Our 11 Favorite Drinking Songs. Cheers!

Categories: Pop Life

"Gin and Juice," Snoop Doggy Dogg
Before he was a lion, before he was just a dogg, back when doggystyle was his lifestyle, Snoop released one of the most iconic "drinking" songs to date. Yeah, it's not your traditional whiskey-folk a la Willie Nelson or Waylon Jennings, but it's a song about drinking and arguably one of the best rap songs ever. Trust me, my years of drinking have included this song way more than it ever has some sad-bastard country tune.

Just think of every time you've ever had this song on at a party. What happens immediately? Dancing and drinking, most likely smoking too. Party rap before party rap was that stupid fucking "shots, shots, shots" song, back before Autotune and dubstep ruined music for our youth. JIM BRICKER

"The Lord Knows I'm Drinking," Cal Smith
Written by the inimitable Whispering Bill Anderson, this 1972 waltz tells of a man who gives zero fucks long before the term was coined. His self-admitted sinner of a narrator spies a woman from his church while stepping out with a date to his neighborhood tavern, and shuts her down before her tongue can start to wag: "We don't need no sermon, you self-righteous woman, just let us be."

Smith knows where the score needs to be settled -- with the Man Upstairs -- and in the meantime tells her "go back to whatever you hypocrites do, and when I talk to heaven be nice and I'll put in a good word for you." Burn! CHRIS GRAY

"Mexican Cousin," Phish
I'm sure most of you aren't familiar with this tune, but it truly is one of the best drinking songs ever. It follows a path similar to several other of Phish's slower ballads, but instead of singing about a person or a place, vocalist Trey Anastasio waxes poetic about his love for tequila as if he were in a relationship with said beverage.

Calling the agave spirit his "Mexican Cousin," Anastasio "turns to [her] like a long lost friend" at the beginning of the song, covering "every emotion from happiness to sorrow" in between, eventually having to cross her off his list of true friends (or in this day and age, un-friending her on Facebook). It pretty much touches on every necessary criteria of a good drinking song: falling in or out of love and booze -- only this is falling in and out of love with booze. JIM BRICKER

"Teach 'Em How to Swim," Hank Thompson
This is a rather obscure but charming calypso-style drinking song from Hank Thompson's wonderful 1959 album Songs for Rounders, possibly Thompson's most interesting and eclectic recording. Something of a comic goof, the song depicts a man literally drowning his troubles:

Oh take my glass, fill it to the brim
If I can't drown my troubles babe, I'll teach 'em how to swim
If I can't teach 'em how to swim, I'll teach 'em how to float
So please just pass one more glass to ease my dusty throat

Written by Thompson and William Penix, it was released as a single on local Houston label Daffan Records under the name of "William Penix with Ted Daffan and the Texans" in 1965. WILLIAM MICHAEL SMITH

More delicious drinking songs on the next page.

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MadMac topcommenter

Um, The Pogues? Hello? I see a lot of songs and "characters" and an AWFUL lot of imitators but Shane MacGowan lived every drop of every song he sang. 

There's nothing ever gained by a wet thing called a tear, when the world is too dark, and I need the light inside of me, I'll walk into a bar and drink 15 pints of beer

"Streams of Whiskey."


@MadMac Lend me ten pounds and I'll buy you a beer / And, mother, wake me early in the morning.

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