Ten minutes flat after that day at the factory
I'm drinking like a dog in the sun
I don't need to eat or sleep a wink at the weekend
Just rot my guts

And I can't wait for my next drink
The first one is gonna sink
I'm the last of the big time drinkers
I take pride in my work
I'm the last of the big time drinkers

Stereophonics - Last of the Big Time Drinkers lyrics meaning


Everyone knows the Welsh like to drink. In fact, as the BBC have reported, the binge-drinking problem in Wales eclipses that of other countries:

"More young people in Wales have been drunk at least twice by the age of 13 than anywhere else in the western world, a survey has found. The World Health Organisation survey of Europe and North America put Wales at the top of the list, ahead of Scotland, Estonia, England and Lithuania."

Keith Towler, the country's Children's Commissioner, put it particularly succinctly when he said:

"The whole of our culture is based on drinking."

And so there you have the background for the Stereophonics track 'Last Of The Big Time Drinkers', an ode to over-indulgence in booze and the live-for-the-weekend mentality of your typical Welsh small-town factory worker. The song calls to mind Oscar Wilde's famous aphorism, and reversal of the WC Fields quote:

"Work is the curse of the drinking classes."

In the Stereophonics' hometown of Cwamaman - and many small Welsh towns like it - much of the young male population worked mind-numbing, badly paid factory jobs that left them gagging for the release of the weekend, and the inevitable beer-fest those two glorious days entailed. There's a strange kind of pride in the line 'just rot my guts', which is reflected in the cocksure swagger of the chorus line 'I take pride in my work, I'm the last of the big time drinkers'.

The implication is that, while these guys see themselves as some form of 'Beer Heroes', they are in fact chronic alcoholics.

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