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The Greatest Honky-Tonk Songs

Updated June 18, 2020 1.5k votes 258 voters 21.6k views47 items

Country music would not be complete without honky-tonk songs. They're part of the fabric of the genre itself. Just try to imagine a world without country songs about bars, bar fights, bar fights over women/men/anything at all. You probably can't, and that's a good thing. A great night at a honky-tonk bar deserves an equally memorable song about it.

Some of the best honky-tonk songs were made famous by country music royalty. Merle Haggard sang about his own honky-tonk, where he took up residence after a broken relationship in “Swinging Doors.” All he needed was a bar stool, a jukebox, a flashing neon sign, and those swinging doors. Other good honky-tonk songs on this list include classics from Loretta Lynn (“Honky Tonk Girl”), Willie Nelson (“If You’ve Got the Money”) and several from Hank Williams, Sr., including “There’s a Tear in My Beer.” Hank could’ve been sitting on the bar stool right next to Merle when he wrote it – figuratively, of course. George Jones, who has one of the all-time greatest voices in country music, sang some top honky-tonk songs, including “She Thinks I Still Care.”

Famous honky-tonk songs involve bars, booze and a hefty dose of heartache. These are some of the best, so raise a glass and vote for your favorites.

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