100 Best Drinking Songs
Drinking songs and country music go together like, well … drinking and country music. In fact, that should be the benchmark for how other things go together: “You know, peanut butter and jelly go together like drinking songs and country music!” In the pages that follow, we’ll guide you through our favorite songs about wine, whiskey, tequila and, of course, beer. You’ll find funny songs, heartbreaking songs, troublemaking songs and, once in a while, a straight-up cautionary tale. Without further ado, here are the 100 Best Drinking Songs as presented by Taste of Country.
Clint Black’s got a strong grip on his favorite bottle as he tries to make his way through a big heartbreak on this drinking song, the title track from his 1989 debut album. Problem is, the booze has an even tighter hold on him. Soon Black realizes all too clearly that “this killin’ time is killin’ me,” and he fears crossing the line and making an early trip to the big saloon in the sky.
Obviously, it’s not soda that banjo legend Grandpa Jones is talking about on his 1942 version of Bascom Lunsford’s folk classic … more like moonshine. What’s surprising is he also seems to use it as perfume and some type of medicine. Jones, perhaps most famous as a cast member on ‘Hee Haw,’ joins Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson as artists that played this song.
‘Bar Room Buddies’
Merle Haggard was one of the wildest members of country’s outlaw movement, and Clint Eastwood played Dirty Harry and the Man with No Name. So if they wanna record an overly chummy, conversational drinking song about alcohol fueled bromance for the soundtrack to Clint’s 1980 movie ‘Bronco Billy,’ who are we to tease? (They can’t find us here, right?)
‘I Like Beer’
Whiskey’s too rough, champagne costs too much, and vodka puts his mouth in gear, but as he explains on this Top 5 single from 1975’s ‘Faster Horses’ album, Tom T. Hall likes beer. A bold, anti-populist stance, to be sure, especially back then, but ‘The Storyteller,’ as Hall is known, sticks his neck out for the beverage that helps him unwind and makes him feel mellow, and ‘I Like Beer’ fits well on our list of drinking songs.
‘Set ‘Em Up, Joe’
Gosdin’s smooth singing earned him the nickname of ‘The Voice.’ Here he asks his favorite barback to help him keep those pipes wet. Fun fact No. 1: The track was recently covered by this generation’s outlaw country songwriter, Jamey Johnson, on his 2010 album ‘The Guitar Song.’ Fun fact No. 2: Gosdin’s singing voice sounds exactly like Hank from ‘King of the Hill’ on this song. Right?
From his rather personal, direct and not-shortly titled 1981 album ‘I’m Gonna Love You Back to Loving Me Again,’ Joe Stampley delivers his second Top 5 ode to whiskey in five years, following 1976’s ‘Whiskey Talkin.” Look for the third song in the trilogy, ‘Whiskey Tweeting,’ just as soon as the 67-year old Louisiana singer gives a damn about social networking.
It’s been over 20 years since Tritt burst onto the scene (sporting an extremely Patrick Swayze-esque hairdo) with this classic on our drinking songs list, the title track of his 1990 debut. He quickly invites everyone to join his nationwide country club. All you have to do is drive an old pickup truck and drink from a dixie cup. Seems better than wearing argyle pants, right?
Sometimes you want to party outside of the bar, so you’re gonna need supplies. Well, according to the Kentucky Headhunters on this 1990 hit from their album ‘Pickin’ on Nashville,’ you can get all the beer you need, plus snacks and, most dangerously, fireworks, at Dumas Walker’s package store down by the Kentucky/Tennessee state line. Maybe get a first aid kit, too.
‘We Didn’t See a Thing’
Can you picture the nerve of Jones, to ask legendary blind soul man Ray Charles if he wanted to sing on this one? “Sure, George, what’s it called?” Luckily, Charles has a good sense of humor about things, and the two friends compare notes, make up alibis, and agree to forget most of what they saw or heard of each other’s misbehavior at the tavern the night before.
‘Beer and Bones’
John Michael Montgomery’s first album, 1992’s ‘Life’s a Dance,’ features this incredible, if scientifically unproven, drinking song about a man who changes his body composition to nothing but “beer and bones” following a nasty breakup. Let’s see Morgan ‘Super Size Me’ Spurlock try that diet!