Cigarettes And Chocolate Milk

Songfacts®:

  • Rufus Wainwright is not one for moderation. In this song, he sings about cravings that he'll readily indulge by smoking his fill of cigarettes and chasing it down with chocolate milk. He admits that he has to be careful not to buy too many jelly beans because he'll eat them all in one sitting.

    At this point, these cravings had yet to spill over into addiction, but in 2002 Rufus found himself in rehab, addicted to crystal meth. "That song is the last gasp of decadent behavior and drugs and alcohol, when there's still a playful quality to it all," he told Rolling Stone in 2020. "I still sing it, so it must have been fun."
  • There was a specific hangover that inspired this song. Wainwright was living in the infamous Chelsea Hotel in New York City; after a long night out, he woke up in the afternoon bleary and thirsty. He decided he must have chocolate milk, so went to a store, bought some, gulped it all down, and felt sick to his stomach. Then he smoked a cigarette, which made him feel even worse. Fully aware of the symbolism, Wainwright was able to see himself objectively and write an honest song about it.
  • This is a track from Poses, Wainwright's second album. He was signed to DreamWorks Records, which had Steven Spielberg as an investor and very deep pockets. The label didn't push Rufus for hits, and none of the songs from his first two albums were released as singles. "Cigarettes And Chocolate Milk" stands as one of his most popular songs, but Wainwright may be best known for his cover of "Hallelujah," which was used in the 2001 movie Shrek, a DreamWorks production.
  • Wainwright did the string arrangements on this song himself. There are also French horns on the track along with banjo, guitar, bass and drums.

Comments: 3

  • Jianna from Los AngelesWow!! This song was really good and it's very inspiring especially to the youth - youtube subscribers.
  • Sean from Boston, MaIn the song hey says....

    And then theres those other things....which for sevral reasons we wont mention...stranger,fatter,deadly ect

    HE IS TALKING ABOUT HIS DRUG ABUSE!!!
  • Andy from New York, NyHe has written publically about his addiction to Crystal meth and his recovery.(NYtiimes Magazine). Addiction and 12 step recovery are a major theme in his work.
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