Say, for what were hop-yards meant, Or why was Burton built on Trent?
Oh many a peer of England's brews Livelier liquor than the Muse,
And malt does more than Milton can To justify God's ways to man.
Ale, man, Ale's the stuff to drink For fellows whom it hurts to think.
A. E. Housman (1859-1936)
The discerning will note that We're only here for the beer!
is a phrase that can be understood in different ways depending on where the stress lies. We're only here for the beer! means that we, Dr. Rosteck & Mr. Grainger, will perform almost under any conditions so long as we are rewarded with our favourite tipple. On the other hand We're only here for the beer!
expresses the philosophical point that without beer, meaning alcohol and the humble weed from which it is derived, we would not be here at all! It is a chicken and egg conundrum. Anthropologist Alan Eames believes that "beer was the the driving force that led nomadic mankind into village life... It was this appetite for beer-making material that led to crop cultivation, permanent settlement and agriculture."
Whatever , as a title for our collection of drinking songs, we believe that "We're only here for the beer!" - Light is just perfect. The songs themselves range from the sublime to the ridiculous, from the incredibly beautiful to the utterly inane. Our title was a popular catch-phrase on tens of millions of British lips in the late 1960's. It was taken up by Inde Coope, the famous Burton-On-Trent brewers as an advertising slogan for their even more famous Double Diamond, the Original Burton Ale. They commissioned David Langdon, a cartoonist of renown, to dream up immense hoardings of highly improbable situations whereby somebody or other would say, "We're only here for the beer!" All these songs were considered for our same-named CD (details page 51) and nearly all are in our active repertoire. So dear friends, let us raise our glasses! Cheers! Prost! Nostrovia!
Dr. Rosteck & Mr. Grainger, May, 2007, Bremen.