Novelty Song Friday #7 — “Spill The Wine” by Eric Burdon and War

When this song first came out, I fell in love with it. For a pre-teen, there was so much mysticism and outright coolness to how Eric Burdon wove his tale. Enhancing the experiences with the jazz flute, the woman speaking Spanish, and the rest of War, a spell was woven. The rawness of the chorus as the song built up into a frenzy was something unique on the radio. Even today I love singing along with it.

Wikipedia says:
Spill the Wine” is a 1970 song performed by Eric Burdon and the band War. It was released as a single in May 1970, backed by the non-album track “Magic Mountain“, and was War’s first chart hit.

“Spill the Wine” first appeared on the album Eric Burdon Declares War and runs 4:51. Its writing credits include the members of War: Papa Dee Allen, Harold Brown, Eric Burdon, B.B. Dickerson, Lonnie Jordan, Charles Miller, Lee Oskar, and Howard E. Scott. The song was inspired by an accident in which keyboardist Lonnie Jordan spilled wine on a mixing board. It features a prevalent flute solo, and the sound of a woman speaking Spanish—a friend of Eric Burdon’s—is heard in the background. The song was re-released as a single in 1996, after remixing by Junior Vasquez.

“Spill the Wine” has been used in the sound tracks of the following motion pictures:
–Boogie Nights (1997)
euce Bigalow: Male Gigolo (1999)
emember the Titans (2000)

The song was used in the sound tracks of the following television episodes:
–The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, episode “That’s No Lady, That’s My Cousin”
Dexter, episode “A Horse of a Different Color” (while characters Joey Quinn and Angel Batista are smoking marijuana.)
Shameless, episode “Requiem for a Slut”


Here’s the studio version that gets airplay:


I was once out strolling
One very hot summer’s day
When I thought I’d lay myself down to rest
In a big field of tall grass
I lay there in the sun
And felt it caressing my face
As I fell asleep and dreamed

I dreamed I was in a Hollywood movie
And that I was the star of the movie
This really blew my mind
The fact that me, an overfed long-haired, leaping gnome
Should be the star of a Hollywood movie

But there I was
I was taken to a place
The Hall of the Mountain King
I stood high up on a mountaintop
Naked to the world
In front of
Every kind of girl
There was long ones, tall ones, short ones, brown ones
Black ones, round ones, big ones
Crazy ones

Out of the middle
Came a lady
She whispered in my ear
Something crazy
She said

Spill the wine, dig that girl
Spill the wine, take that pearl
Spill the wine, dig that girl
Spill the wine, take that pearl

I could feel hot flames of fire roaring at my back
As she disappeared
But soon she returned
In her hand was a bottle of wine
In the other, a glass
She poured some of the wine from the bottle into the glass
And raised it to her lips
And just before she drunk it
She said

Take the wine, take that pearl
Spill the wine, take that pearl
Take the wine, take that pearl
Spill the wine, take that pearl
Take that pearl, yeah!
It’s all good
Oh, you got to do it
Spill that wine, spill that wine

Spill the wine, spill the wine, spill the wine, spill the wine, spill the wine
Take that pearl
Songwriters: Charles Miller / Harold Brown / Howard Scott / LeRoy Jordan / Morris Dickerson / Thomas Allen / Lee Levitin


16 Comments Add yours

  1. This song would have worked perfectly for the MM Music Challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dave says:

    Excellent song from a wonderful band.
    Hope you’ re keeping healthy & inside as much as possible. Beyond crazy what’ s going on up there & almost as crazy how little attention the media has given Trump’s ‘good people’ in the capitol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks Dave. Yes, I’m doing ok. A2Z posts all month have been running me ragged, but things should smooth out now. Not sure if you heard about Trump suggesting that people use household cleaning disinfectants (bleach and lysol) internally to possibly kill the virus, then poison control center calls went through the roof? I have to shake my head and wonder just how brainwashed/gullible/stupid some of the population is. Hope you are doing well also, Dave.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dave says:

        Yep, heard that too. As well as his blaming Obama for it (because Obama didn’t create a cure… for the disease which appeared 3 years after he left the White House). Nothing he says really surprises me anymore, what does is that about 38% of the population still follow him unquestioningly

        Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Glad you like it, it does have a certain something doesn’t it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yeah !!!!!!!!!! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  3. badfinger20 says:

    Cool song. It took me a lot of listens to like it but I ended up really loving the song. It’s not one I really tire of.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I never realized the lyrics alternated between dig that girl and get that pearl (whatever that means!)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. badfinger20 says:

        I know…he was ad libbing away. Something about it after a few listens…and I was a fan.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Pradeep says:

    Such a nice number. No wonder it was used in the soundtracks of films.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Glad you like it, Pradeep. It’s one I like to “sing as if nobody can hear” and get funky with 🙂


  5. memadtwo says:

    Always a mystery to me but so singable. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      The way he sings it sounds like he’s high on weed, but the words say it’s probably something a little stronger. I had no idea Eric Burdon of The Animals sang this. Sounds like a fluke joining between he and War.

      Liked by 1 person

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