The reference is to the fiddler at wakes, fairs, and on board ship, who used to be paid in liquor for playing to rustic dancers.
Drunk as a lord. Before the great temperance movement set in, in the latter half of the nineteenth century, those who could afford to drink thought it quite comme il faut to drink two, three, or even more bottles of port wine for dinner, and few dinners ended without placing the guests under the table in a hopeless state of intoxication. The temperate habits of the last quarter of the nineteenth century renders this phrase now almost unintelligible.
Drunk as blazes. “Blazes” of course means the devil.
Drunk as Chloe. Chloe, or rather Cloe (2 syl.), is the cobbler's wife of Linden Grove, to whom Prior, the poet, was attached. She was notorious for her drinking habits.
Drunk as David's sow. (See Davy's Sow.)
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894