Your 10 Best Country Music Lyrics To Live By – Entertainment Focus
Country music is a genre where artists and audiences pay close attention to the story of a three-minute song. So imagine the thought process behind compiling a list of the top ten country lyrics to follow? More than once I’ve swapped a song because even though the lyrics were amazing (I’m looking at you Brandy Clark, Erin Enderlin, Ashley McBryde), I didn’t actually make any life-changing decisions based on on these particular stories. Still.
And, because performer and artist aren’t always the same, I’ve included credited songwriters in my list. Because, you know, writers.
10. Did I shave my legs for this? –Deana Carter
(Songwriters: Deana Carter, Rhonda Hart)
Probably the first time a country song spoke to me directly, through a thankless bathroom activity I spent too much time doing in my late twenties, and a funny lyric. Yes, there are people who shave their legs every day. I’m not one of them, thanks to this self-esteem-boosting song: ‘Here I’m standing over this frying pan/And you want another cold one…as I walk to the door, I turn around to be sure/did I shave my legs for that?
9. Drink all day – Jake Owen
(Songwriters: Brian Kelley, Josh Miller, Daniel Ross, Ernest Keith Smith)
In fact, I can’t drink all day, but I often quote this sentence, especially at music festivals: “You can’t drink all day if you don’t start in the morning”. The idea is not to get so tipsy that you have to leave the front of a concert, but rather to justify a midday drink. If I had been drinking all day, I wouldn’t arrive at five o’clock. I like the metaphor behind having fun all day long.
8. Girl Next Door – Brandy Clark
(Songwriters: Brandy Clark, Jesse Jo Dillon, Shane McAnally)
Brandy is pure class and sassy when it comes to songwriting, and ‘I’m not a newbie Debbie, standing in an apron frying your bacon/my house and my mouth and my mind are getting a little trash’ are my favorite reminder to be my authentic self.
7. I’m Fine – Jo Dee Messina
(Songwriter: Phil Vassar)
Me, in my twenties, I understood the link between having nothing and being satisfied. Only. There’s something lyrically upbeat as Messina connects with her past and sums up that she’s “above below and below above… it’s a beautiful day, not a cloud in sight, so I guess I’m fine.” The lyrical equivalent of responding “I’m fine” to a “How are you”, and really means it.
6. The Mountain – Dierks Bentley
(Songwriters: Dierks Bentley, Luke Dick, Natalie Hemby, Jon Randall)
Dierks’ album The Mountain is one of the best albums ever produced. And I quote these words to anyone who wants to listen, about any seemingly impossible task, “Just [took] one small step, one to the right then one to the left/a few million more… who counts? It’s just a mountain. Dream big, take consistent action to achieve your goals.
5. Ecuador – Drake White
(Songwriters: Drake White, Matt Jenkins, Trevor Rosen)
Every time I hear “it’s just a big old magnet, cutting the world in two and pulling my mind to the middle of the map/ Mode of transport doesn’t matter to me, no, so long that its destination is latitude zero.’ I just want to reach for a map and plan my next adventure.These lyrics are my retirement plan and the reason why I have to go somewhere (usually a concert) every two months.
4. Nothing like a broken heart – Old Dominion
(Songwriters: Jesse Frasure, Matthew Ramsey, Trevor Rosen, Brad Tursi)
We’re having some serious fun now, with the lyrics, “treat your life like you’re jumping off a rope/baby swing cause it’s all really just a shot in the dark”. Try your luck and have fun while you do it. I’ve never regretted a gig or an adventure I’ve taken.
3. It’s five o’clock somewhere – Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffet
(Songwriters: Jim “Moose” Brown, Don Rollins)
Yes, there is a good chance that this song is in the top three of many favorite song lists. However, how many have quit a job because of those lyrics, “my boss just pushed me over the edge/I’d like to call it something but I think I’ll just call it a day”? I know the song is about quitting the workday, but when a job just isn’t for you (and probably best if you have a plan B), then there’s something beautiful about singing this song while you’re walking your cardboard box to the car.
2. Younger Me – Osborne Brothers
(Songwriters: Kendell Marvel, John Osborne, TJ Osborne)
Some people dream of writing a letter to their younger selves, sharing the vision of adulthood. Kendell, John and TJ did it, writing a universal song of truth with the lyrics, “overthinking, losing sleep at night / wondering if it’s worth it / if he only knew he’d be okay “. Thanks guys.
1.Knee Deep – Zac Brown Band
(Songwriters: ZBB, Coy Bowles, Zac Brown, Wyatt Durrette, Jeffrey Steele)
There’s island songs, then there’s The Zac Brown Band’s Ocean Adventures, which sums up a surreal moment with my favorite random lyrics, “wrote a note said in a minute / bought a boat and sailed in it”. For a writer, it’s a pure moment of absurd and where can this take me? Who didn’t want to stick this note on a desk?
Follow Your Arrow – Kacey Musgraves
(Songwriters: Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally, Kacey Musgraves)
This trio also wrote one of my favorite songs, Miranda Lambert’s Mama’s Broken Heart (which almost made this top ten list), but it’s the Kacey Musgraves song that’s my star in the north,” you’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t so might as well do what you want… just follow your arrow where it points i said yes to great career and life opportunities thanks to those lyrics and the inherent understanding that you have no intention of hurting anyone else along the way.
What are your favorite country lyrics to live by? Tag us on social media with your stories.