Tequila means trouble. That's what we like about it. It isn't necessarily any stronger than any other distilled spirit. It contains no mystery ingredients with suspect powers (like the wormwood in absinthe). It isn't deceptively sweet, which might encourage injudicious consumption. And yet…
Why does tequila always seem to lead to all those lost afternoons and blackout evenings? Why is it always so much fun? Maybe it's that whole slightly naughty south-of-the-border thing. Maybe it's that strangely addictive flavor, that tang of herbs and earth and smoke. Maybe it's just one of those mysteries of life that we shouldn't try too hard to comprehend.
Whatever it is, tequila seems to nearly always lead us astray, make us do stupid things, release inhibitions we didn't even know we had — not that we mind a bit. The nice thing is that, thanks to its reputation, tequila also gives us an excuse for bad behavior. (Hey, I'm really sorry I broke your X-Box and ate your pet rabbit and asked your wife to marry me. Damn, I must have had one too many shots of Casamigos Reposado.)
Whatever tequila inspires in us, it also inspires music. Tequila songs. There must be hundreds of them — mostly in the country genre with a bit of hip-hop around the edges and your odd Alanis Morissette and suchlike. The word tequila itself sounds musical. More to the point, though, the very mention of the word evokes the stuff of balladry: deserts, mountains, and the sea; moonlit nights and dimly lit cantinas; sexual adventure; heartbreak. We love scotch, but, frankly, what kind of drinker would claim "You and scotch make me crazy"? And when was the last time you heard somebody croon "It's another Jägermeister sunrise"?
Without even trying, we came up with more than three dozen songs with the word tequila or a tequila brand name, or both, in the title (not counting a whole raft of Margarita songs), many of them celebrating (or bemoaning) the notorious effects of this magical elixir. Here are details on 16 of our favorites:
3 Fingers Tequila (Mark David Manders)
Sung by Mark David Manders
The Takeaway: "When the sun comes up in Mexico / it does not make a sound"
Cheap Tequila (Rick Derringer)
Sung by Johnny Winter
The Takeaway: "Drink up and be happy"
Más Tequila (Gary Glitter, Sammy Hagar, Mike Leander)
Sung by Sammy Hagar
The Takeaway: "Uno mas, bartender…one more…más tequila!"
Mexico, Tequila, and Me (Alan Jackson)
Sung by Alan Jackson
The Takeaway: "Yeah, there's Mexico, tequila, and me, that's all"
Nancy Drinks Tequila (Keith Swanson)
Sung by Barleyjuice
The Takeaway: "Tequila's cost me liver dear"
One Tequila (Darius Rucker, Monty Russ Criswell, Frank Rogers)
Sung by Darius Rucker
The Takeaway: "Dude, you know I can't drink tequila / Call me a cab"
Straight Tequila Night (Debbie Hupp, Kent Robbins)
Sung by John Anderson
The Takeaway: "Don't ask her on a straight tequila night"
Tattoos and Tequila (Marti Frederiksen)
Sung by Vince Neil
The Takeaway: "There's a bottle pointing right at you"
Tequila Loves Me (Arnie Roman, Jon McElroy)
Sung by Kenny Chesney
The Takeaway: "Tequila loves me even if you don't"
Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off (Gary Hannan, John Wiggins)
Sung by Joe Nichols
The Takeaway: "She might come home in a tablecloth"
Tequila Sheila (Mac Davis, Shel Silverstein)
Sung by Bobby Bare
The Takeaway: "Just pass me the salt 'n' the lemon"
Tequila Sunrise (Don Henley, Glenn Frey)
Sung by The Eagles
The Takeaway: "It's a hollow feelin' when it / comes down to dealin' friends"
Tequila Talkin' (Bill LaBounty, Chris Waters)
Sung by Lonestar
The Takeaway: "I don't know what they put in Cuervo / that got me to say those things"
Till All the Tequila Is Gone (Eric Stone)
Sung by Eric Stone
The Takeaway: "She stole my heart, my wallet, my car / and all the tequila was gone"
You and Tequila (Matraca Berg, Deana Kay Carter)
Sung by Kenny Chesney
The Takeaway: "One more is never enough"
When the Tequila Runs Out (Taylor Goldsmith, Jason Boesel, Blake Mills)
Sung by Dawes
The Takeaway: "When the tequila runs out / we'll be drinking Champagne"