You know how we love music and talk often about it, especially if we encounter great new songs and albums we can’t wait to listen to. But country music seems to be a genre that is becoming more and more popular nowadays, together with the rise of some very talented artists that release catchy tunes and smart messages in albums that travel around the world gaining international success. Now, in terms of the messages sent, there is no secret that country songs have a few recurrent themes we are all used to. As such, we can start from having / not having friends, having / not having a partner, the music itself, youth years, and reach themes such as family, fun, guns and… alcohol.
Is Alcohol So Important in Country Songs?
Now, this one theme is particularly present in many old and new country songs and it usually plays the role of the villain or of a faithful companion that damages the person involved in a too intimate relationship with his or her whiskey bottle. There are country songs about alcohol abuse, about alcohol’s disastrous effects and even songs promoting rehab. Just as the guys from The State say, country music has a strong love affair with alcohol and it is hard to distill whiskey from the lyrics, so to speak. As such, today we will present you with 10 country songs involving alcohol and ask you to share your own favorite tunes about cowboys and their bottles.
10. I’m Trying – Diamond Rio & Chely Wright
This song by Diamond Rio and Chely Wright is a classic story of the man being an alcoholic and his woman staying by his side against all better judgment, just because he is trying to quit. We hope he’s gonna be fine in the end and they live happily ever after. Here’s a sample:
He said I don’t know why I’ve been the fool
But I can tell you this
Not a day goes by that I
Don’t curse myself and all my sins
Then he dropped down to his knees
By now they both were crying
He said I haven’t been the man I want to be
But I’m Trying
I’m Trying believe me
9. Whiskey River – Willie Nelson
Yep, somebody is drowning in a whiskey river and doesn’t seem to be bothered by this at all, although the song is more than the eye can see, as there is a sadness attached to it and a feeling of hopelessness against fate: she left him and the whiskey river is the only salvation. Here are some lyrics to warn you not to drink your heart out
Whiskey River take my mind,
Don’t let her mem’ry torture me.
Whiskey River don’t run dry,
You’re all I’ve got, take care of me.
8. Nobody Drinks Alone – Keith Urban
This is a “go to rehab” song and preferably you shouldn’t say “no, no, no”, as you know what happens if you drink your life out of you. Keith Urban’s message is quite scary but also moralizing and if you feel your buddy the whiskey bottle is taking too much of your time, maybe you should reconsider your position towards your own future.
You brought that bottle home in a paper sack
Drew the blinds and locked the doors
And there’s nothing but empty there inside that glass
So you pour a little more
And there’s no one there to judge you
At least that’s what you tell yourself, but…
7. Cheap Whiskey – Patty Loveless
Are you going through a rough patch? Don’t turn to cheap whiskey, or any kind of whiskey for that matter only to make the problems look like fading away, or at least this is what Patty Loveless advise us to do. Moreover, don’t do it if your drinking problem pushes away the people you love.
And the darkness still echoes her warning
You can’t have two loves in your life
Now the things that still haunt him
Till the day he dies
Is the smell of cheap whiskey
And the sound of goodbye
6. Cigarettes & Whiskey – Ramblin’ Jack Elliott
We will let you guess on this one: what have in common wild women, cigarettes and whiskey? Well, they can drag you into a world of trouble and Mr. Elliot was not shy in admitting his sins, which can be easily tracked back to a very dangerous – living woman. Consequently, full of good advice, the song speaks to those ones inclined to live an adventurous life without being fully aware of the consequences.
Once I was happy I had a good wife
I had enough money to last me for life
Then I met with a woman we went on a spree
She taught me to drink and smoke whiskey
5. That’s Why I’m Here – Kenny Chesney
Perhaps we forgot to mention, but among the country songs involving alcohol, sometimes a beer or two slip into somebody’s life as the villains. So you can’t say it’s just the whiskey that deals all the damage. This song is quite deep, talking about alcoholics who lie. Moreover, it talks about those who slowly, but definitively destroy their lives and the ones around them, just because they can’t help themselves. Consequently, it’s recommended for those needing to go through AA meetings and rehab and hold on to their commitment to get sober.
It’s the simple things in life
Like the kids at home and a lovin’ wife
That you miss the most, when you lose control
And everything you love starts to disappear
The devil takes your hand and says no fear
Have another shot, just one more beer
Yeah I’ve been there
That’s why I’m here
4. Get My Drink On – Toby Keith
So what does a cowboy who treats his girl so bad that she leaves him do after the lady slams the door behind her? Yeah… you guessed, he gets dead drunk to ease his pain. Now we won’t judge a man who on top of being a bad partner, also is a drunk, because we just love this song, as sad and twisted as it is.
I’m gonna get my drink on, I wanna hear me a sad song.
My baby just left home, I didn’t treat her right.
Right here’s where I belong, I’m gonna stay ’till the money’s gone.
If it takes me all night long, I’m gonna get my drink on.
3. Thank God She Left The Whiskey – Chris Cagle
If Toby Keith went to the bar to solve his love issue, Mr. Cagle, although he too admits the girl left because she was unhappy, decides to drink at home, because she, in her haste of packing her bags and leaving him, forgot to take the whiskey too. Consequently, it’s gonna be a long night, while our cowboy drinks his pain away pondering on what is that mysterious ingredient that keeps women happy in a relationship.
Thank God she left the whiskey,
I’m gonna need it to get it through this.
If I’m gonna make it past her
Pack it up and the bottle just might be strong enough
To make me believe that there’s a chance
She might miss me.
Thank God she left the whiskey.
2. Whiskey Lullaby – Brad Paisley & Allison Krauss
Now, this is a famous song which is so sad, it could bring tears to the eyes of happy people without relationship issues. But Brad and Allison manage to tell the story of a man and a woman who drink themselves to death because they’re falling apart with no chance of recovering their love. Finally, if you’re going through rough times with your partner, you’d better avoid this song, it’s heartbreaking.
He put that bottle to his head and pulled the trigger
And finally drank away her memory
Life is short but this time it was bigger
Than the strength he had to get up off his knees
We found him with his face down in the pillow
With a note that said I’ll love her till I die
And when we buried him beneath the willow
The angels sang a whiskey lullaby
1. You Don’t Know Jack – Luke Bryan
Warning us about the perils of getting your life soaked in whiskey, Luke Bryan isn’t shy in mentioning country music’s drink of choice – Jack Daniels that is. And if you think a little shot today won’t damage your whole life, you really don’t know Jack. However, we’re wondering how the people producing this famous brand felt about the song. All in all, this is a very fine song with quite deep lyrics.
But you don’t know Jack,
Double shot, eighty proof, on the rocks,
Until you’ve lost it all.
And you can’t go back
To your life, and your kids, and your ex-wife
With just a telephone call.
If you think it’s just a bottle,
In an old brown paper sack
You don’t know Jack.
Finally, as we said, there are plenty of country songs involving alcohol and if you use to listen to some, let us know to add them to our collection. Cheers!
Updated: February 2018
Image source: depositphotos.com