Country music and drinking go together like beer and pretzels. The genre explores every kind of relationship with alcohol. Country drinking songs celebrate a well-earned buzz, regret battles with alcoholism, and use it to treat broken hearts.
Below we've collected some of the best country songs about drinking.
1. “I Like Beer” by Tom T. Hall
Song Year: 1975
Not the most subtle song on our list, “I Like Beer” says it all in the title. Tom T. Hall's ballad to ale celebrates the hoppy beverage and how mellow it makes him with three hoppin’ verses.
The song was the first single off Hall's album I Wrote a Song About It. Hall released the song in 1975, and it rocketed to number four on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles list. It also charted in Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.
2. “Two More Bottles of Wine” by Emmylou Harris
Song Year: 1978
Musicians often explore alcohol's pain-killing properties. “Two More Bottles of Wine” by country music icon Emmylou Harris describes the pain of losing a lover and missed opportunities while finding a little healing power in the titular two bottles of wine.
Delbert McClinton wrote the song in 1978. The lyrics tell the story of a young couple moving far from home to Los Angeles only to break up. The singer seeks comfort from the pain of her broken relationship and boring day job by drinking wine.
The song peaked at number one on the American and Canadian country charts.
3. “Drunk (and I Don't Wanna Go Home)” by Elle King and Miranda Lambert
Song Year: 2021
This song celebrates the highs and lows of a night at the bar. King and Lambert's wild drinking song praises the experience of drinking in a dive bar even though a hangover is sure to follow.
Credit where it's due; it's the rare drinking song that mentions the virtues of a designated driver. The woman tells the bartender to take their keys, clearly not planning to operate any heavy machinery under the influence.
Released in 2021, the duet immediately dominated a variety of charts, including:
- U.S. Billboard Hot 100: #37
- U.S. Adult Contemporary: #28
- Canadian Hot 100: #73
- Global 200: #193
- U.S. Adult Top 40: #12
- U.S. Country Airplay: #1
King and Lambert released the hit song as a single but didn't include it on any albums.
4. “Rachel's Song” by James McMurtry
Song Year: 1995
Many country songs focus on the fun aspects of drinking, but “Rachel's Song” by Jame McMurtry digs into the consequence of overdoing it with the bottle.
The song tells the story of a single mother trying to deal with the psychological struggles of raising her child alone. She doesn't talk about the father, whose absence isn't explained but hurts her deeply. Rachel numbs her pain by drinking, leading her to wreck the El Camino and narrowly avoiding a DWI. She knows she should abstain, but she chooses not to.
McMurtry included the powerful, tragic song on his 1995 album Where'd You Hide the Body.
5. “Drinkin' and Dreamin'” by Waylon Jennings
Song Year: 1985
Country pop music, in particular, has long used drinking to demonstrate the ways we escape disappointing lives. Our day jobs may be painful, but the world is full of potential after a few beers.
In Waylon Jennings' “Drinkin' and Dreamin'” alcohol creates an escape, at least in his dreams. When he's drunk, the singer imagines he'll visit far away places that he acknowledges as pipe dreams when he's sober.
The song was the first single off the album Turn the Page. “Drinkin' and Dreamin'” reached number two on the U.S. Hot Country Songs and 26 on the Canadian RPM Country Tracks.
6. “I Gotta Get Drunk” by George Jones, Merle Haggard, and Willie Nelson
Song Year: 1987
“I Gotta Get Drunk” is a tongue-in-cheek drinking song by a trio of country legends. The song cleverly mixes the fun of tying one on with the regret of drunken behavior.
The singers explain that they act foolishly when they drink. Their doctors warn them that excessive alcohol is hurting their health, but the men believe the sheer number of old drunks disproves that theory. The song features on the Jones, Haggard, and Nelson album Walking the Line.
7. “Women Without Whiskey” by The Drive-By Truckers
Song Year: 2001
“Women Without Whiskey” is a thoughtful look at addiction and the difficulties of quitting.
The singer considers going to rehab; he says if he makes it to the end of the year, he'll stop drinking. He compares being sober to the end of a relationship, except he finds that whiskey helps him heal after losing love, while a partner doesn't offer the same relief from sobriety.
The Drive-By Truckers built a career around deconstructions of country songs. “Women Without Whiskey” uses two classic elements of drinking anthems to create something unique but familiar; a song about heartbreak and drinking.
The Truckers included “Women Without Whiskey” on their magnum opus, Southern Rock Opera.
8. “Super 8” by Jason Isbell
Song Year: 2013
Jason Isbell's seminal album Southeastern contains several songs exploring the nature of sobriety and addiction. None does so more joyously than “Super 8.”
The song is a fun drinking song, an upbeat story about a night where Isbell mixed alcohol and cocaine to disastrous effect. While the song's tune is exciting and playful, the lyrics indicate that the singer wouldn't want to repeat the experience.
“Super 8” is a staple of Isbell's live shows, a barn-burner that brings the audience to its feet, making it one of the best country songs about drinking.
9. “Sometimes Wine” by Sturgill Simpson
Song Year: 2011
Defiant country outcast Sturgill Simpson wrote the playful ballad “Sometimes Wine” while he was still in Sunday Valley.
The song has a classic country setup. A woman leaves, and a man drinks to forget her. Simpson's song uses witty lyrics to express the way excessive drinking and this particular lady are toxic to him. He indicates that whiskey doesn't sufficiently dull the memory of his lost love; he tries wine instead.
Simpson included the song on the 2011 Sunday Valley album To the Wind and On to Heaven and his 2020 album Cuttin' Grass-Volume 1.
10. “Whitehouse Road” by Tyler Childers
Song Year: 2017
Tyler Childers came up in the hills of Kentucky, and his music often reflects that environment. “Whitehouse Road” is half anthem, half cautionary tale. A red-headed singer who bares a remarkable resemblance to Childers narrates the story of a man living fast and hard.
The singer sleeps late, then meets up with his running crew to snort cocaine and drink moonshine. While the song's rhythm is upbeat and fun, the lyrics don't paint a pretty picture. “Whitehouse Road ” appears on Childers's certified Gold second album Purgatory.
11. “Tennessee Whiskey” by Chris Stapleton
Song Year: 2015
“Tennessee Whiskey” from the album Traveler continues the long country music tradition of comparing a romantic partner to a good drink.
Stapleton's hit song fuses blues elements into the country DNA to create a soulful homage to a lover who saves him from his worst impulses. The singer explains that before he met his current partner, he drank excessively. His new partner, however, provides the satisfaction of Tennessee whiskey and strawberry wine without the hangover and regret.
“Tennessee Whiskey” appeared on several charts, including:
- Australia ARIA
- Canadian Hot 100
- New Zealand Heatseekers
- U.S. Billboard Hot 100
Additionally, the song is certified Diamond in the United States.
12. “You Look Like I Need a Drink” by Justin Moore
Song Year: 2016
“You Look Like I Need a Drink” once again pairs broken hearts and stiff drinks.
The singer anticipates bad news from his partner. She's coming over to have a tough conversation, and though she hasn't explicitly stated her intention to leave him, Moore is confident she's going to break his heart.
The title is a clever play on words that prefaces the lyrical acuity to come. Rodney Clawson, Matt Dragstrem, and Natalie Hemby wrote the song in 2015, and Moore included “You Look Like I Need a Drink” on his 2016 album Kinda Don't Care.
13. “Buy My Own Drinks” by Runaway June
Song Year: 2018
“Buy My Own Drinks” is a break-up anthem and a girl-power ode to independence.
The singer decides to soothe her broken heart by going to a bar her ex-boyfriend wouldn't be caught dead in. Though guys attempt to buy her drinks, the narrator is flying solo.
The members of Runaway June – Stevie Woodward, Jennifer Wayne, and Natalie Stovall co-wrote the song with Josh Keary and Hillary Lindsay.
The song charted on several lists, including:
- Canada Country
- U.S. Billboard Hot 100
- U.S. Country Airplay
- U.S. Hot Country Song
Runaway June featured “Buy My Own Drinks” on their 2018 album Blue Roses.
14. “Friends in Low Places” by Garth Brooks
Song Year: 1990
“Friends in Low Places” is arguably the country drinking song. The wild and upbeat anthem includes everything a good drinking song needs: broken hearts, slurred lyrics, a dive bar, and a questionable friend group.
The singer crashes a fancy party his old flame is throwing with her new partner. Brooks stands out in his casual wear and cowboy boots and immediately starts drinking.
While Brooks recorded the most popular version of the song in 1990 on his second album, No Fences, Earl Bud Lee and Dewayne Blackwell wrote “Friends in Low Places” in 1989. David Wayne Chamberlain released it before Brooks that same year.
15. “Yes, I Guess They Oughta Name a Drink After You” by John Prine
Song Year: 1972
John Prine helped define outlaw country music for an entire generation of performers. Prine is celebrated for his carefully composed lyrics and ability to write insightful songs.
“Yes, I Guess They Oughta Name a Drink After You” is a mouthful of a title for a song about drinking your pain away. Prine's song explores the classic ideas of drowning your heartache in a glass of alcohol. The singer's relationship is toxic; he drinks every time they fight, and he drinks a lot.
By the end of the song, Prine hears a rumor his partner left town, so instead of paying his bill, he orders more booze. Prine included the song on his 1972 album Diamonds in the Rough.
16. “Sunday Morning Coming Down” by Johnny Cash
Song Year: 1970
“Sunday Morning Coming Down” is Johnny Cash's ode to the melancholy of the end of the week.
The singer starts his Sunday morning with a hair of the dog, chased by a dessert brew. The alcohol only helps a little; as Cash prepares to face the day, he's overwhelmed by a sense of sadness.
The history of the song precedes Johnny Cash. Kris Kristofferson wrote the song in 1969 when it was recorded by Ray Stevens. While both versions found success, Cash's recording of the song reached number one in both Canada and the U.S.
Many notable artists covered the song, including:
- Lynne Anderson
- Sammi Smith
- Roy Clark
- Telly Savalas
- Frankie Laine
Johnny Cash's rendition of “Sunday Morning Coming Down” appears on his album The Johnny Cash Show.
17. “Tonight the Heartache's on Me” by The Chicks
Song Year: 1999
“Tonight the Heartache's on Me” explores the discomfort of seeing an ex with their new partner.
The singer is having a drink in her local watering hole and minding her own business when her former boyfriend enters with his new squeeze. While everyone else in the bar comments on how beautiful the new girlfriend is, the narrator does the logical thing and drowns her sorrows by ordering a round of wine for the joint.
Mary Francis, Johnny MacRae, and Bob Morrison wrote the song in 1994. Joy Lynn White recorded the song before the Chicks included it on their 1999 major label debut Wide Open Spaces.
18. “Margaritaville” by Jimmy Buffett
Song Year: 1977
You'd have to look hard and far to find someone unfamiliar with the Jimmy Buffett classic “Margaritaville.”
The song epitomizes island casualness. Buffett shirks the beer and whiskey ubiquitous in country songs and pulls out the limes and tequila. While the locals assume a broken heart inspired his drinking, Buffett establishes that no woman impacted his sobriety. He just likes getting tipsy on margaritas.
The song charted on:
- Australia KMR
- Canadian RPM Top Singles
- New Zealand Singles Chart
- Billboard Hot 100
- Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks
Buffett included the track on the album Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes and launched a merchandise line around the song.
19. “It's Five O'Clock Somewhere” by Alan Jackson
Song Year: 2003
Alan Jackson created a battle cry for day drinkers everywhere with “It's Five O'Clock Somewhere.”
The singer is distraught over his dead-end job. He feels under-appreciated by his boss and hasn't taken a vacation in a long time. He decides to ease the pain with lunchtime cocktails, a hurricane, in particular.
Jim Brown and Don Rollins wrote the song for Kenny Chesney, who passed on the tune.
Alan Jackson's recording went to number one on the Hot Country Songs chart and 17 on the Hot 100.
20. “Day Drinking” by Little Big Town
Song Year: 2014
“Day Drinking” proudly states that no one needs to wait until a specified time to start downing your favorite drink.
The song rejects the notion of a happy hour and suggests seizing the moment. The singer has no intention of waiting for the evening to toss a few back and encourages her boyfriend to join her for a carefree day.
The song places on the following charts:
- Canadian Hot 10: #50
- Canada Country: #1
- Billboard Hot 100: #40
- Country Airplay: #2
- Hot Country Songs: #4
The song features on the band's album Painkiller. Karen Fairchild, Phillip Sweet, and Jimi Westbrook from Little Big Town wrote the song with Barry Dean and Troy Verges.
21. “Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound” by Hank Williams Jr.
Song Year: 1979
Whiskey mixed with loneliness can be a toxic combination. “Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound” examines the problems that come with getting drunk and listening to country songs when you're lonely.
The singer mentions that when his partner is away, he over-indulges. He's fine unless someone puts a sad country song on the jukebox. Those melancholy tunes paired with his intoxication make him “whiskey bent and hell bound.”
The song charted at number two on the Hot Country Songs and number one on the Canadian RPM Country Tracks. “Whiskey Bent and Hellbound” is included on the album of the same name.
Top Country Songs About Drinking, Final Thoughts
The history of country music is defined by drinking songs. The genre covers every sentiment; drinking is fun! Drinking is destructive! Drinking cures a broken heart! These country songs about drinking provide you with a strong primer for however you're feeling on any given day.
Which beer-drenched songs do you wish we'd included on this list?