March 31.2015 – Story Behind The Song “Beer For My Horses” by Toby Keith featuring Willie Nelson

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Hear the story here!

Buy the single here!

“When I was a kid I worked for a rodeo company,” says Toby on his Web site. “The old timers who worked the stock and stuff in the back would carry a pint of whiskey in their pocket – they were just old cowboys. They would pull it out and say, ‘Here’s to me, here’s to you, we got screwed, so screw you, here’s to me.’ They always had some little toast. One was to hold up the bottle for a drink and say, ‘Whiskey for my men, beer for my horses.’ I kept that in my head a long time thinking I’d write it some day. We did finally, trying to say that maybe it’s time that justice gets back into the judicial system. The big posse goes out and catches the bad guys and everybody comes back to lick their wounds, remember the ones they lost and celebrate with the ones that made it back. You raise your glass and say, ‘Whiskey for my men, beer for my horses, bartender.’ One of those conceptual deals. Soon as we got done writing it I thought man, it’d be cool if we could talk Willie Nelson into singing the Texas verse on that. Obviously he went for it and I think it’s the biggest multi-week #1 either of us ever had.”

“I had this title forever, and when Scott Emerick came up with a neat little melody lick, the two just went hand-in-hand. The song was written prior to September 11th. It’s about justice, but more so about the law of the Old West. It truly depicts how I feel about our justice system today.”

Yet another #1 Country hit for Toby Keith and Scotty Emerick, this song packed another surprise with the addition of Willie Nelson to the voice track, which was all Toby’s idea, Scotty says. “After we got finished writing it, he said, ‘Man, you know who’d be perfect to do a duet with? Willie Nelson.’ I said, ‘Man, don’t even say that, that’d be way too cool.’ And then Toby got it done. It happened really easy, too.” It was the first time Toby and Willie had done a duet together, and Scotty tells this story about their first meeting: “We got on his bus and played him ‘Beer For My Horses.’ That’s the first time we ever met him. And we told him we had an idea, we had a song we wanted to do a duet with him. So we just met him on his bus and hung out all night, and played him songs. And he’s so nice, he said, ‘Sure.’ Then it just all fell into place. They recorded it, and it’s great.”

The single reached number twenty-two on the Billboard Hot 100, making it Keith’s highest charting song of his career at the time. The song also peaked at number two overall in the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs. “Beer for My Horses” was certified platinum once by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Lyrics:
Well a man come on the 6 o’clock news
Said somebody’s been shot, somebody’s been abused
Somebody blew up a building
Somebody stole a car
Somebody got away
Somebody didn’t get too far yeah
They didn’t get too far

Grandpappy told my pappy, back in my day, son
A man had to answer for the wicked that he done
Take all the rope in Texas
Find a tall oak tree, round up all of them bad boys
Hang them high in the street for all the people to see that

[Chorus:]

Justice is the one thing you should always find
You got to saddle up your boys
You got to draw a hard line
When the gun smoke settles we’ll sing a victory tune
We’ll all meet back at the local saloon
We’ll raise up our glasses against evil forces
Singing whiskey for my men, beer for my horses

We got too many gangsters doing dirty deeds
We’ve got too much corruption, too much crime in the streets
It’s time the long arm of the law put a few more in the ground
Send ’em all to their maker and he’ll settle ’em down
You can bet he’ll set ’em down ’cause

[Chorus (x2)]

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About Robynn

Robynn Jaymes has spent her whole life in radio… 30 years!! And almost half of them have been at Star Country. Originally from Cincinnati, Robynn came to the area as a Liberty University student. Along with all things country music, Robynn is a big fan of Football!—The Virginia Tech Hokies, The Washington Redskins and, of course, the Cincinnati Bengals. And also, “I’m addicted to the Weather Channel,” she says. Right now, Robynn is a big fan if the music coming from Miranda Lambert, Lady Antebellum and Kenny Chesney! Robynn is also a winner of the Billboard Air Personality of the Year award. Hear all new Warm & Fuzzies with Robynn M-F at 11:45AM!

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