Beer for My Horses
|"Beer for My Horses"|
|Single by Toby Keith featuring Willie Nelson|
|from the album Unleashed|
|B-side||"Rock You Baby"|
|Released||April 7, 2003|
|Format||CD single, 7"|
|Label||DreamWorks Records 450785|
"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 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). "Beer for My Horses" was certified platinum once by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
"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.
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. It won the award for Video of the Year in May later that year.
"Beer for my Horses" received mixed reviews from music critics. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic found the song to be "absurdly anthemic." The editors of iTunes found the collaboration of Nelson and Keith to be "good, silly fun."
The Village Voice's Robert Christgau criticized the song, claiming that its use of the word "gangsters" was "racial coding", and that the song "naturalizes lynching". In 2008, five years after the song's release, liberal blogger Max Blumenthal called the song a "racially tinged, explicitly pro-lynching anthem that calls for the vigilante-style hanging of car thieves, 'gangsters doing dirty deeds...crime in the streets,' and other assorted evildoers." Toby Keith denied this accusation, saying that the song was "about the old West and horses and sheriffs ... and going and getting the bad guys", and called Blumenthal a "moron".
Chart and sales performance
"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. It re-entered at number 60 on the chart dated February 1, 2003. On the 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.
Charts and certifications
|US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)||1|
|US Billboard Hot 100||22|
|US Country Songs (Billboard)||2|
The song is available as downloadable content for the game Rock Band.
- "CMT : Music Video : Beer for My Horses : Toby Keith". cmt.com. Retrieved 2014-03-22.
- "38th Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards Nominees | Billboard". billboard.com. Retrieved 2014-03-22.
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Unleashed review". Allmusic. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
- "iTunes - Music - Unleashed by Toby Keith". itunes.apple.com. Retrieved 2014-03-22.
- Robert Christgau (April 22, 2003). "Not Hop Stomp". The Village Voice.
- Blumenthal, Max (August 5, 2008). "Toby Keith's Pro-Lynching Publicity Tour Hits Colbert, CBS and More". Huffington Post.
- "Toby Keith Hits Back at Accusation Song Is Pro-Lynching". Fox News. August 8, 2008.
- Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. ISSN 0006-2510.
- Grein, Paul (April 16, 2014). "Chart Watch: "Happy" tops 4M". Yahoo! Music. Yahoo!.
- "Toby Keith – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Toby Keith.
- "Toby Keith – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Toby Keith.
- "Best of 2003: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2003. Retrieved July 13, 2012.
- "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
- "Toby Keith stars in "Beer for My Horses" movie". September 9, 2006. Retrieved 2008-07-08.
by Diamond Rio
|Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks
June 14 – July 19, 2003
"My Front Porch Looking In"