Music eases the awkwardness of an empty bar, makes drinking more enjoyable, promotes conversation, and reduces the loud shaking and glass-clinking of the bartender pouring drinks.
A bar’s musical selection is essential to creating an atmosphere that maintains people’s attention and makes them want to stay and continue drinking. A terrible playlist can empty a bar pretty rapidly.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of the 40 best bar songs ever recorded for the love of drinking.
1. “Friends In Low Places” by Garth Brooks
Songwriters Bud Lee and Dewayne Blackwell went for lunch at Tavern on the Row when they noticed they were short on cash.
Lee assured Blackwell that “I have connections in low places,” so he told him not to worry. That’s when the song’s concept came to be!
No one could convey more emotion to the song’s story of a cowboy who shows up at his ex-girlfriend’s wedding than Garth Brooks.
2. “Drunk On a Plane” by Dierks Bentley
“Drunk on a Plane,” co-written by Dierks Bentley, depicts the story of a guy who is left standing by himself at the altar but gathers the courage to travel to Cancun alone since he was unable to obtain a refund for the airline tickets he had purchased for a honeymoon.
The man begins to drink excessively while flying, and before he realized it, a party has begun. It’s one of the top bar songs about heartbreaks.
3. “Alcohol” by Brad Paisley
In his song “Alcohol,” Brad Paisley personifies the alcoholic beverage.
The song, which served as the lead single for his 2005 album Time Well Wasted, discusses the many effects that alcohol has on various people.
It went on to become a fun bar song that people would dance and sing along to.
4. “Drink A Beer” by Luke Bryan
The country singer and his songwriters wrote the song for a friend who passed away too soon.
That music connects all those feelings and encapsulates how drinking a beer with a friend is a pleasurable and fun experience.
5. “Drink In My Hand” by Eric Church
Luke Laird and Michael P. Heeney, who co-wrote “Drink in My Hand” with Church, said alcohol wasn’t the song’s true inspiration.
Heeney drinks very little, whereas Laird never drinks.
The song was created while Church and Miranda Lambert were on tour in 2011.
Eric was simply fired up from the performances he had that week. Heeney claimed the song was inspired by his followers.
6. “Beer For My Horses” by Toby Keith ft. Willie Nelson
In “Beer for My Horses” two of the biggest names collaborated to sing about a group of guys discussing how one used to catch criminals in the past, including a lynching that is explicitly shown in the song.
The song was made available in 2003 as the last single from Keith’s studio album.
7. “Red Solo Cup” by Toby Keith
Toby Keith explained the song’s meaning: “The bar song is just a bunch of frat party folks getting wasted, drinking out of a red Solo cup, and all the foolish things they do.”
If you didn’t know, Solo is a brand of disposable cups that are frequently found lying around after a party.
8. “The Whiskey Ain’t Workin” by Travis Tritt ft. Marty Stuart
“The Whiskey Ain’t Workin’,” the third single from Travis Tritt’s 1991 album It’s All About to Change, was co-written by Marty Stuart and Travis Tritt.
Additionally, it helped the two singers win Best Country Collaboration with Vocals at the 35th Grammy Awards in 1992.
9. “Two Pina Coladas” by Garth Brooks
In his song “Two Pina Coladas” Garth Brooks sings about a man who went to the beach to drown his blues after experiencing the heartaches that love frequently brings.
The national drink of Puerto Rico is the Pia Colada, a tropical concoction of rum, rich coconut cream, and a splash of freshly squeezed and twisted pineapple juice.
10. “Tennessee Whiskey” by George Jones
Tennessee Whiskey was first made available in 1981 by David Allan Coe, but George Jones covered the song, and it became the most popular bar song, peaking at No. 2 on the Hot Country Singles list in 1983.
Numerous artists have covered the song throughout the years.
One example of this is Chris Stapleton, who debuted the song with Justin Timberlake at the Country Music Association Awards.
At that point, the song’s popularity had increased further; it was on every bar’s playlist.
11. “All My Rowdy Friends (Have Settled Down)” by Hank Williams Jr.
Hank Williams Jr. finds himself grieving over the fact that all of his longtime buddies are now ageing and starting to behave more rationally.
The tune that serves as the Monday Night Football theme music may be familiar to the majority of us.
Since 1989, the opener has featured the song “All My Rowdy Friends (Have Settled Down)” which is customized for each game.
12. “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” by Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett
One of the best bar songs ever recorded was produced by Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett.
Jackson’s Greatest Hits II album’s lead song, “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere,” was released in 2003.
13. “White Lightning” by George Jones
The first No. 1 country hit that the country music legend George Jones produced came in 1959 with the release of “White Lightning.”
Jones spoke of showing up to the recording session under the influence of alcohol in his 1997 autobiography, “I Lived To Tell It All.”
As a result, it took him and the rest of the group roughly 80 takes to effectively record the song.
It is still regarded as one of the best old bar songs.
14. “Don’t Come Home a Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind)” by Loretta Lynn
The song “Don’t Come Home a Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind)” tells the story of a frustrated wife who is sick and tired of her husband who gets wasted with his friends, returns home late every night, and expects to get seductive with his neglected wife.
It became Loretta Lynn’s first No. 1 country hit.
15. “Sunday Mornin’ Coming Down” by Johnny Cash
The song was written by Kristofferson while he was still renting a run-down apartment in Nashville and working as the janitor for Columbia Records.
It portrays the story of a man battling his hangover as he leaves for a lonely day.
16. “You and Tequila” by Kenny Chesney (feat. Grace Potter)
“You and Tequila” by Kenny Chesney is a pure classic bar song. The combination of the two gifted vocalists, with Grace Potter serving as his muse, is truly fascinating.
The songwriters said, “Yeah, it’s just like guys… they get in your blood! Tequila will just enter my blood and stay there, so I can’t drink it.”
They ended up writing the song around this concept.
17. “If Drinkin’ Don’t Kill Me” by George Jones
“If Drinkin’ Don’t Kill Me (Her Memory Will),” the third single from Jones’s album I Am What I Am, was about how his entire neighbourhood knows when he returns home completely drunk.
18. “Family Tradition” by Hank Williams Jr.
Hank Williams Jr. truly made a statement of rebellion when he released “Family Tradition” in 1979 as the last single and album’s title track.
The song became one of the best pub songs, with the chorus being used as a call-and-response part.
One iconic illustration is the song’s response to the question, “Why do you drink?” with the answer, “To get drunk!”
19. “Whiskey River” by Willie Nelson
For his 1973 album Shotgun Willie, Nelson recorded the song with backup vocals provided by his wife, Jessi Colter.
Willie Nelson’s alcohol problem puts him in a helpless position in this depressing song.
Since alcohol is the one thing that can effectively dull the sorrow of a breakup, he requests that the river of alcohol never run dry.
20. “Drinking Alone” by Carrie Underwood
A lost In “Drinking Alone,” Carrie Underwood finds herself drinking whiskey while alone in a bar.
She notices a man across the room who appeared to be in a similar situation to hers.
He accepts Underwood’s invitation to join her, and the two decide to spend the night together as drinking partners.
21. “Bartender” by Lady Antebellum
The country music trio’s song about a bartender encouraging Lady A to forget about her ex-boyfriend has become a top bar song.
All of us have experienced that. We’ve had to work through getting over breakups with people and each person uniquely deals with things.
Some individuals go home and shut themselves in, while others go out to a bar and just want to be with other people and have fun.
22.“Rain Is a Good Thing” by Luke Bryan
Luke Bryan gave rain a reassuring twist. It was enjoyable to turn a topic that generally carries a negative connotation into a positive one.
The process of life begins with rain, which is very significant, and that’s what the song is all about.
23. “Pretty Good at Drinking Beer” by Billy Currington
Billy Currington says that he cannot do things typically performed by men, such as digging trenches, fixing vehicles, repairing roads, or working hard, but that he is “quite excellent at drinking beer.”
It’s one of the best songs to play at the bar because it promotes beer consumption.
24. “Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound” by Hank Williams Jr.
When a founding member of The Allman Brothers Band, Dickey Betts, asked Hank Williams Jr. how he wrote a country song while they were hanging out, the legendary musician replied, “Well, I had a good woman at home.”
It was the first line of “Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound,” and the rest is supposed to have taken barely ten minutes to write.
25. “I Love This Bar” by Toby Keith
Toby Keith probably had no idea how much the bar song “I Love This Bar” would one day transform his life when he released it as the first single from his 2003 album Shock’n Y’all.
It peaked at No. 1 on the US Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.
26. “As Good As I Once Was” by Toby Keith
This catchy song with clever wordplay that is very well-liked by drunk people in bars was released on May 9, 2005, and it was a part of Toby’s album “Honkytonk University.”
Additionally, Toby likes it a lot.
27. “Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy” by Big & Rich
Big and Rich composed and recorded this well-known bar song, which they then released in April 2004.
Drunk people enjoy singing this one on a karaoke night at the local bar.
28. “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey
One of the songs from the 2012 film “Rock of Ages” is also one of the best sing-along bar songs for customers around.
Even the most conservative drinkers are moved by the title, and singing along is something that comes naturally to them.
29. “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen
There is an unwritten law in bars throughout the world that when Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” is played, you must stop what you are doing and join in the singing (loudly).
Being able to sing the full song, which is almost six minutes long, might be difficult, especially after a few drinks, but it’s worth the effort.
This is one of the best classic bar songs.
30. “Raise Your Glass” by Pink
Pink’s “Raise Your Glass” is the ideal bar sing-along song for anyone at every level of drunkenness when it comes to truly unforgettable drinking anthems.
Furthermore, it is meaningless if you don’t truly understand all of the words.
Normally, everyone raises their glasses and starts singing along when the song enters the chorus.
31. “Day Drinking” by Little Big Town
This is another one of Little Big Town’s best songs for drinking, and country music lovers throughout the world love it during happy hour.
It’s a great sing-along song as well, which makes it ideal for being played at bars.
32. “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here And Drink” by Merle Haggard
The famous country singer Merle Haggard’s voice just seems to pair nicely with alcohol.
How many times have we all felt as Merle does in this song about drinking, preferring to remain put and drink regardless of what is happening in the world?
This is unquestionably a classic and one of our all-time greatest bar songs.
33. “Drinkin’ Beer And Wastin Bullets” by Luke Bryan
This song continues to dominate the country music and dive bar scenes and is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.
The song revolves around being a little bored and shooting things to pass the time.
34. “Closing time” by Semisonic
Semisonic’s “Closing Time” wrote a final call banger for the ages, defying the genre’s usual literary approach to its subject matter.
The song’s greatness lies in the glimpse of optimism it uses, even if “Closing Time” is certain that you must leave. How could you return if you never left?
35. “Margaritaville” by Jimmy Buffett
The song “Margaritaville” by Jimmy Buffett is a well-known bar song.
The fact that Buffett is well-known even though “Margaritaville” is his sole hit shows the continuing appeal of this island culture anthem.
The next time you order a margarita, ask if it is a drink or a way of life.
36. “Pints of Guinness Make You Strong” by Against Me
This top-bar song was recorded in 2002.
There are many routes to get to the same bar seat, and songs like “Pints of Guinness Make You Strong” are emotional sing-alongs that foster solidarity and help us deal with our grief.
Oppose Me! This song won’t get the bar pumping, but if you’re at a dive bar, it’ll liven things up.
37. “Beer Never Broke My Heart” by Luke Combs
Sometimes nothing strikes harder than a cold beer and a hot country rock song.
Released in 2019, Luke Combs’ song “Beer Never Broke My Heart” carries this attitude to its logical conclusion by praising the benefits of cracking open a cold beer in the face of life’s many heartbreaks.
38. “She’s Actin Single (I’m Drinking Doubles)” by Gary Stewart
The best bar music continues to honour the genre’s history of sarcastic poetry and brilliant wordplay.
Gary Stewart was aware of this and used clever songs about heartbreak to build his career.
Heartbreak is made a bit easier to bear by “She’s Actin’ Single (I’m Drinking Doubles),” and bar environments with a country music inclination will brighten up at the opening slide guitar.
39. “Take Me Home Tonight” by Eddie Money
Everyone has been in this situation: you’re out late hunting for love, but you’re having no luck.
Playing “Take Me Home Tonight” from 1986 as you search the bar for your soul mate can make the experience more memorable.
Okay, so it might not turn out precisely that way. However, you never know.
40. “Drunk Girls” by LCD Soundsystem
Released in 2010, “Drunk Girls” is one of the best bar rock songs.
To energize a dull bar with a younger audience, try this indie electro-pop hit from New York City hipsters LCD Soundsystem.
The song “Drunk Girls” features a lively, upbeat sound and surprisingly beautiful lyrics.
It’s entertaining and quick, and it delights in the excesses of our bar outings.
Best Bar Songs – Final Thoughts
So, that wraps up our list of the top 40 best bar songs.
So, whether it’s day or night when you go to your neighbourhood bar, keep your ears open and start singing along to at least one of these top bar songs.