15 Great Rock Songs About Alcohol

Written by on April 6, 2017

Every couple months, my KPSU radio show Six Degrees of Rockination has a theme. In September 2015, the theme was alcohol. What songs did I play?

Barenaked Ladies – “Alcohol”

A fitting song to start us off, eh? I love the energy and fun of this song, but I’m never entirely sure if it’s pro-alcohol or anti-alcohol. Maybe it’s somewhere in the middle. Alcohol’s a complicated thing, I suppose.

Reel Big Fish – “Beer”

This one’s less complicated. Love is the problem, beer is the solution. I approve!

The Avett Brothers – “When I Drink”

Oh, boy… now we’ve swung decidedly into the negative. These guys don’t have much good to say about the booze and the effect it’s had on their life. Could I have a fun song next?

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy – “You and Me and the Bottle Makes Three”

Yes! Back to the fun! Big bands don’t appear on my show very often, but when they do, they’re usually drunk.

Kiss – “Cold Gin”

I’ll tell you something… When you’re down in the dumps, and you need something to bring you up. There’s only one thing that’s gonna do it the way you want it. Cold gin!” (Extra points if you know who I just quoted.)

Todd Snider – “Beer Run”

Going to get beer is a treasured part of the American experience. So much so, that we’re not stopping with just one song.

Garth Brooks and George Jones – “Beer Run”

Yep, two songs in a row celebrating the B-double-E-double-Are-You-In.

Cross Canadian Ragweed – “Whiskey River”

This song was originally done by country singer Johnny Bush, and it’s most famously done by Willie Nelson, but I’m partial to this third, slightly more rockin’ version done by the Oklahoma band Cross Canadian Ragweed.

Old 97s – “Let the Whiskey Take the Reins”

I adore how quiet, stripped down, and moody this song is. It feels like it should be listened to in a car, alone, at night, driving on a long, lonely highway in the rain.

Billy Squier – “Too Daze Gone”

Got a old friend coming to town? Make sure your liquor cabinet’s fully stocked, because you two are gonna get druuuunnnnnk.

Hank Williams III – “5 Shots of Whiskey”

I’ve heard country music described as “the white man’s blues.” This song seems to prove that point. Just lovely, heartbreaking stuff here.

Buck-O-Nine – “Irish Drinking Song”

I’ve seen this song attributed to about three or four different artists, but trust me, it’s Buck-O-Nine, off their 1994 debut album, Songs In the Key of Bree.

Moxy Fruvous – “The Drinking Song”

Do you know Moxy Fruvous? You should get into them. They’re fabulous. So much variety to their songs. And not always as sad as this one.

Uncle Tupelo – “I Got Drunk”

Before there was Wilco, before there was Son Volt, there was Uncle Tupelo, who pretty much created the genre “alt country.” This song shows them at their most rockin’.

Oasis – “Cigarettes and Alcohol”

Booze without smokes is like peanut butter without jelly, amiright?  Liam Gallagher tells us all about it, sneering the entire time.

And there you go! 15 great rock songs about alcohol. Want to hear the entire radio show? Here’s the link. Make sure you hydrate, though, or you’re gonna have a hell of a hangover tomorrow.





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Reader's opinions
  1. Harry   On   August 28, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    How the fuck are you going to make a rock-songs-about-alcohol list and leave off, “Have A Drink On Me” by AC/DC? Sacrilege.

    • C.I. DeMann   On   August 28, 2017 at 5:21 pm

      It’s a hell of a song by a hell of a band, but gets a decent amount of airplay on corporate radio. I try and play songs that are a tiny bit less well known. (and now I’m happily pondering what lesser-known AC/DC songs I might someday play…)

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