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Songs: Hibbett's Golden Rules Of Beer

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There was a time when even I
Could walk into a pub
And cast my eyes over ales of many kinds
And not know which ones were any good

I had narry a clue about the nature of my booze
I couldn't sort a porter from a stout
I'd pay two quid for undrinkable shit
Until one day I worked the whole thing out

I saw them true
I saw them clear
I saw Hibbett's Golden Rules Of Beer
I was no fool, no, I was a seer
So I give you Hibbett's Golden Rules Of Beer

It's not to do with gravity
And it's not to do with the grain
You haven't got to smell the hops
You simply need know what's the name

Look for words like honey, wheat or dew
Avoid the beers call Old
Drink the words like autumn, summer, sun
Shine, harvest, or Gold

Out of the dark
your path is clear
If you follow Hibbett's Golden Rules Of Beer
You'll be well served if you are steered
By Hibbett's Golden Rules Of Beer

If the name sounds like it was thought of by three fat smelly old blokes in a brewery
Only drink it if that's who you are, but if you're asking me...

I want to wake next day and shout "HOORAY!
I am reborn with the bowels of a king
My mind's refreshed, I've not fallen over yet,
And I feel the overwhelming urge to sing"

Let's give a slightly hungover cheer
For Hibbett's Golden Rules Of Beer
The world is fab groovy and gear
When you've got Hibbett's Golden Rules Of Beer

Published by Wipe Out Music Publishing

A couple of years ago, Ray Dann, formerly of Winchester now of Wolverhampton, was putting together a compilation of songs in a sort of Country & Western style, either C&W songs done differently, different songs done in a C&W style, or Actual C&W songs done Actually Country & Western. He asked me if I had any songs available, and I remember an old song of mine called "Good Cooking", which I'd written ages ago but never got around to doing anything with, so one night I recorded it with The Validators.

However, due to us really LIKING the recording we'd done, "Good Cooking" ended up being used on "This Is Not A Library" rather than for Ray's compilation, so I thought I ought to record him something else instead. It so happened that one night, April 30th 2003, I was booked in to go and master the album. It had struck me that, actually, Rob could probably do this himself, rather than me and Kev getting BORED doing it, so I took the opportunity to use the session to do some OTHER stuff, including the next two tracks after this one. The only problem was that, when I decided to do this on April 28th, I didn't actually HAVE another Country & Western Song I could record.

Luckily I LOVE writing songs to a deadline, and TOILED away at this for two days, finishing it a couple of hours before I was due in. The easiest bit to write was the "if the name sounds like it was thought up by three fat smelly old blokes in a brewery" part, as I'd just scribbled that verse down in PROSE to remind myself what sort of thing needed to go there, only to find it fitted as it was. HOORAY! Recording went OK, considering I'd never actually played it all the way through before then, although it did take a few goes to get that breakdown bit working.

Tom gave me a lift home after the session, as I was sleeping round his, and when I played this song to him he said "Oh yes, that. I've been expecting this song for a couple of years now", for LO! this is yet ANOTHER one of my songs based on Things I Say In The Pub. The RULES of buying beer were formulated many years ago by myself and my two friends from school, Robin and Mileage (so really this should be called Hibbett, Hare and Myland's Golden Rules Of Beer but... er... it doesn't fit) at The Peterborough Beer Festival. We go every year, and when we were Callow Youths we would WANTONLY drink all sorts of awful stuff, usually very STRONG awful stuff, and feel horribly ill the next day. As years went by we developed a system where we'd ONLY drink lighter summer beers as these were always much tastier, and less wilfully ghastly than the horrible winter beers or bizarre ginger/curry/marigold flavour potions we'd previously fallen for. As time went by we got this down to a simple rule of checking the NAME of the beer, and using THAT as our guide, and I must say it has rarely failed us. It's also very useful when going into a strange pub, to pick the NICE thing to drink, and as we've all passed it on to OTHER people we know, it also cuts out the tedious business of going back and forth working out what everyone wants to drink. Simply saying "You know THE RULES" to whoever's buying a round means you can RELAX and await something ACE.

It's a public service really. Try it yourself, you will be IMPRESSED.

So yeah, that's what it's about. Unfortunately the compilation never came about, and though I'd later offer the song to a couple of other people, THEIR records never happened either. Spooky, huh?

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