We’ll Drink to That

Today is the 21st birthday of our very own Dan Milliken, who can now indulge in one of country music’s favorite past times without breaking the law.

In honor of this occasion, we’ve decided to dedicate some of our favorite songs on that subject to the birthday guy.


I don’t drink, but I do love me a good drinking song. In fact, I love so many drinking songs that it’s impossible for me to narrow it down to just one favorite. So, I decided to put my iPod on shuffle and discuss/recommend the first one that popped up, which happens to be “I Drink”, recorded by both Blake Shelton and Bill Chambers and co-written and also recorded by Americana favorite, Mary Gauthier.

If people know “I Drink”, it’s likely due to Blake Shelton’s version from Barn and Grill. It’s a good version, but I prefer the versions from Bill Chambers and/or Mary Gauthier, because they provide the grittiness and moroseness that properly conveys the quiet resignation that the song requires. Therefore, this one’s not a party anthem.

From a grown child’s perspective, the act of drinking is passed down like a tradition. Just as “fish swim, birds fly, daddy’s yell, mama’s cry, old men sit and think”, the grown child proclaims, “I drink.” And that’s just that.


I’m going to go all meta and recommend two songs that are as much about getting older as they are about drinking. Kenny Chesney’s “Beer in Mexico”, which has him pondering why he’s not happy with where is in his life so far. And Rodney Crowell’s “Song For the Life”, which finds him not drinking as much as he used to, perhaps because he’s very happy with where he is in his life so far!

Recommend your favorite drinking song for Dan in the comments. Oh, and wish him a happy birthday too, if you like!


  1. If you want to Karaoke a duet for your party then I recommend He Drinks Tequila, She Talks Dirty in Spanish by Lorrie Morgan and Sammy Kershaw!

  2. I got mixed feelings about the drinking tradition in Country music, as I dont drink much myself, and there are very few songs about drinking in moderation!

    I tend to like the moonshine, bootlegging type songs the best though, real Bluegrassy midnight run type stuff. (I imagine Foggy Mountain Breakdown as a song about a ‘shine-run chase scene with modified flathead Fords outrunning the law)

    Anyway, mostly I just want to wish Dan a very happy 21st birthday!

  3. Happy Birthday Dan! If I need inspiration to drink I think Brad Paisley’s “Alcohol” and Catch All the Fish”. “The Lord Loves the Drinking Man” is also fantastic, as is Luke Bryan’s “Drinkin’ Beer and Wasting Bullets”.

  4. …happy birthday and many happy returns, mr. milliken!

    i’ve found billy currington’s recent light-hearted approaches to beer most enjoyable. then again, i just might be one of the crazy ones.

    more insight into drinking, however, offers dwight yoakam “two doors down” or when “it won’t hurt” falling from a barstool.

  5. Happy 21st. I have t-shirts older than that. My wife’s always trying to throw them out.

    I’m not much of a drinker and I don’t like songs that suggest that getting drunk is a good idea. You might like the Derailer’s “Cold Beer, Hot Women and Cool Country Music” from their “Soldiers of Love” cd. It’s a fun, up-tempo song about a guy’s favorite honky-tonk but actually has a line about having “friends who’ll drive me home if I’ve had too much”.

  6. The barroom has always been the fool’s court of last resort and no song typifies that more than the Webb Pierce classic “There Stands The Glass” or Merle Haggard’s “Swinging Doors”

    Happy Birthday Dan – drink responsibly and remember – if you are wondering if you’ve had too many, then you’ve had too many !

  7. Miranda Lambert has many great songs about drinking, and enjoying it. ‘Nobody’s Used To Be’ is one of my favorites. And while she’s not known for the theme, Trisha Yearwood has some pretty great drinking songs. Her take on Emmylou’s ‘Woman Walk The Line’ is sublime, and the clever ‘Drown Me’ – “let’s order up a bottle of the good stuff, and drink until we don’t know how to lie” – are great.

  8. Here are some I came up with:

    “I Like Beer”–Tom T. Hall
    “Red Necks, White Socks, And Blue Ribbon Beer”–Johnny Russell
    “Lightning Bar Blues”–Linda Ronstadt
    “What’s Made Milwaukee Famous”–Jerry Lee Lewis
    “Ballad Of Thunder Road”–Robert Mitchum (yes, THAT Robert Mitchum)
    “Drinkin’ My Baby (Off Of My Mind)”–Eddie Rabbitt
    “Misery And Gin”–Merle Haggard
    “C.C. Waterback”–George Jones/Merle Haggard
    “White Lightning”–George Jones
    “Margaritaville”–Jimmy Buffett

  9. I love “A headach tomorrow, or a Heartach Tonight.” by micky Gilley. And Patty Loveless’s “hear I am”. Not much of birthday have a good time drinking songs, but what can I say I love the sad ones

  10. Luke Bryan’s “Take My Drunk Ass Home” is one of my all-time favorites. My buddies and I can’t enjoy a good drinking binge without hearing it at least five times.

  11. What a nice and helpful post, ha! Thanks everybody! And it should be noted: today is also Kevin’s birthday!

    Just for fun, here are a few of my own favorite drinking songs (none of which were ever put to use before today, naturally):

    Emmylou Harris, “Bluebird Wine”
    Gary Stewart, “She’s Acting Single (I’m Drinking Doubles)” and “Drinkin’ Thing”
    Clint Black, “Killin’ Time”
    John Anderson, “Straight Tequila Night”
    George Jones, “White Lightnin'”
    Lee Ann Womack (with Ray Charles, in my imagination), “Solitary Thinkin'”

    And of course, that modern classic:

    Ke$ha, “Tik Tok”

  12. Happy birthday to both of you! Again, so sorry I couldn’t participate in this post. My favorites off the top of my head are “Two Pina Coladas,” “Tonight the Heartache’s On Me,” “Pop a Top,” “Neon Moon” (does that count?), and the song you can’t escape in Texas – “You Never Even Call Me By My Name.” I also really, perhaps irrationally, enjoy “Get Drunk and Be Somebody”…

  13. “Sometimes A Man Takes A Drink” Trace Adkins

    “Drinkin Me Lonely” Chris Young

    “Ten Rounds With Jose Cuervo” Tracy Byrd

    and that classic: “Billy’s Got His Beer Goggles On” Neal McCoy

  14. Some of my favorites…

    Drinkin’ My Baby Goodbye – Charlie Daniels

    I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink – Merle Haggard

    Set Em Up, Joe – Verne Gosdin

    I’ll Think of Something – Mark Chesnutt (not sure if it’s a drinking song, but it always had that “heartbroken man drinking away his sorrows” feel to it)

    Tonight I Wanna Cry – Keith Urban

    Cheap Whiskey – Patty Loveless or Martina Mcbride

    Wild Irish Rose – George Jones

    I’d list more, but the above posters already mentioned a lot of my favorites. This was a really neat idea, with some great songs mentioned.

    Also…Happy Belated Birthday to both Dan and Kevin…hope you guys enjoyed it.

  15. “Drinkin My Baby Goodbye”–Charlie Daniels
    “the Lord Knows I’m Drinkin” Cal Smith
    “Alcohol” Brad Paisley
    “Killin Time” Clint Black

    And for Balance: “Little Rock”–Collin Raye

  16. Here’s a few others:

    “She Ain’t The Cheatin Kind”- Brook& Dunn
    “Friends In Low Places”- Garth
    “Strawberry Wine”-Deena Carter
    “Whikey Lulabey”- Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss
    “This Town Needs A Bar-Jermey Mcomb
    “Drinkin’ Me Loney”- Chris Young
    “Keg In The Closet”- Kenny Chesney
    “Seashores Of Old Mexico”- George Strait

  17. Dan,

    Happy Belated Birthday, hope it was a good one. And you survived yours better than I did mine…

    My fav drinking song
    “Jose Cuervo”-Shelly West

  18. Happy Belated Birthday Dan! I will represent the Australian contingent (where we start the drinking songs at eighteen) with:

    Slim Dusty – “A Pub With No Beer”

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