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Valentine's Day spotlight: Top 10 Country love songs

Valentine’s Day is upon us, and that means radio stations across Jackson and around the nation will be playing seasonally appropriate romantic songs. When it comes to love songs and heartbreak songs, no genre can do it as well as country. Here’s a list of what Jackson Presbyterian Examiner regards as the ultimate best in country music

1. You Just Get Better All the Time- Tim McGraw

Although this is one of Tim McGraw’s lesser-known songs, it is arguably his best love song. The song, unlike so many popular love songs on the radio, goes beyond shallow infatuation to celebrate a settled, quiet love between a man and woman.

The final line says:

“You just get better all the time
Why, just today I heard you read my mind
That kind of magic is so hard to find
You just get better all the time”

2. Cross My Heart- George Strait

Taken from George Strait’s 1992 film, Pure Country, this is definitely the country legend’s best song. The final verse says:

“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
As we look into the future, it’s as far as we can see
So let’s make each tomorrow be the best that it can be”

It’s little wonder that that “Cross My Heart” has become regarded as a wedding song. It sums up what a man should be feeling towards his wife on their wedding day.

3. Remember When- Alan Jackson

This song explores a lifetime of love shared between a man and a woman, with all the highs and the lows:

“Remember when the sound of little feet was the music we danced to week to week
It brought back the love, we found trust, vowed we’d never give it up
Remember when?
Remember when 30 seemed so old and now looking back, it’s just a stepping stone
To where we are, where we’ve been, said we’d do it all again
Remember when?

Remember when we said when we turned gray, when the children grow up and move away
We won’t be sad, we’ll be glad for all the life we’ve had
And we’ll remember when”

So many songs celebrate youthful infatuation; it’s refreshing to see a song that celebrates staying together through life, growing old together.

4. Whatever It Is- Zac Brown Band

This song explores how often a man can’t put a finger on what it is about the woman he loves, but he recognizes it when he sees it. The chorus says:

“She got whatever it is; it blows me away
She’s everything I want to say to a woman, but I never found the words to say
She got whatever it is; I don’t know what to do
Every time I try to tell her how I feel, it comes out, ‘I love you’”

The final line says:

“When she loves me—Girl, that’s how I feel—when she loves me
I’m on top of the world
When she loves me, I can live forever
‘Cause when she loves me, I am untouchable”

Every man who’s been in love can relate. When the woman he loves returns his love, then he feels invincible.

5. In This Life- Collin Raye

Lyrically, this hit is one of the most poignant love songs in all of country music:

"For all I’ve been blessed with in this life
There was an emptiness in me
I was imprisoned by the powers of gold
With one honest touch, you set me free

Let the world stop turning, let the sun stop burning
Let them tell me love’s not worth going through
If it all falls apart, I will know deep in my heart
The only dream that mattered has come true
In this life, I was loved by you”

Another song that rightly is labeled a wedding song.

6. I Still Believe In You Now- Desert Rose Band

This 80s country group, led by Chris Hillman (known in the 60s for role in The Byrds), is not super well-known today, but musically and vocally, they are vastly superior to practically every country music group today. Here’s a sample of the lyrics:

“And that feeling that I get inside every time I see the sun in your eyes
The moon starts to crying, our hearts not denying a feeling we can hold through the night

Beautiful dreamer, make my life sweet
Dream a song in my heart
I’m running on empty,
I know you’ve been tempted to close the door from the start
I still believe in you now”

7. You and Forever and Me- Little Texas

The best love song of 90s country sensation, Little Texas, has a very memorable chorus:

“There’s a cool wind on the desert tonight
I can almost see your golden hair flying in the moonlight
And, ooh, it was a restless kind of free
When it was you and forever and me”

8. One More Day- Diamond Rio

This hit focuses on not taking any day with your loved one for granted. The opening line of this song says:

“Last night I had a crazy dream
A wish was granted just for me; it could be for anything
I didn’t ask for money or a mansion in Malibu
I simply wished for one more day with you”

The chorus says:

“One more day, one more time
One more sunset, maybe I’d be satisfied
But then again, I know what it would do
Leave me wishing still for one more day with you”

9. I Swear- John Michael Montgomery

Somewhat of a standard wedding song, the chorus epitomizes what couples to say to each other at the alter:

“I swear by the moon and the stars in the sky I’ll be there
I swear like the shadow that’s by your side, I’ll be there
For better or worse, till death do us part
I love you with every beat of my heart
I swear”

10. Something That We Do- Clint Black

Clint Black’s classic is, lyrically, one of the best things country music ever produced:

“We're on a road that has no end
And each day we begin again
Love's not just something that we're in
It's something that we do
We help to make each other all that we can be
Though we can find our strength and inspiration independently
The way we work together is what sets our love apart
So closely that you can't tell where I end and where you start”

The last line says:

“I remember well the day we wed
I can see that picture in my head
Love isn't just those words we said
It's something that we do
There's no request too big or small
We give ourselves, we give our all
Love isn't someplace that we fall
It's something that we do”

The beautiful thing about this song is that it, unlike so many popular love songs, emphasizes the fact that love is a choice; it’s not merely a feeling. Couples don’t live together happily ever after simply because they luckily manage to retain the same emotions they had on their wedding day. Whatever their changing emotions may be, they choose to love. As Stephen and Alex Kendrick’s best-selling book, The Love Dare, (2008) explains, they don’t just follow their heart; they lead their heart to do the right thing—to love each other even when it’s easy to “feel” like giving up.

This Valentine’s, Jackson Presbyterian Examiner encourages readers to give these tunes, some of them relatively new and some of them classics, a chance. Romantic love is a gift from God and there’s no reason why romantic songs have to be associated with sexually explicit or questionable content. Some people, disillusioned with the popular music scene, retreat to Christian music, thinking that to listen to anything else must be dishonoring to God. As the above mentioned songs hopefully show, though, there are plenty of songs out there that, though may not be faith-based per se, beautifully and poignantly capture the wonder of romantic love between man and woman, which is God’s gift.

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