I'm Crying in My BeerHere it is Valentine’s Day and I’m finding myself single. On the plus side, there’s no candy, flowers, or jewelry I have to buy. No cards or waiting for a table at a restaurant because I forgot to make reservations. Instead, it’s a Thursday like any other Thursday here in Apt. 104.
On the downside, there’s always the crying in your beer over loves lost. Sloppy on a wobbly stool in a bar named Pretty Pat’s, philosophizing with the bartender who might look good enough to try to take home after you have a few more. The bar’s old enough that there is a coin-fed jukebox against the wall, beside the pool cues. The jukebox holds 45s that haven’t been changed in about 20 years, but that’s all right. You’re single, it’s Valentine’s Day, and there’s nothing that sounds better than George Jones or Hank Sr. They knew heartbreak and you know heartbreak. You drop in 50 cents and punch up E1.
For me, it’s a fine line distinguishing a good “Tear in My Beer” song from just another sad song. Pop music is overloaded with slow, sad songs, but if I’m going to cry in my beer, I need a good, slow, twangy country song. It’s got to be about cheatin’, broken hearts, and somebody-done-somebody-wrong. And it’s got to be country. As much as I love rock music, when it comes to sitting up on a barstool, getting drunk, and feeling sorry for yourself, it’s got to be country music.
It seems like the best country songs are found in jukeboxes in small, ugly bars. Or maybe that’s just the best place to hear them. I’ve got a woefully small collection of country music, but I gathered a few of my best “crying in your beer” songs with which to wish you Happy Valentine’s Day.
Broke, Lovesick & Driftin’.mp3 Hank III
The Bottle Let Me Down.mp3 Merle Haggard
Ex in Texas.mp3 Moe Bandy
I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry (live).mp3 Hank Sr.
If Drinkin’ Don’t Kill Me, Her Memory Will.mp3 George Jones
Pardon Me, I’ve Got Someone to Kill.mp3 Johnny Paycheck