Greatest Country Songs Ever Written

rarebreed

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Jul 26, 2010
Posts
1,150
Location
Louisville,KY
I too have way to many to mention them all. Lots by Hank Williams and Merle Haggard. Some of my favorites by these two are Your Cheatin Heart, and I Can't Help It If I'm Still In Love With You by Hank. Two Of my faves By Merle are, The Farmer's Daughter and Mama's Hungry Eyes.
 

That Cal Webway

Friend of Leo's
Silver Supporter
Joined
Nov 16, 2012
Posts
4,894
Location
Minot
"Streets of Bakersfield"

Buck's original version and the delightful one with Dwight Yoakam.
This verse resonates through the ages, and boy oh boy judging of others is universal in so many religious writings:

"Hey, you don't know me, but you don't like me
You say you care less how I feel
But how many of you that sit and judge me
Ever walked the streets of Bakersfield?"

.
 
Last edited:

Chester P Squier

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jan 16, 2021
Posts
2,704
Age
74
Location
Covington, LA
Before Willie Nelson’s own recording career took off, he earned songwriter royalties from other people’s records. So, he had to go around Nashville from singer to singer to get them to record his songs.

Willie told this story on VH1 Storytellers a number of years ago:

One of the best songs he wrote was “Stupid.” You know how, when you do something stupid, and instead of saying a curse word, you say the word “stupid”? You say “stu” on one pitch and “pid” somewhat lower. Like a musical interval of a 6th. And that’s how this song began. It sounded like a person speaking a disgusted “stupid.” But it actually sets the pitch and key of the song. Willie’s a genius!

But nobody wanted to record Willie’s song “Stupid.” It turns out he was fishin’ buddies with with Patsy Cline’s husband. He was able to approach Patsy with his song. She told him the problem with the song was the word “stupid” itself. Willie said that “stupid” is not “euphonious,” which means it doesn’t make the singer’s voice sound good. In other words, “stupid” is not resonant.

So, desperate to get the song recorded, he suggested that they maybe use some other word, like, I don’t know, “Crazy.” So that’s what they went with.

They kept the descending 6th interval at the beginning of “Crazy.”

Big hit.
 

haggardfan1

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Mar 17, 2014
Posts
4,670
Age
58
Location
Texas, Louisiana, Texas again
This is a fantastic thread, but a tough decision.

First, "He Stopped Loving Her Today".
To paraphrase a quote from a Merle Haggard interview, it sounded good when first released, and it'll still sound good a hundred years from now.

Few of us have been able to mention only one, so here goes.
"What's Your Mama's Name ". One of the great story telling songs.

"Texas In My Rearview Mirror". Mac Davis captured a perfect blend of intelligent lyrics, catchy tune, and foot tapping rhythm....it's amazingly well constructed. I never get tired of hearing it.

"Faded Love". The fiddle national anthem.

No one has mentioned any instrumentals that I noticed, so I'll throw in Maidens Prayer and Buckaroo.

My father's favorite song, "Green Green Grass of Home".

I've been asked dozens of times since I started doing Haggard tribute shows, what my favorite song of his is.... I'm going to have to say "Kern River".
Here's a couple reasons why. It's not only about the girlfriend dying, there's a lot of California packed into the song. I am no more a Californian than Merle was an Okie; but it doesn't keep me from relating.

When I had my own band, my drummer had lived in Porterville, CA for a while. He always got misty eyed when we did the song.

Fun fact: I once got us a $100 tip for singing Kern River as a request. One never forgets those moments onstage.
 

Buckaroo65

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Nov 8, 2019
Posts
1,249
Location
Lucky Spot
This is a fantastic thread, but a tough decision.

First, "He Stopped Loving Her Today".
To paraphrase a quote from a Merle Haggard interview, it sounded good when first released, and it'll still sound good a hundred years from now.

Few of us have been able to mention only one, so here goes.
"What's Your Mama's Name ". One of the great story telling songs.

"Texas In My Rearview Mirror". Mac Davis captured a perfect blend of intelligent lyrics, catchy tune, and foot tapping rhythm....it's amazingly well constructed. I never get tired of hearing it.

"Faded Love". The fiddle national anthem.

No one has mentioned any instrumentals that I noticed, so I'll throw in Maidens Prayer and Buckaroo.

My father's favorite song, "Green Green Grass of Home".

I've been asked dozens of times since I started doing Haggard tribute shows, what my favorite song of his is.... I'm going to have to say "Kern River".
Here's a couple reasons why. It's not only about the girlfriend dying, there's a lot of California packed into the song. I am no more a Californian than Merle was an Okie; but it doesn't keep me from relating.

When I had my own band, my drummer had lived in Porterville, CA for a while. He always got misty eyed when we did the song.

Fun fact: I once got us a $100 tip for singing Kern River as a request. One never forgets those moments onstage.
Hearing Kern River always brings back the cautionary tales we were told as children… we always knew better than to even take our shoes off and put our feet into it. That and the billboard at the entrance to Kern Canyon telling you how many people had drowned so far this year.
 

Chiogtr4x

Doctor of Teleocity
Silver Supporter
Joined
Mar 29, 2007
Posts
14,574
Location
Manassas Park, VA
This one's a very strong contender. So's the song Hank did, written by his buddy Leon Payne, "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry".
This one's a very strong contender. So's the song Hank did, written by his buddy Leon Payne, "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry".
I often sing "Your Cheatin' Heart at our gigs...

( note: I played lead guitar in a Classic Country band for years, backing up a real Country music singer. So now I mix a few Country tunes in with my R&R and Blues tunes; mix things up!)

...and just to BS with the crowd I often say, before or after singing:

" I think this may be the best song ever written, any style of music..."

- part of me believes this ( yet I feel the same way about "Like A Rolling Stone"), and it's partly just to get a reaction from the crowd- seems like a lot of baby-boomer old farts ( like me) I play for agree!
 




Top