Mexico has a rich culture, sandy shores, beautiful cities, warm sun, friendly people, and cold beer. Unsurprisingly, Mexico has inspired many artists and writers, with country music stars from Johnny Cash to Toby Keith singing of their affinity for the nation. Here are the top country songs about Mexico.
“Beer In Mexico” by Kenny Chesney
Song Year: 2005
This hit was the fifth single on Kenny Chesney’s album, The Road and the Radio. The album dropped in 2005, but the single didn’t get released for another two years. It climbed to the number one spot on the Billboard Hot Country Songs in 2007. This was the first song written solely by Kenny Chesney to reach the top spot.
“Beer in Mexico” describes a man’s life when he finds himself at a crossroads. Instead of worrying, the man decides to have a beer in Mexico. Inspiration for the song came from Chesney’s vacation in Cabo San Lucas, where he was celebrating Sammy Hagar’s birthday.
“Moon Over Mexico” by Luke Combs
Song Year: 2019
Luke Combs released a five-track EP album that included “Moon Over Mexico” in June 2019. “Moon Over Mexico” is also on the deluxe album What You See Ain’t Always What You Get, released in 2020.
In the song, Combs recalls an evening he spent with a woman in Mexico. His vivid memories touch on resting on a beach and looking up at the moon. Combs regrets leaving the country because he cannot stop thinking about her.
“Blame It On Mexico” by George Strait
Song Year: 1981
George Strait is considered one of the greatest country singers of all time. He released his debut album “Strait Country'” in September 1981. The album was a commercial success, went platinum, and became a household name.
Strait ignored the popular country music trends at the time and focused on a traditional honky tonk album. “Blame It On Mexico” captures this style perfectly and was a tribute to Merle Haggard.
The lyrics recount a time when the narrator meets a girl from San Francisco waiting on a train. They get drunk on tequila and check into a hotel. Strait wakes up alone the following day and vows to never fall in love again.
“Stays In Mexico” by Toby Keith
Toby Keith is a country singer who is never afraid to push the envelope. Despite controversies, one cannot ignore his long, successful career that includes 21 studio albums and over 30 million records sold.
“Stays In Mexico” is another one of Keith’s controversial songs. It is similar to George Strait’s “Blame It On Mexico,” in that it features two American strangers meeting south of the border.
However, in Keith’s song, the two strangers are married and continue an affair until they return home. The song was not received well by critics but still peaked at number three on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.
“That’s Why God Made Mexico” by Tim McGraw
Tim McGraw is one of the most popular singers in country music. McGraw takes his stab at Mexico with his band, the Dancehall Doctors. “That’s Why God Made Mexico” appeared in the three-time platinum album Tim McGraw and the Dancehall Doctors, which reached number two on the U.S. Billboard 200 in 2002.
Written by James T. Slater, “That’s Why God Made Mexico” is about failed relationships. Its message delivers a sense of renewal and rebirth.
The women referenced in the lyrics travel to Mexico to forget their troubles and appreciate the warm breeze of the borderlands. “That’s Why God Made Mexico” is another country song about finding freedom and fun south of the border.
“Playboys Of The Southwestern World” by Blake Shelton
There is a theme when it comes to country songs about Mexico. Blake Shelton threw his hat in the ring of Mexican country songs in 2003 with “Playboys of the Southwestern World.” The song is from the album The Dreamer.
“Playboys of the Southwestern World” was written by Randy VanWarmer and Neal Coty. Like other songs on this list, the lyrics narrate some friends heading to Mexico for romantic hook-ups and partying.
In this instance, two college friends, Romeo and John Roy, try to cross the border illegally. A patrol catches them in the act and threatens them with jail time. Romeo blames his friend, but his plea does not work. Both end up in prison but remain friends throughout the ordeal.
“Adios Mexico” by Texas Tornadoes
The Texas Tornados are a super group of country music stars Flaco Jimenez, Augie Meyers, Doug Sahm, and Freddy Fender. They became famous for modernizing the Tex-Mex style that merges conjunto, rock, country, and traditional Mexican sounds. Consider Texas Tornadoes the Traveling Wilburys of country music.
Their self-titled bilingual album premiered in 1990 and included “Adios Mexico,” written by band member Doug Sahm. “Adios Mexico” is centered on infidelity. The singer speaks of several girls he loves in Mexico who he leaves to return to the one waiting for him in Texas.
As the lyrics progress, the Texas Tornadoes make references to various geographical locations in Mexico, from Lake Chapala to Ajijic. In each of these spots, the narrator reveals they happen to have a girl in these spots. They wonder how they got through life without them but still say farewell to Mexico.
“Cocaine Blues” by Johnny Cash
This list would be incomplete without including the “Man in Black,” Johnny Cash. In “Cocaine Blues,” Cash breaks away from the unfaithful, romantic tradition of most country songs about Mexico. Instead, he tells a story about drugs and murder.
The country song dates back to 1944 and is a variation of “Little Sadie.” Cash performed his version for his legendary 1968 album At Folsom Prison.
“Cocaine Blues” tells the story of a man who murders his wife and flees to Mexico. He is caught in Juarez and returned to the US, where he is put on trial and found guilty. After serving a life sentence, the ghost encourages the listener to give up drugs and alcohol.
“Ain’t No God In Mexico” by Waylon Jennings
Like Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings was a legendary country star. And just like the “Man in Black,” Jennings sings of Mexico in a darker way than other entries on this list. This song written by Billy Joe Shaver contrasts with Tim McGraw’s romantic version of the borderland.
Jennings does not get into details about why he traveled south, but he implies it was recommended to avoid the law and acquire female companionship. He also is not as detailed as Cash was about what transpired upon his arrival, but it is clear that the trip fills him with regret.
Best Country Songs About Mexico, Final Thoughts
Country music consistently showcases a deep love for travel and experiencing life lessons. Indeed, the latter is a central theme of the genre, and this list of country songs about Mexico demonstrates that. From tales of forbidden passion to wild partying and unrequited love, these nine songs offer listeners many unique takes on Mexico.
What are your thoughts? Do you have any favorites? Let us know in the comments below!