"Champagne for my real friends. Real pain for my sham friends"
March 26, 2009 6:28 AM   Subscribe

"Champagne for my real friends. Real pain for my sham friends" What is the origin of this quote?
posted by FuckingAwesome to Society & Culture (11 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
From http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Tom_Waits

Champagne for my real friends and real pain for my sham friends

* This was earlier used by Anglo-Irish painter Francis Bacon. See Jeffrey Bernard, Low Life, Pan, 1987.
posted by hoborg at 6:33 AM on March 26, 2009

It's often attributed to Tom Waits, but it's far older. It's an Edwardian English drinking toast.
posted by fire&wings at 6:34 AM on March 26, 2009

Waits seems to get credit for a lot of these that he didn't create. I've also seen him credited with "I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy."

But that's actually from Fred Allen, whose version was, "I'd rather have a free bottle in front of me than a prefrontal lobotomy."
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 6:49 AM on March 26, 2009

Wikiquote is full of misinformation. I am not one of those "Wikipedia is the worst" people but Wikianswers and Wikiquote are just plain useless.

I'm pretty sure I saw it in a book by Compton Mackenzie about Capri, the title of which now eludes me. Or Norman Douglas. One of those pre-WWI novels about teh gay.

So the whole Francis Bacon thing fits in there--Bacon was a great lover of the old-school gay dandy culture of England.

Quentin Crisp used to say it in his stage show, too.

Also sighted in 25th Hour, where Edward Norton gives it an oddly menacing reading.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:51 AM on March 26, 2009

It's also the title of a Fallout Boy song. Clearly they didn't originate the saying...
posted by fiercekitten at 9:20 AM on March 26, 2009

Is it possible to source? I'd imagine that the instant someone pronounced the Champagne region in an English accent, some wit immediately noticed the spoonerism. Perhaps around the 1600's...
posted by Squid Voltaire at 12:19 PM on March 26, 2009

This page claims it's Francis Bacon.
posted by GuyZero at 1:28 PM on March 26, 2009

Francis Bacon the 20th c. painter, that is. Not the one who wrote all those plays under a pseudonym.
posted by GuyZero at 1:29 PM on March 26, 2009

If I'm reading this correctly, it goes at least back to 1860.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:22 PM on March 26, 2009 [4 favorites]

Wow, The corpse in the library, that is some awesome Google-fu right there.

Those toasts are amazing. I am now going to read that entire book.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:50 PM on March 26, 2009

Well found, The corpse! It probably goes back at least to the Regency period, then.
posted by languagehat at 6:39 AM on March 27, 2009

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