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The Best Country Break Up Songs

January 1, 2022 3:30 pm GMT
Last Edited June 16, 2023 10:52 am GMT

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The break-up song is a staple of all popular music and perhaps of country music in particular. But what exactly is it?

In the hands of the great country storytellers - the break-up song run the gauntlets of emotion in almost every hue, serving almost every purpose.

Here's 15 of the best, make sure you've got some tissues.

15
Sony | 1974

Dolly Parton - I Will Always Love You

The resignation letter as love song, the epitome of "it's not you, it's me". But it's you really.

14
Warner Bros. Nashville | 1995

Travis Tritt - Here's A Quarter, Call Someone Who Cares

Yeah, you did. You made a mistake. A big one. You did. And you hurt me really bad. Really bad. I don't care what you think. I don't. No I don't. I don't. Just fuck off and leave me alone, alright? Just go. Go now before I do something I'll regret. Like kiss you.

13
Columbia Records | 2020

The Chicks - Tights On My Boat

And absolutely fuck you, you fucking fuck. I did everything for you and you turn around and do that to me? And you're too stupid to clean up behind you as well. And on my boat. I hope she was worth it because YOU ARE GOING TO PAY. Oh yes you are.

12
Equity | 2005

Little Big Town - Good As Gone

You know that feeling you get when you know it's time to cut your losses and get the hell out of Dodge? Break out and be free again? This one's for you.

11
Mercury Nashville | 2020

Maddie & Tae - Die From A Broken Heart

Sometimes only your mum can help. It's the detail that kills here: the wine stained dress and the tear stained pillow, the broken door and the broken heart...

10
Album - Sam Hunt - Montevallo

Sam Hunt - Break Up In A Small Town

Everywhere I go it’s you. Everywhere I look it’s you. But now it’s you with him.

9
BMLG | 2019

Lady A - What If I Never Get Over You?

I know it's supposed to feel bad, but not this bad surely? It will get better won't it? Tell me it will. Please.

Bonus heartbreak marks for rhyming "over" with "closure", by the way.

8
Columbia | 1982

Willie Nelson - Always On My Mind

What? You're doing what? Why? We get along so well. But I did, I did, all the time. No really I did. I do rather. I do. Well, I suppose not now you come to mention it, no. I thought it though I really did. Oh, perhaps I should have done, yes. I'm so sorry darling. Is it too late? Oh.

7
2021 | Sony

Taylor Swift - All Too Well (10 Minute version)(Taylor's Version)

Does it hurt you too, you bastard? It better.

6
Epic | 1974

George Jones - The Grand Tour

No, you won’t be seeing her again. Yeah, she’s gone. Just left. Just like that. Took the baby with her, nothing else. No, I’ll be fine. I will. Really.

5
Black River | 2017

Kelsea Ballerini - Miss Me More

Oh thank Christ that’s over. Pass the wine please.

4
Mercury Nashville | 2006

Rascal Flatts - What Hurts The Most

It’s not that. I can get over that. That’s not so bad. Nor is that. But that. That kills me.

3
Warner | 2021

Zac Brown Band - Wild Palomino

The most recent of all these songs, and the one begging to be made into a film. Zac's old cowboy grits his teeth and lets his lover go in the hope that she'll come back to him. It's the right thing to do, but the hurt is killing him and he can't let it show. She will come back in the end won't she? Won't she?

2
MCA Nashville | 1995

Trisha Yearwood - On A Bus To St Cloud

Something’s happened here – what it is ain’t exactly clear. Has Trisha's lover died? Committed suicide? Or just left without any explanation? Whatever it is, he's gone, she's alone, she's hurt, she's puzzled and she doesn't know what to do.

She sees him everywhere, a ghost drifting through her life, never there but never quite gone either - the worst of both worlds. And it's not getting better any time soon. 

1
Big Machine - 2017

Brett Young - Mercy

Don’t. Just don’t alright? It’s hard enough already without you doing that. For pity’s sake don’t.

~~

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Written by Mark Hagen
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