Country Love Songs

I have heard several times lately from several different people that they don’t listen to country because it’s all sad songs. That’s the most uninformed, false, and foolish load of hogwash I’ve heard in a great many months, and it’s election season. But I’ll be nice. It’s an old falsehood, and seeing as the folks who spout this nonsense don’t listen to country, they can usually be forgiven the mistake.

The traditional accusation is that country is all breakup songs. So, while at work, watching the register, between small tasks, I took about five minutes and thought of all the good country love songs I could off the top of my head. No Google, didn’t use the radio, didn’t ask for help. I also excluded Johnny Cash (because some think he’s roots rock, which is an interesting discussion) and Taylor Swift (because some people don’t realize she started as a country singer). I also excluded raunchy stuff like Picking Wildflowers, even if they were as legitimate as Daydreams About Night Things. Also nothing by Shania Twain, because she’s Canadian. At least, I’ll pretend that’s why. And story songs about love that lean more towards the story song end of things. And anything where the admiration of the girl in question was in the context of raising a family. And Skin, which is really sweet, but about cancer, so kind of sad. And stuff about some kind of girl in general (ie, Country Girl, Redneck Girl, etc.)

After all that cutting, limited to the top of my head, you would think I couldn’t come up with that many happy country love songs. Especially since I really was just raised on country radio and don’t really go seek stuff out by particular bands or artists. And since I’ve spent most of the last several months delving into other genres (rock from all periods, various Celtic genres, rap, strange Spanish stuff, bluegrass, hipster stuff, and some classical I haven’t heard), and largely ignoring country. But, excepting about the last third which took more time, here is five minute’s distracted thought:

I Swear

This is Austin

Love is a Beautiful Thing

She Said Yes

We Danced

I Just Want to Dance with You

I Like It

Somethin’ Like That

Meet in the Middle

What About Now

Ubelievable

Lay You Down

Grundy County Auction

Love to be Your Last

Little More You

Different Kind of Fine

Where the Green Grass Grows

Be My Baby Tonight

Blue Clear Sky

Would You Go With Me

Like the Rain

Rockin With the Rhythm of the Rain

Wave on Wave

Three Days

Texas on My Mind

Farmer’s Daughter

Rumor Has It

Check Yes or No

Deeper Than the Holler

Just the Way that I Am

She’s Everything

Dust on the Bottle

Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing (I heard this cover before the original)

Beautiful mess

That’s Crazy

Crazy Girl

Swingin’

Waitin’ on a Woman

Why don’t we just Dance

Getting’ You Home

The Chair

Lost in this Moment

The Good Stuff

What God has Joined Together

Call the preacher

God Bless the Broken Road

I Can Love You Like That

She’s In Love With the Boy

Write This Down

I Thought I Was Tough

Fast Cars and Freedom

Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not

You Win My Love

Wouldn’t Be a Man

This Kiss

Honeybee

Heads Carolina

Drunk On You, High On Summertime

A Feelin’ Like That

Must Be Doing Somethin’ Right

Baby I’m In

A Woman Like You

And most of those are far better than the majority of love songs I’ve found in any other genre. Now, this is just five minutes casual scribbling of love songs narrowly defined. You want positive, non-sad songs? I haven’t touched on the songs about God, Jesus, the Bible, Church, family, America, small towns, the backwoods itself, country music, general partying, drinking songs, songs about life, songs about driving and roads, this-is-who-I-am kinda songs, protest songs, other songs of a political nature, story songs, songs about how life is pretty good, and a lot of other love songs.

Taking that into account, the accusation that country music is all sad songs begins to sound pretty hollow. And honestly, I doubt most folks who make the accusation could name five country songs off the top of their head, much less five country singers. (That list by the way, probably doesn’t have more than three from any one singer). Which is not to say there’s anything wrong with not listening to country, you just don’t need to make up stupid excuses, or perpetuate a myth to do so.

Now, it’s not like there are no sad country songs. These days, though, and for most recent decades, there’s not been any more sad songs in this genre than any other. And many genres have more. It is true that way back when, about the fifties, I believe, there were more breakup songs. Probably that’s when country earned the reputation. But it was an exaggerated caricature then, and now both exaggerated and out of date.

I’m going to get on Spotify now. Cheerio.

PS- After entering these into a new Spotify playlist, it turns out I violated my rule a few times. I found a Shania Twain and a raunchy one, and at least one more about family. Also, some of the titles are not quite right. The dangers of not using google, and thinking fast.

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One thought on “Country Love Songs

  1. Seems like country music is more about people and stories. Even the love songs are about actions, not just feelings. The music itself is secondary to the lyrics. Compare that to many other genres, and you find that on the whole they’re about things and concepts. That’s why Wheel in the Sky is not a country song, despite it’s awesomeness.

    Good things to think about. I think the story angle is why people in the South love country, and why country is from people in the South (mostly; Twain, Urban, etc.).

    Like

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