Country songs are the true definition of diversity. Quite frankly, they are the quintessential genre of American music that ticks all the right boxes.
If they don’t evoke emotions, they will tell a story. Some describe life’s toughest moments like heartbreaks.
But what makes an awesome country song? Is it the melody? The vocals? Or the message?
Below is a list of the greatest and best country songs of all time.
We take you down memory lane with iconic hits like Willie Nelson’s “Good Hearted Woman” before switching to contemporary tunes like Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise,” which became an instant sensation.
1. Charley Pride – “Kiss An Angel Good Morning”
“Kiss An Angel Good Morning” was Charley Pride’s signature hit that cemented his status as one of the greatest ever country music artists.
Perfect for a relaxed mood, this song fits a theme of love, with the narrator describing how his life shines with love in it.
For anyone cherishing the memories of their loved ones, this track is for you, just like Charley Pride will always have a special place in the hearts of many country lovers.
2. Joe Diffie – “Pickup Man”
Joe Diffie’s “Pickup Man” is a classic, comical tune from the songwriter’s album, “Third Rock from the Sun.”
In a classic Joe Diffie style, he narrates about a guy whose pickup truck seems to get a lot of attention. He now sees it as the best strategy to find a lover.
The song, with a moderate-up tempo and an element of the 1990s rock infusion, deserved all the attention it received from country lovers around the world.
3. Blake Shelton – “God Gave Me You”
In his words, Blake Shelton says that this song was more of a “Thank you” gift to his wife, Annie.
While the song received mixed reactions from country lovers across the globe, it probably deserved more attention, considering Shelton’s dedication to making it an all-timer.
4. Faith Hill – “Breathe”
“Breathe” by Faith Hill is about an epic love adventure. The narrator puts her intimate moments in the lyrics.
The song displays love in its purest form, and we can safely assume that Tim McGraw, Faith’s husband, surely played a part in creating this piece.
5. George Strait – “You Look So Good In Love”
“You Look So Good In Love” is about the narrator and his ex-lover. Listening to this song, you will go through all the emotions as the singer realizes that his ex-lover has already moved on and is comfortably in another guy’s arms.
He wishes the pain would go away as quickly as possible and can only hope that someday he finds another lover that cares for him just as much.
6. Waylon Jennings And Willie Nelson – “Good Hearted Woman”
“Good Hearted Woman” is about a good woman who ends up at the hands of the wrong man. However, she still loves him and chooses the positive side of life, despite the agonizing experiences.
It is one of the many country songs that talk about the vices in society. And it deserves the CMA award it won soon after release.
7. Jack Greene – “There Goes My Everything”
Breakups can be emotional. And it takes courage to express your feelings in such a difficult moment, even when you’re the best lyricist.
“There Goes My Everything” is about a tough breakup. The narrator is heartbroken as his significant other goes away, and he realizes just how much she complimented his life.
8. Leroy Van Dyke – “Walk On By”
Classic country songs have it all; melody, lyrics, message, and a bit of emotion. And Leroy Van Dyke’s “Walk On By” is written with everything in mind.
It tells a story of a man who keeps coming back despite the many times he’s said goodbye to his darling.
This track was an instant hit, smashing the records at the time by staying at number #1 on the Billboard Country chart for 19 weeks.
9. Florida Georgia Line – “Cruise”
Have you listened to Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise?” Unlike most tracks introduced in this period, “Cruise” didn’t have an intro, going straight into the chorus, a rare feature that contributed to its massive success in the country music scene.
Given its instant impact, it’s unsurprising that this track topped the Billboard chart for 56 straight weeks.
10. Lady Antebellum – “Need You Now”
For a simple track that attracted so much attention, the story behind “Need You Now” by Lady Antebellum becomes even more interesting.
Apparently, the narrator is addressing her exes, playing the role of a former lover who’s somehow missing her one-time darling. From a relationship perspective, this track is a must-listen.
11. Buck Owens – “Love’s Gonna Live Here”
As you can tell from the title, “Love’s Gonna Live Here” is a timeless classic that illustrates a beautiful love story. After a breakup, the narrator finds love again and can’t hide his excitement.
The longevity of this song is unbelievable. And that’s not just because it stayed at number #1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart but its relevance for over four decades. Talk about a timeless masterpiece!
12. George Strait – “Check Yes Or No”
This sweet George Strait song looks like a game. It is one of the greatest hits in Strait’s long list of timeless compositions, telling the tale of two school-going children.
The storyline is based on the deep affection between the children and follows their lives through to adulthood.
The narrator recalls getting a rare kiss from the girl in a beautiful love story that unfolds in a classic country style.
13. Kenny Rogers – “Coward of The County”
Honestly, you can’t talk about the greatest country songs of all time without mentioning the “Coward of the Country.”
In this track, Kenny Rogers talks about Tommy, best known for his cowardice. While Kenny Roger’s songs boil down to relatable stories, they are also packed with important life lessons, just like this track proves.
14. Martina McBride – “Concrete Angel”
This McBride hit tells a painful story of a little girl going through agonizing abuse. It evokes emotions, even more so by the singer’s smooth vocals.
This track was the icing on the cake, considering McBride’s efforts to champion girl power
15. Alan Jackson – “Where Were You”
The dominant question posed by Alan Jackson in this track is, “where were you when the world stopped turnin’?”
It recounts the events of the painful tragedy that claimed over 3000 lives on September 11, 2001. If you recall the day’s events, you will thank yourself for listening to this piece.
16. Tammy Wynette – “Stand By Your Man”
The title of the song sends a clear message. But the most interesting part is the track’s success, surpassing Tammy Wynette’s other popular hit, D.I.V.O.R.C.E.
17. John Denver – “Take Me Home Country Roads”
John Denver’s “Take Me Home Country Roads” instantly became his signature track, illustrating his home-sickness.
It was a sensational hit, reaching #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for an excellent composition and a strong message.
18. Judds – “Have Mercy”
When people talk about country songs with a huge societal impact, this piece by the powerful duo comes to mind. It is about a heartbroken woman after seeing her man with another lady.
This country classic stayed at the #1 slot on the Country Music Chart for 2 weeks, becoming the duo’s only track to occupy the top slot for that period.
19. Dolly Patron – “Here You Come Again”
Here comes another all-timer. If you haven’t listened to Dolly Parton’s “Here You Come Again” track, you are probably missing some awesome lyrics.
You will easily relate to the lyrics if you’ve ever fallen in love and know the true feeling.
20. Toby Keith – “How Do You Like Me Now!”
Here comes a provocative song. In a classic Toby Keith style, he recalls his attraction toward a young lady back in his schooling days.
Unfortunately, his love was never reciprocated. The song reaches a climax when Toby can’t stop wondering if the lady recalls him now that he’s made it.
21. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill – “It’s Your Love”
As McGraw puts it, love can “send a shock through us.” This masterpiece became an instant hit in 1997 and remains a perfect choice for marriage proposals and slow dances.
For the hopeless romantics who finally got a significant other, this one’s for you.
22. Alan Jackson – “Chattahoochee”
Not many country artists were lucky enough to have their tracks crowned the song of the year. But Alan Jackson did.
Appearing as a budding figure at the start of his music career, many people knew Jackson from his enthusiastic, neo-traditional style. But his emotional lyrics probably made his songs more popular.
His “Chattahoochee” track is about the fun and experience of growing up in a small town, with lyrics that any country music lover would happily relate to.
23. Randy Travis – “It’s Just A Matter Of Time”
Randy Travis’ “It’s Just a Matter Of Time” became an instant sensation in the 1980s. However, it’s the story behind it that’s more interesting.
While Randy only talks about his ex-lover in the song, the composition is a true masterpiece, leaving an indelible mark on his fans and foes alike.
24. Little Big Town – “Girl Crush”
“Girl Crush” is probably not the best title for this song. But no matter how you interpret it, you will love this masterpiece.
It is a stirring track with just about every emotion; jealousy, fantasy, heartache, desire, you name it.
25. Tim McGraw – “I Like It, I Love It”
“I Like It, I Love It” is another of Tim McGraw’s greatest hits from his “All I Want” album. It became Tim’s third single to take the top slot on the Hot Country Songs chart.
Written by Mark Hall, Steve Dukes, and Jeb Stuart Anderson, this song was nothing if not a timeless classic, worthy of all the praises and criticism.
26. Josh Turner – “Why Don’t We Just Dance”
Josh Turner reminds us to throw everything away and be happy. The narrator talks about dancing in the living room and forgetting all the troubles for a moment.
The up-tempo track will leave you craving for more. And when you listen to the catchy melody, you will probably agree that this song deserved more attention from country lovers around the world.
27. Freddie Hart – “My Hang-Up Is You”
Love suffices yet again at number 27, with Freddie Hart’s 1972 track. In this song, Hart discusses his experiences being deep in love.
After its release, this song topped the Billboard Country chart for a significant time, staying at #1 for 6 weeks.
28. Taylor Swift – “Our Song”
In this track, a girl, presumably Taylor swift, writes a song for her first boyfriend.
It’s about the little things that matter in a relationship, and if you are a Taylor Swift lover, you will want to listen to this piece.
29. Carrie Underwood – “Before He Cheats”
Carrie Underwood came up with this masterpiece about taking revenge in a relationship. It had so much success in the country music scene that it stayed on the Billboard Hot 100 for 64 weeks.
As one of the greatest singles from Carrie’s debut album, “Some Hearts,” you should listen to this track.
30. Dolly Patron – “Jolene”
“Jolene” is a classic tune that probably made Dolly Patron more popular in the 1970s and beyond.
Surprisingly, it is about a housewife who can’t hide her feelings when she thinks Jolene is trying to snatch her man.
While insecurity is the major theme, it’s easy to tell why this tender song enjoyed so much success.
31. Tim McGraw – “Live Like You Were Dying”
Another one from Tim McGraw. In this track, the iconic country singer takes the listeners on an emotional rollercoaster, talking about a man who realizes that his father is almost dying.
The clear message to the listeners is to live their lives to the fullest.
And it’s little surprise that this song stayed at #1 on the US Billboard Country chart for 7 weeks despite debuting at number #36.
32. Willie Nelson – “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain”
The song title says it all. And when you hear the lyrics, Will Nelson’s message becomes clear. It’s about lost love.
While Roy Acuff initially performed the song, Willie deserves just as much credit for his efforts in coming up with the revised version.
33. George Jones – “Choices”
This is an inspiring track that reflects George Jones’ life from childhood. It is based on a true life story, narrating the choices Jones made in his life and how they impacted him.
This track might be a great option if you need a motivating tune that challenges anyone to lead a better life.
34. Charlie Daniels Band – “Devil Went Down To Georgia”
Country music took a new twist when the Charlie Daniels Band came up with this up-tempo song. It is a classic, fable-like tale where the devil loses a fiddle contest to a young Georgian boy, Johnny.
The unique style made the track one of the greatest songs in country music history.
35. Glen Campbell – “Rhinestone Cowboy”
“Rhinestone Cowboy” is a pleasant-sounding Campbell song that quickly climbed the Hot 100 list.
It reflects the singer’s struggles in his early career and had quite an impression on country enthusiasts and pop lovers alike.
36. George Strait – “All My Exes Live in Texas”
With his heavy-hitting track, George Strait completes our list of the greatest country songs of all time. In this song, the legendary artist asserts his fondness for his home state, Texas.
However, he can’t go back because of the many broken hearts.
Best Country Songs – Final Thoughts
Need some good country songs to set the mood? That’s our list!
Remember, all the songs on our list aren’t arranged in any particular order.
Pick what suits your mood and have a taste of some of the greatest country songs of today and the bygone age.