performances across the south more so than any politics and big name producers. Creager’s live shows often include him drinking onstage, joining the party, and cussed like a sailor Personally, I have got to witness him in action twice since I have lived in Austin and I can say those things are very true. He not only had a beer at all times on stage, he even had the band continue an instrumental section to go take part in a shot block. Roger Creager knows how to sing songs in a way that his audiences not only can relate to him but feel like a longtime friend.
“The Everclear Song” is a perfect example of a song that not only allows the audience to let loose and have a good time but Creager as well. With any research or attendance of a live show of his you know Creager does drink alcohol. He is certainly not a sober man singing about something he has no clue about. He grew up in the south where drinking is often a normal thing, especially in rural areas. He also went to college, twice actually, where alcohol is pretty frequently consumed. Specifically, in this song he even tries to show the listener he cares about them. For example during the chorus when he says, “Tequila dries me out, and beer just makes me fat. Whiskey makes me nauseous, tell me who the hell needs that? If you’re thinkin’ about drinkin’, then the answers crystal clear, it’s the invisible intoxicant…it’s called Everclear.” Yes, these are some general opinions regarding alcohol, and no, they may not apply to everyone but he is trying to let the audience know he, like you, may have some adverse reactions to drinking those drinks, so why not try a better option, Everclear. Since Creager is part of the subgenre known as Texas country he reaches out to his largely Texan audience by mixing her drink with Dr. Pepper which is largely a southern soda. Creager also demonstrates knowledge of Country and its foundations by referencing men such as Willie Nelson, Steve Earle, and John Wayne.
One aspect of songs that create a strong connection with the audience is memories or stories. Each of “The Everclear Song’s” three verse’s feature a comedic tale revolving around Everclear. They are featured in chronological order and feature very different scenarios, which create a sense that this drink isn’t only for one age group or one type of event. The first and third verses aren’t even necessarily the best of memories but they are relatable, vivid, and draw the listener in. The first verse touches on a topic that could be seen as more controversial in today’s times where women’s safety regarding rape and sexual abuse is among the nation’s largest concerns. However, Creager sings this in a very innocent way by mentioning the male as a young high school boy, which are often thought of as being very lustful and misguided but not meaning any harm. The third verse shares how alcohol can both show you a great time; getting a girl, an awful time, waking up naked on the floor, or no recollection of anything, “maybe I met a chick”. Even with these varying experiences Creager still makes the whole time seem worth it whether you interpret it as he got a girl or that he at least got a funny memory.
The second verses story about getting everyone at his church picnic drunk is just such an unexpected visual. You don’t often pair church with drinking so it easily grabs your attention. This songs imagery really allows you to picture these scenes in your head. Can you imagine, “Grandmas doin’ backflips, Grandpas lookin’ up their skirts,” or “When they bowed their heads giving grace for the food, hey, I pulled out the bottle, and soaked them melons good.” Not only does he use just details but he uses his voice to emphasize certain words such as swore in the first verse to bring a bit of sarcasm and hindsight into loving her and his play on words in the chorus of saying, “then the answer’s crystal clear, it’s the invisible intoxicant…it’s called Everclear.”
Besides just the lyrics the actual music and instrumentation plays a huge part in the emotion of a song. “The Everclear Song” builds with time from the song’s intro which just features a guitar to the song’s outro which is much longer and includes a guitar, fiddle, drums, and a banjo. The song’s four instrumental sections balance out the songs three more talky verses to allow for a good dancing song, a perfect hang out song, or just something to listen to while driving down the highway.
Creager reaches his ultimate conclusion that drinking is going to provide you with an experience that is unforgettable (even if you actually do forget) by showing evidence. Often in songs such as this one the listener doesn’t put much thought into proof but it is still there because whether you are singing a song about gun rights or drinking you want the reader to believe something. The first important example in this song is in the chorus where Creager shares the problems with drinking other alcoholic beverages such as Whiskey, Tequila, or Beer. Second, the church picnic verse suggests that almost any situation could benefit from some alcohol, especially Everclear. Another case Creager blatantly makes in the third verse is that drinking makes you feel confident, cool, and more attractive even. Lastly his positive twist on the unsuccessful pursuit of Sherrie-Ann and forgotten experience with a nameless woman set up your thoughts to perceive that whatever the case may be Everclear is going to make it a special time!
Roger Creager is a man who puts it all together; lyrics, performance, sound and character. Throughout his albums he has managed to reach out and include pieces of multiple genres while still staying true to his self and his Texas Country roots. Although he has had many songs become popular, not one can ever compare to “The Everclear Song.” “The Everclear Song” will continue to be a drinking hymn for the south for many years to come because of his strong connection with his audience, use of storytelling and comedy, and just a plain fun topic.
|0:0-0:15||Intro||Guitar||Short to get your attention and give you a little preview of what is to come, easily to build on|
|0:16-0:49||Verse 1||“Every day in lunch…”||Story from high school, slower than chorus, talky, takes a light approach on a serious topic such as mistreating women, seen as okay because his age and just being a silly boy, emphasis on swore|
|0:50-1:06||Chorus||“Tequila dries me out…”||Faster than verses, explains why Everclear is the best choice over other drinks, play on words with crystal clear|
|1:07-1:21||Instrumental||Fiddle, Guitar, Drum||Keeps it dancy and light, sections song by combing verse, chorus, and instrumental|
|1:22-1:55||Verse 2||“I remember my church picnic…”||Memory again, putting alcohol in a place it doesn’t usually go, references Willie Nelson, funny imagery, hard to believe he did not getting in trouble|
|1:56-2:12||Chorus||“Tequila dries me out…”||Same as previous chorus|
|2:13-2:39||Instrumental||Fiddle, Guitar, Drum||Same as previous instrumental, light and dancy|
|2:40-3:12||Verse 3||“When I’m drinkin’…”||More of a current or more recent memory than previous two, touches on how alcohol makes you feel confident and cool, mentions John Wayne and Steve Earle, laughs as he says he is completely naked|
|3:13-3:29||Chorus||“Tequila dries me out…”||Same as previous chorus|
|Fiddle, Guitar, Drum, Banjo||Instrumentals grow throughout the song, finishes song with longest instrumental to kind of go out with a bang|
Creager, Roger. “Talking Hits with Jay Wachs Interviews Texas Country Star Roger Creager.” Interview by Jay Wachs. Facebook- Talking Hits with Jay Wachs. N.p., 15 Sept. 2015. Web. 25 Nov. 2015. <https://m.facebook.com/talkinghits>.
Ditzel, Eleanor. “Roger Creager Bio.” CMT Artists. CMT, n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2015. <http://www.cmt.com/artists/roger-creager/biography/>.
About.” Rogercreager.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2015. <http://rogercreager.com/#about>.
“Alcohol Facts and Statistics.” Alcohol Facts and Statistics. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2015. <http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/alcohol-facts-and-statistics>.