While every musical genre has its fair share of love songs, there is something about a good country love song that can penetrate the coldest heart. One of the most beautiful aspects of Country music is how, through simple lyrics, the genre captures and celebrates American life and some of the universal truths that speak to everyone.
Whether they speak of having loved and lost, everlasting love, or love and betrayal, love songs can touch the soul in a real and personal way. Couple that with the traditional storytelling and simple, relatable lyrics that define country music, and many would agree that there is something truly magical about a good country love song. Here is a list of the best country love songs of all time, songs that captured the hearts of fans everywhere.
“Jolene”by Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton is truly a national treasure, and she touched the hearts of millions with this simple yet powerful song. The song touches on one of the scarier aspects of love, the fear of losing a beloved partner to a romantic rival.
“Breathe” by Faith Hill
Breathe, Hill's power-ballad perfectly captures the feeling of falling and being all-consumed with love for a partner. This song never reached #1 on the Country Music charts, but as a crossover hit, it was #1 on the Pop charts and is still a favorite selection at weddings!
“Gentle on My Mind” by Glen Campbell
Glen Campbell covered this John Hartford song, and it truly touched the hearts of country music lovers everywhere. The song is lovely and sad all at once and speaks of the true love that an imperfect man has for a woman he met years before and still thinks about as he endlessly travels, never truly settling down.
“How Do I Live” by Trisha Yearwood
This song was originally produced for the movie “Con Air,” and the heartfelt emotional lyrics touched a chord among moviegoers and teenage girls everywhere. How Do I Live became a crossover hit, performing quite well on both Country and Pop charts, and is still popular on contemporary music stations, at weddings, and of course, at high school proms.
“Always on My Mind' by Willie Nelson
This song truly became an instant classic as it flew up the Country Music charts from the moment it was released. Told from the viewpoint of a man who perhaps didn't always show appreciation to his partner, the song touches on both true love and regret. With sweet lyrics and Willie Nelson's classic style, the song truly tells a simple love story.
“Before the Next Teardrop Falls” by Freddy Fender
This song was released on an album of the same name and quickly became a crossover hit on both the Billboard Pop and Country charts. The song beautifully speaks of a love that will last, through good times and bad, with sweet lyrics such as, “I'll be there anytime you need me by your side, to drive away every teardrop that you cried.”
“Crazy” by Patsy Cline
Crazy is a beloved Patsy Cline classic. The song's premise is as old as time and describes what so many men and women have experienced with an imperfect or one-sided love. It tells a story of a woman who loves a man, despite the fact that he disappoints her and will continue to break her heart. This story of a woman who can't walk away is a true Country classic.
“I'm So Lonesome, I Could Cry” by Hank Williams
While over 70 years old, this song is still as relatable today as it was when it was released in November of 1949. Anyone who has loved and lost can understand this Country classic. It speaks of the loneliness that exists after love is gone and describes the resulting pain and anguish of true heartbreak. This song is truly a tear-jerker.
“You Had Me From Hello” by Kenny Chesney
For anyone who believes in love at first sight, this song describes it perfectly. The lyrics are simple and beautiful, explaining in the sweetest way how one man was completely blown away, charmed by a woman that he knew, at first sight, would truly be the great love of his life.
“Today I Started Loving You Again” by Merle Haggard
While this song didn't top the Country charts, it is still a beautiful and classic Country love song. It perfectly captures the struggle of trying to get over a lost love, believing it's in the past, and then realizing once again that the love still exists and still hurts. The lyrics strike a chord with anyone who has felt this kind of loss, and the song itself has been covered many times over by various artists throughout the years.
“I Can't Make You Love Me” by Bonnie Raitt
Even now, this 30-year-old ballad is still a popular favorite on contemporary adult radio. The haunting lyrics perfectly describe the pain and anguish of unrequited love, weaving a tale of a woman who is finally coming to terms with the fact that, despite how much she loves her partner, she finally realizes that he simply doesn't feel the same. She knows she needs to leave but also knows that she doesn't have the strength. For anyone who has experienced this lopsided love, this song and the lyrics will certainly ring true.
“Forever and Ever, Amen” by Randy Travis
This classic love song hit number one on the Billboard Country charts and helped to propel the trend of country/pop crossover songs. This beautiful and romantic song is simple and sweet, with beautiful lyrics designed to reassure the young lady who is the object of the singer's affection that he will truly love her forever.
“He'll Have to Go” by Jim Reeves
There have been several recordings of this song over the years, including one by Elvis Presley; however, the original country classic was recorded in 1959 by Jim Reeves. Relatively innocent lyrics describe a young man trying to win the affection of a girl who is obviously interested yet caught between two different men. This song tells a tale of a classic love triangle.
“Carrying Your Love With Me” by George Strait, A Top Country Love Song
This country love song was different from many 1990s country songs. Released during a time when many Country artists were producing pop-friendly country songs, George Strait's style was and is unapologetically classic Country. Rather than jump on the pop bandwagon, Strait created a country classic all his own about a man who travels the country alone, using the love between himself and his partner to sustain him while he's away.
“Cowboy Take Me Away” by The Dixie Chicks
Released in 2003, this Dixie Chicks love song is sweet, wistful, and uncomplicated all at once. It is a simple message, telling the story of a woman looking for her life partner, a cowboy, to take her away and build a life together. The song was instantly well-received by country music fans with its universal message about finding your true love.
“Golden Ring” by George Jones and Tammy Wynette
There is something about a good, solid, Country duet that really touches the heart, especially when the song evokes a dozen different emotions. Golden Ring did exactly that as it told the tale of a wedding ring, through falling in love, marriage, struggle, and divorce. The song was released one year after George and Tammy divorced, which possibly added to the song's authenticity, which captured country music fans everywhere.
“He Stopped Loving Her Today” by George Jones
This song was released several years after George Jones suffered some personal life crisis, and many fans speculated that the song was about Tammy Wynette. After separation, the raw lyrics and clear message of undying love caused many fans to speculate wildly about the country couple getting involved romantically once again. The song itself is powerful and describes a love so deep that, despite no longer being romantically entwined, the man in question doesn't stop loving this woman until the end of his life.
“Amanda” Waylon Jennings
While Waylon Jennings' version was not the original release of this song, it was certainly the version that struck a chord with listeners. Probably one of the most somber, heart-wrenching songs about lost love, Jennings brought authenticity to the song in the emotionally charged style in which he sang the song. Anyone who has loved and lost can easily shed a tear listening to this iconic love song by Waylon Jennings
“Cold Cold Heart” by Hank Williams
Another tear-jerker that describes struggles in love and marriage, Hank Williams wrote this song about his first wife. While they were very much in love, they had more than their share of struggles, most notably when unbeknownst to Williams, his wife chose to terminate a pregnancy. After the procedure, he was called to her bedside and wrote Cold Cold Heart, describing the experience from his perspective.
“Making Memories of Us” by Keith Urban
This sweet country love song became one of the most popular wedding songs of the mid-2000. The song is a simple one, with country-pop crossover popularity, and describes how a man will love and care for his partner throughout their life together. With kind, old-fashioned lyrics, and a beautiful chorus, this song evokes the simple yearning for true love that everyone feels at one time or another.
“I Still Believe in You” by Vince Gill
This song touched country music fans deeply, becoming a classic nearly overnight. The song is sung from a man's perspective, apologizing to his long-term partner for not appreciating her or spending enough time together while promising to change and be the partner she deserves. The song echoes common real-life problems for couples who get distracted by the day-to-day business of life, making it harder to prioritize romance. This song is as relatable today as it was when released nearly 30 years ago.
“I Will Always Love You” by Dolly Parton
While admittedly, the Whitney Houston version of this song is probably the most well-known around the world, there is something sweet and sincere about the original version by Dolly Parton. Sung with an honesty and simplicity far different from Houston's power-ballad style, the original is clearly a beloved Country classic.
“Me and You” Kenny Chesney
This song is a perfect example of a classic country love song. With sweet lyrics like “Like a perfect scene from a movie scene, we're a dream come true; suited perfectly for eternity, me and you,” it evokes memories of young love, romance, and the tenderness of falling in love. The lyrics aren't particularly unique or profound, but Chesney's delivery is eager, sweet, and sincere, making it a favorite for many Country music fans.
“Remember When” by Alan Jackson
Jackson wrote this lovely song as a tribute to his wife, Denise. Together since their teenage years, this song takes a nostalgic trip down memory lane. For anyone who has been through the ups-and-downs of life and love with a long-term partner, this song can truly melt the heart. Pure Country, without the pop leanings of many 2000-era country songs, this song is truly a Country love song classic.
“I Fall to Pieces” by Patsy Cline
Along with Crazy, I Fall to Pieces is arguably one of Patsy Cline's most memorable and recognizable songs. Patsy Cline's songs about heartbreak, loss, and the pain of unrequited love can evoke those painful and vulnerable feelings in the hearts of everyone, even those who are long and happily attached. Cline's ability to take her listeners on an emotional journey truly made her a standout in the genre and the music industry.
“The Dance” by Garth Brooks
The Dance is regarded as one of Brooks' signature songs, and it remains a fan favorite to this day, over 30 years since its original release. A classic song about love gone bad, it tells a story of someone looking back at the beginning of a relationship and falling in love after that relationship has come to an end. With heartfelt and sincere lyrics, the song touched listeners with its relatable and bittersweet perspective.
“The Man in Love with You” by George Strait
This song is truly a timeless classic that, if re-released today, would have the same appeal as when it was originally released in 1993 due to its simple, honest lyrics. The song is a sweet, personal message from a man to a woman whom he deeply loves. Fearing that she deserves better than him, he promises his never-ending love to her in this endearing and sweet country classic. The lyrics have a bit of an “aw shucks” quality but yet, are sincere enough to ring true and evoke warm feelings of love.
“Don't Take the Girl” by Tim McGraw
Don't Take the Girl was Tim McGraw's first #1 hit on the Billboard Country charts and follows a couple in love from childhood to adulthood, as they face difficult and emotional situations together. A tear-jerker to the core, it's a song of strength and tenderness all at once, touching that vulnerable place that exists inside of everyone. This song is truly a beautiful, timeless classic.
“When I Said I Do” by Clint Black
This song was released as a duet by Clint Black and his wife, Lisa. In an era where, unfortunately, many marriages end in divorce, the song tells the story of commitment and a man's promise to stay with his wife until death parts them, through good times and bad. A sweet, timeless message of love and commitment that many search for, and fewer find, When I Said I Do is a beautiful country love song.
“I Cross My Heart” by George Strait
This song is truly a timeless love song. It is written as a tribute to unconditional love and commitment, and it is beautiful in its simplicity and clear messages of warmth and love. Bette Midler recorded the song before 1992, but it decidedly became a Country classic when recorded by Strait. Even today, it is still a popular favorite as a wedding song.
“Little Moments” by Brad Paisley
Paisley credited his wife, Kimberly, as the inspiration for this song. The song's simple lyrics touch on the rarely mentioned, small goof-ups that, when you love someone, are sweet and endearing, rather than annoying or infuriating. It truly speaks of genuine love, and listeners can easily relate to the song's loving and simple message.
Best Country Love Songs, Final Thoughts
When it comes to Country music, the list of great love songs could go on and on and on. More than any other genre, Country music touches on every aspect of love; the good and the bad, the painful and the beautiful, the raw and the touching. If you are a Country fan, you should take the time to revisit these sweet classics – you won't be disappointed!