Goodbye means different things in our world. People leave and say goodbye each day for various reasons. Some are saying goodbye to a bad relationship. Some are saying goodbye to their current life situation and looking for something new – a job, a setting, a family. Sometimes we can’t control life’s situations and we have to say goodbye to those we love as a result of death.
Whatever the situation there are country songs to let us know we aren’t alone.
Here are the best goodbye songs of all time.
50. What Might Have Been – Little Texas
Little Texas was a big band in country music back at the turn of the ’90s. The guys tried to bring a little bit of the rock band scene from the ’80s into country and they succeeded for the most part. What Might Have Been was one of the band’s biggest hits. The song is about a guy trying desperately to get over a woman. He keeps thinking about what might have been if things had worked out. He knows he has to say goodbye to the relationship, but he is struggling with it.
49. The Dance – Garth Brooks
Garth Brooks‘ The Dance is one of the most popular country songs of all time. The song actually has a very simple lyric. I remember watching an interview with former Brooks’ road guitarist Ty England (later a solo artist) as he described the simplicity of the words in the song. The Dance is about saying goodbye to the past while being thankful for everything that happened. England thought the simple words in the song allowed listeners let the song mean whatever it had to mean for each person. It’s a great song that connects with just about everyone that hears it.
48. One More Day – Diamond Rio
Diamond Rio was one of country’s biggest bands during their run in the ’90s and early ’00s. The band reached what may have been the peak of their career with One More Day. The song peaked high on multiple charts becoming a crossover success. The tune is mostly left open for interpretation although it’s a goodbye song. Losing someone leads to powerful emotions and leaves all of us thinking that it would be wonderful if we could only have one more day with the person we miss. One More Day seemed to take on meaning for the loss of Dale Earnhardt as both events happened around the same time.
47. The Long Goodbye – Brooks & Dunn
Brooks & Dunn had a ton of hits. Their biggest goodbye song was The Long Goodbye. The song has an aching sound to it. Lead vocalist Ronnie Dunn pours emotion into the lyrics of a guy realizes that he must breakup and say goodbye to his lover. The situation just wasn’t working out and both needed to realize that the love doesn’t have a chance. It’s a little bit pop-country with a little adult contemporary in it. I like this song and like when I still hear it on occasion on radio.
46. Gone – Montgomery Gentry
Montgomery Gentry had a huge string of hits starting in ’99. The guys have a mixture of rocking tracks with attitude to even a few slow songs with passion and emotion. Their biggest hit to this point has been the song simply called Gone. The song is about a guy that’s dealing with the loss of his woman. The song is an in-your-face attitude song that shows the emotion of losing someone you loved. It isn’t always drown the sorrows. Sometimes there is more anger and face it like a man type reaction and that’s what this song is.
45. Gunpowder & Lead – Miranda Lambert
Here is a sassy song from budding superstar Miranda Lambert. It’s hard to picture anyone else singing this kind of goodbye song. Gunpowder & Lead is about a good woman that has reached the final tipping point with her abusive boyfriend. She heads home, loads the gun, lights a cigarette and waits for the bum to come home. This certainly isn’t a drown the sorrows kind of song. It’s in your face and taking care of business song that really says goodbye in a brash way.
44. She Wouldn’t Be Gone – Blake Shelton
Blake Shelton scored a number one hit wit this sad goodbye song. He’s singing about a guy that just lost the love of his life because he screwed up. He starts thinking back to all the things he could have done to make her stay in love with him. After a breakup we all go through this phase of wondering what we could have done to change things and make the relationship better. The reality is it probably would have never worked. Not everybody is made for each other. Sometimes it’s best to move on and say goodbye.
43. She Never Cried In Front of Me – Toby Keith
Toby Keith is known for his bravado, but the powerful country singer has a soft side as well. For this song he belts out emotion and heartache. The narrator’s former lover is now officially married to another guy. The narrator can move on with his life. He’s still struggling to say goodbye though. He says that he didn’t realize she was unhappy. She never cried in front of him. It’s a sad song that can even serve as a bit of lesson.
42. I Saw The Light – Wynonna
Wynonna had a tough task when she went out as a solo act in the early ’90s. Wy and her mother had ruled the ’80s as The Judds. Wynonna came out strong though with a string of hits including the rousing I Saw The Light. The song is about a woman discovering that her lover is cheating. She reacts and realizes what she needs to do. She says goodbye to the guy and looks forward to her new life.
41. All My Rowdy Friends (Have Settled Down) – Hank Williams Jr.
This tune preceded the more popular sequel All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight, but it was the settling down song that peaked at the top spot on the country charts. The song has a mellow sound to it as Junior sings about watching his buddies fall by the wayside. As the friends drift off into family life they leave Junior and the partying ways behind. The song includes some of country music’s greats. While a bit of a sad goodbye song it’s still a great one that many can relate to as their enter their post-partying days.