Music

'Two Pina Coladas': The Story Behind The Feel-Good Garth Brooks Hit

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If you're looking for the perfect country song to put on your beach-going (or beach-drinking) playlist, look no further than Garth Brooks' "Two Pina Coladas." One of Brooks' classic hits, the song was released as the third single from his album Sevens in March 1998. In the tune, Brooks, singing from the perspective of a heartbroken man, decides to drive to the beach after a man on television says, "Heartaches are healed by the sea." Before he knows it, he's got two pina coladas in his hands and he's forgotten his troubles.

"So bring me two pina coladas, I want one for each hand / Let's set sail with Captain Morgan, and never leave dry land / Any troubles I forgot 'em, I buried 'em in the sand / So bring me two pina coladas, she said good-bye to her good timin' man," he sings in the chorus.

The song became a number one hit for Brooks and has since become one of his greatest hits and biggest arena sing-a-long moments, alongside songs like "Friends In Low Places." 

"Two Pina Coladas" was written by Shawn Camp, Benita Hill and Sandy Mason, and like many of country music's great hits, the song was born out of a simple conversation. According to Hill and Camp, "Two Pina Coladas" was written on a particularly cold and rainy February day in Nashville. The three weren't having luck writing other songs that day, so they started chatting about being on a beach instead of in the cold weather.

"We got together on this one day for another writing session, and it was a really cold, gloomy day. It was February, it was raining, it was just really yucky," Hill told Bart Herbison in an interview posted by The Tennessean"So, we just fantasized about how nice it would be to be at the beach having a pina colada, or maybe two, one in each hand. We had been hitting it hard and trying to come up with something that we all could feel to write that day, and it was, like, not happening. So, we were just running ideas back and forth until we just decided, 'Well, let's write that. That sounds like fun.'"

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Shawn Camp echoed Hill's recollection of the writing of the song when he shared the story at a show in Nashville, adding that it took them almost no time to complete the song.

"I said, 'Ladies if we can't come up with nothing we might as well go to Florida or something,'" Camp said of the conversation leading up to the writing of the song. "Sandy Mason said, 'Well, if I go to Florida, I want a pina colada.' And Benita said, 'Well, I want one for each hand.' So, about 20 minutes later we had this song."

Hill also shared that the songwriters originally thought of Jimmy Buffett for the song, and Sandy Mason was going to pitch it to Buffett's record label. However, she soon met up with Brooks' producer Alan Reynolds who took the song to Brooks.

"She ran into Alan and he said, 'Let me hear your new song.' So she played it and he said, 'Let me hear that again.' So she played it again and he goes, 'I think I'm going to play that for Garth,'" said Hill. "When she came back and told me I was kind of dumbfounded because I didn't think that would be anything that Garth would do, but he did, and I'm so glad he did."

Camp plays acoustic guitar on the studio version of the song. Brooks also released a popular live version of the song, which appeared on his Double Live album. The Double Live album features live tracks recorded during Brooks' 1996-98 World Tour. The live album also includes performances of Brooks' other greatest hits, including "The Thunder Rolls," Unanswered Prayers," "Standing Outside The Fire," "Longneck Bottle," "The Beaches of Cheyenne," "To Make You Feel My Love," "If Tomorrow Never Comes," "Friends In Low Places," and more.

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'Two Pina Coladas': The Story Behind The Feel-Good Garth Brooks Hit