Though kids growing up in large urban centers where rap and pop music rule the roost might despise country music, the fact remains that country music is still an incredibly popular genre through much of North America. Coming up with a list of the top 10 country songs of all time was far from easy. There have been so many great country music legends over the years, and many of those legends have produced dozens of hits that could conceivably wind up on the list of the greatest country songs of all time. To make matters more difficult, mainstream music artists have now begun to throw their hats in the ring, exploring the country music genre oftentimes to great success. However, it is unlikely you will see any of the mainstream artists like Kid Rock make their way onto this list of the top 10 country music songs of all time. Those who dedicated their lives to country music and have inspired generations of listeners deserve the accolade. Read on to see who made the cut:
10 – Randy Travis – Forever and Ever Amen
Randy Travis lit the country music world on fire with his 1987 hit, Forever and Ever, Amen. The song was the biggest hit from the album, Always & Forever which topped the country charts for an astonishing 43 weeks. Randy Travis was never able to duplicate the success he had with Forever and Ever, Amen, but the song still remains as one of the greatest country ballads of all time.
9 – Garth Brooks – Friends In Low Places
Most Garth Brooks fans consider The Dance as the best Garth Brooks song of all time. However, this list, as all top ten lists are, is based on personal taste, and for me Friends In Low Places is the ultimate Garth Brooks song. No other country song on my playlist can get everyone at the party singing along like Friends In Low Places can. Isn’t that the hallmark of a truly great country song?
8 – Patsy Cline – I Fall To Pieces
To be honest this song could have been a lot higher on my list of the best country songs of all time, but for variety’s sake I left it up at number 8. Now what other Patsy Cline song(s) could be on this list. The fact remains that Patsy Cline is the queen of country and her hauntingly melodic voice defines the genre from the female perspective of things.
7 – Tammy Wynette – Stand By Your Man
Back to back female performers on the list of the top 10 country songs of all time. Tammy Wynette might not have the legendary status that Patsy Cline does, but her hit Stand By Your Man is one of the all time classics of the genre and is still played at country bars and weddings to this day.
6 – Willie Nelson – Always on my Mind
No list of the best country songs would be complete without at least one Willie Nelson song. There were, of course, a bunch of Willie Nelson classics to choose from, but I chose this one as his best. From Elvis to the Pet Shop Boys this song has been sung by some incredible artists, but the best version will always belong to Willie Nelson.
5 – Johnny Cash – I Walk The Line
I was tempted to put Walk Hard by Dewey Cox at this spot just to see what sort of outrage I could generate, but I will stay traditional and give the Man in Black his due. Johnny Cash is a country music legend and this is his very best song.
4 – Marty Robbins – El Paso
Though Marty Robbins did not pump out as many classic country hits as others on this list of the top 10 country music songs of all time no one can dispute that his song, El Paso is fully deserving of inclusion. This song is the epitome of country music in my opinion, and was my very first favorite song as a kid.
3 – Tennessee Ernie Ford – Sixteen Tons
Everybody jokes about how depressing the country music genre can be, and how the singers always make reference to how their dog died and their pickup truck broke down. Well, perhaps this reputation is owed to Tennessee Ernie Ford’s legendary classic, Sixteen Tons. Sure the song is brimming with negativity, but like most great country music songs it is always fun to sing along to.
2 – Hank Williams Sr – Your Cheatin’ Heart
You country music fans must have been getting anxious, wondering when Hank Williams Sr was going to show up on the list of the best country music songs of all time. Like Patsy Cline, Williams could have had multiple songs on this list, but for the sake of variety I chose only his very best. If Patsy Cline is the queen of country music then Hank Williams Sr is most certainly the king.
1 – Patsy Cline – Crazy
As good as Hank Williams Sr’s Your Cheatin’ Heart is, Patsy Cline’s Crazy is in a class of its own and was a no-brainer for top spot on the list of the best country music songs of all time. Her husky voice delivers this country classic with absolute perfection, and though several artists have tried to cover the song, none have come within a country mile of Cline’s original version. Not only the greatest country music song of all time, but arguably the best song ever in any genre.