21 Best Toby Keith Songs
Toby Keith has enjoyed a long and storied career as a country musician, releasing hit after hit for decades. Here are the best Toby Keith songs ever.
1. “As Good As I Once Was” by Toby Keith
Song Year: 2005
“As Good As I Once Was” was the second single from Honkytonk University. It’s a funny take on aging with lyrics about a guy who may not be as young as he used to be, but still has some fight left in him. Keith wrote it with frequent collaborator Scotty Emerick, and it was another number-one hit.
Willie Nelson appears in the video, so apparently he and Keith had a good time on “Beer for My Horses” a couple of years earlier.
2. “I Love This Bar” by Toby Keith
Song Year: 2003
“I Love This Bar” is something like country music’s version of the Cheers theme song. It’s an ode to a honky-tonk bar, the narrator’s local watering hole. If you have your own neighborhood bar, you understand what an important part of life that can be.
The lyrics describe the bar’s quirky patrons and the good times to be had there. It was based on a real-life Nashville joint called Tootsie's Orchid Lounge, and the song has become so synonymous with Keith that he named his own franchise of bars “Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill.” Toby Keith has never been accused of subtlety.
3. “Red Solo Cup” by Toby Keith
Song Year: 2011
It’s hard to think of a party anthem as fun as “Red Solo Cup,” from Clancy’s Tavern. It’s a fun song about the red plastic cups that are the backbone of any great party, whether it’s on a college campus or in a backyard.
“Red Solo Cup” was a big hit, and the catchy tune is one of those songs you end up singing to yourself for several days after hearing it once. Whether that’s a feature or a bug depends on whether you’re a Toby Keith fan, one would suppose. And yes, that’s Sammy Hagar making a cameo in the video.
4. “How Do You Like Me Now?!” by Toby Keith
Song Year: 1999
The lead single from Toby Keith’s album of the same name, “How Do You Like Me Now?!” is a defiant anthem about a man who’s made it in life and wants to make sure that his unrequited love, the woman who never noticed him (the head cheerleader and valedictorian), knows all about it. It’s yet another hit of Keith’s that he wrote (or, in this case, co-wrote), which is a big deal—many country stars don’t write their own songs.
The iconic Rolling Stones song “(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction” served as inspiration for the guitar riff that became the number-one hit and earned Keith a CMA Award for Music Video of the Year.
5. “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)” by Toby Keith
Song Year: 2002
“Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)” signaled Toby Keith’s pivot to patriotic themes in his music, and it expressed the collective rage Americans felt following the September 11 attacks.
It is an unapologetically direct song and a defiant call to arms, and many Americans adore this song. It won the Academy of Country Music Award for “Song of the Year.”
6. “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” by Toby Keith
Song Year: 1993
Toby Keith’s “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” was a number-one single. It also crossed over to number 93 on the Billboard Hot 100, so he was obviously onto something with the sound.
The song is about a man who wishes he was a cowboy in the Old West, living a life of adventure and romance. He imagines riding the range, breaking horses, and winning the love of a good woman. It was the most-played country song of the 1990s.
7. “Beer for My Horses” by Toby Keith
Song Year: 2003
The duet “Beer for My Horses” by Keith and country legend Willie Nelson from Keith's album Unleashed is allegedly based on a Robin Williams comedy routine.
Williams riffed about sending country singers instead of soldiers into war zones, the joke being that they could get stuff done. Keith extrapolated that idea into “Beer for My Horses,” a tune about the Old West and a fun country song. It was one of Keith’s 20 number-one hits. Willie Nelson’s presence probably helped.
8. “She Never Cried in Front of Me” by Toby Keith
Song Year: 2008
Since so many songs are about heartbreak and loss, we can’t get very far on any kind of song list without having one of them show up. A man grieving over a relationship's abrupt end is the subject of the heartbreaking ballad “She Never Cried in Front of Me.”
Toby Keith is known for his ability to convey emotion in his performances (among other things), and “She Never Cried in Front of Me” is a prime example of this delivery. It has become one of his most beloved songs.
9. “God Love Her” by Toby Keith
Song Year: 2008
Strong women are the characters in a lot of country music, but they often appear in songs sung by female artists. “God Love Her,” though, finds Toby Keith singing about a woman living on her own terms in the face of judgment from others. Her parents catching her with the narrator cemented her reputation as a troubled woman with the people around her.
The song about being an individual struck a chord with fans and became a top-ten hit. Supposedly, a fan Keith encountered at one of his live performances served as inspiration.
10. “Love Me If You Can” by Toby Keith
Song Year: 2007
“Love Me If You Can” was the lead single from Toby Keith’s album Big Dog Daddy. It’s a call for compassion and understanding in a world that can be harsh and unforgiving. There are hints in it of Keith’s ardent support for the US military, but the main thrust of the song is that empathy and kindness are good things that we all could use more of.
The song came several years after some backlash from Keith’s post-9/11 hit “Courtesy of the Red, White,Man? and Blue (The Angry American)” and finds the singer explaining his side of things. He maintains that he is who he is, and if you like him, great. If you don’t, that’s on you.
11. “Who’s That Man” by Toby Keith
Song Year: 1994
Toby Keith tells of a man who returns home to find that his wife has moved on and is with someone new. He recognizes his wife, his house, and his kids, but he spends the entirety of the song trying to identify the one thing in the picture he can’t place—the man who isn’t him.
It ain’t exactly a happy song, but it was an early top-ten country hit for Keith and set him on a path to superstardom.
12. “Me Too” by Toby Keith
Song Year: 1996
The phrase “me too” has taken on a darker meaning in recent years, but in “Me Too,” Keith is singing a mid-tempo song about being in love. The title is a euphemism for “I love you,” which the narrator spends the song explaining why he has a hard time saying.
He makes the case that since he’s a man, it’s hard for him to be emotionally vulnerable, but he hopes that his beloved—who says “I love you” often—understands what he means and that “me too” is his version of that phrase.
13. “You Shouldn’t Kiss Me Like This” by Toby Keith
Song Year: 2000
Most of us have loved someone we probably shouldn’t have, and that may explain why “You Shouldn’t Kiss Me Like This” was a top-ten hit for Keith. From his album How Do You Like Me Now?!, the romantic ballad has the narrator wondering if the woman for whom he’s falling is right for him.
The lyrics describe that familiar feeling of knowing you’re with the wrong person but being unable to resist temptation in the moment. It’s a highly relatable song with rock-music leanings, so it’s a solid crowd-pleaser.
14. “I’m Just Talkin’ About Tonight” by Toby Keith
Song Year: 2001
“I'm Just Talkin’ About Tonight” is a fun tune that has a lot of what we want in a song. It’s not about worrying about the future or dwelling on past mistakes. Instead, it’s got a narrator who wants to have a good time right this minute. He will leave thoughts of future plans for another day.
Critics didn’t love the song, mostly taking issue with its lighthearted nature, but it resonated with fans. After all, isn’t it nice to think about living in the moment? It’s even nicer when you can’t do that. A song like “I’m Just Talkin’ About Tonight” lets you at least do so vicariously.
15. “My List” by Toby Keith
Song Year: 2001
“My List” is a touching ballad about a man and his to-do list. While it’s couched as the narrator’s list of things he needs to do today, it’s not about going to the bank or mopping the kitchen floor, but about doing things that make him a better man.
It’s a song about making sure we get the important things done in our day-to-day lives—important things like spending time with family and living a worthy life.
16. “I’m So Happy That I Can’t Stop Crying” by Toby Keith
Song Year: 1997
Finding Sting in the number-two spot on the country charts is an odd experience, but that’s what “I’m So Happy I Can’t Stop Crying” did in 1997. The erstwhile frontman for The Police wrote the song for his 1996 album Mercury Falling, and Toby Keith recorded it a year later since it was so obviously a country song.
It’s about a guy trying to make sense of his life in the wake of a divorce and realizing that everything is connected. He finds some solace in that sentiment. And Sting appears on the country charts because that’s him singing backup.
17. “Who’s Your Daddy?” by Toby Keith
Song Year: 2002
“Who’s Your Daddy?” is a lighthearted tune about a sugar daddy and his woman. The narrator makes a point of reminding the woman about his money every chance he gets and helping her recall how much worse her life was before he came along.
It’s a tongue-in-cheek song that’s not nearly as gross as it sounds, and with the New Orleans-inspired groove, it’s a really fun listen.
18. “Honkytonk U” by Toby Keith
Song Year: 2005
Toby Keith’s 2005 album Honkytonk University contained “Honkytonk U,” which wasn’t exactly a title track. No matter. It’s an upbeat song that’s yet another tribute to bars and the good times to be had there. The twist is that these particular bars are the ones Keith played as he honed his craft. He learned to be a country superstar by playing in these lowly bars, the minor leagues of the music business.
Nothing with “honkytonk” in the title should be slow and pensive, so “Honkytonk U” is an upbeat barnburner that kills in Keith’s live shows.
19. “Whiskey Girl” by Toby Keith
Song Year: 2003
Another hit from Shock'n Y'all, “Whiskey Girl,” is about a good woman who loves whiskey. She also drives a country-boy-approved Ford Mustang, and she's a little rough around the edges.
It’s an upbeat tune with just a hint of melancholy, presumably attached to the discomfort many of us feel the morning after a night of hanging with the whiskey girl. Everybody had a good time, but there’s always a price to pay.
20. “Does That Blue Moon Ever Shine On You?” by Toby Keith
Song Year: 1996
It’s not a list of country songs without a song about losing your woman, and “Does That Blue Moon Ever Shine On You?” meets that criterion. The ballad tells of a man still in love with his ex, and he can’t get over her even though she’s moved on with another man.
It hurts, and you can hear that in Keith’s voice thanks to his adept emotional delivery. It was a number-two hit for the superstar and showed that he could write several different styles of country music.
21. “He Ain’t Worth Missing” by Toby Keith
Song Year: 1993
A man picking up the pieces narrates “He Ain’t Worth Missing,” and he tells the woman he’s with that she’s better off. It’s apparent that he’s in love with her, and she’s heartbroken over the end of her relationship with someone else.
He tells her that the man she’s lost isn’t worth her tears, and he pleads with her to turn to him not as a shoulder to cry on but as a replacement for that other guy. The idea is that he’ll show her how good things ought to be.
Top Toby Keith Songs, Final Thoughts
Toby Keith has churned out enough country music hits to fill a few albums just with number ones. That’s quite an accomplishment, but he hasn’t slowed down.
The list of Toby Keith songs is a long one, and even the ones that didn’t land at the top of the charts are solid pieces of writing. His fans have embraced him throughout his career, and there’s no indication that that will change any time soon.
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