61 Best 90s Country Songs

The 20th century ended with a remarkable decade of country music. From straight country ballads to pop-country dance hits, there was something for everyone. Here are a few of the best 90s country songs.

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“Fancy” by Reba McEntire

Song year: 1990

This song, which tells a heartbreaking rags-to-riches story, isn’t an original Reba piece. Reba’s “Fancy” is actually a cover of the song originally released by Bobbie Gentry in 1969.

“Fancy” tells the story of a girl named Fancy who was born into poverty. Her mother used their last bit of money to buy her a dress and send her off to prostitute herself and support their family. Fancy is successful and ultimately gets rich.

“Ain’t Goin’ Down (‘Til The Sun Comes Up)” by Garth Brooks

Song year: 1993

This song’s upbeat tempo perfectly encapsulates the adrenaline rush of sneaking out as a rebellious teenager. It tells the story of a girl who goes out on a date on Friday night and stays out all night with the boy, despite her mother’s instructions to be back in bed by dawn. She gets grounded but sneaks out with him again on Saturday night.

“How Do I Live” by LeeAnn Rimes

Song year: 1997

LeeAnn Rimes was only 14 years old when she sang this record-breaking love ballad, which sits at No. 6 on Billiard’s All Time Top 100 Songs list.

Rimes’ version of the song was originally recorded for the Con Air movie soundtrack, but the people behind the movie ultimately decided the teenager was too young to be singing about heartache, so they had Trisha Yearwood re-record the song for the movie. But Rimes’ version was released on the radio the same day as Yearwood’s.

“Independence Day” by Martina McBride

Song year: 1993

Though the title sounds like a lighthearted patriotic song, “Independence Day” tells the story of a daughter’s experience watching her mother become the victim of domestic violence at the hand of her alcoholic father.

At the town’s 4th of July party, the girl hears neighbors gossiping about the abuse and realizes everyone knows what’s happening, but nobody is doing anything about it. Later that day, the mother burns down the house, and the daughter is sent to a county home.

“This Kiss” by Faith Hill

Song year: 1998

Faith Hill put out a lot of great love songs in the ‘90s, many with her husband Tim McGraw, but “This Kiss” was one of the best 90s country songs suited for the radio. It’s catchy, it’s upbeat, and it’s easy to sing along with in the car.

The song captures the feeling of falling in love.

“She’s In Love With the Boy” by Trisha Yearwood

Song year: 1991

This song tells the story of Katie and Tommy, a small-town girl who falls in love with a boy her dad doesn’t approve of. The pair continues to date, and Katie’s father tries to break them up, but her mother says the teenagers are the same as they were when they originally got together. Katie and Tommy plan to get married, regardless of her father’s stance.

“You’re Still the One” by Shania Twain

Song year: 1997

Shania Twain’s first U.S. top-ten hit peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 Songs and remains one of her most successful songs. She wrote the song after she was publicly judged for her relationship with Robert John “Mutt” Lange, a music producer who was 17 years older than her. She was accused of using him to further her career, so she put out “You’re Still The One” to defend their love.

“Friends in Low Places” by Garth Brooks

Song year: 1990

This award-winning song was originally recorded by David Wayne Chamberlain in 1989. However, the original songwriters gave the song to Garth Brooks to record as a demo when he was still unknown. He fell in love with the song and recorded his version in 1990.

“Love Without End, Amen” by George Strait

Song year: 1990

“Love Without End, Amen” was George Strait’s biggest hit ever, topping Billboard’s Hot Country Singles & Tracks list for five consecutive weeks. The song tells the story of a boy sent home from school for fighting. But, instead of yelling at him, his dad tells him that he’ll always love him without end. He relays the same message to his own son and then receives the same sentiment from God when he reaches Heaven.

“Boot Scootin’ Boogie” by Brooks & Dunn

Song year: 1991

This song was originally recorded by a band called Asleep at the Wheel in 1990, and Brooks & Dunn covered it the next year. They re-recorded their cover in 2019 with Midland. The song is often credited for a resurgence in line dancing in the U.S.

“Neon Moon” by Brooks & Dunn

Song year: 1992

This popular ballad is told from the point-of-view of a man whose partner left him, so he’s drinking away his sorrows at a bar. They re-recorded the song in 2019 with Kacey Musgraves, who also performed it during her world tour in 2018 and 2019.

“Achy Breaky Heart” by Billy Ray Cyrus

Song year: 1991

How could we not mention this song on a list of best country songs of the 1990s? Before his daughter became a pop sensation, Billy Ray Cyrus kicked his musical career off with the smash hit “Achy Breaky Heart.” It was the first song ever to hit triple Platinum in Australia and was the top-selling song in Australia in 1992. In the U.S., it topped radio charts on both pop and country stations. 

“I Cross My Heart” by George Strait

Song year: 1992

One of George Strait’s most popular songs, “I Cross My Heart,” was originally released on his album Pure Country, which was the soundtrack to a movie by the same name. It played during the movie’s finale, and scenes from the movie are featured in the music video.

“Should’ve Been a Cowboy” by Toby Keith

Song year: 1993

This was Toby Keith’s debut single, topping the Billboard Hot Country Songs list four months later. Oklahoma State University, home of the Cowboys, plays the song over its stadium PA system as fans leave football games.

The song is a love song to the old western cowboy lifestyle.

“Watermelon Crawl” by Tracy Byrd

Song year: 1994

This upbeat song tells the story of a watermelon festival in a small town in Georgia, where they make red wine from local watermelons. The mayor emphasizes safety, reminding people not to drive if they’ve been drinking wine. Instead, they should do a dance called the watermelon crawl.

The dance became a popular line dance among many country music fans.

“Be My Baby Tonight” by John Michael Montgomery

Song year: 1994

This song topped the country music charts in the U.S. and Canada three months after it was released, but critics deemed it just average. It’s a catchy song about a man who falls for a woman as soon as she walks into the bar where he’s drinking. He spends the song trying to convince her to come home with him.

“Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident)” by John Michael Montgomery

Song year: 1995

This was one of Montgomery’s most popular songs, and it was named Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks’ No. 1 single in 1995. The fast-paced song takes place at an auction in Grundy County, Tennessee. A man sees a woman he’s interested in and tries to purchase a night with her through the auction.

“I Like It, I Love It” by Tim McGraw

Song year: 1995

This upbeat love song is told from the perspective of a man who’s fallen head over heels for a woman. He’s missing his favorite team’s games, and his friends are making fun of him, but he doesn’t care – he just wants to keep impressing this girl. He credits the girl for helping him to grow up and act like a gentleman, saying he’ll do anything to keep her around.

“Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?” by Shania Twain

Song year: 1994

This was the first song Twain co-wrote with her then-husband, Robert John “Mutt” Lange, and it was her first hit song on country radio. The singer is questioning a man about his sexual exploits, noting that she’s heard rumors of him sleeping around. She basically says she doesn’t want to be just another girl on his list.

“Check Yes or No” by George Strait

Song year: 1995

This sweet song narrates a lifelong love story that started when the couple was in the third grade. The boy wrote a note to Emmylou Hayes, a girl he sat next to in class, asking if she loved him and wanted to be his friend. He left two boxes at the end of the note, where she could check yes or no. The couple grew up and got married.

“Strawberry Wine” by Deana Carter

Song year: 1995

This was Deana Carter’s first No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks list and her most successful song. It’s a ballad looking back on a teenage love affair with an older man. She compares the relationship to the strawberry wine the couple would sneak – sweet in the moment but ultimately bittersweet as she lost her innocence and ended up heartbroken.

“Every Light in the House” by Trace Adkins

Song year: 1996

This sad song is told from the perspective of a man whose marriage has recently fallen apart. His wife is gone, but he leaves every light on in the house, hoping she’ll come back to him.

The song was Adkins’ first Top 5 single on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles & Tracks list.

“Man! I Feel Like a Woman” by Shania Twain

Song year: 1999

“Let’s go, girls!” This song might have the most well-known intro of all time. She wrote it with her former husband, Robert John “Mutt” Lange, and focused on female empowerment. She said the song was inspired by drag queens she saw performing at the resort she worked at to support her siblings after their parents died in a car crash. Twain has been featured many times on this list—a testament to how influential she was on country songs of the 90s.

“It’s Your Love” by Tim McGraw

Song year: 1997

McGraw recorded this song with his wife, Faith Hill, months after they got married. But by the time they filmed the music video, Hill was pregnant with their first child. She flaunts her bump in the music video.

The song topped the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and kept the spot for six weeks. It was the couple’s first Top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

“Wide Open Spaces” by The Chicks

Song year: 1998

This song stayed at No. 1 on the U.S. Country singles chart for four weeks and even made it to No. 41 on the U.S. Pop Singles chart. The Recording Industry Association of America named “Wide Open Spaces” No. 259 on its list of the 365 Songs of the Century.

The song talks about what it’s like to leave home for the first time, with the opportunity to make mistakes, learn from them, and figure out who you are.

“Amazed” by Lonestar

Song year: 1999

“Amazed” was Lonestar’s most successful song, holding the top spot on Billboard’s country chart for eight weeks. A pop remix topped the Billboard Top 100 chart in 2000.

Many artists have covered the song, including Bonnie Tyler, Duncan James, and Fady Maalouf. Boyz II Men was rumored to have been offered the song first, but they turned it down.

“Write This Down” by George Strait

Song year: 1999

This song features a man who’s trying to win his partner back before she leaves. He has her write down a note about how much he loves her and wants her to stay, so she can hang it on her fridge or keep it on her mantel to remind her every day of his love.

“Ready to Run” by The Chicks

Song year: 1999

This song was aptly featured in the soundtrack for “Runaway Bride.” The music video features the three women wearing wedding dresses at a joint wedding, singing about a bride’s plans to run away from her wedding because she’s not ready to settle down and fall in love. In the video, the brides run away and are chased by the grooms before the entire wedding party breaks into a giant food fight.

“Breathe” by Faith Hill

Song year: 1999

“Breathe” topped the Hot Country Songs chart for six weeks and was named Billboard’s No. 1 pop single in 2000. The sentimental love song talks about the intimacies of a loving relationship, where nothing else matters aside from the person you’re with.

The music video features a presumably nude Hill in a bed of white satin sheets, adding to the intimacy of the song and the performance. Her husband, country singer Tim McGraw, infamously raved about the video, saying it made him want to show everyone he’s ever known to brag about his wife.

“That Don’t Impress Me Much” by Shania Twain

Song year: 1998

In this song, which is one of Twain’s biggest hits, she describes three narcissistic men that she’s not interested in, adding that she’s looking for someone who can please her rather than someone with superficial looks or knowledge.

The song has a famous line referencing Brad Pitt and how she’s not impressed by him. The name drop stemmed from a Playgirl magazine edition that featured naked photos of the actor. Twain said she saw the photos and wasn’t impressed and ultimately added him into the song.

“Chattahoochee” by Alan Jackson, A Good Country Song Of The 90s

Song year: 1993

This was one of Jackson’s most popular songs, and it was awarded the Single of the Year and Song of the Year awards at the CMAs. The upbeat song is all about growing up and falling in love in a small town. It’s set along the Chattahoochee River, which runs between Georgia, Alabama, and Florida.

“If I Could Make a Living” by Clay Walker

Song year: 1994

This brief song, co-written by country star Alan Jackson, is a sweet love song. The narrator talks about how he’d be a millionaire if someone would pay him just to love his partner. There isn’t much to the song, which only runs for about a minute and a half, with about half of that time spent repeating the chorus.

“Where the Green Grass Grows” by Tim McGraw

Song year: 1998

This song crossed genres, topping the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks and landing at No. 79 on the Billboard Hot 100. It tells the story of a man who grew up in a small town but left as soon as he grew up. But after spending some time in the big city, he realized he missed his small town roots and moved back to the country to raise his kids.

“The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia” by Reba McEntire

Song year: 1991

This song was originally recorded by singer-comedian Vicki Lawrence in 1072. Reba was one of many singers to cover it over the years, and she added it to her album For My Broken Heart in 1991.

“The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia” is a dark song about a man who finds out that his wife is cheating on him. He doesn’t shoot the man she cheated with but is arrested when he turns up dead in their home. The innocent husband is hung for his alleged crime, though it turns out his sister had killed both her sister-in-law and the man she’d cheated with.

“Dust on the Bottle” by David Lee Murphy

Song year: 1995

This was Murphy’s first No. 1 hit, and he didn’t have another until 23 years later. The song is about an old man named Creole Williams who tells the singer to give an old bottle of homemade wine to his partner to impress her. He says that love, like wine, gets sweeter with age.

“When You Say Nothing At All” by Alison Krauss & Union Station

Song year: 1988

Alison Krauss was only one of three singers to record a hit cover of this song. It was her first Top 10 country hit. She recorded her version as a cover on a tribute album to the original singer, Keith Whitley.

Krauss said she never expected the song to get successful, but it ultimately reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart. She also won the 1995 Single of the Year CMA award.

“Livin’ on Love” by Alan Jackson

Song year: 1994

Jackson wrote this song, which rose to the top of the Billboard country charts as well as the Bubbling Under Hot 100.

The song is a sweet testament to a young couple that doesn’t have much money, but they’re happy because they have each other.

“My Maria” by Brooks & Dunn

Song year: 1996

“My Maria” was originally released by B.W. Stevenson in 1973. The song rose to the top of the charts, and Brooks & Dunn covered the song in 1996. Their cover topped the U.S. country music chart, was named Billboard’s No. 1 country song of 1996 and won a Grammy in 1997 for Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

“Honey, I’m Home” by Shania Twain

Song year: 1998

Twain wrote this song with her then-husband Robert John “Mutt” Lange, and it was her last No. 1 single on the Billboard Country singles chart. The song is an ode to marriage, in which a woman comes home after a long day at work and asks her husband to pamper her.

“Little Bitty” by Alan Jackson

Song year: 1996

This song topped the Billboard country music charts as well as the Billboard Hot 100 chart, making it a crossover hit. The upbeat song reminds listeners to treasure the little things in life instead of getting caught up in the big stuff.

“She’s Got It All” by Kenny Chesney

Song year: 1997

“She’s Got It All” was Chesney’s first No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart. It’s a peppy love song raving about all the traits he loves about the woman he’s seeing. She’s perfect in his eyes, and he wants everyone to know it.

“She Don’t Know She’s Beautiful” by Sammy Kershaw

Song year: 1992

This was Sammy Kershaw’s only No. 1 hit, and it crossed over onto Billboard’s Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart and the Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart. It’s a sweet yet somewhat cheesy love song about all the things that make a woman beautiful, even if she doesn’t notice them.

“There’s Your Trouble” by The Chicks

Song year: 1998

This song topped the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart in 1998 and was the Dixie Chicks’ most successful song in the U.K. the following year.

“There’s Your Trouble” talks about the downfall of a relationship when the man can’t stay loyal.

“Goodbye Earl” by The Chicks

Song year: 1999

This infamous revenge song is about a group of friends who go to drastic measures to help their friend out of an abusive marriage. Not only do they help her escape, but they poison her husband and dispose of his body. It’s a comedic telling of a terrible situation, which helped to shed light on the very real issue of domestic abuse.

“How Forever Feels” by Kenny Chesney

Song year: 1998

Though Kenny Chesney was the one to ultimately release this song, Tim McGraw had also recorded a version but decided not to release it. When Chesney’s version blew up and opped the charts, McGraw told Chesney he was glad he’d released the song, as he thought it was a great fit for him. McGraw didn’t release his version until 2016.

“Just To See You Smile” by Tim McGraw

Song year: 1997

This song set the record for the longest-running single on the Billboard country chart after its impressive 42-week run. It’s a sentimental love song about a man who doesn’t feel worthy of his partner’s love but is willing to do whatever it takes to make her happy.

“A Little Less Talk And A Lot More Action” by Toby Keith

Song year: 1993

This was originally a Hank Williams Jr. song, released by the country music legend in 1992. Toby Keith released his version a year later on his debut album, and it hit No. 2 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart. It’s a funny song about a man whose partner is annoying him with her chatter, so he takes her to a motel to have some fun instead.

“Pickup Man” by Joe Diffie

Song year: 1994

This song was Joe Diffie’s longest-running No. 1 hit, and it stayed at the top of the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart for four weeks. It’s about a man who drives a pickup truck and thinks the vehicle is going to help him meet a woman.

“Straight Tequila Night” by John Anderson

Song year: 1991

This chart-topper is about a woman at a bar who’s usually friendly and happy-go-lucky until she drinks tequila. A night of straight tequila will have her down in the dumps, thinking about her ex-boyfriend. But on the night the song is being sung, she’s drinking white wine and having a much more pleasant night.

“John Deere Green” by Joe Diffie

Song year: 1993

This popular love ballad chronicles the relationship of high school sweethearts Billy Bob and Charlene. They met in high school, and Billy Bob spray professed his love to her by spray painting a message onto the town’s water tower in John Deere Green. No matter how many times the town paints over the message, it always shows through.

“Maybe It Was Memphis” by Pam Tillis

Song year: 1991

This song was originally recorded by Phil Seymour, but it wasn’t released in 2001 after he passed away. Pam Tillis initially recorded the song in the late 80s but didn’t release it until the early 90s. She re-recorded the song in 1991, and it rose to the top of the Billboard country charts. Tillis was nominated for a Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance, Female.

“Small Town Saturday Night” by Hal Ketchum

Song year: 1991

This catchy song, which landed a No. 2 spot on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart, is a tribute to small-town life. It was inspired by New Braunfels, Texas.

“Indian Outlaw” by Tim McGraw

Song year: 1993

“Indian Outlaw” was the song that put Tim McGraw on the map. It was a crossover hit, landing spots on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks and the Billboard Hot 100. The song was controversial when it first came out, and radio stations were divided on whether or not to play it because of the Native American stereotypes riddled throughout the song.

“Blue” by LeAnn Rimes

Song year: 1996

“Blue” was the first single off of LeAnn Rimes’ debut album by the same title. It hit No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart and No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart.

The song was originally released by Bill Mack in 1958, and Rimes was one of many artists to cover it, though her cover was the most successful. Rimes was only 13 when she recorded her chart-topping rendition, and critics compared her to Patsy Cline.

“The Keeper Of The Stars” by Tracy Byrd

Song year: 1995

This love song implies that a couple’s relationship is so perfect that they must have been brought together by God. Byrd didn’t initially plan to release the song as a single but decided to after he sang it in concert and got a good response. The single ultimately reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks and was named Song of the Year by the Academy of Country Music in 1996.

“Butterfly Kisses” by Bob Carlisle

Song year: 1997

Carlisle wrote this song for his daughter’s 16th birthday, and it’s been a beloved father-daughter song ever since. It was a wildly successful song, hitting the top 10 of Hot 100 Airplay and No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary Chart, and it won a Dove Award for Song of the Year and a Grammy Award for Best Country Song. Now, it’s a popular choice for father-daughter wedding dances.

“How Can I Help You Say Goodbye” by Patty Loveless

Song year: 1993

This heartbreaking ballad focuses on different stages of loss throughout a woman’s life – when she moves away from her best friend as a kid, when she leaves her husband as an adult, and when her mother dies. The central theme is a loving sentiment from the woman’s mother, who wants to do what she can to help mend her daughter’s broken heart.

“I’m Alright” by Jo Dee Messina

Song year: 1998

This upbeat song narrates a conversation between two friends, one of whom is struggling with money issues and homesickness but ultimately claims she’s doing okay. She’s focusing on the little things in life, like good weather, clear skies, and a reunion with an old friend.

The song held a No. 1 spot on the Billboard country chart for three weeks after its release.

“Fast As You” by Dwight Yoakam

Song year: 1993

This heartbreak song is about a man who got his heart broken. He compares himself to the woman who broke his heart, saying maybe someday he’ll be as ruthless as she is.

“Fast As You” was his last top 10 hit in the U.S., though he had more recent success in Canada.

“Cowboy Take Me Away” by The Chicks

Song year: 1999

One of The Chicks’ most beloved songs, this sentimental ballad is told from the point of view of a woman who’s falling in love with a cowboy and asking him to whisk her away from her current life.

Taylor Swift has said that “Cowboy Take Me Away” had a huge impact on her road to music, adding that any time she hears the song, it reminds her of being a preteen trying to learn how to play the guitar and sing at the same time.

“Love Can Build A Bridge” by The Judds

Song year: 1990

This song was originally put out by the Judds, and it quickly became a top 5 hit. The touching song is all about the importance of coming together and supporting one another. The Judds released it as a farewell after Naomi Judd was diagnosed with Hepatitis-C and had to retire.

Cher, Chrissie Hynde, Neneh Cherry, and Eric Clapton re-released the song in 1995 for charity.

Top 90s Country Songs, Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for some good, old-fashioned country music, you can’t go wrong with the 90s. There’s a little bit of everything, from slow ballads to upbeat line dances.

We hope this guide has helped you remember some of the best 90s country songs or maybe even discovered a new favorite.

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