Mini Playlist: Coffee Is Cheaper Than Booze

Juli Thanki | May 18th, 2009

When it comes to country songs about delicious beverages, coffee gets the short end of the swizzle stick. Sure, beer, whiskey and wine get all the attention, but when it comes down to it, coffee is the life-giving elixir that keeps us going. Bonus: it’s cheaper than booze and doesn’t make you puke.

Out of all the bad stuff happening to Willie Nelson in “The Last Thing I Needed First Thing This Morning,” spilling all the coffee is probably the worst. Ladies come and go, but coffee will always be there in the morning. Pour yourself a new cup and check out these five songs celebrating the most wonderful of all beverages.

  • Mark Pickerel & His Praying Hands - Cody's Dream 5. “One More Cup of Coffee” – Mark Pickerel & His Praying Hands
    This Bob Dylan song is transformed into a rootsy dirge by the former Screaming Trees drummer, now the frontman for his own alt-country band.
  • Tom T. Hall - The Essential Tom T. Hall 4. “Don’t Forget the Coffee, Billy Joe” – Tom T. Hall
    Here’s a sad look into a home stricken by poverty and illness; lyrics just don’t get more gutwrenching than “Daddy couldn’t find work then and I was just a child/And God was on vacation for a while.” But despite all these hardships, life is made just a little bit more bearable when you’ve got a steaming mug in front of you.
  • 3. “I’ll Have Another Cup of Coffee” – Cal Smith
    An ex stops by with an alimony payment and sticks around for a cup. And then it gets super sad when Smith sings: “Tell the kids I came by a while last night/And I kissed them while they slept so tight/Make my cup of coffee sweet and make it warm/Just the way you used to be inside my arms.” Poor bastard.
  • Abigail Washburn - Songs of the Traveling Daughter 2. “Coffee’s Cold” – Abigail Washburn
    Life pretty much sucks in this song. Not only do you get sold for “half a dollar bill,” but your coffee’s cold too. Talk about a double whammy.
  • Dave Dudley - Lonelyville 1. “Coffee Coffee Coffee” – Dave Dudley
    Truck drivers–at least the ones in country music–are known for using the occasional stimulant to stay awake on the road. But who needs bennies when you’ve got hot coffee that’s “just like music from a band.” The prolific Tom T. Hall wrote this one, too…perhaps a switch to decaf is in order, buddy.

Listen to this playlist on Rhapsody

1 Ping

  1. [...] National Coffee Day! Celebrate with this old Friday Five about the miracle [...]
  1. Lee
    May 18, 2009 at 8:51 am

    Lacey J. Dalton did a song called, “Black Coffee.”

    I may have heard her do it live at a concert back in the ’80s.
    I know she did “16th Avenue” that night.

  2. Michael
    May 18, 2009 at 9:32 am

    I was going to mention Dalton’s “Black Coffee” too. I always liked that one. I’ve also always liked the line from Diamond Rio’s “Mirror Mirror” Lunch was black coffee and three cigarettes.

  3. Lee
    May 18, 2009 at 9:48 am

    “Coffee black, cigarette,” is the first line of the Don Williams song, “Some Broken Hearts Never Mend.”
    I thought of that when I saw this topic too.

  4. Andrew
    May 18, 2009 at 10:02 am

    Lefty Frizzell had a song called “Cigarettes and Coffee Blues” which Marty Robbins later covered.

  5. Razor X
    May 18, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    Trisha Yearwood has a song called “Just A Cup of Coffee” on her Greatest Hits album.

  6. Brady Vercher
    May 18, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    I couldn’t find Cal Smith’s version of “I’ll Have Another Cup of Coffee,” but it looks like it’s been covered a few times by the likes of Marty Robbins and Ernest Tubb, and I have versions by Conway Twitty and Claude Gray.

    “Instant Coffee Blues” by Guy Clark is another worthy addition, as well as George Hamilton IV’s cover of Gordon Lightfoot’s “Second Cup of Coffee.”

  7. Paul W Dennis
    May 18, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    The hit on “I’ll Have Another Cup of Coffee” was by Claude Gray. Cal Smith’s version was a cover

  8. Rick
    May 18, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    Let’s not forget that the coffee described as “the best in the land” can be found in a truck stop in Texas named Hamburger Dan’s. Well at least according to a “Truck Drivin’ Man” such as Dave Dudley, Buck Owens, Red Simpson, Conway Twitty, Bill Anderson, George Hamilton IV, and even Rick Nelson! (lol)

  9. Leeann Ward
    May 19, 2009 at 8:46 am

    I don’t drink coffee, but I love the smell of it. I love that Washburn song too.

Tagged In This Article

// // // //

Current Discussion

  • Paige: Oh damn. :( I never commented here and I haven't been listening to any music at all since Thanksgiving (it …
  • Dave W.: Just read the news here. Will miss E145 very much - love this site. All the best to you Juli …
  • Leeann Ward: Oh, dang! This is real. Farewell to the most generous, informative, quality, intelligent, consistent, ethical country music blog! You …
  • bll: Thanks Juli for all the great articles and information; you'll be missed by me and I suss several others. Best …
  • Both Kinds of Music: I hope people appreciate the irony that one of the best "Americana" albums is titled Metamodern Sounds in COUNTRY Music.
  • Barry Mazor: I would not rule out that possibility..There's a different set of voters involved..
  • Dana M: Does anyone else think that Brandy Clark actually has a good chance of winning since this isn't a country awards …
  • Juli Thanki: UPDATE: Brandy Clark got a Best New Artist nom. BEST AMERICANA ALBUM: Rosanne Cash -- The River & The Thread John Hiatt -- Terms …
  • luckyoldsun: Glenn Campbell is great and I'd love to see him get an award, but the words of that song may …
  • Casey Penn: Juli, it was an honor to write for you here on You're good at what you do, and The …

Recently Reviewed Albums

  • walkerandthetexasdangers3
  • deadmanstown
  • tom t hall storytellers
  • paulthorntooblessed
  • duhksbeyondtheblue
  • kelleymickwee
  • sandrarhodes
  • candi staton