Garth Brooks’ ‘Friends in Low Places’ Has a Few Secrets Hidden in the Chorus
Garth Brooks released his mega-hit "Friends in Low Places" in 1990, and the song became an instant classic, winning Single of the Year at both the CMA and ACM Awards and spending four weeks at No. 1 on the charts. But while you likely know the lyrics by heart -- what country music fan doesn't?! -- there's a good chance that there's a part of the chorus you don't know.
There are a couple of secrets hidden in the rowdy party refrain near the end of "Friends in Low Places." At the point in the song when Brooks is joined for a round by an entourage -- including songwriters Dewayne Blackwell and Earl Bud Lee, as well as his bandmates and his then-wife Sandy -- perhaps you've listened often and hard enough to the original recording to have noticed the familiar crack-fizz of a beer can opening. Yup, it's in there.
When "Friends in Low Places" was originally mastered, that beer can sound was mistaken for a technical glitch at first, Brooks told Patsi Bale Cox for her book The Garth Factor: The Career Behind Country's Big Boom. It wasn't a glitch, though -- and neither is the cry of "Push, Marie!" that you might hear if you listen extra-close. Maris is the wife of Brooks' touring guitarist James Garver, who was delivering a baby when the song was being recorded.
"We figured all of it was good luck and should be left in," Brooks says.
Good luck, indeed. In addition to its awards show wins and ascension to No. 1, "Friends in Low Places" has become one of Brooks' signature songs. Whether or not you know any of his other music, there's a pretty solid chance that you've heard "Friends in Low Places."
Press play on the video above to learn more about Brooks' famous song. It's part of The Secret History of Country Music, a new video series from our partner site Taste of Country.
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