Hangover songs provide an important purpose in country music. Sure, plenty of great songs focus on the partying, the raising cain, and of course, booze guzzling, but what happens after the dust settles? After the cab ride home and the crashing on a buddy's couch?
Fans need songs to cope with the next morning just as much as the ones that get them amped for the night ahead. Hangover songs fill that void.
A proper hangover song must have equal parts regret and pride. Regret for the way you feel, but pride for the complete abandon you exhibited to get there. While these songs are brimming with an array of poor decisions made while under the influence, they all have the common themes of "I did what?" and "my head hurts," which is exactly what qualifies them for the job. Below are our picks for the Top 5 hangover songs.
If you’ve ever woken up after a night of bar-hopping and the details were a little, well, fuzzy, Randy Rogers Band feels your pain. This gritty country-rock tune describes that unnerving state of mind — head feeling funny, trying to recollect what could have possibly happened while he was out using clues from his surroundings. New tattoo? Check. Black eye? Check. Keys, wallet ... pants? Not so much. Rogers’ reflections on his dire situation make this a perfectly appropriate hangover song.
'Last Name'Carrie Underwood
Even America’s sweetheart has a crazy night every once in a while. Carrie Underwood’s ‘Last Name’ is a recounting of a classic girl-meets-boy, girl-drinks-a-few-daiquiris, girl-ends-up-married-in-Las-Vegas story. The blonde diva belts out the play-by-play with traces of regret but a hint of pride about her rebellion on the night before. This cautionary tale ends with a clever twist on the lyric, as she now doesn’t even know her own last name thanks to the ring on her finger. It’s a fun hangover song to sing along with in the car the next day (once your sensitivity to loud noises goes down, of course).
'Drunk Last Night'Eli Young Band
Hangovers are not all about physical regret. Some are more about emotional remorse. Alcohol often aids confessions, and that’s exactly what happens in Eli Young Band’s ‘Drunk Last Night.’ The lead vocalist laments over letting all his feelings spill out to the one he loves — or maybe doesn’t; the context of the speech isn’t made clear. But one thing is obvious — his day-after sobriety provides a healthy dose of reality, and he can’t adequately explain his actions except that he 'got a little drunk last night.’ Many have walked in his shoes and relate to this hangover song, giving it a slot at number three in the list of the best.
'All My Friends Say'Luke Bryan
It’s the classic tale of a frat boy too far gone. In his twangy 2007 hit ‘All My Friends Say,’ Luke Bryan tries to piece together his wild night by asking his less-inebriated buddies for a recap. He, of course, can’t remember. The gang vocals make this song a fitting bar sing-along and an anthem for those who frequently find themselves waking up in a recliner on the lawn or in the hallway of someone else’s apartment building. It’s the perfect song to listen to while you commiserate with your friends and pop those aspirin the next morning.
'Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down'Kris Kristofferson / Johnny Cash
They say there’s nothing new under the sun, and hangovers are no exception. Country veterans like Kris Kristofferson and Johnny Cash were nursing headaches and slowly remembering their ill-advised actions from the previous night long before Scotty McCreery was born. ‘Sunday Morning Coming Down’ is a lesson from the pros. This song is the quintessential hangover tune — beer for breakfast, stumbling around, self-reflection — it’s all there. If you’re feeling a little down after a night out, turn on this classic to feel like someone understands.