There are plenty of country songs about drinkin' and cheatin', but some of the best songs in country music are about plain old love and all that goes along with it. Most of the moderncountry greats, such as Keith Urban, Blake Shelton, Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney, Garth Brooks, Josh Turner, Reba McEntire, and more continue to sing about relationships and love.
From tracks on falling in love with your soulmate to tunes about unrequited love, here are 20 of the top country love songs of all time.
20. "I Told You So," Randy Travis
"I Told You So" was written and recorded by Travis for his 1983 album Live at the Nashville Palace. The song finds the narrator wondering if the woman he left could ever take him back, and turned into one of Travis' most requested songs at his early shows. When he recorded the song for 1988's Always and Forever, it was a certified hit. The song took on another life when Travis recorded it as a duet with Carrie Underwood in 2009.
19. "Amazed," Lonestar
Country radio in 1999 was all about "Amazed" by Lonestar. The song, written by Aimee Mayo, Chris Lindsey, and Marv Green, became a smash hit for the band and is still one of the most played country wedding songs.
18. "When I Said I Do," Clint Black
Clint Black joined the ranks of George and Tammy and Tim and Faith when he recorded the duet "When I Said I Do" with his wife Lisa Hartman Black in 1999.
17. "Need You Now," Lady A
Recorded in 2009, "Need You Now" won four Grammy awards and made Lady A (formerly Lady Antebellum) into country music superstars.
16. "It's Your Love," Tim McGraw and Faith Hill
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill released their steamy duet "It's Your Love" in 1997. The song was the first in a series of duets the couple would release throughout their careers. The song must have been a good omen since the couple has now been married for over 20 years.
15. "Remember When," Alan Jackson
Sometimes the most meaningful love songs aren't about newfound love, but a lasting love that's withstood years of ups and downs. Such is the case with Alan Jackson's "Remember When," a tribute to his lasting love with his wife, Denise.
14. "Mama He's Crazy," The Judds
Everyone wants to meet a love they can introduce to mama. The Judds' 1984 hit, "Mama He's Crazy" became the second No. 1 country hit for the mother-daughter duo.
13. "Little Moments," Brad Paisley
Brad Paisley's "Little Moments" ignores grandiose gestures and focuses on the snapshot moments of a relationship that are truly special.
12. "I Swear," John Michael Montgomery
Released in 1994, John Michael Montgomery's "I Swear" became a No. 1 hit on the country charts. But the song was so beloved, the pop group All-4-One covered the song and had a smash hit on the pop charts that same year.
11. "Still the One" Shania Twain
Shania Twain's scorching love song "You're Still the One" became Twain's first top ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100. The crossover hit, written by Twain and her then-husband Mutt Lange, also won two Grammy Awards in 1999.
10. "Breathe," Faith Hill
A soaring ballad released at the peak of country-pop diva anthems, Faith Hill's "Breathe" is still one of the most beloved country love songs ever.
9. "Crazy," Patsy Cline
Widely regarded as one of the best country songs ever written, "Crazy" became Cline's signature song when she recorded it in 1961.
8. "Ring of Fire," Johnny Cash
Written by June Carter Cash and Merle Kilgore, "Ring of Fire" is one of Johnny Cash's most memorable hits and a reminder of the powerful impact of romantic love.
7. "Whenever You Come Around," Vince Gill
Sometimes the greatest love songs are for the unrequited love. Vince Gill's 1994 hit "Whenever You Come Around" is about a man who can't find the words - or perhaps the courage - to tell someone how he feels.
6. "Forever and Ever, Amen," Randy Travis
Randy Travis' "Forever and Ever, Amen" has stood the test of time as one of country music's most endearing love songs. As plain-spoken and true as only a country song can be, "Forever and Ever, Amen" can be considered one of the greatest country love songs ever written.
5. "Cowboy Take Me Away," The Chicks
"Cowboy Take Me Away" was co-written by The Chicks (formerly Dixie Chicks) fiddler Martie Maguire for her sister (and fellow bandmate) Emily's wedding. The song, an ode to getting away from it all with someone you love, went to No. 1 in 1999. (This is easily one of my favorite songs in all of country music).
4. "When You Say Nothing At All," Keith Whitley
Written by country hit-makers Paul Overstreet and Don Schlitz, "When You Say Nothing at All" was a No. 1 hit for Keith Whitley in 1988. After Whitley's tragic death, Alison Krauss and Union Station recorded the song for a Whitley tribute album. Krauss's tender vocals took the song back the Top 10 in 1995.
3. "I Cross My Heart," George Strait
Released as the first single from Strait's Pure Country soundtrack, "I Cross My Heart" was a No. 1 hit for Strait in 1992. The song, a tribute to unconditional love, is still one of country music's most requested wedding songs.
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2. "He Stopped Loving Her Today," George Jones
Love doesn't always work out as we want it to. Some of country music's greatest songs are born out of the notion that even the truest loves don't always last. "He Stopped Loving Her Today," about a man who carries a torch for his one true love until his dying day, is perhaps country's greatest example of heartbreaking, enduring love.
1. "I Will Always Love You," Dolly Parton
The greatest country music love song wasn't written about a romantic love story. Dolly Parton wrote "I Will Always Love You" for her dear friend Porter Wagoner upon her exit from The Porter Wagoner Show. From then on, the song took on a life of its own. It was a No. 1 hit for Parton in 1974, then again in 1982 when she re-recorded it for the Best Little Whorehouse In Texas. (She's the first singer to score a No. 1 hit twice for the same song.)
Ten years later, Whitney Houston had the best-selling single by a woman in music history with her cover of the song. But even without the massive chart success, "I Will Always Love You," a song about pure, selfless love, would still be the best country love song ever written.
This article was originally published in 2017. It was updated on Feb. 9, 2021.