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Toby Keith, ‘Drinks After Work’ – Lyrics Uncovered

Toby Keith
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

When songwriters Luke Laird, Natalie Hemby and Barry Dean get together, it seems like magic happens. That’s why their names are so often connected to some of the most popular songs in contemporary country music. For their latest hit, Laird, Hemby and Dean teamed up to pen Toby Keith‘s ‘Drinks After Works’ lyrics.

‘Drinks After Work’ came together in December 2012, when Laird, Hemby and Dean got together for a week-long writer’s retreat. With nothing but music and lyrics to keep them busy for several days, the songwriters’ creative juices started flowing.

“We’re going to try and do it every year where Barry, Natalie and I got together, and just write for four or five days,” Laird tells Roughstock. “For this particular song, I had this track pretty much mapped out with the guitar riffs and all that. Natalie had a title: ‘Drinks After Work.’ That wasn’t the first thing I thought of when I heard this music, but Natalie’s instinct is usually right. Barry is so good with lyrics and everything. It’s just kind of the perfect combo.”

Although the trio was able to pen a hit, they didn’t exactly think of it as the kind of song that Toby Keith would record. In fact, when they recorded the demo, Hemby sang the track.

“Not necessarily that we thought it was a girl’s song,” Laird explains, “it could be either, but I never thought, ‘Hey … let’s pitch this to Toby Keith!’”

But with the ‘Drinks After Work’ lyrics focusing so much on, well, drinking, it’s not too surprising that Keith would take interest in the song. After all, the award-winning country singer has delivered recent booze-heavy hits like ‘Red Solo Cup,’ ‘Beers Ago’ and ‘I Like Girls That Drink Beer.’

With a chorus that goes: “Let’s watch a good time get a little better / Ain’t no ball and chain for the suits and skirts / Just drinks after work / Drinks after work / Tell me what’s it gonna hurt / To have a little drink after work?” it’s pretty easy to see why these lyrics appealed to Keith.

The words fit right in with Keith’s discography, but ‘Drinks After Work’ falls more on the pop side than the country singer’s fans might be used to. But that didn’t stop Keith from jumping at the chance to record the song the first time he heard it.

After Laird, Hemby and Dean perfected a few songs, they put together a band and played their new material for several A&R people in Nashville. The head of Keith’s label, Show Dog-Universal, heard ‘Drinks After Work’ and asked for a copy to send to the country superstar.

“He sent it to Toby, and Toby loved it and recorded it!” Laird says, laughing. “It was one that was really unexpected. Toby Keith has been around for a while and has done so well with his own songs that he’s written, so to get a cut on him was extra special. That was cool.”

Listen to Toby Keith, 'Drinks After Work'

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