There are two types of Texans, but those two archetypes vary based on who you ask: city slickers and small-town Texans; cowboys and Cajuns; literal cowboys and the all-hat-no-cattle delegation; Aggies and everyone else. But for us, it all boils down to one thing: those who know and love Topo Chico, and those who don't. A new song from Texas piano man Robert Ellis belongs squarely to the former.
The Houston singer-songwriter has finally given rabid Topo Chico fanatics (of which I am unapologetically one) an anthem aptly titled "Topo Chico," which he debuted yesterday on Garden and Gun . It's got all the right stuff: Ellis' subtle Texas twang, a two-step-able beat and a catchy hook of "Topo Chico and lime / I'll be just fine / with Topo Chico and lime."
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In this modern world of branded partnerships and hybrid Game of Thrones/Bud Light Super Bowl commercials, this isn't even an ad for Topo — it's just one Texan opining about how there's "nothing worse than water straight from the tap." And having lived for six years along the Gulf/Chemical Coast, I can attest to that. Hell, I recently spent $80 on a trunk-load of Arkansas sparkling spring water, which obviously makes me a de facto expert on regional American sparkling waters, but even still, I know nothing beats a cold Topo with a slice of lime.
“People always seem to write songs about their favorite alcohol — Jim Beam, ‘iced-down silver bullets.’ I wanted to play against that cliché a little bit,” Ellis told Garden and Gun, noting that "Topo Chico" is the closer on his forthcoming album, Texas Piano Man, out Feb. 14. “I mean, of course we have a song about the national beverage of Texas.”
Texans are rabid dogs about a number of things — smoke rings on their brisket, a lack of beans in their chili — and Topo Chico is just plain one of them. I was once interviewed about it by a breakfast-themed media outlet trying to understand the hold this sparkly beverage has on Texas. We could say, oh, it's just one of those things — you either get it or you don't. But the real truth of the matter is that we have never found anything more refreshing on a surface-of-the-sun Texas summer day than a cold Topo Chico with a slice of lime wedged into the neck. Sometimes, it doesn't need to be any more complicated than that.
Plus, as Robert Ellis reminds us, "life just feels kinda flat without it."