One of the things that makes country music so iconic is that every single song tells a story. Some are serious, some are silly, and some truly make you think about life. While characters and situations vary across artists, albums, and titles, there are a few subjects found on pretty much every incredible country record.
1. Dogs. Or any animal really. Whether it’s the protagonist of the whole song like in Blake Shelton’s “Ol’ Red” or a part of a clever story like “Move it on Over” by Hank Williams, (wo)man’s best friend is all over country music.
2. Cheating. No one likes a cheater, but man does it make for a good country song! From Carrie Underwood hits like “Before He Cheats”, “Two Black Cadillacs”, and “Dirty Laundry” to newcomer Gabby Barrett’s debut single, “I Hope”, to Sugarland’s haunting ballad, “Stay”, we dare you to find one superstar who hasn’t done a song about this topic.
3. Family. Wives, husbands, mothers, fathers, grandparents, sons, and daughters have all made the cut on hit country albums. One of the most refreshing parts of the genre is how essential family is to the artists, and releasing songs about family can relate to almost every listener just like country newcomer, Caylee Hammack’s “Family Tree”.
4. Beer. Look no further than chart toppers like “Drinking Class” by Lee Brice, “Day Drunk” by Morgan Evans, “Drowns the Whiskey” by Jason Aldean featuring Miranda Lambert, Midland’s “Drinkin’ Problem” and Luke Combs’ newest single “Beer Never Broke My Heart”. These and a hundred others are proof that drinking songs are always a good addition to an album.
5. Heartbreak. Every now and then we need a song that lets us turn down the lights and feel the pain that comes from a love lost, and country music is overflowing with good options. From Carly Pearce’s “Every Little Thing” to Rascal Flatts’ classic “What Hurts to Most”, if you’re looking to let the tears flow, country music has you covered.
6. Summer. Okay this one isn’t on every album, but it’s hard to find an artist who hasn’t released a single upbeat summer smash. If the song is about beaches (Zac Brown Band’s “Toes”), summer love (Luke Bryan’s “Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset” and Ryan Hurd’s “Her Name Was Summer”), hitting the lake (Little Big Town’s “Pontoon”) or just an all around good time (Kenny Chesney’s “Summertime”) these songs are perfect for the long days soaking up the sun.
7. Loss. A good album makes you feel, and country songs about losing people you love deliver every time. With gorgeous melodies and lyrics that hit you deep down, tracks like Justin Moore’s “The Ones Who Didn’t Make It Back Home”, Chris Young’s “Drowning“, Diamond Rio’s “One More Day”, and Scotty McCreery’s “Five More Minutes” show that loss is a part of life, and you will get through it.
8. Inspiration. Whether it’s a “you got this” anthem like “Girl” by Maren Morris or “Rainbow” by Kacey Musgraves, or a reminder that it always gets better like Rodney Atkin’s “If You’re Going Through Hell”, country lyrics are bound to give you the motivation you need to conquer anything.
9. Nostalgia. Thomas Rhett albums are overflowing with these hits, just listen to “Sixteen”, “Remember You Young” and “Centerpoint Road” to name a few. Other top artists have released their fair share too like Keith Urban’s “We Were”, Trace Adkin’s “You’re Gonna Miss This” and Brad Paisley’s “Letter to Me”.
10. Faith. Regardless of personal ideology, songs about believing in something bigger is one of the subjects that make country albums so powerful. While some songs name it outright (George Strait’s “I Saw God Today”), others convey the strength that comes from trusting the universe (Brooks and Dunn’s “Believe”) and both are country staples.
Regardless of who you are listening to, each and every country album is bound to have a little something for everyone.
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