This wasn’t an easy list to create.
The best country songs of all time can man different things to different country music fans. I certainly have what I think are the fifty best country songs of all time, but I know they’ll be different than the fifty country songs you think are best. And that list will be different from another country fan.
This was my best shot at trying to put together the best country songs. I tried to think about the best artists over the last 60 or so years in country music and include their best songs. I included authentic country songs, which are the ones I tend to enjoy more, but there are a few pop-country songs on the list as well.
This is one man’s list and I hope you enjoy and even make a playlist.
The Best Country Songs
50. Amazed – Lonestar
Back in the summer of ’99 you couldn’t turn on any radio station without hearing Amazed by Lonestar. I went to see the band at the local fair near my hometown and they actually played the track twice during their show. The fans were all chanting for the song again during the encore and the band proudly came out and did the song for a second time. It’s a simple love song really, but it was one of those instances where guys and gals just connected with the story.
49. Amy’s Back In Austin – Little Texas
Little Texas is band that took the band movement in hair metal in the ’80s and brought that vibe to country music. They racked up quite a few hits including this one at the tail end of their career. I always though Amy’s Back in Austin was a great country track. The music is country. The vocals are country and the story is country. The story is about a girl named Amy that heads back to Austin to her country life. It’s a breakup song about a girl that left for her life back home and the guy still misses her. It’s a song that can easily be forgotten, but I thought it was worth a spot on the list.
48. Sweet Southern Comfort – Buddy Jewell
Buddy Jewell only had a couple hits on the country charts but his talent seemed to warrant many more. One of his songs got me thinking it was worth a place on the list here. Sweet Southern Comfort is an ode to life in the South. The times are always good. The company is the best and the sweet sounds and tastes make the southern US something special. The people down there are unique and they are proud of where they live and what their life is all about. It’s a great song and one of the best of all time.
47. Workin’ Man’s Ph.D – Aaron Tippin
Aaron Tippin took this track to the top ten on the country charts in 1993. The song is hardcore country with an attitude. A tip of the hat to the working men and women out there Workin’ Man’s Ph.D is a rocking song about how hard work pays off when you live the country life. Aaron Tippin had numerous hits during the traditional time in country music in the ’90s and he even had success in the ’00s. I think this was his best country song and worthy of a spot on the list.
46. Brand New Man – Brooks & Dunn
In 1991, one of the greatest careers in country history was started with one of the best country songs of all time. Brooks & Dunn blasted onto the scene with Brand New Man and it rocked the country world. The song was a declaration of a changed man, but the song was also a declaration of a change in country music. Brooks & Dunn brought a little more rock and roll to country music and ruled the ’90s and ’00s. They were the biggest duo in the world for many years and it all started with the great opening vocals from this great country track.
45. It’s A Great Day To Be Alive – Travis Tritt
Travis Tritt had a huge run of success throughout the ’90s in country music. He racked up hit after hit. He had fast songs and ballads and seemed to be on a roll that couldn’t be stopped. Things slowed down for a year or two late in the decade though, but Travis didn’t stay out of touch for long. In late 2000 Travis released the optimistic song It’s a Great Day To Be Alive. It climbed all the way to #2 on the charts and made its mark on the country world. We got Fu Manchu references and even a little tip of the hat to rice made in the microwave. Life isn’t so bad after all.
44. Nothin’ Better To Do – LeAnn Rimes
LeAnn Rimes has had an interesting career. Things got off to a fast, fast start for the teenager when she first hit the scene back in the ’90s. LeAnn drifted in and out of country music for a few years and she grew up and tried a few different things. Finally she discovered her own writing abilities and in 2007 she released what I think is her best song Nothin’ Better To Do. The song is uptempo and rips through the story of a woman struggling through temptation and evil. Keep those hands busy folks. Idle hands lead to nothing but trouble.
43. Two Sparrows In A Hurricane – Tanya Tucker
Struggling through everything life can throw at you seems to be a common theme in country music. The artists and the fans are not immune to the hurricanes life can throw at you during life. Tanya Tucker isn’t shy about sharing her own history of making poor decisions and rolling with all that life can throw at her. I don’t remember when this song first came out, but I do remember hearing it on the radio over and over over the last 15 years or so. It’s a great track about persevering with someone you love. It’s always a bit easier when you’re working toward your dreams with the person you love most.
42. I May Hate Myself In The Morning – Lee Ann Womack
In late 2004 Lee Ann Womack released this song. It was a bit of a comeback song for the authentic country singer. It brought her back to the authentic sound she loves so much. The song reached the top ten and won awards for being a great country song and one of the best of the year. Lee Ann’s sound is pure country and when she wants to she puts all her passion and experience into her songs. This one about giving in to temptation for just a night despite knowing you’ll probably regret it in the morning. I’ve always thought country music songs are great at acknowledging faults and this song fits that theory perfectly.
41. Every Once in a While – Blackhawk
I remember hearing Blackhawk songs on the radio all the time in the ’90s. These guys had a sound like nobody else during their run and really I haven’t heard anything like them since. They had the pure country harmonies and the expert musicianship. One of their biggest hits was Every Once in a While. It was a huge hit and remains popular on radio today. I crank it up and sing along every time it comes on in the truck. The chorus has a great melody and the story of two people struggling to get over each other make for a winning formula. It’s simply one of the best country songs of all time.