‘Drink In My Hand’ by Eric Church: Story Behind the No. 1 Hit

by Jennifer Shea

“Drink In My Hand” was the first No. 1 hit on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart for country star Eric Church. It tells the tale of a man who drinks rather than climbing the career ladder.

And there’s an interesting story behind the hit.

Eric Church Was Inspired by His Fans

Church co-wrote the song with Michael Heeney and Luke Laird. And Heeney told American Songwriter that not only were the three of them not drinking at the time, but these days, they mostly don’t drink at all. 

“Luke doesn’t drink,” Heeney said. “I barely drink anymore. Eric was just pumped up from the shows he had that week. His fans inspired the song.”

Jamming and Songwriting

Heeney explained that he and Laird were in North or South Dakota at the time they wrote the song, while Church was on tour. The three of them got together after one of Church’s shows.

“I recall we wrote most of it after one of his shows and buttoned it up the next morning,” Heeney said. “It fell out pretty fast—we were just jamming. We had been out for several days and the song was pretty much was just a reaction to his crowds… turn it loose and rock and roll.”

“We got most the song that first night,” he went on. “Added a few things the next morning and then I believe I sent a few email suggestions to Eric a week or so later. We finished a half dozen songs and started just as many others that week, so some of them run together.”

Once they had written the song, they decided it was a natural radio hit. But Church had yet to land one of those. Still, to their surprise and delight, “it turns out radio was his friend this time,” Heeney said.

At the end of the day, he added, writing the song was not rocket science. 

“It’s a party,” he said.

Church Has Done His Share of Drinking

While Church may not have been drinking when he wrote “Drink in My Hand,” he’s definitely had his share of hangovers over the years, according to Taste of Country. That’s how Church developed his own hangover cure: 5-Hour Energy drinks.

“You can start pounding those, and it’s either gonna work, or it’s gonna keep you up and prolong your misery,” he said.

Church also relies on two Advil and a beer in the morning, per Taste of Country. 

Furthermore, the country star is known around Nashville for drinking, smoking and a little bit of fighting, CBS News reports.

But that didn’t stop him from winning Entertainer of the Year at the 2020 CMA Awards, a well-deserved honor that had eluded him despite nominations in 2019, 2017 and 2015.  

And when he won, Church took his victory in stride, beginning his acceptance speech with the quip, “If there was ever a year not to win this.”