Here is part 3 – #30 to #21 – of the 50 Greatest Guy Songs.
We continue today with a more great tunes from the great male singers of country music. There are a few current superstars along with a few of the outlaws of country music’s past.
Please share your comments on the songs. It’s always great to hear stories from fellow fans.
30) High Cost of Living – Jamey Johnson
Jamey Johnson originally came on the scene with a sweet song about a Dad and priorities. The Dollar was a great song that a lot of guys could relate with, but for the list of ultimate guy songs we have the second single off Jamey’s smash hit album That Lonesome Song. The song is High Cost of Living.
In the song Jamey tells the story of a down and out guy that’s struggling to make it through each day as he makes poor decisions with booze, drugs, and fast women. The song is therapy for many guys that are struggling to get through each day. Whether it’s a woman, a lost job, or difficultly finding belonging, the lonely emotion exists. Thankfully there are genuine folks like Jamey with the talent to connect guys through storytelling and melodies.
29) The Gambler – Kenny Rogers
Just about every guy that is a fan of country music (or that has played a game of cards) has heard the famous words from Kenny Rogers’ signature songs The Gambler. Kenny told the story of the gambler making his way through life by using his expert ability to outsmart and outplay other guys. Many guys love the rush gambling can bring, but few experience a long term winning streak.
As Kenny said, You’ve got to know when to hold ’em/Know when to fold ’em
28) Little Man – Alan Jackson
Alan Jackson has been singing about his hard working lifestyle for over twenty years now. Plenty of guys in the audience look up to Alan Jackson as one of the legends in country music. In 1998, Jackson released his album High Mileage. The collection’s third single was Little Man. The song tells the story of Mom and Pop stores of yesteryear. The video was even more compelling as Jackson drove down main street in and old country town. It was symbolic at the time of how America was changing. As business became more centralized and more of a commodity, guys like Jackson couldn’t help looking back in time as they missed the days when local service was the key to a good business relationship.
27) Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old) – Garth Brooks
When Garth Brooks released Much Too Young in 1989 he was coming up fast on the age of 30. It’s a big age for any man to hit. And for the rodeo cowboy in the story of the song, age is the ultimate enemy.
As men move on in live and put on a few years, the aches and pains begin to creep up. It’s more difficult to stay in shape, it’s difficult to do the things we were able to do during our prime. Occasionally we flash glimpses. When we’re watching the game on TV we still see ourselves in place of the stars as we shine and perform with excellence.
It’s a common feeling for all men – just too young to feel this damn old.
26) Should’ve Been a Cowboy – Toby Keith
The debut song always seems to have a special impact on the charts. Toby Keith broke out in 1993 with his first hit single Should’ve Been a Cowboy. The song became an instant hit on the charts. Guys fell in love with the idea of fulfilling their dreams by thinking about how their life may be different if they had just become a cowboy. Toby’s song became the most played song of the ’90s (and it came out in ’93). The song is still played on the radio today and guys are still in love with the tune as they daydream about heading out west and riding with their childhood heroes.
25) I’m Still a Guy – Brad Paisley
As guys settle down with the great women of this world they tend to lose…let’s call it a little bit of the recklessness they had as bachelors. Some guys even feel they lose a little bit more of their manhood when they get hitched. Brad Paisley fought back with his hit song I’m Still a Guy. In the song Brad acknowledges the things he does for his best gal, but always reminds her that he is still a guy. Any song that includes hunting, fishing, tackle boxes, and naked girls it needs a place on this list.
And to all the wonderful gals out there: We don’t highlight our hair, we’ve still got a pair, yeah, honey we’re still guys
24) A Better Man – Clint Black
It’s easy to forget that Clint Black was the original member of the Class of ’89. Despite the later success of Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, and Travis Tritt, it was in fact Black that had the most initial success. The breakout career of Clint Black began with the groovy tune A Better Man. The song is still a favorite on country radio today. It shot straight to number one in ’89 and made Black an instant star. The song is about the breakup of a relationship. Black plays the narrator as he tells his ex that he’s feeling like he’s a better man as he leaves the relationship. It’s a surprisingly mature look at the end of a relationship, but it was a welcomed story as men related to the lesson.
23) Good Hearted Woman – Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings
Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson released Good Hearted Woman during the height of their success during the ’70s. The song saw the two country legends telling the story of a good timing man that had a good hearted woman doing all she could to hang onto him. It’s a double edged sword for guys if they find the right one: can you take in the love a woman while still respecting her and giving her everything she needs. There are lots of good women out there and plenty of good guys for them. When you find the right gal, be sure to treat her right.
22) I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink – Merle Haggard
Nobody could put it more simply or with more genuine feeling that Merle Haggard. The legendary country singer had a way with putting together lyrics that told the stories of the way guys in the audience were living their lives. With I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink, Haggard was able to express the feeling guys get when they are fed up with life. In this case it was a woman that drove Merle to make the decision to just rid himself of the situation by staying put and having a good beverage to ease the feeling.
21) Folsom Prison Blues – Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash is the ultimate hero for guys. He wore all black. He did the things he wanted to in life and he never let anyone get in the way of his vision for the life he should lead. When it came to telling the story of a prisoner, Cash was able to craft a story and melody that connected with the guys in the audience that had done something wrong in their lives. And this wasn’t just the guys in the audience at Cash’s famous performance. All of the guys that have listened to Cash’s songs have done something wrong. In each of us there is a little loneliness. Most of us are simply alone with our feelings and memories of the things we’ve done wrong…
Stay tuned as the series continues with Part 4…