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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Sitting on a Bar Stool: The Greatest Drinking Songs of All-Time

There's a reason most taverns come with a juke box. I'm not sure what it is, but clearly music and booze go together. The mix is so powerful that over the years some of my favorite tunes have just happened to involve alcohol.

So I figured Wednesday was a good day to start a few debates. You'll see this list is pretty heavily country, but for some reason they tend to sing about drinking more than most. In my humble opinion, here is "The Top 50" of drinking songs:

1. Margaritaville -- Jimmy Buffett
2. All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight -- Hank Williams Jr.
3. Beer For My Horses -- Toby Keith/Willie Nelson
4. Tequila Sunrise -- The Eagles
5. Drinkin' My Baby Goodbye -- Charlie Daniels
6. Whiskey River -- Willie Nelson
7. One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer -- George Thorogood/John Lee Hooker
8. Friends in Low Places -- Garth Brooks
9. Double Vision -- Foreigner
10. Closing Time --Semisonic
11. It's Five O'Clock Somewhere -- Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett
12. I Think I'll Just Stay Here and Drink -- Merle Haggard
13. I Love This Bar -- Toby Keith
14. Family Tradition -- Hank Williams Jr.
15. I Drink Alone -- George Thorogood
16. Don't The Girls All Get Prettier at Closing Time -- Mickey Gilley
17. There's a Tear in My Beer -- Hank Williams Sr.
18. Party Crowd -- David Lee Murphy
19. Ten Rounds with Jose Cuervo -- Tracy Byrd
20. Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off -- Joe Nichols
21. I Like Beer -- Tom T. Hall
22. Two Pina Coladas -- Garth Brooks
23. Wasted Days and Wasted Nights -- Freddy Fender
24. Wasn't That a Party? -- Scooter Lee
25. Why Don't We Get Drunk? -- Jimmy Buffett
26. Tequila -- The Champs
27. Ten Feet Tall and Bulletproof -- Travis Tritt
28. Captain Jack -- Billy Joel
29. The Last Shot -- Lou Reed
30. Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound -- Hank Williams Jr.
31. Set 'Em Up Joe -- Vern Gosden
32. Roadhouse Blues -- The Doors
33. Red, Red Wine -- The Replacements
34. Pop a Top -- Jim Ed Brown/Alan Jackson
35. In Heaven There is No Beer -- Polkaholics
36. Jose Cuervo -- Shelly West
37. I'm Gonna to Hire a Wino to Decorate Our Home -- David Frizzell
38. Let's Go Get Stoned -- Ray Charles
39. Nightrain -- Guns N' Roses
40. Piano Man -- Billy Joel
41. Empty Glass -- Pete Townsend
42. Gin and Juice -- Snoop Dog
43. Dust on the Bottle -- David Lee Murphy
44. Alcohol -- Brad Paisley
45. Sunday Morning Coming Down -- Kris Kristofferson/Johnny Cash
46. Drink! -- They Might Be Giants
47. Don't Come Home A Drinkin' -- Loretta Lynn
48. Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers -- ZZ Top
49. Get Drunk and Be Somebody -- Toby Keith
50. Chug-A-Lug -- Roger Miller


Anonymous said...

All time? Is there anything here from before 1960? Where are the sea shanties, the Irish drinking songs, the logging songs?

Rick Lyke said...

Since I was born in 1960, I'll agree this list is a fairly "modern" interpretation of the "All-Time" Greatest. However, there are at least two pre-1960 songs on the list: "There's a Tear in My Beer" was released by Hank Williams Sr. in 1951, two years before his death, and The Champs released "Tequila" in 1958.

Besides, I think you could have an entire list of the greatest Irish/German/Polish drinking songs -- but that is for another time.


Anonymous said...

Having closed many of Texas's fine and not so fine establishments known to dispense beer, especially from extreemley large tubs of ice, I remember one song that was always played just before closing in many of these places was "Goodnight Irene".

Anonymous said...

closing time? if youre drinking that song will only put you to sleep.
home for a rest by spirit of the west and the blarney stone by ween are head and shoulders above half of those songs. not to sound like an alcoholic dick, but with a title like that, you better be ready for debate ; )

Anonymous said...

I think Mas Tequila by Sammy Hagar should be on here!!

Anonymous said...

no Pogues?

Anonymous said...

how about hmm... everything by Tom Waits?

Anonymous said...

Goota put GARY STEWART in there somewhere!

Anonymous said...

Yes, very unfortunate to have a drinking song list with nothing from Tom Waits.

The Shark Guys said...


Check THIS out...it's the top 10 Drinking & Driving songs of all time!

Anonymous said...

I would agree with additional songs,I was born in 1971 but remember "white lightnin" by george jones, how about Pop a top again? Or who could forget.
"red neck,white socks and blue ribbon beer!!!!

Rick Lyke said...

Check out the recently expanded Top 100 Greatest Drinking Songs of All-Time (and with all the input the top 200 may come out soon!):


Anonymous said...

wow could you possibly have the musical taste of a frat boy.....

Bill Tutor said...

I need the name of the song with the lyrics you get a nickle and i'll get a dime...we'll go out and buy some wine...60's band tune

Anonymous said...

what? no sweet caroline by Neil Diamond

Sally said...

Wasn't there a great beer drinking song... I think by Tom Lehrer about "Let's all go out and drink beer" and the "Russians don't like us"? I wish I could remember it because the tune won't leave my head.

Anonymous said...

9. Double Vision -- Foreigner

Way back when the song was popular I read somewhere that "Double Vision" is about having sex with two women at the same time.

28. Captain Jack -- Billy Joel
Captain Jack is about heroin not alcohol.

"Just a little push, and you'll be smiling"....

"Well now, Captain Jack COULD make you die tonight". .... "

"but still your fingers gonna pick your nose". Opiates make you itch especially your nose.

John Tunney said...

Did Bill Tutor ever get the name of that drinking song with the words "you get a nickle and i'll get a dime...we'll go out and buy some wine..."? I remember that song from the early 60's when I was in San Antonio TX. If anyone knows the title or artist please post it for me. Thank y'all

Anonymous said...

Seconding Anon. Where's "Home For A Rest"? "The Old Black Rum"? "Jakey's Gin"?

Anonymous said...

One of my favorites is "Scotch and Soda" by the Kingston Trio. Definitely a change from their standard folk music

Anonymous said...

"Wine Wine Wine" by the Nightcaps, 1960 out of Dallas

Anonymous said...

David Allen Coe - You don't have to call me Darlin. I've never been in a bar that when it's played, everyone joins in.