Labatt beer-drinking songbook from the 1930s

Tom Megginson posted this 1930s Labatt Employee Drinking Songs book to Retronaut. It looks like it'd improve drunkenness immensely.

I found this artifact at an antiques sale in Kingston, Ontario. I estimate its age based on the label on the IPA bottle on the front cover, as well as by the design. Note that many of the popular folk and drinking songs have had their lyrics modified to make in-jokes about beer, brewing, and the Labatt family. Also, cringe at the casual racism (“darkies”) of the time. An interesting peek into early 20th century morale-building HR campaigns from one of Canada’s major beer brands.

Labatt Employee Drinking Songs Booklet


  1. I’m not sure if I should be proud or offended that Canada’s national anthem appears in a book of drinking songs. 

    But when in doubt, I always go with “proud”. 

  2. I found this Dominion Ale Newfoundland songbook at my mom’s (she’s neither a Newfoundlander or a beer drinker). Great collection of Newfie songs, but the best part was the ad for Old Vienna ale. Apparently it is good fun to go snowmobiling while drinking, and have a laugh at your buddy when he falls off. Ah, the good old days.

  3. Though it’s silly, I am still saddened by the dropping of the possessive s. It’ll always be Labatt’s to me.

  4. Song 38 which talks about trench warfare and wanting to be across the ocean where the Germans can get at you must be WWI, although the book could be WWII era.

    Whatever happened to The Maple Leaf Forever?  Wasn’t it considered a sort of unofficial anthem before someone chose O Canada and scrapped God Save the Queen?  I feel old now…

    Before someone points it out, yes, I know that God Save the Queen is still our Royal Anthem.

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