Morgan Wallen, Nate Smith Lead Top 46 Songs That Can’t Stop Mentioning “Whiskey”

For decades, whiskey has served as an antidote for heartache or a metaphor for other ruminations in country music, from Johnny Bush’s 1972 song “Whiskey River,” which also made a hit by Willie Nelson, the Dean Dillon-Linda Hargrove-penned “Tennessee Whiskey,” and Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss’ “Whiskey Lullaby,” the spirit has found its way into numerous heartbreaking songs.

Of all the country artists who have songs referencing the whiskey, Nate Smith and Morgan Wallen have embraced it so much that they topped the list of artists with songs that mention the spirit the most, according to data compiled by the music platform AllAxess, which pulled 600 country songs on Spotify that used the word “whiskey.”

Among the artists who made the top 10 of the list, including Garth Brooks, Little Big Town, and Cody Jinks, and more, Smith tops the list with his 2023 song “Whiskey on You” and 13 mentions of the spirit. Also at the top is Wallen with his 2018 No. 1 hit “Whiskey Glasses,” which also uses the word “whiskey” 13 times.

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Wallen is also listed more than any other artists with songs referencing whiskey in the expanded Top 46 Popular Whiskey Songs, released by AllAxess, with his 2021 song “Me on Whiskey,” coming in at No. 4 with nine mentions, along with “Sand in My Boots,” “One Thing at a Time,” and “You Proof,” which also made the larger list respectively.

Top 46 Popular Whiskey Songs / Courtesy of AllAxess

Within the nearly top 50 songs on the list, Kenny Rogers‘ “The Gambler,” Lainey Wilson‘s “Smell Like Smoke,” “Copperhead Road” by Steve Earle, and Luke Combs‘ “One Number Away” are some of the other most popular songs about whiskey.

[RELATED: 7 Songs You Didn’t Know Morgan Wallen Wrote for Other Artists]

“Whiskey has long been a staple in the country music scene, symbolizing a range of emotions and experiences,” reads a descriptor of the data. “This tradition dates back to the days of Hank Williams and has continued to be a significant theme in country music. The connection between whiskey and country music is not just about the drink itself, but it’s also about the stories, emotions, and cultural identity it represents. In many songs, whiskey serves as a metaphor, representing themes of heartbreak, joy, and the simple pleasures of life.”

Here’s a closer look at The Whiskey Champions: Top 10 Songs That Mention the Word “Whiskey” the Most list in country music.

1. “Whiskey on You” Nate Smith (13 mentions)

Released on Nate Smith’s 2023 self-titled debut “Whiskey on You” went to No. 11 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and No. 1 on the Country Airplay chart. In the song, whiskey is the remedy for a broken heart: Now, I’ve wasted a paycheck on whiskey and long necks / Ever since you left trying to figure this out / This Jack I’ve been drinking’s been wasted on thinking / Now, I got a new reason for throwing ’em down.

2. “Whiskey Glasses” Morgan Wallen (13 mentions)

Poor me, pour me another drink / ‘Cause I don’t wanna feel a thing … I just wanna sip ’til the pain wears off sings Wallen on his 2018 hit “Whiskey Glasses.” Another heartbreak narrative, “Whiskey Glasses,” co-written by Kevin Kadish and Ben Burgess, was first released on Wallen’s 2016 EP The Way I Talk and again on his debut album If I Know Me in 2018 and references seeing the world through whiskey glasses after a breakup.

3. “Me and the Whiskey,” Whitey Morgan and the 78’s (11 mentions)

Whitey Morgan gave up the cocaine, the runnin’ round, self-control, and rowdy ways on “Me and the Whiskey from the band’s third album Sonic Ranch. The opening track on the album. “Me and the Whiskey” mentions the spirit 11 times.

4. “Me On Whiskey,” Morgan Wallen (9 mentions)

Wallen has been there, and done that when it comes to whiskey songs, including his 2023 hit “Last Night” which includes references to Jack Daniels. His 2021 Dangerous: The Double Album also features two songs with whiskey in the title: “Whiskey’d My Way” and “Me on Whiskey.” The latter track is about getting Tennessee tipsy in the neon light of whiskey and wine.

5. “Tennessee Whiskey,” Saltwater Saddles (9 mentions)

“Tennessee Whiskey,” tells the story of a guy who’s saved from drowning his sorrows in a bottle of whiskey by finding real love: Liquor was the only love I’d known / But you rescued me from reachin’ for the bottom / And brought me back from being too far gone.

Written by Dean Dillon and Linda Hargrove, the song was first recorded by David Allan Coe and released in 1981. By 1983, George Jones‘ version went to No. 2 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. The song has been covered dozens of times, including Chris Stapleton‘s Traveller rendition, which went to new heights after he shared an explosive performance of the song with Justin Timberlake at the 2015 CMA Awards.

Though Stapleton made the Top 50 list of whiskey songs with his 2020 “Devil Always Made Me Think Twice,” it was the Saltwater Saddles 2023 cover of “Tennessee Whiskey,” that made the top 10.

6. “Must Be The Whiskey,” Cody Jinks (9 mentions)

On Cody Jinks‘ 2018 song “Must Be the Whiskey,” he’s trying to forget about a breakup with some Jim Beam: I’ve been drinkin’ to remember and drinkin’ to forget / I got I love you on my mind, I got Jim Beam on my breath. Written for Jinks by Josh Morningstar, “Must Be the Whiskey,” released on his album Lifers, made it to No. 21 on the country charts.

7. “Whiskey and Rain,” Michael Ray (8 mentions)

In “Whiskey and Rain,” Michael Ray is drinking through Black Label Jack Daniels on ice to get through the end of a relationship. Released on Ray’s 2021 album Higher Education, “Whiskey and Rain” went to No. 1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart and No. 6 on the Hot Country Songs chart. Written by Jesse Frasure and Josh Thompson, “Whiskey and Rain” is a track Ray admitted was crafted in the style of ’90s country like Dwight Yoakam and Gary Allan.

“Back when we were recording this song I would think about all the things I always loved about [Gary Allan] and the way his music spoke to me and my life growing up in Eustis,” said Ray on Instagram around the release of the song. “I hope this song has been there for you on lonely nights when you’ve needed it, just like Gary always has been for me.”

8. “Wine, Beer, Whiskey,” Little Big Town (6 mentions)

More than whiskey is used to soothe a broken heart on Little Big Town’s 2020 single “Wine, Beer, Whiskey.” Released on the group’s ninth album Nightfall in 2020, “Wine, Beer, Whiskey” was written by all four members—Karen Fairchild, Phillip Sweet, Kimberly Schlapman, and Jimi Westbrook—along with Sean McConnell and Tofer Brown. My friend named Jack / He’s got my back / He always seems to know right where I’m at ring the lyrics around the third spirit in line.

9. “Friends In Low Places,” Garth Brooks (5 mentions)

Since he has friends in low places, Garth sings Where the whiskey drowns and the beer chases / My blues away / And I’ll be okay / Yeah I’m not big on social graces / Think I’ll slip on down to the Oasis on “Friends in Love Places.” Written by Earl Bud Lee and Dewayne Blackwell, “Friends in Low Places” was originally released on Brooks’ second album No Fences in 1990. The song spent four weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and won the CMA and ACM for Single of the Year. Brooks also features a live version of the song in his 1998 album Double Live album.

10. “Cocaine and Whiskey,” Them Dirty Roses (4 mentions)

After an idyllic relationship, complete with the house and picket fence, comes to an end, Them Dirty Roses just want their former vices back on “Cocaine and Whiskey,” written by the band’s vocalist James Ford, guitarist Andrew Davis, bassist Ben Crain, and drummer Frank Ford. The Alabama country rockers released “Cocaine and Whiskey” on their 2014 self-titled EP.

Photo: Matt Paskert / Courtesy of EB Media PR

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