Country Thang Daily picked 27 country songs everyone knows. These songs have made it beyond the genre and across different audiences, and anyone can literally enjoy them. And for country fans like us, the fun doubles. We’re sure that you won’t be able to help yourself from singing or dancing along when you hear these songs – wherever you are and whoever you are with.
Can it be a bit embarrassing, especially when you’re out? Probably. But is it worth it? Definitely YES. So scroll down, check out each song, and pick your favorite. (But if it were us, we’d be hooking every piece up to a playlist. Why restrict the fun, right?) Oh, and last! We also included some cool tidbits and pop culture trivia about them.
1. 9 to 5 by Dolly Parton
This is the anthem of office workers then, and it still is now. As the song goes, workin’ 9 to 5 what a way to make a livin’, barely gettin’ by it’s all takin’ and no givin’. And that is quite unfortunate, considering this song was first released in 1980. It has been four decades since then, and nothing has really changed. We are still slaves to corporations and capitalism.
“9 to 5” earned Parton a number one hit as well as several prestigious nominations and awards.
💡Dolly Parton recorded a new version of the song titled “5 to 9” for a Squarespace advert in the Super Bowl LV in early 2021.
2. Always on My Mind by Willie Nelson
If I made you feel second best… Girl, I’m sorry I was blind. This song spoke volumes of how difficult it is for men to open up about their own feelings and to understand what a woman wants from them. And Nelson’s voice was such a soothing fit that brought out the subtleties of the lyrics and the guilt of love lost. That’s why it connected to a lot of people, especially those who have been on that same end of the rope.
And that is also why it’s no surprise that “Always on My Mind” became a popular hit (and still is!) that won Nelson several awards, including CMA’s Song and Single of the Year. It was also named one of CMT’s 500 Greatest Country Songs, proving even more how timeless it is.
3. Amarillo By Morning by George Strait
George Strait is known as a hitmaker and a country music legend who went on to record over 60 Billboard hits. And this song has been one of the most powerful galvanizers of that reputation. That is, there’s no country fan who doesn’t know I ain’t got a dime, but what I got is mine… I ain’t rich, but Lord I’m free. Even those who aren’t into the genre have surely heard this at least once in their lifetime.
“Amarillo By Morning” was originally recorded by Terry Stafford in 1973 and was famously cut and brought to number 4 on the Billboard charts by Strait in 1983.
💡This was referenced in other country songs just like Jason Aldean’s “Amarillo Sky” and Brad Paisley’s “This is Country Music”.
4. Carrying Your Love With Me by George Strait
George Strait never disappoints with his releases, as they always end up iconic. Well, who could ever forget this line – I’m carrying your love with me, West Virginia down to Tennessee? It’s a romantic song that still surely sweeps men and women off their feet.
George Strait’s “Carrying Your Love With Me” didn’t only contribute to his success but also created a space where country music remained relevant amid the big pop song hits.
💡This song is the origin of the popular TikTok song remix by David Morris.
5. Chattahoochee by Alan Jackson
If you ever end up in Chattahoochee, Georgia, you won’t be able to get this song out of your head. Or even if you’re simply someone who grew up and came of age in a small town, you would definitely relate to the lyrics of the song – a lot about livin’ and a little ’bout love. And it’s like a commercial song that’s so upbeat and catchy!
“Chattahoochee” received CMA Awards for Single and Song of the Year! And it also introduced the small town to a whole lot of people who didn’t know it existed.
6. Crazy by Patsy Cline
This classic torch song was written by Willie Nelson, who was a struggling country artist at the time. But thanks to Patsy Cline, it became a hit and made it one of his career’s most enduring songs. Her mesmerizing voice lent an entrancing vibe to the song, especially when she hits the line oh, crazy for thinking that my love could hold you. And so, it has easily become a favorite in the genre and even outside.
“Crazy” was also Cline’s biggest career hit and her version, among so many, was the only one to chart in the US.
7. Father and Son by Cat Stevens
We’re sure you’ve heard this line before: Find a girl, settle down if you want you can marry. Look at me I am old, but I’m happy. And the interesting thing about this song is that although it has an unusual structure owing to its early inspiration as a number for a stage musical with no chorus, it is still so easy to remember. In just a few replays, you’d be able to sing along. That’s why it’s no wonder that it has become so loved by many.
“Father and Son” became a huge hit across Europe after Irish boyband Boyzone recorded a version. Ronan Keating of Boyzone also covered the song with Stevens as his duet partner.
💡The song has been used in different movies, but probably the most memorable to date was its feature in the ending scene of the 2017 film Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
8. Friends in Low Places by Garth Brooks
As the chorus hits – ’cause I’ve got friends in low places where the whiskey drowns and the beer chases – the crowd goes louder. And it doesn’t matter how off-key, sober, or drunk you are, because once this song comes on, you are literally friends with everyone in the room. No judgment; it’s just all about the fun.
“Friends in Low Places” was first recorded by Brooks as a demo, then it became his first single off his album New Fences which became an easy hit for the artist.
💡If you want to reminisce about the song, you can go ahead and visit Brooks’ new Nashville bar named after the song – ‘Friends in Low Places.’
9. The Gambler by Kenny Rogers
As the gambler once said, life is like playing cards – you got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, and know when to run. It’s like a daily mantra with a melody that will stick with you the moment you hear it. And you’ll find this song uplifting despite its quite dark setting, thanks to the track’s light, cheery tune and Rogers’ velvety, deep bass-baritone voice.
“The Gambler,” a cover track by Kenny Rogers, is the musician’s signature song from 1978 and his most enduring hit. Not only did it achieve mainstream success in the genre, but it also made its way to the pop charts during a time when country rarely crossed over.
💡Check out The Office S03:E22 Beach Games and sing this song along with Kevin Malone and the rest of the staff.
10. He Stopped Loving Her Today by George Jones
As they say, if this song doesn’t break your heart, then you probably don’t have one. Even the first line is already a heartbreaker – He said, “I’ll love you till I die”… She told him, “You’ll forget in time.” And George Jones definitely nailed this one so much that even noncountry music fans acknowledge how good and heartfelt a classic it is.
“He Stopped Loving Her Today” has been named the greatest country song of all time in many surveys. It was also preserved by the Library of Congress in the National Recording Registry.
11. I Cross My Heart by George Strait
This classic ballad is widely regarded as one of George Strait’s best songs and one of the most popular wedding and anniversary songs. As its chorus line goes, I cross my heart and promise to give all I’ve got to give to make all your dreams come true. Even George Strait himself serenaded his wife of 50 years, Norma, with this song during his headlining performance at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in 2021.
“I Cross My Heart” was the first single off his album Pure Country and the soundtrack to the movie of the same title.
12. I Will Always Love You by Dolly Parton
Who can even forget the iconic… aaand I will always love you? But did you know that it’s actually a Dolly Parton original? Whitney Houston’s was only a cover though it was definitely instrumental in creating waves for the song. And now, the song has made its way from stages to karaoke bars, sung by anyone who is a star of their very own lilting love story.
“I Will Always Love You” raked in numerous awards and achieved global success topping the charts across countries. And of course, it has also since then been recorded by several artists.
13. Jolene by Dolly Parton
When Dolly Parton starts to sing Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, I am begging you please don’t take my man, it will be hard not to join her. The song is like an outlet for all the pent-up emotions, reverberating the sounds of pain, desperation, betrayal, and anguish that will definitely pull you hard. Dolly Parton’s personal investment in the song, as it was inspired by an innocent flirtation of her husband with a bank teller, made it even more relatable. But what probably drew listeners in closer was the choose-your-own-ending style of the narrative. After all, we all love a bit of mystery.
“Jolene” hit number one on the country charts and led to the successful launch of more chart-toppers like “I Will Always Love You” and “Love Is Like a Butterfly.” And now, it remains to be Dolly Parton’s most popular song and has been streamed 420 million times to date on Spotify.
💡Jessica Chastain’s 2008 film debut is based on E.L. Doctorow’s story “Jolene: A Life”.
14. Livin’ on Love by Alan Jackson
As soon as Alan Jackson hits the chorus singing Livin’ on love, buyin’ on time, you won’t be able to fight the feeling. You’d find yourself dancing to the light and cheery tune and having fun singing along with him.
“Livin’ on Love” is Alan Jackson’s ninth number one hit and served as one of his most catchy and most charming songs.
15. Mama Tried by Merle Haggard & The Strangers
No one could steer me right, but Mama tried, Mama tried. This song by Merle Haggard was heavily influenced by his early life experiences, which definitely cut through the hearts of many mamas and kids. And its sound was distinctly country, especially the artist’s voice that you’d know the song anywhere even if you’ve just heard it once.
“Mama Tried” wasn’t only a memorable song in Merle Haggard’s career but also a cornerstone of his success. The track earned high-profile achievements, including its selection for preservation in the National Recording Registry.
💡Gilmore Girls’ 5th season finale, A House is Not a Home, the song is heard being sung by Stars Hollow’s ‘Town Troubador’ on a street corner after Lorelei brought Rory home from a night in jail.
16. The Older I Get by Alan Jackson
This song perfectly captures the essence of what it means to get older. As Alan Jackson goes, the older I get, the more I think… you only get a minute better live while you’re in it ’cause it’s gone in a blink. And this is exactly the reason why his songs are so popular – it’s profound from the get-go, relatable, and comforting at the same time.
“The Older I Get” was Alan Jackson’s first studio recording in two years at the time, and even after a long time being gone, the artist never lost his touch.
17. Remember When by Alan Jackson
Alan Jackson’s songs have always been the kind to make you stop and listen. And this song was no exception. When he starts the song singing, remember when I was young and so were you, you’d be hit with a pang of emotions. This is a song that people will never forget because it reminds them of a lot of good things. Until now, it remains to be a song that people go back to whenever life seems like it’s passing by too fast.
Just like any other song from the artist, “Remember when” earned chart success.
18. Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die by Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson’s songs are all undoubtedly iconic and popular across genres. But this one sticks out to many because it’s a straight-up reference to the cannabis culture. It’s an easy song with even easier and admittedly fun lyrics – There’s a party, come on by now just roll me up and smoke me when I die – so it’s hard not to remember it.
“Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die” featured country artists Kris Kristofferson and Jamey Johnson as well as popular American rapper Snoop Dogg.
19. She Believes in Me by Kenny Rogers
Sometimes, all we need in life is for someone to support us. And when we do find one, we should be thankful to have them. Kenny Rogers sings just that and with so much awe, saying but she has faith in me and so I go on trying faithfully. This song is like a sweet sip of coffee on a beautiful morning, especially with Kenny Rogers’ voice.
“She Believes in Me” turned out to be his biggest crossover hit, earning the top position on the Billboard Country Singles chart, peaking at number five on the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles, and snatching number one on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart.
20. Sing Me Back Home by Don Williams
Originally written and performed by Merle Haggard, it would be a feat to outdo his version. Probably the closest we could get that really gave justice to the song was Don Williams. He gave the line sing me back home, the song my mama sang… make my old memories come alive with such emotion that will make you tear up.
“Sing Me Back Home” has become a favorite karaoke song and remains to be popular even today.
21. Stand By Your Man by Tammy Wynette
Tammy Wynette’s successful country music career has this song to thank for. Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman giving all your love to just one man became one of the most familiar intros in country music. The simple message of the song paired with Tammy Wynette’s powerful, emotionally-stirring voice makes for a flawless delivery that could be heard several blocks away, even without a microphone.
“Stand By Your Man” enjoyed peak success on country charts and also crossed over to the pop charts, which elevated her status from country singer to superstar. No one can doubt the popularity of this song, and years later, it was named one of CMT’s 100 Greatest Songs in Country Music and 100 Greatest Country Love Songs.
💡The song was featured in Masters of Sex Season 4 premiere sung by a drunk Virginia Johnson (played by Lizzy Caplan) in a hotel bar.
22. Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver
Country roads, take me home to the place I belong… West Virginia, mountain mamma, take me home, country roads. We bet you couldn’t fight the urge and sang that line as you read it. Yeah, we did too. And probably anyone who’d hear this track won’t be able to resist the compelling feeling to sing along. That is, it has that easy-to-listen sound and a lingering nostalgic image that will vividly take you through the journey of driving down to West Virginia. Even if you’ve never been there – just like Denver.
“Take Me Home, Country Roads” became a huge hit in the summer of 1971 and became the first of 13 US Top 40 hits he earned during the ’70s. It also established Denver as a hit crossover artist with appeals to country, pop, and the easy-listening audience.
💡Watch The Office S05:E21 The Michael Scott Paper Company and hear Dwight and Andy performing this song (and one-upping each other) to impress the new receptionist.
23. Troubadour by George Strait
This ballad about a troubadour who is content with what he has accomplished in life leaves an impression that will last a lifetime. And to many, it’s a profound gift and reminder to live their life on their own terms – I was a young troubadour when I rode in on a song and I’ll be an old troubadour when I’m gone.
“Troubadour” didn’t hit number one, but it still placed well within the Top 10 and was also nominated for Best Male Country Vocal Performance at the Grammys.
24. Would You Go With Me by Josh Turner
This song is considered by many noncountry fans to be their guilty pleasure. It’s a very romantic song, and paired with Josh Turner’s signature deep song; you could drown in a sweet experience. Just imagine him singing to you, if I gave you my hand would you take it and make me the happiest man in the world. It would definitely be surreal.
“Would You Go With Me” earned Josh Turner his second number one country single in a row following his success with “Your Man.”
25. You Never Even Called Me By My Name by David Allan Coe
Originally composed as a pastiche of every country song, this song is undeniably memorable. The lyrics referenced different country legends like Waylon Jennings, Charlie Pride, and Merle Haggard. And in Coe’s version, an iconic additional verse was added to make it the perfect country and western song. It went: Well, I was drunk the day my mom got out of prison and I went to pick her up in the rain. But before I could get to the station in my pickup truck, she got run ned over by a damned old train. If you know country music well, then you know!
“You Never Even Called Me By My Name” has been recorded by different artists and enjoyed chart success.
26. Your Cheatin’ Heart by Hank Williams
Everybody knows that this song is regarded as one of the genre’s most important standards. As Colin Escott, country music historian, expressed, it was a song that, for all intents and purposes, defined what country music is. And it still does. Once you’ve listened to the song – when tears come down like falling rain, you’ll toss around and call my name – it will stick in your mind rent-free, which in this generation is called ‘last song syndrome’.
“Your Cheatin’ Heart” was released just days after Hank Williams’ death, and it enjoyed instant success and praise. The track has also since been covered by various artists, but of course, no one could really beat the original.
27. Your Man by Josh Turner
Baby lock the door and turn the lights down low… Put some music on that’s soft and slow. And we’re sure you know the next line (probably the whole song) to that because honestly, who doesn’t? Josh Turner’s deep voice definitely made this a head-turning line and an irresistible song that no one can ever get enough of.
“Your Man” was Josh Turner’s first number one hit and was certified Triple Platinum by the RIAA in 2021!
There you have it! 27 country songs everyone knows that you can sing and dance along to with family and friends. Enjoy!
Alan Jackson, Cat Stevens, David Allan Coe, Dolly Parton, don williams, Garth Brooks, George Jones, George Strait, hank williams, John Denver, Josh Turner, kenny rogers, merle haggard, Patsy Cline, Tammy Wynette, The Strangers, Willie Nelson