Man Up with Chris Janson’s “Drunk Girl”

This Is the Difference Between Boys and Men

Oh, great. Another song about a girl who’s had one too many.

That’s what I thought when I heard the title of Chris Janson‘s new song, “Drunk Girl.” I hated it before I ever heard it. Then I heard it. And now I can’t stop hearing it. It is quite possibly the most important song to come out of Nashville in years.

Drunk Girl by Chris Janson on VEVO.

It’s important because no woman is immune. I think we’ve all been that girl at least once in our lives. The one with a couple of cover-charge stamps on her hand, dancing with her eyes closed like she’s the only one in the room, with her hair a perfect mess, falling out of that dress.

But it’s also important because Janson doesn’t just paint a picture of a drunk girl. He tells you what to do next. And his step-by-step instructions on how to handle a girl like that that makes this song drastically different from all the others:

1. Take a drunk girl home
2. Let her sleep all alone
3. Leave her keys on the counter, your number by her phone
4. Pick up her life she threw on the floor
5. Leave the hall lights on, walk out and lock the door

That, Janson sings, is how she knows the difference between a boy and man.

Janson recently told CMT.com that when he wrote the song with Scooter Carusoe and Tom Douglas, they were all in tears because they’re all fathers. “This song came from a dad’s point of view. Whenever you have kids, it really changes the whole game on everything,” Janson said. “I would hope someone would treat my daughter with
the ‘Drunk Girl’ attitude in the song.”

I have daughters, too, and I couldn’t agree more. I hope everyone treats them with that attitude as well.

But I also have a 20-year-old son. And I think that this song might be even more important for boys to hear. Because not only do we live in a world with a hook-up culture, we live in a world where date rape isn’t even a lead story on the news anymore. It’s that common. And it doesn’t help that the music industry seems to pour out countless songs about all the other things to do with a drunk girl.

I have tried to teach my son right from wrong. I tell him to be humble and kind. And I remind him daily of my own version of the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto your sisters.

This song, though. I think that if this song got stuck in the heads of every young man who spends time in bars or at college parties, the world would be a much better place. It might not be able to alter the behavior of the men already set in their ways, or turn the tide of sexual misconduct. But for the young and malleable men among us, Janson’s voice is bound to change a lot of minds.

And in the sober light of dawn, that girl’s going to be grateful that that guy knew that Janson song.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.