Beer for My Horses

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For the film based on this song, see Beer for My Horses (film).
"Beer for My Horses"
Beer for my horses single cover.png
Single by Toby Keith featuring Willie Nelson
from the album Unleashed
B-side "Rock You Baby"
Released April 7, 2003
Format CD single, 7"
Genre Country
Length 3:24
Label DreamWorks Records 450785
Writer(s) Scotty Emerick
Toby Keith
Producer(s) James Stroud
Toby Keith
Toby Keith chronology
"Rock You Baby"
"Beer for My Horses"
"I Love This Bar"
Willie Nelson chronology
"Mendocino County Line"
(with Lee Ann Womack)
"Beer for My Horses"
"Please Come Home for Christmas"

"Beer for My Horses" is a song recorded by American country music artists Toby Keith and Willie Nelson. It was composed by Keith and Scotty Emerick for Keith's seventh studio album, Unleashed. The song was released as the album's fourth and final single on April 7, 2003. The song tells of a group of men who fight injustice and celebrate with a round of drinks at a saloon.

"Beer for My Horses" received mixed reviews from music critics. The single reached number twenty-two on the Billboard Hot 100, making it Keith's highest charting song of his career at the time. The song also peaked at number one for six weeks in the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs (one of two songs to stay that long at number one for Toby Keith). Becoming Keith's eleventh number one hit and Nelson's twenty third and his first since "Nothing I Can Do About It Now" in 1989. "Beer for My Horses" was certified platinum once by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

The accompanying music video was directed by Michael Salomon and premiered on April 9, 2003.[1]

"Beer for My Horses" also made Willie Nelson the oldest artist to top the country charts at age 70.

The phrase, "Whiskey for me beer for my horse." is said in the 1975 film 'Bite The Bullet' by Jan Michael Vincent.

Music video[edit]

The music video for the song features Keith, Nelson and Corin Nemec, as detectives hunting a serial killer, played by Gregg Gilmore. The detectives eventually convince Nemec to dress up as a woman to lure the serial killer and they end up capturing him. The video, directed by Michael Salomon, was shot in downtown Los Angeles and at the nearby Golden Oak Ranch, in Newhall, California. It is also the first video in which Keith does not actually sing. On March 4, 2003 the video was nominated for Video of the Year for the Academy of Country Music Awards.[2] It won the award for Video of the Year in May later that year.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

"Beer for my Horses" received mixed reviews from music critics. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic found the song to be "absurdly anthemic."[4] The editors of iTunes found the collaboration of Nelson and Keith to be "good, silly fun."[5]

Chart and sales performance[edit]

"Beer for My Horses" entered the Hot Country Singles & Tracks charts dated for the week ending August 3, 2002, spending three weeks on the charts as an album cut and peaking at number 54.[6] It re-entered at number 60 on the chart dated February 1, 2003. On the Billboard Hot 100, it ended up peaking at number 22. Along with "Who's Your Daddy?", it was tied for his highest peaking song on the chart until "Red Solo Cup" beat it out in 2012 by peaking at number 15. The song has sold 1,027,000 copies in the US as of April 2014.[7]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Chart (2003) Peak
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[8] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[9] 22

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2003) Position
US Country Songs (Billboard)[10] 2


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA)[11] Platinum 1,027,000[7]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


A film adaptation of the song entered production in mid-2008,[12] and was released on August 8, 2008.[13]

The song is available as downloadable content for the game Rock Band.


  1. ^ "CMT : Music Video : Beer for My Horses : Toby Keith". Retrieved 2014-03-22. 
  2. ^ "38th Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards Nominees | Billboard". Retrieved 2014-03-22. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Unleashed review". Allmusic. Retrieved July 26, 2013. 
  5. ^ "iTunes - Music - Unleashed by Toby Keith". Retrieved 2014-03-22. 
  6. ^ Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  7. ^ a b Grein, Paul (April 16, 2014). "Chart Watch: "Happy" tops 4M". Yahoo! Music. Yahoo!. 
  8. ^ "Toby Keith – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Toby Keith.
  9. ^ "Toby Keith – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Toby Keith.
  10. ^ "Best of 2003: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2003. Retrieved July 13, 2012. 
  11. ^ "American single certifications – Toby Keith – Beer for My Horses". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved February 15, 2013.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  12. ^ "Toby Keith stars in "Beer for My Horses" movie". September 9, 2006. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 
  13. ^
Preceded by
"I Believe"
by Diamond Rio
Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks
number-one single

June 14 – July 19, 2003
Succeeded by
"My Front Porch Looking In"
by Lonestar