Power Ranking: Day Drinking Songs
With summer just around the corner and the weather starting to heat up, it is the beginning of day drinking season. From now until the fall, it will be time for beers (or Topo Chico, respectfully) by the pool, on the beach, at the lake, or tailgating. Of course, day drinking requires a very specific type of song. Too much energy and it speeds up the drinking process where day drinking is more of a marathon than a sprint. Too little energy and folks are going to tune out. It’s important to find that perfect middle ground that hints at a party atmosphere without going full-on night club.
Before we actually get to the power ranking, the only rule I’m going to set is that we’re limiting the power ranking to one song per artist. The following songs are from a playlist of my own creation that follows the protocol of song selection mentioned above.
23. "L.A. County Blues" - The Band Of Heathens
We’re kicking off the power ranking with one of my personal favorite songs and bands. L.A. County Blues is a song about the legendary journalist and author Hunter S. Thompson. This song is a staple on most of my playlists but is undoubtedly a classic poolside tune.
22. "In the Summertime" - Mungo Jerry
“In the Summertime” embodies everything you want in a day drinking song. Lighthearted with an easy rhythm, it’s hard not to bob your head to this song. The first time I was exposed to the tune was when I watched the movie "Wedding Crashers" for the first time. From there this song stuck with me as an ideal song for chilling by the pool with a beer.
21. "Lookin’ Out My Back Door" - Creedence Clearwater Revival
The second song in a row that I was first exposed to from a movie, I discovered “Lookin’ Out My Back Door” while watching "The Big Lebowski". CCR has several songs that could’ve been considered for this playlist including “Proud Mary”, “Up Around The Bend”, and “Down On The Corner”, but in the end, I decided on this one for the best of the bunch.
20. "Long Cool Woman (In a Black Dress)" - The Hollies
The third song in a row that came from movie exposure, I got this one from "Remember the Titans". I think it's that opening guitar riff that really sells me on the power of this one as a day drinking song.
19. "Sangria Wine" - Jerry Jeff Walker
Jerry Jeff Walker is a legend of the Texas Music scene for good reason. I got to see the man play at Gruene Hall a few years back and even though he may not be the same as he was back in the day, it was still an incredible time. “Sangria Wine” had to be on this power ranking.
18. "Brown Eyed Girl" - Van Morrison
This song is a classic if a bit overplayed at times. I can’t think of any good day drinking playlist that doesn’t have some version of this tune on there whether it’s Morrison’s original or the Jimmy Buffett cover.
17. "The Ballad of Curtis Loew" - Lynyrd Skynyrd
Most folks have “Sweet Home Alabama” as their go-to song for a playlist but “The Ballad of Curtis Loew” is undoubtedly the better song, especially for day drinking. Drinking and music play central roles in the song so it seems only fitting that the song appears on a power ranking about those two things.
16. "Hold On Loosely" - 38 Special
I couldn’t tell you another song by 38 Special but “Hold On Loosely” is an absolute banger of a tune that fits perfectly for a lake day. It’s a niche kind of rock that fits perfectly for day drinking earning it a spot on this power ranking.
15. "Rich Girl" - Daryl Hall & John Oates
I can’t describe why exactly “Rich Girl” is a perfect day drinking song other than it simply is. Hall & Oates got a masterpiece with this one and although it’s a little more low energy than many of the other songs on this list, it’s still deserving of a spot here.
14. "Summertime" - Z-Ro, Slim Thug
The first hip-hop song on this ranking is a Houston classic from a couple of Houston legends. Maybe it’s my new found love for the city of Houston, but the moment I heard this song for the first time, all I could think of was getting outside and grilling by some kind of body of water.
13. "Margaritaville" - Jimmy Buffett
Is “Margaritaville” probably the most overplayed beach song of all time? Absolutely, but it’s still one of my favorites. I’d argue that this song was the first time I ever really considered making a playlist about day drinking, even though I was about six at the time and didn’t even know what day drinking was.
12. "Thunderstruck" - AC/DC
Have you ever experienced the game that goes along with “Thunderstruck”? If you have this entry doesn’t need any explanation. If you haven’t, go ask someone about it and get back to me.
11. "Danger Zone" - Kenny Loggins
We’re getting back to songs I discovered in movies for a minute, but I had to have “Danger Zone” on here. Kenny Loggins struck gold with a song that embodied the 80’s when this tune was featured in "Top Gun". Also, the television show "Archer".
10. "En el Cielo No Hay Cerveza (In Heaven There Is No Beer)" - Flaco Jiminez
The reason for this song’s ranking on the playlist is right there in the title but if you don’t believe me give it a listen for yourself. This heater of a tune is also in three different languages which immediately gives it bonus points.
9. "Dancing In The Moonlight" - King Harvest
A song that has never failed to put me in a good mood, this tune by King Harvest may be about the night, but it absolutely deserves to be played in the sunshine by a body of water. I literally can’t listen to this song without smiling and/or dancing.
8. "Fat Bottomed Girls" - Queen
Do I even need to explain this one? I didn’t think so.
7. "Take Me Home, Country Roads" - John Denver
I almost didn’t include this song because the St. Louis Blues fans decided to sing it last night during their defeat of the Dallas Stars but then I realized I had to include it because this song transcends state borders. Flatland Calvary played “Country Roads” at Chilifest and I’ve never seen such beautiful, peaceful chaos in my life. Sure, beers were flying everywhere, but it was a spiritual experience.
6. "Heaven" - Los Lonely Boys
“Heaven” is the perfect mixture of Texas Blues, rock, and country creating one of the best tunes I’ve ever heard in my life. If the opening guitar riff and “Vamanos” don’t get you going, you probably don’t have a soul. I don’t make the rules. Well, I guess I do for this power ranking but you get the point.
5. "Int’l Players Anthem (I Choose You)" - UGK, OutKast
The choir singing behind Andre 3000’s verse sets the tone for what is an absolutely jaw-dropping collaboration between two of the most influential groups the South has seen. The drop and Pimp C’s verse just take this song to the next level. This song works for the club, but it’s also a must have for any day drinking playlist.
4. "Long Hot Summer Day" - Turnpike Troubadours
Somehow, I had never heard of Turnpike in high school. That changed my first college spring break. A bunch of the folks in my fraternity had rented a duplex. Our side was all Aggies. The people who rented the other side of the duplex were Longhorns. I’ve never in my life growing up as an OU fan and eventually signing with Texas A&M thought I would ever be thankful for anything a Texas student did. However, on that second day of spring break as I rose to find hair of the dog, I heard the most majestic fiddle from outside. Was eight in the morning probably a little too early for “Long Hot Summer Day”? Yes. However, the song immediately inspired me to rally, making me forever grateful to that Longhorn for gifting me with one of the best day drinking tunes I’ve ever heard.
3. "September" - Earth, Wind & Fire
Much like “Fat Bottomed Girls”, this one doesn’t need any explanation.
2. "Dixieland Delight" - Alabama
I had never heard this song until 2014 at Alabama. As dark as that day was in my football career, it did provide me with happiness in the form of Crimson Tide fans chanting obscenities in the middle of the song.
1. "The Way I Live" - Baby Boy Da Prince
Look, I know I talked about this song when I did the Baseball Walk-Up Songs power ranking but it’s a perfect day drinking song. The guitar riff throughout the song sets the tone and the laid back delivery from Baby Boy Da Prince and Boosie just keep it going. The video above is the wrong version but this is my favorite day drinking song of all time.
Having Fun All Wrong - Roger Creager
It Wasn’t Me - Shaggy
The Joker - Steve Miller Band
Pride and Joy - Stevie Ray Vaughn
Marijuana and Jalapenos - Rich O’Toole
Up On Cripple Creek - The Band
Hard To Handle - The Black Crowes
Shout, Pts. 1 & 2 - The Isley Brothers
Your Love - The Outfield
Africa - Toto
It’s A Great Day To Be Alive - Travis Tritt
Jump - Van Halen
Thirteen Silver Dollars - Colter Wall
Doses & Mimosas - Cherub
Streets of Bakersfield - Dwight Yoakum, Buck Owens
The Wanderer - Dion
New Year’s Day - Charlie Robison
Hooked On A Feeling - Blue Swede
Come And Get Your Love - Redbone
I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink - Merle Haggard
Country Grammar - Nelly
What did you think of the ranking? Let us know in the comments below!