Friday Fifteen: Songs About Tequila

Juli Thanki | May 9th, 2014

Tequila’s been around since at least the 1600s and has been memorialized in song by everyone from Western Swing’s Cliff Bruner to The Champs to Jimmy Buffett to Joe Nichols. Here are 15 other tunes celebrating the beverage.

15. Lorrie Morgan & Sammy Kershaw – “He Drinks Tequila”

This Shawn Camp/Michele McCord song from Morgan and Kershaw’s largely forgettable 2001 collaboration, I Finally Found Someone, tells how a hard-partying trailer park couple – and their yappy Chihuahua – celebrate the weekends.


14. Pauline Reese – “Yellow Wine”

Why isn’t Reese better known? Let’s work on that, folks, while we watch this random pair line dance to her music.


13. Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriguez – “Sweet Tequila Blues”

Taylor and Rodriguez were an irresistible duo; this cut, from Let’s Leave This Town, is a whole lot of fun.


12. Buck Owens – “Tequila Sunrise”

Owens covered a handful of Eagles songs back in his Hee Haw days; Omnivore Recordings released his versions on CD a couple years ago


11. Pam Tillis – “Tequila Mockingbird”

Tequila Mockingbird is about the best stage name a cantina singer could possibly hope for. Unfortunately, it came with a whole bunch of heartache.


10. Dale Watson – “Thanks to Tequila”

Watson’s recorded several songs over the years; you can’t go wrong with any of ‘em. This one’s from his most recent album, El Rancho Azul.


9. Paul Thorn – “Tequila is Good for the Heart”

Because cirrhosis is easier to deal with than heartbreak.


8. Nanci Griffith – “Tequila After Midnight”

Tequila is a magical beverage that drives away loneliness and makes strangers look familiar. The only trouble comes after the sunrise.


7. Steve Goodman – “How Much Tequila (Did I Drink Last Night)”

Tequila was probably the best coping method for dealing with Goodman’s (who wrote this song with John Prine) beloved Chicago Cubs.


6. Sir Douglas Quintet – “Sheila Tequila”

Not to be confused with Bobby Bare’s lady friend, “Tequila Sheila,” who appeared on this site a few months ago in our Friday Five about drag.


5. Matraca Berg – “You and Tequila”

Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter made a hit out of Berg and Deana Carter’s co-write (which can also be found on Carter’s I’m Just a Girl and Berg’s stellar The Dreaming Fields), but this version is my favorite.


4. Jim Reeves – “Drinking Tequila”

The country crooner took this fun single to No. 9 in 1955. It’s not one of his biggest hits, but it’s a good one.


3. Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys – “Tequila Calling”

Hearing tequila call your name is probably a good sign that it’s time to call it a night.


2. Shelly West – “Jose Cuervo”

Good luck getting this song out of your head. It’s probably been wedged in there since this single topped the charts in ’83.


1. John Anderson – “Straight Tequila Night”

Released in late 1991, “Straight Tequila Night” was Anderson’s first No. 1 hit in nearly a decade.


  1. paul w dennis
    May 9, 2014 at 10:16 am

    What ?

    Tequila by the champs – the most famous song ever about this libation

    • Juli Thanki
      May 9, 2014 at 10:37 am

      Which is why it’s mentioned and linked to in the intro.

  2. Dave D.
    May 9, 2014 at 10:31 am

    You got my two faves in “Sweet Tequila Blues” and “Straight Tequila Night”, so I can’t complain – although my Dale Watson pick would have been “Tequila and Teardrops”.

  3. bob
    May 9, 2014 at 11:14 am

    Always liked your #1.

    Pam T was appearing with Lari White, Gretchen Peters and Danielle Peck that night she sang Tequila Monkingbird at the BB.

    More Tequila: Lonestar’s first single, “Tequila Talkin'” written by Chris Waters and Bill LaBounty.

  4. Arlene
    May 9, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    Also, there’s Kate Wolf’s “Tequila and Me,” which was covered by Greg Brown and Feron on Treasures Left Behind, a Kate Wolf tribute album.

  5. numberonecountryfan
    May 9, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Where’s Lonestar’s first top ten, Tequila Talkin’ (#8 in 1995)?

  6. luckyoldsun
    May 10, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    Buck Owens cleans all the “Buckiness” out of his vocal on “Tequila Sunrise”–I can’t recognize that it’s him.

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