Luke Bryan's "Drink a Beer" lyrics have given the superstar one of the most important hits of his career, but interestingly enough, the song wasn't written with him in mind at all.

"That was a song I wrote with Jim Beavers, and I have to give credit where credit is due," co-writer Chris Stapleton tells Taste of Country. "Jim came in with that entire chorus, and it really just became my idea to make it morbid and maybe have somebody die in it," he adds with a laugh.

The "Drink a Beer" lyrics combine a fond remembrance of times gone by with sorrow over someone who's passed away too soon: "Sometimes the greater plan / Is kinda hard to understand / Right now it don't make sense / I can't make it all make sense / So I'm gonna sit right here / On the edge of this pier / Watch the sunset disappear / And drink a beer."

Though Stapleton has just released his debut solo album, Traveller, he says he never considered cutting the song himself.

When Luke recorded it, it really brought weight, with his own life circumstances, that really gave that song a life.

"No, not really," he tells us. "I don't know that we ever had any notions that it would be a single, or something that would have the life that it has had."

That is, until Bryan heard the song and decided to record it for himself. Though the subject matter is much heavier than Bryan's usual fare, he recorded it in memory of his brother, Chris — who died in a car accident in 1996 at the age of 26 — and sister, Kelly, who passed away unexpectedly at the age of 39. Bryan's performance strikes a perfect balance between sorrow and bittersweet memories, imbuing the recording with an emotional impact that turned it into a career single.

"You just don't know what's gonna happen to songs," Stapleton reflects. "It was this fictitious thing when we wrote it, and then when Luke recorded it, it really brought weight, with his own life circumstances, that really gave that song a life."

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