Our 11 Favorite Drinking Songs. Cheers!

Categories: Pop Life

"Think I'll Just Stay Here and Drink," Merle Haggard
Merle and drinking go hand in hand, so what better song to knock back some whiskey to than Merle's ode to booze? The lyrics say it all: he doesn't care what you think, ain't no woman gonna change the way he thinks. He's just gonna stay there and drink.

It's basically an ode to independence. And if you drink anything other than whiskey on the rocks to this song, well, you're doing it wrong. Start over. ANGELICA LEICHT

"TV Party," Black Flag
I know I'm breaking from the majority here, but I have to rep for my punk roots. To me the most iconic drinking song ever written has got to be "TV Party" by Black Flag. It's ironic since Henry Rollins has always been straight-edge without calling himself such, but my parties were always a whole lot closer to that song than anything more crazy or more depressing.

I'd bet it's the same for most people who partied in high school, with the exception of those psychotic few who always managed to have a better time than any of us. Boring dudes like me just watched TV and had a couple of brews with the gang. COREY DEITERMAN

"What's The Use of Getting Sober?" Louis Jordan
The hands-down, can't-get-better-than-this song for drinkers everywhere has got to be Louis Jordan's "What's the Use of Getting Sober?" Jordan's version puts the listener smack-dab in a small, backwoods bust-out joint. Some guy drunkenly trying to balance himself on a piano stool is playing and everyone is singing, "What's the use of getting sober, when you're gonna get drunk again?" Talk about rhetorical questions.

Jordan mentions whiskey, beer, wine and gin in the song, like they're all lined up on a shelf waiting to be served. The song's events - essentially someone drinking pints and quarts from 1:30 in the morning 'til daylight - reflect the wild nights of mass consumption we've all survived. And really, if you think about it, what IS the use of getting sober if you're gonna get drunk again? JESSE SENDEJAS JR.

"The Wrong Company," Flogging Molly
I believe a good drinking song is one that allows you to be an active participant in its glorification of your habit. For instance, sloppily singing "TO GET DRUNK!" when Hank Jr. sings "Why do you drink?" in "Family Tradition." You're smashed, barely holding onto a slightly-tilted pint glass and warbling along. Perfect.

My favorite of these is Flogging Molly's "The Wrong Company." The song is about actually drinking in the drunk tank, which sounds improbable, but cool. Also, it's a short, vocals-only vignette. The only instrument is Dave King's Irish lilt. It's great fun (read: fantastically annoying) to repeatedly sing this song in King's accent, from the back seat, after the bar closes and the designated driver is chafed over what a drunken jackass you're being. JESSE SENDEJAS JR.

We're not completely hammered yet. Read on.

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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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