In a video captured of a live performance, Hank Williams Jr. paid tribute to his late dad with “There’s A Tear In My Beer.”
The origins of “There’s A Tear In My Beer” trace back to Hank Williams Jr.’s father, Hank Williams Sr., who wrote it during his Nashville sessions in the early 1950s. However, due to the song being about drinking alcohol, his publisher and producer at the time told Hank Sr. not to release the song.
The song was eventually handed over to the talented Big Bill Lister, who was no stranger to sharing the spotlight with Williams Sr. Back in 1952, Lister’s rendition of the song graced the airwaves, offering a taste of the country classic that the public could finally hear.
Hank Williams Jr.’s Rendition Of The Song
Fast forward more than four decades and the song was finally given back to the Williams family and Hank Williams Jr., with a voice that often sounds like his father’s, breathed new life into “There’s a Tear in My Beer.”
Hank Williams Jr. recorded a version as a duet with his father using electronic merging technology. The song had been previously recorded with only Hank Williams playing the guitar. But, when Hank Jr. went into the studio, he and his band added additional instrumentation and vocals.
A music video for the collaboration was filmed and merged with existing footage of the elder Williams performing, making it appear as if father and son were playing together. The video was named Video Of The Year by both the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music. The pair would go on to win a shared Grammy in 1990 for Best Country Vocal Collaboration.
In a live performance of “There’s A Tear In My Beer” captured on YouTube, Hank Williams Jr. stands before a group of eager fans, his guitar in hand, and a smile. He laughs as he tells the crowd a story about his dad before strumming the first notes of the song and beginning to sing.
The lyrics are simple, yet strike a chord within all who watch on as Hank sings the words, “There’s a tear in my beer, ‘Cause I’m cryin’ for you, dear, You are on my lonely mind, Into these last nine beers, I have shed a million tears, You are on my lonely mind.” These words, sung by Hank Williams Jr. make the crowd go wild and they cheer and sing along with him.