Steel drums, booze and a short lesson in world history make Toby Keith’s new single “Rum Is the Reason” unique compared to his well-known hits. While he’s touched on the last two frequently, the Oklahoma native has yet to release a song so suited for the surf.

Scotty Emerick co-wrote “Rum Is the Reason” with Keith, which won’t surprise his faithful fans. Emerick is responsible for many of the singer’s most laid-back songs, including “Beer for My Horses” and “I Love This Bar.” Here the two tell a tall tale of how rum (and other spirits) brought a quick end to many well-known pursuits.

“I heard Davy Crockett had a pint in his pocket / Good whiskey at the Alamo / Now that Pancho Villia had a jug of Tequila / When he walked the streets of old Mexico,” Keith sings to begin “Rum Is the Reason.”

“While Blackbeard was fleecing around the hurricane season / He didn’t quit because of a girl / Yeah, rum is the reason pirates never ruled the world.”

Later, Keith jests about Hitler and Stalin, two of the more sensitive topics in recent world history:

“While Russia was brawling, I bet that old Stalin / Was calling for a vodka martini / While the world waited in fear, old Hitler drank beer / From a stein, eating sauerkraut and weenies,” he says. The song isn’t his greatest vocal performance — “Rum Is the Reason” is more of a spoken-word story a la “As Good as I Once Was,” another Emerick tune.

After two somewhat sardonic singles from 35 MPH Town, “Rum Is the Reason” lightens the mood. The new album will drop on Oct. 9.

Why Fans Will Love It: While drinking songs are plentiful in Keith's catalog, none have quite the same beachy feel as "Rum Is the Reason."

Key Lyrics: "My catch of the day is a tall Cuba libra chased down with a 12 oz curl / Yeah, rum is the reason pirates never ruled the world."

Did You Know?: Jimmy Buffett's Coral Reefer Band joins Toby Keith on "Rum Is the Reason."

Listen to Toby Keith, “Rum Is the Reason”

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