This article contains 21 of the best bar songs ever made to play on a great night out! Of course, bar-goers everywhere all have their own preferences, so please feel free to disagree with our choices. That being said, here are just a few of our top choices:
1. “I Love This Bar” – Toby Keith
OK, it’s more mellow than some of the other bar songs on our list, but it still has that “feel-good vibe”. It’s a celebration of everything (both good and bad) that you can find in bar culture and especially country bars. And, the great Toby Keith will always be one legendary country star who continues to have fans from all over who request a toast to his songs that really do put a smile on your face. That’s why his song is #1 on our list.
2. “Friends In Low Places” – Garth Brooks
Garth’s monster album “No Fences” was released in 1990 and, at that time, “Friends In Low Places” became known as the “#1 Drinking Song for Drunken Sailors”. Now, 30+ years later, it’s still a favorite among bar-hoppers. It’s clearly the ultimate amongst country drinking songs and, when you combine it with booze, it’s almost always guaranteed to start a sing-along. By today’s standards, it could be called a “classic” and everybody seems able to relate to its lyrics when the beer is chasing our blues away.
3. “As Good as I Once Was” – Toby Keith
This brilliant play-on-words song that’s super-popular with drunks in bars was released on May 9, 2005, and was featured on Toby’s 2005 album “Honkytonk University”. It’s also Toby’s own personal favorite. With so many amazing major hits, it’s amazing that he can even pick a favorite. Right?
4. “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy” – Big & Rich
This is a popular song that was written and recorded by Big & Rich (a country music duo) that was released in April 2004. It’s one of those songs that every drunk (and hot) girl loves singing on karaoke night at the local bar. And, let’s face it, every red-blooded guy in the place loves watching them sing those racy lyrics and do a nice dance to go along with them.
5. “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” – Alan Jackson
Whether this particular phrase became popular because of the song, or if the phrase prompted the song, nobody’s really sure. And, if you try to say that you’ve never said those famous words before, we probably wouldn’t believe you. Alan Jackson released “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” in 2003 and bar patrons have been saying “pour me something tall & strong…… like a Hurricane before I go insane” ever since.
6. “Fight for Your Right to Party” — Beastie Boys
7. “Party in the USA” — Miley Cyrus
8. “Closing Time” — Semisonic
9. “Pour Some Sugar on Me” — Def Leppard
This is a fantastic song that Def Leppard released on their album “Hysteria” in 1987. More recently, the song was featured being sung by Tom Cruise in the 2012 musical “Rock of Ages”. Def Leppard visited the set of the film, hoping they could poke some fun at Cruise when he sang their song, however, they were actually pleasantly surprised by his rendition of their famous song. And, whether you like rock operas or not, you’ll appreciate his performance on-stage (especially if you’re female). Cruise said in an interview that it was important to him that Def Leppard knew that he was trying to honor their music and not to make fun of them. Good job, Tom, and thanks to Def Leppard from all of the bar-hoppers in America for this great bar song!
10. “Born to be Wild” — Steppenwolf
This was the theme song of one of the greatest films we’ve ever seen, “Easy Rider” from 1969. It portrayed freedom during a tumultuous time in the world and will never be forgotten,……just like the song.
11. “Why Don’t We Get Drunk” — Jimmy Buffet
Well, we all know what the next few words are and any bar patron ever has undoubtedly broken into loud boisterous song when it came on the jukebox. It’s still unforgettable to this day and will go down in the annals of history as a fave drinking song extraordinaire.
12. “Red Solo Cup” — Toby Keith
Who hasn’t had a drink in a red solo cup? Any self-respecting drinker would have to say “well, yes, I have!” And, Toby’s song about the iconic red plastic vessel pays homage to the great American pastime of drinking and something that will always be remembered as a part of it.
13. “Margaritaville” — Jimmy Buffet
Nobody can ever forget that exact time back in 1977 when they first heard Jimmy Buffet’s “Margaritaville” from his “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes” album. Actually, we were on our 57′ sailboat called “Thunder Bear” sailing from Treasure Cay to Green Turtle in the Abacos, Bahamas. It was an unforgettable day and this is an unforgettable song!
14. “Don’t Stop Believin'” — Journey
This is another song that was featured in the 2012 movie “Rock of Ages” and it’s also one of the favorites of bar patrons everywhere. Just the title stirs strong emotions in even the most stoic of drinkers and singing along is just the natural thing to do. So, go for it!
15. “Bohemian Rhapsody” — Queen
In bars all over the world, there’s an unwritten rule that when Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” comes on, you have to stop whatever you may be doing and sing along with it (loudly). At more than six minutes in length, being able to sing the entire song can be a stretch, especially after multiple drinks, but it’s well worth it. This is one of the best songs ever!
16. “Drinkin’ Beer and Wastin Bullets” – Luke Bryan
This one is a definite crowd-pleaser, continuing to literally kill it on both the country music and the dive bar scene. After all, who hasn’t been kinda bored and passing time by drinking beer and shooting at stuff? If you have, just remember that it ain’t your fault those cans keep movin’.
17. “Raise Your Glass” – Pink
When it comes to totally unforgettable drinking anthems, Pink’s “Raise Your Glass” is the perfect sing-along song for any bar and for people in any stage of inebriation. And, if you don’t really know all of the words, it doesn’t matter. When the song breaks into the chorus, everybody usually raises their glasses and sings along anyway. So come on, guys and girls, how about raising your glass!
18. “The Boys Are Back in Town” – Thin Lizzy
Probably best known for the hit movie with Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte entitled “48 Hours“, this is a song that is really bar-rock at its very best. The movie is a classic and so is the song from Thin Lizzy’s 1973 album “Jailbreak”, which is rather fitting, as are the lyrics that began with “Guess who just got back today?” And, would you believe that the Irish rock band, Thin Lizzy, nearly dumped this song, which later became the most iconic song of the band’s career. Besides, what would that scene in “48 Hours” have been without it?
19. “Old Time Rock and Roll” – Bob Seger
Just like catnip to cats as well as to down-home folks in local bars, those opening piano strains of this old classic have everybody singing, especially after they get a couple of drinks in them. It can also get everybody immediately out on the dance floor (if there is one,….or maybe even if there isn’t). However, considering that riveting young Tom Cruise scene in “Risky Business”, you better watch out for that drunk wearing a shirt and tie who starts recreating that famous dance scene by taking off his pants. Unfortunately, he probably won’t look half as good as Tom did when he’s doing that.
20. “Day Drinking” – Little Big Town
This is another one of LBT’s greatest drinking songs (they have a lot of them) and a happy hour favorite among country music fans everywhere. It’s also an excellent sing-along song that’s absolutely perfect for when you’re off work early. And, truth be told, we all do it a lot more often than we want to admit. So, if you’re gonna day-drink, just crank up the volume without waiting ‘til the sun’s sinking.
21. “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink” – Merle Haggard
Merle Haggard’s great country music voice just seems to go well with drinking. How many times have many of us felt the way Merle does in this particular drinking song and no matter what goes on in the world, we’d much rather stay right there and drink. This is definitely a classic and one of our favorite drinking songs of all time!
So, if you’re heading out to your favorite local bar, whether it’s day or night, keep your ears wide open and start singing along with one or more of these most iconic drinking songs ever made!
As the Head Editor at Music Grotto, Liam edits content produced from over 30 professional music/media journalists and contributing writers. He works closely with journalists and other staff to format and publish music content for the Music Grotto website. Liam is also the founding member of Music Grotto and is passionate in disseminating editorial content to its readers.