Top 13 country songs about whiskey

Today's a big day in whiskey history. As legend tells it, it was on this day in 1983 that Merle Haggard set a new world record for purchasing the largest round of whiskey, after buying 5,095 shots of Canadian Club at Billy Bob's Texas in Fort Worth at an appearance to promote his "C.C. Waterback" duet with George Jones. The whole round totaled 40 gallons of whiskey, and clocked up a bill of $12,737.50.

Have a headache yet? Read on, to discover 13 finely distilled country classics about brown liquor -- so far as your bloodshot eyes and double vision will allow you to do so.


13. "Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound" - Hank Williams, Jr. (1979)

We liked Hank Jr., the boozer, much more than Hank Jr., the "homegrown" "politico" he is today. Someone buy this man a round. And then a few more. Drink of choice: Jim Beam

12. "The King Is Gone (So Are You)" - George Jones (1989)

This song was written by Roger Ferris, but it perfectly embodies the insane, riding-lawnmower-ridin', duck-talkin' genius of George Jones. Drink of choice: Jim Beam (poured from an Elvis decanter, drunk from a Flintstone jellybean jar)

11. "Tennessee Whiskey" - George Jones with David Allan Coe (1983)

Performed here at at the first Farm Aid in 1985, this song was first released by David Allan Coe in 1981, and became a bigger hit for Jones two years later. Drink of choice: Jack Daniel's or George Dickel, if you please.

10. "Cigarettes, Whiskey and Wild Wild Women" - Ramblin' Jack Elliott

If it's not bright lights, thick smoke and loud, loud music, it's likely to be this other thing. Drink of choice: So long as it's drunk with a cigarette dangling from your lip and a woman on your arm, we reckon it's not likely to matter.

9. "Jack Daniels, If You Please" - David Allan Coe (1979)

Coe's got cigarettes and whiskey, and a wild woman who's done him wrong. Drink of choice: Not George Dickel.

8. "Whiskey, If You Were a Woman" - Highway 101 (1987)

Don't let Paulette Carlson's pottery class instructor looks fool you; this band knew how to play a sad song. Drink of choice: The kind that's more addictive than wild, wild women.

7. "The Whiskey Ain't Workin'" - Travis Tritt and Marty Stuart (1991)

In their 1991 hit duet, Tritt and Stuart seek redemption from whiskey in a woman. Now this is just confusing. Drink of choice: Over it.

6. "Faster Horses (The Cowboy and the Poet)" - Tom T. Hall (1975)

As is the wont of a Tom T. Hall song, there's a story and a lesson to be learned here - the secret to life is faster horses, younger women, older whiskey, and more money. Drink of choice: The older the better.

5. "Rye Whiskey/Time to Switch to Whiskey" - Corb Lund (2009)

Whisky? Whiskey? Who knows. This is starting to not look like a real word. Whiskie? Whissskeey? Drink of choice: Tullamore Dew, the great equalizer.

4. "Whiskey Trip" - Gary Stewart (1978)

A totally underrated honky-tonk singer in his time, when Stewart sang sad drinkin' songs, he knew his stuff. He battled alcoholism and drug abuse for years, his son committed suicide in the 1980s, his wife died of pneumonia in 2003, and just a few weeks later, Stewart took his own life. Drink of choice: :(

3. "Letter That Johnny Walker Read" - Asleep at the Wheel (1975)

It's hard to believe Asleep at the Wheel's biggest hit - this one - only charted at Number 10. They're so much fun! And like so much of their output, this hokey song sounds like it stepped straight out of early country radio. Drink of choice: It's a pun! Get it?

2. "Whiskey River" - Willie Nelson (1973)

NSFW, NSFW, NSFW, THIS VIDEO IS NSFW. Yep. Willie Nelson Family Picnics were a place your mom went to go topless. And to hang out with Dom DeLuise lookalikes. Who knew? Drink of choice: Anything you can drown in.

1. "C. C. Waterback" - Merle Haggard and George Jones (1983)

And finally, the song that inspired it all. You can still drink at Billy Bob's in Ft. Worth - in fact, Willie's holding his 4th of July Picnic there again this year - but chances are you won't see any topless women, and you won't get any free whiskey. These are different times. Drink of choice: Canadian Club whisky, straight up, with a glass of water on the side. 

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