100 Best Drinking Songs – Part 10 of 10
Possibly country's greatest living singer, and at one time, most certainly its biggest troublemaker, George Jones sings of his dad's adventures making and selling 'White Lightning,' or moonshine, up in the Carolina hills. All that hands on marketing expertise probably ended up helping young George with his future sausage company, wouldn't you think?
Darn that stubborn male pride! Some part of Haggard's brain knows his wife is right -- that he should stay home, quit doing wrong and start doing right. But, as this track from 1980's 'Back to the Barrooms' clearly states, no woman's gonna change the way he thinks, so even if the divorce costs him all the money in the bank, he's staying put at the local bar.
Yes, it's the 'Monday Night Football' theme song, and yes, they play it way too much with an evermore bizarre cast of musicians from different genres. But before all that, this fun-loving ode to beer and BBQ from 1984's 'Major Moves' was a simple party song with two goals: inviting all of Hank's friends to the party, and warning all his neighbors to get the heck out of Dodge.
Cash helped his drinking buddy Kris Kristofferson's career by covering this account of an extremely hungover morning on the 1970 soundtrack to Cash's TV variety hour, 'The Johnny Cash Show.' Check out how cinematic things get: "There's nothing short of dying that's half as lonesome as the sound of a sleeping city sidewalk and Sunday morning comin' down."
The song from Coe's 1975 classic 'Once Upon a Rhyme' wouldn't qualify for this list if it weren't for a mid-song revision. It starts off as a normal tearjerker, but Coe realizes the song says nothing about mama, trains, trucks, prison or, most importantly, getting drunk. With a quickly added final verse, all bases are covered and we have the perfect country song.
Originally written and recorded by Sam Bush, but ever since Nelson covered it for a second record, 1978's 'Willie and Family Live,' it has become one of his signature songs. The lyrics recount a visit to a magical, alcoholic Willy Wonka factory, where whiskey flows instead of chocolate through the rivers, helping wash away all memories of heartbreak and sorrow.
How much clearer can Lynn spell it out for you than this 1966 single? You expect her to stay home sober in a quiet house while you go get drunk and rowdy with your friends? Then somehow, you figure she'll be in the same romantic (and, let's be honest, somewhat incapacitated) mindset you are when you get home, smelling of booze and cigarettes? Hit the sofa, bub!
"Hank, why do you drink? Why must you live like the songs that you wrote?" On the title track to his 1979 manifesto 'Family Tradition,' Hank Jr. asks how people can possibly ask him questions like that. You all do realize who his father is, right? He is, quite rightly, very proud of his namesake's legacy, and is simply doing his very best to carry on an old family tradition.
On this haunting early-hours ballad from 1980's 'I Am What I Am,' Jones claims that If drinking don't kill him -- and so far, despite his best efforts, nothing seems to be able to -- then memories of his lost love will. So, if you accept that as truth, then he's doomed either way and he might as well face his maker with enough booze in his blood to start his own distillery.
Garth Brooks crashes his ex-lover's wedding on this classic drinking song from his 1990 album 'No Fences.' He snatches the groom's champagne glass right out of his his hand and brazenly tells the bride not to worry about him, because he knows where his true friends are. That's right: down at the bar, where whiskey drowns his sorrows and beer chases his blues away.