Top 10 Hangover Songs
Did you have too much fun last night? Well, as these hangover songs prove, some of rock’s biggest stars – including Peter Frampton, ZZ Top and Van Halen – know just how awful you’re feeling right about now. Whether they’re sharing their regrets about how they acted the night before, offering helpful suggestions about how to survive the terrible bright sunshine or just laying on the sofa moaning alongside you, we hope these hangover songs will help you make it through the morning.
What better place start our list than with a song titled “Hangover?” Just as would expect, the lead track from the debut album by Canadian rockers Max Webster delivers the regretful account of the effects from an evening of too much fun. But mostly, they’re just praying for the day to be over.
On the opening song from his only album as lead singer of Black Sabbath, Deep Purple legend Ian Gillan shares a real-life hangover story that he’s fortunate to have survived at all. You see, after a night of drinking, Gillan foolishly decided to try his luck at auto racing on a track near the studio where the band was recording. He and the car – which, as it turns out, belonged to bandmate Bill Ward – wound up flipped over, inches short of certain death, in a swimming pool. “Thank you, Mr. Miracle, I won’t get trashed again,” a grateful Gillan promises, before heading right back to the bar.
The lyrics may not reference being hungover as directly as some of the other tracks on this list, but there’s little doubt that Bon Scott is nursing both a headache and a heartache as he wakes up with “another empty bottle and another empty bed” on this uncharacteristically melancholy AC/DC classic.
‘Who Are You’
Once again, we’re making a little bit of an assumption with our next Hangover Songs entry, but it seems safe to say nobody’s ever been woken up in a doorway by a policeman without having at least a bit of a hangover. Plus, Roger Daltrey (speaking for Who songwriter Pete Townshend) spends the rest of the song piecing together the foggy details of the fighting and arguing he did at a bar the night before: “I remember throwin’ punches around / And preachin’ from my chair.“
Rather than whine and moan about his presumably hungover condition, ZZ Top main man Billy Gibbons instead offers typically wise and stylish instructions for starting the day off right: “When you wake up in the morning and the light hurts your head / The first thing you do when you get up out of bed / Is hit the streets a-runnin’ and try to beat the masses / And go get yourself some cheap sunglasses.“
‘Take Your Whiskey Home’
“Well, that liquor in the nighttime leaves strange memories,” Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth notes the next morning. But his hangover – assuming he’s even sober yet – isn’t bothering him nearly as much as it’s bothering his soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend: “Well, my baby / She don’t want me around / She said she’s tired of watching me fall down.“
‘From the Inside’
On the title track from this 1978 concept album about his battle with alcoholism – a period which included a stay in a New York sanitarium – Alice Cooper explains how life had become one long, never-ending hangover for him. “At first we laughed about it,” the now proudly sober singer explains, before solemnly noting that he “never dreamed” he would “wind up on the losing end.”
‘What Good Can Drinkin’ Do?’
On this posthumously released track from the 1975 compilation Janis, Janis Joplin shows she was fully aware that drinking wasn’t going to make her happier in the long run – or leave her with anything better than a hangover the next morning: “There’s a glass on the table / They say it’s gonna ease all my pain / But I drink it down, an’ the next day I feel the same.“
‘Do You Feel Like We Do’
They say you write best when you write from experience, and Peter Frampton proves it with this hangover song, written while he was dealing with the after-effects of a big night out. As the story goes, the next morning Frampton was able to remember the chords he thought of while drunk, but couldn’t come up with an idea for the lyrics. That is, until his bandmates suggested he just write about what he was dealing with that very moment: “Well, woke up this morning with a wine glass in my hand / Whose wine? What wine? Where the hell did I dine?“
if you’re looking for sympathy after a big crazy night out, Billy Joel may not be the guy to call first. He earns top honors on our Hangover Songs list by showing absolutely no mercy on a friend who demanded to be the center of attention at a high-society party the previous evening: “When you wake up in the morning / With your head on fire / And your eyes too bloody to see / Go on and cry in your coffee / But don’t come bitchin’ to me.“