No matter if you’re an old-school purist, modern country guy/gal, or simply enjoy listening to good music, there’s a classic country song perfect for any occasion.
Country music has something for everyone; whether it’s an upbeat anthem about optimism or a poignant ballad about love and loss, these tunes express how you’re feeling or thinking. And some of these songs are so moving, they’ll bring tears to your eyes.
1. Walking the Floor Over You
Walking the Floor Over You is one of the most iconic country music songs ever composed. Written by Ernest Tubb in 1941, it’s often referred to as “the first honky tonk song to hit the airwaves” and marks an important moment in American music’s history.
Recorded for Decca Records in 1941, this song quickly went million-selling and launched Tubb’s career. Accompanied by electric guitar, the poignant tale of heartbreak tells a powerful message.
Sandy Denny first recorded the song in 1971 and 1973 at Basing Street Studios in London, which went on to feature on numerous compilations and as a bonus track on CD reissues. Her rendition of the iconic tune is truly extraordinary – her rendition is one of its great classics.
2. Bye Bye Love
In 1957, The Everly Brothers made a major impression with this romantic tune which would later be covered by many other artists such as Paul Simon and George Harrison.
Rolling Stone named it one of their “500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”
Lynette Williams’ country ballad “Hold On” is an emotional reminder of the heartache experienced when losing someone you care about, and it remains popular today. It’s also a staple in country music jukeboxes – no surprise why!
Brooks’ career-defining song, “Piano Man,” is one of the most iconic tunes in its genre and always hits home when you’re drinking a few beers at your local dive bar.
Breathe is an ideal song to listen to when life seems out of control. Its heartfelt message will get you pumped and eager to dance.
Faith Hill’s 1999 hit single, “Breathe,” quickly went viral on country radio and helped her break through to pop music – becoming one of the biggest success stories this side of Shania Twain.
This song is so great that it has been covered by numerous artists. These include Phish, Flaming Lips and Dream Theater to name a few.
4. Black Sheep
Country music has a rich heritage, grounded in traditional white Southern working-class values and patriotism. Its lyrics often confront harsh realities of life and often deal with topics such as heartbreak.
Country songs often incorporate a distinctive vocal style called twang, which serves both to harken back to the past and distinguish it from today’s country singers. Not only does it communicate the genre’s roots and identity in an understated yet powerful manner, it has become one of the hallmark elements of popular radio broadcasting today.
Black sheep are individuals who hold different beliefs, interests or characteristics than their family members. As such, they may feel left out or misunderstood; their family members may attempt to treat them unkindly, exclude them from the group, or refuse to understand them.
5. Lookin’ For Love
Country songs often feature romantic moments, whether it’s finding your soulmate, realizing they have always been there for you or experiencing unrequited love. No matter the subject matter, country songs offer plenty of passionate moments.
The genre’s greatest hits are filled with songs that remind us that love is real. From Hank Williams howling at the moon to George Jones pouring one out for all those desperate lovers and Taylor Swift singing suburban cowgirl blues, these songs will have you nodding your head and thinking of someone special.
Lee Brewer sang this classic Honky Tonk tune written by Wanda Mallette, Bob Morrison and Patti Ryan that went on to top the charts in 1980. It’s an example of a traditional Honky Tonk with pop influences that made it such a big success for its singer.
6. My Heart Skips a Beat
Buck Owens fans must have this song in their collection. It features a pleasant rhythm and easy chords for playing along with.
Owens’ breakthrough song was part of the remastered Together Again/My Heart Skips a Beat album, which cemented him as one of country music’s top stars. Not only that, but it became the first country single ever to reach #1 twice!
This song has been the star of Murs’ numerous media campaigns and live performances, wowing audiences at events like the 2012 ECHO Awards in Berlin. It also became a must-listen on his arena tour, including two sold out nights at London’s O2 arena. Plus, it’s one of the best fun songs to sing along to!
7. Love Story
Country music has a long-standing tradition of producing some of the greatest love songs ever written. Legendary country stars like Taylor Swift and George Strait have shared songs that reflect deeply upon their personal relationships.
Taylor’s rendition of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, “Love Story”, has become one of her biggest hits, making her the youngest person ever to write and sing a number one country single.
Sensual lyrics tell stories of intense feelings that should not be rushed, making this classic country love song one of the all-time greats. Certified eight times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), its message remains timeless to this day.
8. I Love You Like a Love Song
In this song, the narrator expresses his affection for his partner and how they are perfect together. This sentiment rings so true and it’s easy to understand why he fell in love with her.
This romantic tune, with its slow waltz tempo, makes an ideal first dance choice for couples looking to celebrate their love. Its captivating melody will surely make your special someone feel like a star on her special day.
This song’s narrator is infatuated with another woman, yet she hesitates to tell her about it for fear that it could destroy their relationship. Yet she knows that her feelings are worth pursuing regardless of any obstacles that might come their way.
9. Love Is a Four-Wheel Drive
Bachman-Turner Overdrive are iconic in country music, but they also hold a place of honor as pioneers in songwriting and guitar technology. Even during an era of drunken cowboys and twangy acoustic guitars, these talented guys managed to stand out amongst other top acts. Throughout their heyday period, they released numerous noteworthy albums which still inspire nostalgia today; you might run into one of their members at a throne room after an evening spent reminiscing about their glory days!
10. I Can’t Help it
One of country music’s timeless and iconic love songs, I Can’t Help it is a staple in every fan’s collection. It embodies both nostalgic nostalgia and contemporary romanticism with ease.
Though more subdued, this song can resonate with anyone who has ever suffered a broken heart. It also serves as an encouraging anthem for those still searching for love.
Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore and George David Weiss wrote “Country Classic”, a timeless classic written by one of America’s greatest songwriting teams – Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore and George David Weiss. The trio has become one of the most beloved albums in music history.
McEntire channeled righteous indignation in this song to turn Bobbie Gentry’s gentle melody into one of pop music’s timeless anthems. And his clever and poignant punchlines leave you feeling moved beyond belief.