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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

"Top 10 Country Songs ... Spiritual"

 “Top 10 Country Songs … Spiritual”

Country music traverses through many themes.  From honky-tonk drinking songs to heartfelt love songs, it is
often cited as the soundtrack to the lives’ of its listeners.  However, from time to time, a country music act will release a song which crosses into the genre of spirituality.  Not similar to gospel music or Christian music, many of these songs still reaffirm our beliefs in God.

The message in these songs is often about Jesus, sometimes about God, and sometimes about re-asserting our faith in mankind.  The poignant lyrics in many of these songs coupled with the brilliance of country songwriters and singers, warm our hearts and our souls.

I hope you enjoy this compilation of country songs and I hope that they can serve as a new path to finding faith and inner-piece.    Although there are many songs I have not listed, these serve as a sample of the best in the niche that can be found.  I hope these songs leave you with love, warmth, and inspiration in your hearts.

Number 10:    Go rest high on that mountain by Vince Gill
                          Vince Gill Official Fan Page Link
                          Go rest high on that mountain video link                                          

This song by Vince Gill brings hope and love to its listeners.  This song celebrates the journey to Heaven
after a difficult life and it won the 1995 Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance as well as the 1995 Grammy for the Best Country Song.  Vince Gill’s seamless voice and lyrical styling luminously
highlight the strong sentiment in this song.  This song is spiritually focused and serves equally as a religious hymn and a country music ballad.

Number 9:      Jesus take the wheel by Carry Underwood
                         Carry Underwood Official Fan Page Link
                         Jesus take the wheelvideo link

Carry Underwood arrived on the country music scene via the hit television show American Idol.   She has since received many awards honoring her talent and album sales marking her as a cross-over country act of distinction.  This song was a release from her first album and reached number one on the country music charts.  It also won the Academy of Country Music single record of the year in 2006.  The song is an especially spiritual and emotional song affirming faith in Jesus when all else is lost. 

Number 8:      My list by Toby Keith
                         Toby Keith OfficialFan Page Link
                         My list video link

This song which was released in the year 2002 is one of many number one songs by Toby Keith.  In his career, which is still driving strong, it marks a hiatus from the many rowdy cowboy songs that have made him
a success.  The song is about a father and a husband who realizes that life’s duties must be given latitude for his responsibilities to his family.  The message is delivered with a slow-paced, traditional country style which demonstrates the love that can be found and conveyed in family life.

Number 7:     Love without end, amen by George Strait
                         George Strait OfficialFan Page Link
                         Love without end, amen video link

This song is one of the most widely known country songs dealing with spirituality.  The lyrics of the song and the strong singing voice of George Strait create images of a loving God.  The song’s states that with God’s love in our hearts, we will all make it into Heaven.  It was released in 1990 off of his Livin’ it Up CD and spent five weeks on top of the country music charts. 

Number 6:       Silver and gold by Dolly Parton
                          Dolly Parton OfficialFan Page Link
                          Silver and gold video link

Her career includes the all-time classic hit, I will always love you.  In the 1970s and 1980s she was a force on country music radio as well as a pop icon.  The greatest extent of her success came as a cross-over artist with hits such as 9 to 5 and Islands in the stream.  In the 1990s she made her way back to more traditional, bluegrass country.  The song, Silver and gold, remains true to this design.  As a song of inspiration and of God’s love, it states that greater gifts remain for us in Heaven.

Number 5:       Mama don’t forget to pray for me by Diamond Rio
                          Diamond Rio OfficialFanpage Link
                          Mama don’t forget topray for me video link

The group, Diamond Rio, has been on the country music scene for over two decades.  Their greatest success was achieved in the early 1990s where they received five Academy of Country Music Awards for Top Vocal Group.  The group holds fast to their own style of traditional country with a blue-grass edge that has brought them much popularity among its fans.  This song, Mama, don’t forget to pray for me, with its stellar vocals and inspirational message of familiar love, is one of the group’s best.

Number 4:        Three wooden crosses by Randy Travis
                           Randy TravisOfficial Fanpage Link
                           Three wooden crosses video link

This song, off of Randy Travis’s 2002 release Rise and Shine, reached number one on the charts and was named Song of the Year in 2003 by the Country Music Association.  The unapologetic religious message in the song also won Randy Travis a Dove Award in 2004 from the Gospel Music Association.  The story told by the song is one of redemption and the lyrics illuminate the love behind such redemption. 

Number 3:        Testify to love by Wynonna
                           Wynonna Official Fanpage Link
                           Testify to lovevideo link

This song by Wynonna Judd was featured in an episode of the television show, Touched by an Angel in which she starred.  Although it was never released as a single, it represents some of her best work.  The song passionately invokes feelings of love; not only for God, not only for mankind, but also a love for all things on God’s Earth.  With profound lyrics, this lesson is reiterated throughout the song with an upbeat, joyous tone and the strong vocalization which is typified by this singer.

 Number 2:       The dance by Garth Brooks
                           Garth BrooksOfficial Fanpage Link
                          The Dance video link

Garth Brooks legendary career has marked him as one of the top selling musical artists of all-time, second only to The Beatles.    This song, The dance, is one of the quintessential favorites of his most loyal fans.  The song’s traditional meaning is a story of the memory of a love long lost.  However, rather than following this theme, the singer chose to choose a theme of love-lost in many other contexts.  The meaning that is preferred is that we might want to throw away the best moments in our lives if we had known the pain that was to follow. 

Number 1:        Live like you were dying by Tim McGraw
                          Tim McGraw Official Fanpage Link

Tim McGraw arrived strong onto the country music scene in 1994.  With his second album, Not a Moment Too Soon, the song, Don’t take the girl, drove him to stardom.  In his illustrious career, he has sold more than 40 million albums with his latest releases still reaching success on country music radio today.

Tim McGraw has reached number one on the country music charts with twenty-three different songs.  His multitude of hit songs are far too many to mention, however, songs such as I like it, I love it, Just to make you smile, and Real good man are some of his best.  To mark the on-going strength of this artist, he recently had a huge hit on the country music charts with One of those nights and the song which he duets with Taylor Swift, Highway don’t care, is currently rising the charts quickly.  

The song that tops this list remains one of the most inspirational, life-affirming songs that can be found in any genre or style of music.  Live like you were dying, reached number one on the country charts for seven weeks. Moreover, it won nearly every major award in the year 2004 for best country song. This song celebrates how precious life becomes with the revelation that it is transitory.  The song’s lyrics represent a man who discovers the joyous journey to becoming a better man.

I hope you enjoyed this “Top 10 Country Songs … Spiritual” list.  Take a look at these songs once in a while.  If you are depressed, they may bring to you hope.  If you would simply like to listen to something that will lift your spirits, sit down in front of your computer and let the music bring you to a better place.

You are most welcome to leave comments and to share this list with friends.  Keep an eye open for new “Top 10 Country Music Songs …” in the future.

Thank you.


Connye Griffin said...

Excellent top ten list on a single theme!

Jagoda said...

Great list. The Underwood, Wynnona and McGraw songs are among my favorites of any music genre.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE this blog post!! And I happen to know most of those songs and am impressed by your wonderful list!!