There are classic drinking songs that you belt out at karaoke after too many beers—”Don’t Stop Believin’,” “You Give Love a Bad Name,” etc.—and then there are anthems to the act of drinking itself. In no particular order, here are the 21 best songs written about drinking. Check them out, then listen to them on our playlist, below.
With minimal lyricism and hardly even a melody, LMFAO managed to corner the market on the act of taking shots forever. From now until the end of time, when people shoot back booze, they’ll yell SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS, EVERYBODY.
This song is all about not being picky when it comes to liquor. Whiskey, gin, brandy, sour mash, cheap wine, tequila, moonshine—AC/DC will take any (or all) of it, and order one for you too.
Originally written in the 1950s by the Big Bopper, this song is an ode to moonshine and those who make it. The narrator’s “pappy,” exclaims “whew, white lightning” after every story of someone who couldn’t handle his powerful punch of “corn squeezin’.”
This rap song is about a premixed cocktail made with vodka, dark rum and orange juice—not, as many people believe, a 40 of malt liquor topped with OJ. After the song’s release, sales for the bottled “funky Monkey” soared.
The chosen song of both people on vacation and people who wish they were on vacation, “Margaritaville” is musical escapism. When that steel drum kicks in, it’s not hard to imagine yourself sitting on a beach, Margarita in hand, listening to the island band play.
A traditional Irish folk song (and arguably the greatest Irish drinking song of all time), "Whiskey in the Jar" received stateside notoriety thanks to Thin Lizzy's understated rock cover, which became their first big hit.
This name-dropping club hit gave brands like Patrón, Hennessy and Cîroc the kind of publicity that money can’t buy. An ultra-catchy hook and a theme everyone can relate too—blaming unsavory actions on the booze—made this tune a modern classic.
It may glorify a vice-indulging lifestyle, but this rollicking country song about Hank Williams, Jr.’s affinity for drinking, smoking and “[living] by the songs that [he] wrote” is an especially fun one to sing, particularly if a love of partying runs in your family too.
A party rocking anthem for all the self-identified underdogs and dirty little freaks, “Raise Your Glass” hits home with P!nk's exasperated realization: "My glass is empty—that sucks." We feel you, girl.
“Cold Gin” honors juniper-laced liquor’s ability to keep you warm, keep you together and keep the night going. Ironically, singer Gene Simmons is a teetotaller.
The iconic red Solo cup is, as Toby Keith says, “the best receptacle for barbecues, tailgates, fairs and festivals” and this ode does it justice—thanking the cup for being cheap, disposable, easy to stack (though he does admit, easy to crack) and perfect for any party.
Originally recorded by Amos Milburn in 1953, this song is simply about the singer’s go-to order at the bar—one bourbon, one scotch and one beer. This 1960s rendition by John Lee Hooker is our favorite, with a tempo that’s bluesy yet upbeat and easy to dance to.
Kid Rock took two songs people love to drink to—"Sweet Home Alabama" and "Werewolves of London"—and mashed them up to create the ultimate song about drinking to those songs, sipping whiskey out of the bottle all summer long.
A repetitive earworm from one-hit-wonder Chumbawamba, “Tubthumping” is about getting knocked down and getting back up again, but it also tells of drinking “a whiskey drink, a vodka drink, a lager drink and a cider drink” to remind you of the best of times.
With a rhythmic, reggaetón beat influenced by Rihanna’s homeland of Barbados, “Cheers (Drink to That)” sounds like spring break. “Cheers to the freakin’ weekend,” rhymed with “Oh let the Jameson sink in,” is catchy as heck, as is the poppy sample of Avril Lavigne’s “I’m With You” woven throughout the song.
A bluesy celebration of the whiskey-shooting, beer-chasing working class, this song makes the case that friends in low places are better than any fancy, tux-wearing Champagne drinkers.
It doesn’t get more laid back than the hook of “rollin’ down the street, smokin’ indo, sippin’ on gin and juice.” Even though it’s been decades since the song’s release, Snoop Dogg is forever associated with gin and juice—he even taught Ellen Degeneres how to make his personal recipe recently with Martha Stewart.
If you ever celebrated a wild Friday night to the point of no recollection but remained down to do it all again the following Friday, this Katy Perry pop hit is for you.
No song captures the comforting yet melancholy camaraderie of a local bar better than Billy Joel's "Piano Man." It tells the story of ailing strangers who can share a drink together instead of drinking alone.
Bob Dylan made this traditional Irish folk song his own, transforming the normally boisterous tune into a reflective, subdued song about a moonshiner, who quietly declares, “The whole world’s a bottle, and life’s but a dram.”
No one like’s when the bar announces “last call for your whiskey or beer,” but it has to come eventually. This late-’90s rock song is about savoring the last of your drink and the company around you, and of course, finding that person you want to take you home.