Oh, sweet love. So bold, so thrilling, so casually cruel. No one can sing about heartbreak quite like a country singer, and no one gets to the bottom of a breakup quite like they do down on Music Row.
But it’s not all weeping and wallowing round these parts - sometimes country singers like to get all warm and fuzzy too, and there’s nothing quite as romantic as a country singer in love. Just so long as it lasts, that is.
As much as we love a good breakup song here at Holler, there’s something quite magical about a great country love song. So cuddle up and get nice and cosy, country lovers, as Holler picks out 20 of country’s soppiest moments.
Jake Owen gets all philosophical as he lists out all the different things he can think of and tries to explain the reasons for their existence. He himself was created simply for you, of course.
It’s like a four-year-old hosting a Valentines Day How It’s Made TV special and it’s unbelievably cute and heartwarming.
“Tiny shoes are made for tiny feet / My two arms are made for where you sleep / Sky was made for the moon and stars / You were made to steal my heart”, he sings, and we all do a collective "aww".
Maren Morris isn’t interested in why things are made so much as how they are put together in the first place.
“When there ain't a crack in the foundation / Baby, I know any storm we're facing will blow right over while we stay put”, Maren sings, reminding us that “the house don't fall when the bones are good”.
Not just good romantic advice there, but a fairly sound structural starting point for anyone thinking of going into the building trade too.
Like a lot of men, Brett Young has trouble expressing his emotions. If only he could tell his true love how he feels, life would be so much simpler. Poor little sausage can’t even write his feelings down.
Then suddenly, out of nowhere, he just goes for it and it all comes gushing out. Although in the end it pretty much just boils down to him being “crazy” about her.
One step at a time I suppose. One step at a time.
Brothers Osborne don’t even remember what they were doing before they found love; or so they claim anyway. They’ve got absolutely no memories of the lives they led previously. None whatsoever. It all sounds a bit fishy if you ask me.
“I've seen pictures / And I've heard stories 'bout the boy I used to be / But I don't remember me”, they claim, making out that they can’t even recall whether or not they saw a sunset before.
God knows what sort of shady past they’re trying to cover up, but no one’s buying this, lads.
Dan plus Shay don’t have any trouble expressing their emotions. They’re thoroughly modern men, perfectly capable of talking about their feelings and opening up to each other. Except when it comes to whoever they’re singing about in the song.
They get completely tongue tied every time she walks into a room or puts on a dress, it seems. One of you is going to have to say something soon. She’s not a bloody mind reader. Whatever you may think to the contrary.
Sometimes all it takes is the love of a damn good woman, and even the roughest of chunky lumps of coal can be polished up to sparkle like a diamond. That’s all it took for Jason Aldean to be the shining example of tender masculinity we see before us today. Behind every great man...
Russell Dickerson didn’t have it easy until he met the love of his life. First of all, he was a boat stuck in a bottle, then he was an old worn out pair of shoes; things were not going well for him. He was stuck in a rut alright. But once again he was saved by love.
“You put a new heartbeat inside of me / You make me better than I was before”, Russell declares about his new-found love. Let’s just hope Emma Thompson doesn’t ever hear it and try to turn the plot line into a hilariously literal film like they did with Last Christmas.
Luke Combs bemoans the fleeting nature of modern life in this touching ode to everlasting love. A good truck's only good for a few hundred thousand miles, his jeans have all faded, he needs new guitar strings and he can’t get any radio reception outside of the town centre. Don’t even get him started on the batteries in his Maglite. Nope.
There’s only one thing that he can always rely on. One thing that’s never going to run out, and that’s the love that him and his wife have. It just goes on forever and ever. Not like this stupid bloody torch! Why do they make things so badly these days!?!
Famously taken to the top of Billboard charts by the R&B group All-4-One, ‘I Swear’ was originally a number one country smash in 1993 for John Michael Montgomery.
Then, of course, there was the Minions version that they sang entirely in Minionese during Gru and Lucy’s wedding in Despicable Me 2, which is probably the definitive version.
Shania’s ode to the enduring power of love from Come On Over still sounds as magnificent as it did when it came out 25 years ago. Written with her producer and husband at the time Robert John ‘Mutt’ Lange, it was inspired by their marriage, and everyone around them thinking it would never last.
It didn’t, as it turned out, but it doesn’t stop it being one of the greatest love songs of all time in any genre.
There’s something about that feeling of butterflies fluttering in your tummy that makes your heart want to sing. When Kacey fell hard for Ruston Kelly, she wrote a Grammy award-winning album about their romance, with the dreamy ‘Butterflies’ - penned with Luke Laird and Natalie Hemby - at its soft, pop-country centre.
A highly charged power ballad in which country music’s most sexually potent power couple sing about all the different ways they need each other (and making love until the sun comes up and then back down again). So, basically making love for 24 hours a day.
If you’ve ever been in the audience at a concert when Tim McGraw and Faith Hill sit between each other’s legs and gaze into each other’s eyes as they sing ‘I Need You’, then you’ll have witnessed the unchallengeable power of true love.
Thomas Rhett pulled a sharp career u-turn when he went from singing about a girl “shakin’ that money maker” in ‘Get Me Some of That’, to holding hands and slow dancing around the fireplace in ‘Die a Happy Man’.
He inadvertently began pioneering the beige and sugary "Boyfriend Country" sub-genre with vomit-inducing sappiness, with lyrics like “you’re a saint, you’re a goddess, the cutest, the hottest, the masterpiece” at the forefront.
Urgh, is there anything worse than being around a couple when they’re in love?
In country music, it’s often said that a couple that sings together stays together, and if you’ve ever seen Chris Stapleton and his wife Morgane locking eyes whilst performing onstage, then you’ll know that theirs is a relationship destined to last.
Morgane sings on the chorus of this cover of the Solomon Burke song about valuing the closeness of a relationship over material wealth. Her cosy harmonies weave around her husband’s with the sort of closeness that can only come from a couple deeply in love.
George Strait is one of country music’s most incurable romantics, and his 40-year career has seen him wrapping his smooth baritone around a seemingly endless supply of soul-stirring heart warmers.
Taken from the Pure Country soundtrack, this heartfelt ballad is George at his absolute romantic best, delivering lines like “You will always be the miracle that makes my life complete, and as long as there's a breath in me I'll make yours just as sweet” with a profoundly endearing charm.
Love isn’t always easy, and jealousy and insecurity are little devils that cosy up all too often on its shoulder.
In this sweetly understated ballad from Brandy Clark’s 12 Stories album, she describes being at a party with her boyfriend when they bump into an old flame of his. From there, Brandy looks for a little reassurance as she picks up on some unresolved sexual tension between the two ex-lovers.
With hit songs like ‘I Believe In You’ and ‘It Must Be Love’, the Gentle Giant of country became known for his laid-back love songs and simple, straightforward outlook on life.
This clippety-cloppety country ditty from 1975 became one of his most treasured; a sweetly romantic tribute to long-lasting love and friendship that never sounds cloying or sickly.
Over the years, Brad Paisley has sung some of country music’s most candid and affecting songs about love. They’re frank, honest and full of the little details that other artists writing about romance would often shy away from, in favour of sweeping gestures and grand overstatements.
Written by Paisley and Wil Nance, ‘She’s Everything’ is a love song about finding romance in the simple everydayness of just being in love with someone, whether that’s in a pair of their running shoes, a candlelit bubble bath or the way they steal all the duvet.
Written by Nashville songwriting luminaries Paul Overstreet and Don Schiltz, this simple love song was inspired by the prayers that Schiltz overheard his son saying at night. It topped the Country Singles Chart when it was released as a single in 1987, before winning the Grammy for Best Country Song and Song of the Year at the CMA awards and the ACM awards.
Paul Overstreet and Don Schiltz must be two of the most romantic songwriters ever in country music! Not only did they write ‘Forever And Ever, Amen’ for Randy Travis, they also wrote this timeless country power ballad for Keith Whitley.
It later went on to be a hit for Alison Krauss in the US and Irish pop singer Ronan Keating in the UK after it was used in the movie Notting Hill.
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