When you look back at the history of country music, each decade has those great songs that came to define an era. From Hank Williams’ “I Saw the Light” to Willie’s “On the Road Again” to Garth Brooks’ “The Dance,” great country songs stand the test of time and serve as benchmarks of days gone by. But what are the songs of the modern age that will one day be thought of as classics? From the Dixie Chicks‘ story song of tragic lost love to a universal message of kindness, here are 12 songs from the 2000s that are future country jukebox gold.
Jamey Johnson, “In Color”
Written by Jamey Johnson, James Otto and Lee Thomas Miller, this song about an old man recounting his life story reached the top 10 in 2009.
Little Big Town, “Girl Crush”
Penned by the self-proclaimed “Love Junkies,” Lori McKenna, Liz Rose and Hillary Lindsey, this timeless exploration of pain and jealousy reached No. 1 in 2014.
Miranda Lambert, “The House That Built Me”
Miranda Lambert‘s ode to her childhood home struck a nerve with audiences in 2010.
Alan Jackson, “Remember When”
One of the most gorgeous and earnest country songs of the last 20 years, “Remember When” is a gentle reminder to take stock of all you have in life.
Chris Stapleton, “Fire Away”
Chris and Morgane Stapleton’s powerhouse vocals make “Fire Away” a modern day country song that will stand the test of time.
Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss, “Whiskey Lullaby”
Lee Ann Womack, “I Hope You Dance”
Written by Mark D. Sanders and Tia Sillers, “I Hope You Dance” stopped listeners in their tracks upon its release in 2000. The song’s message of living life to the fullest resonated with country fans of all ages and became a signature track for Lee Ann Womack.
George Strait, “Troubadour”
Penned by Leslie Satcher and Monty Holmes, “Troubadour” is the perfect summation of the King of Country’s lengthy career.
Dixie Chicks, “Travelin’ Soldier”
Written by Texas troubadour Bruce Robison, “Travelin’ Soldier” tells the tale of a budding romance between a Vietnam soldier and a small town waitress. Robison wrote and recorded the tune in 1996, but it really took off when the Dixie Chicks released it as a single in 2002. “Travelin’ Solder” was the last Dixie Chicks song to reach No. 1 on the Billboard charts.