There comes a time when sadness overtakes us and makes us remember all the things that have happened in the past. From losing a lover, a friend, a mother, or a beloved family pet, there’s something on this list that has grabbed us all emotionally — and will undoubtedly continue to do so for a long time.
Here is a list of (in no particular order) 10 sad country songs you don’t want to miss. My intention is not to make you all sad, but to brace on your emotion as you appreciate these country songs that have been loved — and will be loved — by country music folks. Enjoy!
“Where Do I Put Her Memory” by Charley Pride
A song about a woman whose memory can’t be put away, and how Charley Pride sings it, it’s safe to say that she’s probably dead. The song, which became his 21st Number One on the Country chart when it came out in 1979, walks through all the things the narrator hid of his lost love. Penned by Jim Weatherly and recorded by Charley Pride, this track was released in 1979 as his third single from the album Burgers and Fries.
“How Can I Help You Say Goodbye” by Patty Loveless
This melancholic Patty Loveless performance details two important moments in a woman’s life: moving away from a friend at a young age and the end of a marriage, and how a mother’s love helped her to make it through the pain of the loss. Written by Karen Taylor-Good and Burton Banks Collins, this song was first recorded by Patty Loveless for her 1993 album Only What I Feel and released as the fourth single.
“Concrete Angel” by Martina McBride
Released in 2002, Concrete Angel is about a child who endures the torture of physical abuse at the hands of her mother before succumbing to her injuries. This Martina McBride hit is a sobering reminder that child abuse — even in the modern era — is still a major problem of social significance.
“Whiskey Lullaby” by Brad Paisley
This is a hit duet of Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss that displays the dramatic and doleful tale of a husband who returns home from service to find his wife with another man and then takes his life still haunts us whenever we listen. With mournful, evocative backup singing from Alison Krauss good luck making it through the song without getting misty-eyed, especially as you get to the part where you learn the wife took her life, too, stricken with remorseful pain from her husband’s suicide.
“He Stopped Loving Her Today” by George Jones
This melancholy song written by Curly Putman and Bobby Braddock talks about a man who takes his love for his former flame to the grave. It’s been played so many times that would be easy, but try this. Listen to the song line by line with an open mind — as if you never heard it before. Chances are pretty good that Jones’s timeless vocal will grab you even more than ever, but it’s impossible to discount the production of Billy Sherrill and the haunting funeral-like chorus notes of Millie Kirkham.
“Why” by Rascal Flatts
Peaked at no. 18 in 2009, this Rascal Flatts single conveys a message about a man questioning why a close friend chose to end his own life touched an emotional chord with anyone who had ever gone through that experience. Penned by Allen Shamblin and Rob Mathes, this song was originally recorded by Faith Hill but didn’t make her 2005 set Fireflies.
“The Dance” by Garth Brooks
Considered by many as Garth Brooks signature song, this hit was written and composed by Tony Arata pertains to the relationship or, in a larger sense, all the joy that was a part of knowing a person. The pain is part of the experience – it’s part of being human. Don’t you ever wonder if you had taken a left turn in life instead of veering for that right? This 1989 release still moves us decades later as it did in the 80s.
“Remember When” by Alan Jackson
Released in 2003 and peaked at no. 1 in 2004, this song by Alan Jackson looks back on his life with his wife. He describes their love from their first time together through raising their children. He also describes how he and his wife will “remember when” the children were young after they are grown. Billboard called the single “the most poignant, well-written country song to hit the format in a long time.”
“Help Me Make It Through The Night” by Kris Kristofferson
A country music ballad, Kristofferson’s original lyrics of this song speak of a man’s yearning for sexual intimacy. When covered by a woman, this song became controversial in 1971 with the original lyrics
“I don’t care what’s right or wrong, I don’t try to understand / Let the devil take tomorrow, Lord tonight I need a friend.”
“I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” by Hank Williams
Originally intended to be spoken rather than sung, this Hank Williams hit song is about the loneliness that was largely inspired by his troubled relationship with wife Audrey Sheppard. Hearing this song and feeling alone, you’d definitely want to cry.
Thoughts? Did I miss your favorite?
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