Today is the day Runaway June’s “Buy My Own Drinks” turns one. It was released exactly one year ago today (Aug. 20). And there is probably no better birthday gift than a No. 10 chart position.
Not only is this the trio’s first top ten hit, the song just keeps climbing. And for good reason.
Because it’s more than just a neon-lights drinking song.
It’s more than just a girl-power anthem.
It’s more than just a break-up recovery song.
This song is a rallying cry for fiercely independent women to celebrate their own damn self-sufficiency. “That’s the point of the song. Just self love. That all you need is yourself,” the trio’s Jennifer Wayne told me when we caught up in Chicago — over drinks, obviously — last week.
“It’s really a giant metaphor for not looking externally for things to fulfill you or make you happy,” Naomi Cook added. “You have it all right there. And that’s a more powerful message than just narrowing it down to the gender empowerment that people try to stamp on us.
“This is way bigger than that. Because it empowers all ages, races, and genders. It’s scary how many people are not self-sufficient these days.”
Runaway June’s Wayne, Cooke and Hannah Mulholland penned the tune with Josh Kear and Hillary Lindsey.
To me, the message that this song sends me is this: being independent is very liberating. And I’m proud to rely only on me, myself and I. I wondered if they knew the song would be that potent the day they wrote it.
“I remember plugging in the work tape on the way home from the write. And I still thought, ’This is so good.’ And then the band heard it and they wanted to start playing it two weeks later at Stagecoach. We’d never played it live, and people had never heard it, but by the second chorus, they were already singing it back to us. Like they almost knew it better than we did.
“That’s when we knew this song was special.”