Country Music, I Think You Have a Drinking Problem

Dear Country Music,

It’s your pal Tim here. I’m one of your biggest fans. I’ve seen Randy Travis, Brad Paisley, and John Denver in concert. Okay, so you’re saying John Denver is more folk than country. Fair point.  

My point is that I’ve loved you, Country Music, my entire adult life – even the really old stuff, like Eddie Arnold, Hank Williams and George Jones (no relation). That said, I’m not quite sure what you were thinking when you came up with  songs like Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer, or Drop Kick Me Jesus Through the Goalposts of Life. I assume you were probably going through a rough patch. It happens to the best of us.   

I’m writing to you today because, well, I think it’s time we had a serious chat. You see, I’ve been noticing a disturbing pattern lately, and I’m starting to worry about you. It seems like every time I turn on the radio to listen to your music, there’s another ballad about drinking. Just today, I heard you play Drink in My Hand, by Eric Church. Then not 15 minutes later, you were back at it with Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar, followed five minutes later by Miranda Lambert crooning Tequila Does. Are you trying to tell me something?

Let me get to the point, Country Music. I’m starting to get concerned. I think you may have a drinking problem. Now, before you get defensive, hear me out. I’m not saying this to be judgmental or to rain on your parade. But lately, it just seems like you can’t go a single playlist without mentioning whiskey, beer, or some other form of liquid courage. As I was typing the last sentence, I had you playing in the background. And right out of the starting gate, my Alexa app delivered Merle Haggard wailing I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink.

I mean, come on. How many songs about Whiskey Lullabies or Whiskey River does one genre need? And I just checked. There are more than 20 country songs about Tequila alone, including Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off and Tequila on a Boat and Straight Tequila Night and Tequila Little Time. What exactly is your obsession with Tequila, buddy? I’ve tried it. I have to say, it tastes nasty.

Country Music, I know you like to party, drown your sorrows in a shot glass, and reminisce about the girl that broke your heart. But do you always have to have a drink in your hand when you sing your stories?

Look, I get it. Alcohol has been a staple of your repertoire since the beginning. From Red Foley to Tammy Wynette, it’s been a central theme in many of your greatest hits, like Drunk on a Plane or It’s Five O’clock Somewhere. But times change, my friend. And maybe it’s time for you to put down the bottle.

Now, I’m not saying you have to go cold turkey or anything drastic like that. I’m just suggesting that maybe you could branch out a bit. How about a song about drinking Mountain Dew instead of whiskey? Or maybe a ballad about the joys of herbal tea? I hear chamomile can be quite soothing. I’m just saying  every third song doesn’t have to be about day drinking Tequila shots.

What really worries me is that right after I hear you deliver one of your boozing songs, then you’ll often play a song like Willie Nelson’s On The Road Again or Commander Cody’s Hot Rod Lincoln. Do you really think it’s a good idea to combine drinking and driving, buddy? And it seems you can’t even go fishing without case of beer on board. Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about. Or did you forget that Ray Stevens song, Too Drunk to Fish?

But hey, CM – can I call you CM? – don’t take this the wrong way. I still love you even though I think you may be in serious denial about your drinking (and driving and boating) problem. I wonder sometimes, do you even hear yourself? I mean, you even came up with a song called DRINKIN’ PROBLEM, in which one of the lyrics goes, “People say I’ve got a drinkin’ problem, but I got no problem drinkin’ at all.” If you ask me, this sounds like a cry for help.  

Hey, buddy, normally’ I’d be the first one on the dance floor kicking up my cowboy boots when Garth Brooks’ Friends in Low Places comes on. But I can’t do it anymore, for two reasons: First, I simply can’t encourage your reckless binge drinking song habit. And second, I’ve never been able to pull off cowboy boots as a look.

So, what do ya’ say, Country Music? Can you finally ask for help? I want to be there for you but first you have to come clean and admit you have a serious drinking problem. You need to look in the mirror and face the fact that songs like Ten Rounds with Jose Cuervo (yet another Tequila song – seriously, what is it with you and Tequila, dude?) will only make your alcohol addiction worse.

I believe in you, Country Music. I know you can turn things around. How about cranking out some sober ballads about how much you love your momma or maybe a tearjerker about watching your little girl grow up? Those are healthier choices.

But if you refuse to make serious changes in your song selection, you may leave me no choice but to distance myself from you for my own emotional wellbeing. I hear that there are virtually no Gregorian Chants about getting hammered. Please don’t make me resort to that. Those chants are so depressing, they just might make ME start drinking.

Your biggest fan – for now,


For more of Tim Jones’ humor go HERE

Check out Tim Jones’ new YouTube channel, View from the Bleachers.

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