10 Best Drinking Songs
Rock bands and liquor have historically gone hand in hand, so it’s no surprise to find a wide array of songs both inspired by and written about drinking. Whether it’s a party track designed to get fans raising their glasses, or a somewhat sobering look at the way alcohol can cause problems, many great songs would not exist without the muse of booze.
Noisecreep decided to open up the bar and search through all of the inebriated rock songs we could find. After pouring over the history of drinking songs (and a few cocktails), here's our ten pack of tracks. Pour yourself a pint, raise a glass and rock with our picks for the 10 Best Drinking Songs.
Kid Rock’s ‘All Summer Long’ was unavoidable back in 2008, reaching No. 1 in seven different countries. Still, perhaps the song's greatest feat was getting soccer moms across the nation singing along to a chorus that included the lyrics, “Sipping whiskey out the bottle / Not thinking 'bout tomorrow / Singing 'Sweet Home Alabama' all summer long.” That achievement alone is enough to earn ‘All Summer Long’ inclusion into our list of the 10 Best Drinking Songs.
“Put your left leg down / Your right leg up / Tilt your head back / Let's finish the cup” instructs the Beastie Boys on their iconic tune, ‘Brass Monkey.’ However before the song’s release in 1986, very few people had heard of its namesake cocktail. Made of dark rum, vodka and orange juice, the drink was most often found in small premixed bottles available in liquor stores. Sales took off as the song did, and suddenly the brass monkey was part of pop-culture lore.
In 2012, the metal supergroup Hellyeah put out their third studio album ‘Band of Brothers.’ Within that release is the hit song ‘Drink Drank Drunk,’ an ode to getting wasted and causing trouble. The chorus really sums it up, as lead singer Chad Gray wails “Let's get f---ed up, till we fall down / So everybody get drink drank drunk, right now / Let's get tore up, till we're face down / Because the Hellyeah drink, drank, drunks are back in town.” Some may say this track is too over the top, but what would you expect from a band that drummer Vinnie Paul referred to as “a beer-drinking, hell-raising band that kicks ass live.”
You’ve had a great night of partying and found the girl of your dreams. Things are heading in the right direction, when that harsh mistress alcohol decides to ruin the fun by causing performance issues. Many guys have been there, but it took Buckcherry to turn this awkward situation into a catchy track. Part of their 2008 album ‘Black Butterfly,’ the tune rocks along a smooth bass line as singer Josh Todd croons, “I’m getting drunk all night / I’m getting drunk all day / I’m getting drunk all night / Sorry but I have to say I’m too drunk to f—k.”
Never has the false veil and alcohol’s influence been so perfectly described than on this track from Dropkick Murphys 2003 album, ‘Blackout.’ The song’s protagonist has been drinking for a while and has already inflated his stature within his own mind. “I'm a man of the night / A real ladies delight / See my figure was chiseled from stone / One more for the gal then I'll escort her home / Come last call I'm never alone.” Of course, reality eventually sets in. Our subject comes clean and admits he's “A cheat and a liar / No woman's desire / I'll probably die cold and alone.” Dropkick Murphys nailed this song by making the lyrics both humorous and relatable.
On most albums, 'Have a Drink on Me' would be a highlight. However, being surrounded by such heavy hitters as ‘You Shook Me All Night Long,’ 'Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution,’ and ‘Back in Black’ made it tough for the song to break through. Over the years this tribute to drunken rowdiness has become a fan favorite, often included in AC/DC’s live sets. It’s lasting legacy earns 'Have a Drink on Me' a spot smack dab in the middle of our list of the 10 Best Drinking Songs.
“Cold Gin” appeared on KISS’ eponymous debut album, released in 1974. The track was written by lead guitarist Ace Frehley, however bass player Gene Simmons handles lead vocals. Since Simmons doesn’t drink, his role creates an unusual behind-the-scenes dynamic to the song. Blessed with the kind of instantly catchy guitar part that helped make KISS famous, 'Cold Gin' still stands the test of time nearly 40 years after it was recorded.
Released in 2009 to promote their tour with Motley Crue, ‘Whiskey Hangover’ would go on to be one of Godsmack’s most successful hits. A heavy amount of force and aggression helps propel the song along with a haunting bass line. Meanwhile, lead singer Sully Erna's distinctive singing voice varies from hushed tones to forceful screams. Most people would prefer a bloody mary or some aspirin to cure them, but for this ‘Whiskey Hangover’ Godsmack prescribed the perfect dose of mosh pit power.
Often overshadowed by the other great songs featured on ‘Appetite for Destruction,’ ‘Nightrain’ remains a well loved Guns N’ Roses track. As the story goes, one night the band was wandering the streets of LA while enjoying a bottle of Night Train Express, a cheap brand of Californian wine. Someone yelled, “I’m on the night train!” everyone one else joined in, and soon the song took shape. A classic song about drinking, inspired by a real-life night of drinking, 'Nightrain' by Guns N’ Roses is a true must-listen drinking song.
'Whiskey in the Jar' is a traditional Irish drinking song, believed to be over 300 years old. Still, it's Metallica's heavy hitting version released in 1999 that earns the top spot on our list. Armed with explosive energy and James Hetfield's guttural growl, it's the kind of song designed to get the blood pumping. The tune would go on to win the band a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance, and though Thin Lizzy also have a great version of this track, nobody has done it better than Metallica.