Before today’s party songs, there were these 10 gems.
We’re all familiar with the recent country music hits that help us kick the weekend off, like Luke Bryan’s “That’s My Kind of Night,” Jason Aldean’s “Night Train” and Florida Georgia Line’s “Sun Daze.”
But while those songs are almost guaranteed to be chart-topping hits, they follow a long line of artists who created the concept of a true party song. Take a look at our pick for 10 of the best original party songs.
10. “Girls Night Out” – The Judds
Girls just wanna have fun, as the Judds proved in this song. Singing, “Well, it’s a girl’s night out / Honey, there ain’t no doubt / I’m gonna dance every dance ’til the boys go home / Well, it’s my night to rock / No watchin’ that ol’ clock / Oh, ain’t no doubt, Lordy it’s a girl’s night out,” the song remained a mainstay on their setlist until they disbanded in 1991.
9. “If You’ve Got the Money, I’ve Got the Time” – Lefty Frizzell
Frizzell clearly didn’t mind having fun on someone else’s dime. The 1950 song said, “If you’ve got the money, honey, I’ve got the time / We’ll go honky tonkin’ and we’ll have a time / We’ll have more fun baby all way down the line / If you’ve got the money honey I’ve got the time.” Willie Nelson covered the song in 1976.
8. “Honky Tonk Man” – Johnny Horton
Horton liked this song so much, he released it twice – first in 1956, and again in 1961, and landing in the Top 15 both times. The uptempo classic, with lines like, “Now I’m living wild and dangerously / But I’ve got plenty of company / When the moon comes up and the sun goes down / I can’t wait to see the lights of town,” became a hit for Bob Luman in 1970, and Dwight Yoakam in 1986.
7. “Down at the Twist and Shout” – Mary Chapin Carpenter
Carpenter made it clear in this 1991 hit that girls like to party just as much as the guys, and maybe more. This self-penned hit, which said, “Saturday night and the moon is out / I wanna head on over to the Twist and Shout / Find a two-step partner and a Cajun beat / When it lifts me up I’m gonna find my feet,” won Carpenter her first Grammy.
6. “Jailhouse Rock” – Elvis Presley
So this party happened in jail, but a party is still a party. Presley sang “The warden threw a party in the county jail / The prison band was there and they began to wail / The band was jumpin’ and the joint began to swing / You should’ve heard those knocked out jailbirds sing” all the way to the top of the charts in both rock and country.
5. “Misery Loves Company” – Porter Wagoner
A wild night may not cure a broken heart, but it definitely helps forget for a few hours, as Wagoner attested to in this tune. Singing, “So break out the bottle bring on the crowd / Tell funny stories turn the jukebox up loud / Come on sit at my table where the drinks are on me / Just gather round me ’cause misery loves company,” the song became his second, and last, number one hit.
4. “Party Crowd” – David Lee Murphy
This remedy for getting over a lost love, from Murphy’s 1994 freshman Out With a Bang album, might come with a headache. With lines like, “Tonight I’m lookin’ for a party crowd / Slammin’ ’em back and laughing out loud / Where the smoke’s so thick the blues can’t hang around … I’m makin’ the rounds, looking for a party crowd,” a hangover seems a small price to pay after that kind of night.
3. “Queen of the Honky Tonk Street” – Kitty Wells
Forget keeping the home fires burning. Wells is ready to go out and have a good time. Singing “The lights are low / And the jukebox is loud / As we make the rounds / Among the wild, unruly crowd … Don’t point your finger at me / Men should understand / That a Honky tonk woman’s / Good as a Honky tonk man,” Wells makes a night out sound like a lot more fun than anything that could be happening at home.
2. “Okie From Muskogee” – Merle Haggard
Haggard certainly made living in the Sooner State sound like a good time in this country classic. With a lyric that says, “And I’m proud to be an Okie from Muskogee / A place where even squares can have a ball / We still wave Old Glory down at the courthouse / And white lightnin’s still the biggest thrill of all,” we might want to drop in on the state as well.
1. “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight” – Hank Williams, Jr.
This 1984 classic has energized fan for the last 30 years. From his Major Moves album, Williams sang, “Do you want a drink / Hey do you want to party / Hey honey this is ole Hank. Ready to get the thing started.We cooked the pig in the ground, got some beer on ice /And all my rowdy friends are coming over tonight.” Aversion of the song was used as the theme for Monday Night Football from 1989 to 2011. Several celebrities including George Jones, Willie Nelson, Mel Tillis, Waylon Jennings and Cheech and Chong all appeared in the iconic video.