Luke Bryan, ‘Drink a Beer’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]
Luke Bryan's 'Drink a Beer' feels like a song the singer will fight back tears introducing. He didn't write it, but his connection to the story is unmistakable. It's humble and honest -- a far cry from the chest-pounding that takes place between the guttural cries of 'That's My Kind of Night.'
Chris Stapleton and Jim Beavers penned this ballad from Bryan's 'Crash My Party' album, but if the singer were to say it's about one of the two siblings he lost growing up, it'd be difficult to argue with him. He hasn't shown this sort of vulnerability before. Until recently, he hasn't talked about the double tragedies, either. The memorable moments from this track aren't found in the lyrics, but between them.
"When I got the news today / I didn’t know what to say / So, I just hung up the phone / I took a walk to clear my head / This is where the walking led / Can’t believe you’re really gone," Bryan sings to begin the song as a simple acoustic strums along.
Bryan lost his older brother Chris in 1996, and then lost his sister Kelly a few years later. She was 39, and doctors never really determined the cause of death. That he can move past these tragedies to become known as one of the most happy-go-lucky guys in country music says something of his character. In 'Drink a Beer,' he gets to share that pensive side, if only for a few poignant minutes.
"Funny how the good ones go / Too soon, but the good Lord knows / The reasons why, I guess / Sometimes a greater plan / Is kinda hard to understand / Right now it don’t make sense."
Some may criticize this song for leaning on beer to explain complex emotions and life situations, but Bryan proves he's a master at connecting with his audience with this acoustic cut. The chorus is short, sweet and easy for guys who are not comfortable opening up to relate to. There's no shame in that.
Key Lyrics: "So, I’m gonna sit right here / On the edge of this pier / And watch the sunset disappear / And drink a beer"
Did You Know?: When Luke Bryan won the ACM Entertainer of the Year award in 2013, he says he was thinking about his late siblings as he accepted the trophy. “That’s the first thing you [think], that they’re in heaven smiling down on moments like this,” the singer said. “That’s what is amazing. We can rejoice in the good things in life as a family and all of our friends.”
Listen to Luke Bryan, 'Drink a Beer'