We roll through the middle of the list…
The Best Country Songs Part 3
30. I Couldn’t Leave You If I Tried – Rodney Crowell
Rodney Crowell may be an artist a few people will forget about. When it comes to remembering big events though we have to remember that Rodney strung off five straight number one hits from one album back in the ’80s. I Couldn’t Leave You If I Tried was one of those top hits and I still love hearing it on country radio. It’s always on the classic channel. Rodney has such a unique sounding voice. He’s a unique kind of country artist and I think he should always be remembered.
29. Cowboy Casanova – Carrie Underwood
Carrie Underwood needed to be on this list. You could argue that Carrie is already the greatest female country artist of all time. She has the sales and the awards to back up the claim. I love this song. It’s original. It’s sassy. There is plenty of attitude and it was a huge hit. I think as time goes on we’ll look back on this as one of Carrie’s best country songs in what will be a huge list of country classics. Carrie is a great artist and no man better two time her. She’ll write a song about you that becomes a country classic.
28. A Broken Wing – Martina McBride
Martina McBride is one of my favorite country artists. Perhaps her most country song was the hit A Broken Wing. The song is the story of a woman trying her best to separate from an abusive, damaging situation. Eventually she is able to break free. She may have the broken wing from the past relationship, but she was strong enough to get out and make her life better. These kind of songs are inspiring for country fans. There is room in country music for more empowering songs like this.
27. Any Man of Mine – Shania Twain
It was difficult picking a Shania Twain song for the list. I went back and forth trying to think about what Shania song was the best country kind of song. She had the occasional song that drifted into pop, which is fine. In the end I came back to the song I remember being a huge, huge hit. Any Man of Mine changed things in country music. Shania brought a sexy attitude to country music. She let women know it was Ok to be sexy and confident. She had swagger before anybody even knew who Fergie was. A great song from a brilliant artist.
26. Don’t Take The Girl – Tim McGraw
Tim McGraw had his first hit with Indian Outlaw, but it was his second hit single that really turned him into a household name. Don’t Take The Girl became a number one song on the country singles charts. It was about the devotion and love for a woman. Through a few difficult situations a guy is always willing to give up anything in his life as long as he didn’t have to give up his love. That’s devotion and the story along with the sing along lyrics made for a great country song. It’s been one of those songs where in my experience you can even find college age guys sing along to it with each other when it comes on the stereo. Quite the sight.
25. John Deere Green – Joe Diffie
There is a theory in country music that if you can get the kids to sing along with the chorus of song you know you’ll have a major hit on your hands. It’s not as easy at it sounds. Kids are particular and honest in their assessment of just about anything including music. One of those songs that every kid and adults knows is John Deere Green by Joe Diffie. It’s a song about a good old country boy declaring his love for Charlene by writing their names on the water tower…in John Deere Green of course. It was the combination of that story with a great hook and melody that made this a best country song.
24. Highway 40 Blues – Ricky Skaggs
Ricky Skaggs combined some bluegrass with modern country songs in the ’80s. A string of top hits came to Ricky during his heyday including the classic Highway 40 Blues. It was pretty amazing for a bluegrass kind of guy to find such big success in country music, but Ricky’s talent couldn’t be denied back then. The song was about life on the road yet it became a song the fans loved. Country music needs more artists like Ricky Skaggs these days and more of the best country songs like Highway 40 Blues.
23. Don’t Close Your Eyes – Keith Whitley
Keith Whitley was involved in country music from a young age. He worked his way up through the ranks playing in bands and eventually working his way to a solo career. After a few albums he gained more control of his music and then struck gold with a record that included the huge hit Don’t Close Your Eyes. The song was genius. It was a new kind of songs about relationships, love, and fading love. The song remains popular even today on radio and reminds country fans that Keith Whitley left us too early.
22. Set ‘Em Up Joe – Vern Gosdin
Vern Gosdin was known as one of the greatest in country music history. He racked up hit after hit, but I had to include this classic about an old Ernest Tubb song. The song is about a man lost without his woman. She left and know he’s stuck in the bar playing the same record over and over on the jukebox. He comforts himself with the fellow bar patrons and downs a few cold ones to forget about his woman. It’s the classic kind of country song that makes you love country music. One of the best.
21. Meet In The Middle – Diamond Rio
This is one of my favorite songs of all time. I actually have Diamond Rio’s 16 Biggest Hits in my truck right now. I don’t know what it is about Meet In The Middle, but it’s truly one of the best country songs of all time. I love the guitar part and I thought it sounded difficult to play even though my girlfriend informed me that it wasn’t. I think it’s still catchy and melodic regardless. The story of the song is great. It’s about a couple always finding compromise in an individual world. Diamond Rio is a great band and this song is still a highlight of their live show.