"It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere" was nearly overlooked for this Top Country Songs of the Century list — it’s easy to overlook songs that don’t immediately touch the heart. But it’s difficult to deny the 2003 hit's credentials.

Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett’s CMA Award-winning collaboration spent nearly two months at No. 1 and easily went gold. Levity was in short supply during those years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and Jackson — a man who re-framed our emotions in the weeks after that tragedy — once again steered us to somewhere we were longing to be.

Maybe it’s just a drinking song, yet the simplicity of Jim Brown and Don Rollins’ lyrics unify all sides of the country audience. Blowing off work and raising a glass to sunnier skies are themes everyone can appreciate, and everyone did that year. Perhaps more important was that, it was a collaboration with Buffett, a man missing from the radio for many years prior to this country hit.

More than a decade after the release of "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere," the song has endured on country radio. It popularized a phrase which, literally or not, reminds one to chill out at any time of day. That message — that feeling — is timeless. A little silly? Maybe. A little immature? Probably.

An all-time great country song? Jackson's 2003 chart-topper is one of the greatest of the 21st century.

About this list: Taste of Country’s Top Country Songs of the Century were decided by a panel of country music experts and fans using sales and chart data, a song’s social and musical impact and lyrical integrity. Select artists were also surveyed. You’ll hear from several throughout the list.

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