Just how much do country songs actually talk about liquor?

The other day I found myself listening to some more modern country songs and seeing as how alcohol is frequently on my mind I realized that a *seriously* large amount of them had alcoholic references.  Having grown up on country music that was hardly surprising but I thought maybe other people might get a kick out of the real numbers…

Top 50 Country songs of 2018:

23 Songs with explicit Mentions of Alcohol
2 Songs with implications of alcoholic situations
6 Songs that are almost exclusively about drinking

Song Title Alcohol? Drugs?
Cry Pretty no no
Desperate Man no no
Feels Like a Party yes no
Friends Don’t no no
Parallel Line no no
Goodbye summer yes no
Better Boat no no
Meet me in the Middle no no
Butterflies no no
The Champion No no
Babe no no
Deserve to be yes no
Got my name changed back no no
Hands on you yes no
Love Aint yes no
Get to You no no
Downtowns dead yes no
Space Cowboy no no
Make it Sweet no no
A little dive bar in Dahlonega yes no
What happens in a small town yes no
Coming Home no no
Girl Like You yes no
Caught up in the Country no no
Never Coming Down yes no
There was this girl yes no
Kiss Somebody yes no
Good as You no no
Love wins no no
Born to love you no no
All on me no yes
Greatest Love story yes no
Take it from me 50/50 no
Good Girl 50/50 yes
When I was Jack and you were Diane yes no
Drunk Me YES no
Down to the Honkey Tonk YES no
Five More minutes no no
Shoot me straight YES no
Woman, Amen no no
Get along yes no
Burning Man No no
Everything’s gonna be alright yes no
Singles you up yes no
Break Up in the End YES no
Drowns the Whiskey YES no
Lose it no no
Best Shot no no
You make it easy no no
Tequila YES no
Speechless No no

Many of these songs had only a passing reference to alcohol, usually drinking on a tailgate and busting out a 6 pack as you fall in love with a characteristically boot clad young lady that you’ve never spoken to, but many of them also mention bars as social (or antisocial) gathering places.

Interestingly, only 2 songs had references to any other kind of inebriation, and both of those were more along the lines of “Getting High” on someones love or presence, not any actual substances.  I am very excited to further investigate other genres and see how they might compare.

For those of you doubting your parenting right now *Coughmomcough* and wondering about all those delightful, family value, classic country music you’ve inundated your children with, fear not! The rates are significantly lower on googles top 50 country songs of all time! Almost half as many, actually.

Top 50 Country Songs of all time:

11 mentions of alcohol
1 implied alcoholic situation
5 songs dedicated primarily to liquor

Song Title Alcohol? Drugs?
How do you like me now? no no
Shes in love with the boy no no
Wichita Lineman no no
It’s 5 O’clock somewhere YES no
Somebody like you no no
Check yes or no no no
Boot Scootin’ Boogie yes no
When I Call your name no no
My Maria no no
The Chair YES no
Harper Valley PTA yes no
When I said I do no no
I cross my heart no no
This Kiss no no
Bless the Broken Road no no
Your still the one no no
Amarillo By Morning no no
Chicken Fried yes no
Luckenbach, Texas no no
Kiss an Angel Goodmorning no no
Take me home country road no no
Your Cheatin Heart no no
Speechless no no
Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain no no
Strawberry Wine YES no
The Gambler yes no
Mamas don’t let your babies… no no
I like it, I love it no no
Rhinestone Cowboy no no
Achy Breaky Heart no no
Before He Cheats yes no
Folsom Prizon Blues no no
Live Like you were dying no no
Chattahoochie yes no
Hello Darlin no no
Mama Tried no no
Need You now YES no
Always on my mind no no
When you say nothing at all no no
The Dance no no
Forever and Ever, Amen no no
Stand by your Man 50/50 no
It’s Your love no no
I hope you dance no no
So lonesome I could cry no no
Ring of Fire no no
I fall to pieces no no
He stopped loving her today no no
I walk the line no no
Friends in low places YES no
Amazed no no

Some caveats: Two of the very alcoholic songs were ones I would not consider to be “Classic” country music, they were made in the last 5 years.  Also,  the mentions of alcohol that were there were generally significantly less optimistic and party-ish than in the 2018 list.

Also, apparently “Speechless” by Dan & Shay is good enough to make it onto both lists so congrats to them.  They are now among the greats!

Take away from this little picture whatever you wish!

Published by Spirit Sirens

Head Mixologist and Class Coordinator at Lucidi Distilling Co. in Old Town Peoria, Arizona. In my free time I eat good foods, drink good drinks and make mead with my brother. Soon to be on YouTube with Lucidi Distilling Co. making drinks and talking history and under Spirit Sirens, where myself and my partner Mariah talk about women in the alcohol industry and our experiences!

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