There are many chart-topping, legendary country love songs, but it takes a special mix of historical impact and popularity to narrow it down to the top ten. These ten love songs have earned their way to the top of the country music heap, and they deserve to be in every "best" conversation there is.
1. 'Crazy' by Patsy Cline
Crazy isn't just one of the best country love songs, it's one of the best country songs ever. Although Rolling Stone ranked Patsy Cline's timeless hit at no. 2 below Johnny Cash, a veteran country music writer for the Houston Press wrote a piece in response to Rolling Stone and argued it should be at the top. He noted Crazy is the most-played song on jukeboxes in history and is almost always ranked in the top ten country songs of all time. Thanks to Cline's velvet voice, the melody luxuriates in a dreamy heartache as the singer pines for her love.
2. 'I Will Always Love You' by Dolly Parton
I Will Always Love You should always be on a top ten list of love songs. In fact, Country Music Life picks I Will Always Love You as the no. 1 song of all time by female country artists. When Whitney Houston covered it for the film The Bodyguard, the love ballad exploded in popularity again.
3. 'Always Wanting You' by Merle Haggard
When Country Music Television (CMT) did their special program that counted down the top 40 country artists of all time, Merle Haggard was no. 1. Merle Haggard wrote it about Parton when he became infatuated with her during a tour. His crooning and delicate nylon guitar texture presents a mix of beauty, sadness, and Bakersfield-style country as he pines for Dolly.
4. 'Darlin' Companion' by Johnny Cash
Sang as a duet with his wife, June Carter Cash, Darlin' Companion is Johnny Cash at his most romantic. This song ranks as one of the best country love songs.
5. 'Your Cheatin' Heart' by Hank Williams, Sr.
Hank Williams, Sr. got the no. 2 spot in CMT's list of most influential country artists. His smash-hit song, Your Cheatin' Heart, is one of the best backhanded love songs ever written. Hank has a brilliant way of expressing anger while revealing grief as he sings about his darling who cheated on him. He misses his girl, and that longing fuels every word despite the tough face he puts forward. Besides, as Wide Open Country observes, Your Cheatin' Heart is one of the best songs ever - in any genre.
6. 'Always On My Mind' by Willie Nelson
Besides being the songwriter behind the top love song (Crazy), he's the mastermind and golden voice behind the legendary romantic hit Always On My Mind, which has been placed in the top ten consistently by publications.
7. 'He Stopped Loving Her Today' by George Jones
Many "best" lists by fans and radio DJs, including this country radio DJ, have chosen the George Jones classic He Stopped Loving Her Today as the top country song of all time. This song became a signature piece for Jones as it tells the story of a brokenhearted man who loved a woman until the day he died even though she never came back to him.
8. 'Stand By Your Man' by Tammy Wynette
CS Monitor named this classic country ballad as the top country song of all time, but it's also one of country music's best love songs. Although it has been mocked at times for its old-fashioned sensibility, it takes patience, forgiveness and hard work to make relationships work. No matter who you're standing by, Tammy Wynette's classic song captures that spirit with a timeless sound.
9. 'The Dance' by Garth Brooks
Garth Brooks' The Dance became a phenomenon when it topped the charts in the '90s. In 1994, Garth Brooks said: "The Dance will be the greatest success as a song we will ever do. I'll go to my grave with The Dance." The nostalgic tale brings the listener deep into a man's memory of a dance he shared with his love (whom he lost). It's the love song that makes everyone weep.
10. 'Breathe' by Faith Hill
CMT picked Breathe as the third best country love song of all time. When the song was released in late 1999, its popularity swelled until it reigned on the charts for 53 weeks and became ranked by Billboard as one of the most successful songs of the 2000s.
The Gorgeous Sound of a Broken Heart
Although a little stereotypical, love songs in country music tend to be about broken hearts. It has always been strange that one of the most complicated, painful experiences of the human existence - romance and heartbreak - can produce such beautiful, timeless music.