Cole Swindell loved "Drinkaby" the first time he heard it. His girlfriend needed some reassurance.

The lyrics find a man at a bar trying to drink away heartbreak, a place Swindell says he's been "several times."

"Not currently, thank God. But it's happened before," he admits.

Jon Pardi and Hardy led a "Drinkaby" co-write that also included Hunter Phelps and Jordan Schmidt (find the lyrics below).

"The first time (he heard it), I pictured it being a show-opener. That very first guitar lick you hear ... it just sounded like a big anthem," Swindell tells Taste of Country's Evan Paul, adding that he can't wake to take it on the Thomas Rhett tour this summer.


Much like his multi-week No. 1 hit "She Had Me at Heads Carolina," "Drinkaby" has a '90s country feel. That was attractive to Swindell, a singer who has championed '90s country music as long as any of his contemporaries.

"It reminds me of something that could have come out in the '90s, or come out five years ago or this week," he says. "Obviously that sound is popular again ... it just had that feeling of, I don't know. I remember being in college and covering these songs and wishing that I had a song like this to play."

The title of the song is what's catching most people's eye: The concept was new to Swindell, but he trusted the veteran writing team enough to give it a spin. Unlike a lullaby, "Drinkaby" "definitely doesn't put you to sleep. It's rockin'!"

Who Is Cole Swindell's Girlfriend?

It's also not the kind of song you'd expect from a man in a longterm relationship. He stopped short of saying he's ring shopping for girlfriend Courtney Little, but confirmed he's very committed.

"When she heard it, she's like, 'I don't understand why you want to put this song out. This doesn't sound like your life right now,'" the Georgia native recalls, laughing at the memory.

Little is the owner of the Little Sisters Boutique with her sister, but was formerly a NBA dancer and did work with Monster Energy drinks. The two met at a NASCAR event several years ago and kept in touch, until he cast her as the female lead in his "Some Habits" music video. He jokes that this was their first date, and since then, they've peppered one another's Instagram pages.

"I told her, 'Baby, sometimes you gotta sing about things you've been through or what somebody else is going through,'" he explains.

"So we joked around about it, but she likes the song, too. She knows it's fun and there's different reasons you pick different songs to go to radio for singles. I've been listening to radio a long time ,and this just felt like something that grabbed you from the get-go."

"Drinkaby" will be on Swindell's new Stereotype Broken album, coming April 23.

Warner Music Nashville
Warner Music Nashville

Cole Swindell's "Drinkaby" Lyrics:

I got a song / I'm bout to sing it / She left a note / So I started drinkin' / Bartender pour anything you want on ice / I got a song / And it goes like ...

Jack, Jim, Kilo Kai Apple Pie, / This is my gettin' over her 'til I'm passed out, drinka-

Bye bye, my baby's long gone / Sadder than a steel in a country song / Raise your glasses to the rafters / And help me sing along tonight / Tonight, I drinkaby.

Yeah, I don't know where she's at / Could be Kentucky / But all I know / Is I might get lucky / Cause I'm two shots in with a 10 from Mississippi / Then I'll drink Patron, get me gone, and sing along with me ..

Jack, Jim, Kilo Kai Apple Pie, / This is my gettin' over her 'til I'm passed out, drinka-

Repeat Chorus

Oh, let's go / Hush little cowboy, don't you cry / Bartender's got you some whiskey on ice / And if that whiskey ain't a big enough pour / Drink another and another 'til you lay down on the floor / Come on / This is my drinkaby.

Repeat Chorus

Country Music's 50 Best Breakup Songs

When your heart is hurting, country music has the right song for you. Check out the best country breakup songs of all time, from Kenny Chesney, Randy Travis, Dolly Parton, Keith Urban and more.

More From Taste of Country