Ain't Worth the Whiskey

Album: Cole Swindell (2014)
Charted: 43

Songfacts®:

  • Swindell wrote this song with Josh Martin and Adam Sanders shortly after a breakup that didn't end well. The minute the girl heard it, she knew. "I denied it, I think, when she asked me," he told Taste of Country. "But I'm glad she knows. That's why I wrote it. I'm glad she knows it's about her, that means I wrote it exactly how I wanted to."
  • Swindell told Billboard magazine the country ballad is special to him, "because it came from a real place." He explained: "I had just broken up with this girl, and I could not shake it. One of my buddies threw out the title, and I said, 'I know somebody who might not be worth it that we can write this about.'"
  • The song was penned back in 2011 when Cole Swindell and his pal Josh Martin were a pair of struggling songwriters. The pair wrote together as part of a small group of friends and co-writers that also included Adam Sanders. Martin threw out 'Ain't Worth the Whiskey,' a title he'd been carrying around for a while during one particular writing appointment. "Adam threw out a few more titles, and I started spitting out more titles, and Cole said, 'What are we doing - why the hell ain't we writing 'Ain't Worth the Whiskey'?" Martin recalled to Taste of Country, laughing. "So we stopped in our tracks, and I said, 'I agree.' And Adam said, 'Yeah, I like that, too. That's probably the best hook that's gonna come out of the room tonight.'"

    It was Swindell himself who hit upon the song's unique angle. "I didn't really want it to be a non-drinking song," Martin said. "I didn't want it to be about, we're gonna quit drinking because this girl has broken our heart. And then Cole said, 'Let's do the opposite - we'll drink to this, and we'll drink to that, but she's not worth the whiskey.'"

    The song got pitched around Nashville, and both Montgomery Gentry and Thompson Square put it on hold before Swindell eventually recorded it for his 2014 debut studio album.
  • The song's music video was filmed at the Silver Dollar Saloon in Nashville. The clip features Swindell raising a glass to US Special Forces veteran Kyle Davis, who has served five tours in Afghanistan. "It was cool to have Kyle and some of his actual team members in the video - we want to do anything we can to make them feel involved and let them know that we appreciate them letting us do what we love while they're out doing that stuff," Swindell told Entertainment Weekly. "It's nice to know there's a bigger meaning behind the video than just an ex-girlfriend."

    "And just crazy seeing them have fun and think what we're doing was so cool while to us it's like, 'Dude, you can be in all our videos if you want,'" he added. "You know, thank you for protecting us."

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