Country Music The Best Classic Country Songs  

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List Rules Good old classic country - as opposed to the more pop/rock "contemporary country" sound that dominates the airwaves today.

Country music is one of the most popular genres of music in the United States, and old country songs are appreciated by fans of all ages. No list of the top country songs of all time would be complete without the classic country music of legendary artists like Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline.

Sometimes called country western, or country and western music, classic country songs are steeped in Americana and tell the story of ordinary, loving, hard working, often hard drinking, and sometimes long-suffering people, just like many of us. Sometimes the best country songs are deceptively simple sounding in their portraits of American life, but that's what makes classic country so endearing - and so relatable. 

Out of all the classic country western singers, Johnny Cash had some of the biggest crossover success. The singer/songwriter eventually tapped into rock, gospel, folk, and other genres, but is best remembered for classic country songs like "Ring of Fire," "Folsom Prison Blues," and "I Walk the Line." He and wife June Carter Cash - classic country music royalty in her own right - were together best known for their duet of "Jackson," a No. 2 hit on the Country Music charts in 1967. 

Patsy Cline may now be remembered as one of the women in classic country, but she fought her for it, particularly in era that didn't accord female country western singers the same advantages of their male counterparts. Though she didn't live to fully appreciate her legacy (Cline was killed in a plane crash at age 30), her old country songs like "Crazy" and "I Fall to Pieces" are counted along with the best country songs of all time.

Hank Williams, considered by some to be the godfather of 20th century country music, performed popular country songs of his era that still influence musicians to this day. "Your Cheatin' Heart" and "Hey, Good Lookin'" are but two examples. Those old radio hits are as ingrained into American culture as apple pie. 

What are your favorite country music songs that are considered classics? Vote up good country songs from the best of old country music, or add one that makes you cherish the best classic country songs. If you like both older and newer country music, vote on the best country artists of all time

 

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He Stopped Loving Her Today Classic and heartbreaking song by George Jones

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I Walk the Line No one does starker love songs than Johnny Cash and perhaps this is the ultimate of his to June Carter.

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Crazy Patsy Cline - This heart-breaking and flagellating song by Patsy Cline has always been a country classic. 

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Your Cheatin' Heart This sad Hank Williams song is one to which your can drown your sorrows in a tall glass of wine or beer.

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Mama Tried As Merle Haggard says, "mamma tried" to raise her boy right, but it just didn't work out that way.

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Hello Darlin Conway Twitty - An ode to a lost love that Conway Twitty done wrong. 

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Stand By Your Man Tammy Wynette - This wailing tune from Tammy Wynette is an ode to being faithful that is quintessentially country.

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Amarillo by Morning George Strait - George Straight sings about the understated woes of a rodeo cowboy. 

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Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson - The name is pretty self-explanatory on this one. 

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I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry This sad sack Hank Williams song was made even more famous when Elvis re-recorded it.

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Always on My Mind Willie Nelson - This WIllie Nelson song about eternal love is so classic its practically been covered to death.

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Coal Miner's Daughter Another ode to the occupations of the south and the lives lived by the hard-driving coal workers and their family. This Loretta Lynn song is a classic.

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Ring Of Fire This song about bringing love is both romantic and epically brutal.

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I Will Always Love You (Original) This Dolly Parton love song is a country classic that was made a mainstream hit when it was re-recorded by Whitney Houston

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Folsom Prison Blues Johnny Cash - Johnny Cash's signature song with the famous line, "I shot a ran in Reno, just to watch him die." 

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The Gambler Kenny Rogers - A veteran gambler teaches a young man when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em. 

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I Fall to Pieces Patsy Cline - Nobody quite does self pity like Cline, another classic and cry-worthy tune from her makes the list.

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Take Me Home Country Roads John Denver - John Denver's ode to the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah River.

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El Paso Marty Robbins - Beuatiful song that's an ode to the city which includes a the wonderful music of a Spanish guitar. Song won a grammy in 1961

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The Devil Went Down to Georgia The Charlie Daniels Band

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Jolene Another Dolly Parton hit to make the list, this song is about the pleas on one woman to Jolene to stop cheating with her husband.

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Hey Good Lookin This Hank Williams tune was inducted tot he Grammy Hall of Fame

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Good-Hearted Woman A 1969 Waylon Jennings hit that was reportedly inspired by Ike and Tina Turner

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On the Road Again is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Classic Country Songs

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Ring of Fire is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Classic Country Songs

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Sixteen Tons A classic folksy tune about the life and sorrows of a coal miner.

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A Country Boy Can Survive Hank Williams, Jr.

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Sunday Morning Comin' Down Another country song about hard drikning and that tough Sundway morning hangover.

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White Lightning This song is an ode to the white lightening aka moonshine that George Jones' father used to bootleg

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Kiss an Angle Good Mornin is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Classic Country Songs

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Jackson June Carter Cash, Johnny Cash

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The Battle of New Orleans Song about the 1815 Battle of New Orleans as written from the perspective of an aAmerican soldier.

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Friends in Low Places is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Classic Country Songs
Friends in Low Places Garth Brooks

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Coat of Many Colors Dolly Parton - An homage song to Parton's childhood in a poor family, the song tells the tale about a patchwork coat made from whatever mama could find.

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James Englebert added I Saw the Light Hank Williams

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A Boy Named Sue is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Classic Country Songs

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Guitars, Cadillacs Dwight Yoakam

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Flowers on the Wall The Statler Brothers

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iddiotmittens added If We Make It Through December Merle Haggard - Merle Haggard

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lrmawg added Pancho & Lefty Townes Van Zandt

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Today I Started Loving You Again This Merle Haggard 

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I Think I'll Just Stay Here and Drink Classic country wouldn't be classic without those sad drikning songs. This Merle Haggard classic is another one that makes the list.

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Rose Garden Lynn Anderson

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iddiotmittens added Good Ole Boys Like Me Don Williams

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King of the Road is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Classic Country Songs

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Take This Job an' Shove It Johnny Paycheck

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Harper Valley P.t.a. is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Classic Country Songs