From bittersweet melodies charting the rocky road of many a relationship, to the sheer joy of finding true love, country music and romance have always been intertwined. As a genre, it is also immensely popular, coming second only to rock in a recent online poll of US music fans. There are also so many different styles within the umbrella category of country, from the more traditional folk variety to Celtic fiddle tunes, cowboy songs to southern rock. One aspect that can’t be denied is country music can be incredibly romantic, especially as the musical accompaniment to your first get-together after connecting on a date site or in some more conventional social setting. Here are seven of the best.
‘Tennessee Whiskey,’ Chris Stapleton
This heartfelt track, originally by George Jones, but given wider prominence by Chris Stapleton, is a very poetic piece. Here the sparkling refreshments which might accompany a foray to the secluded corner of a candlelit bar become the metaphor for love. “You’re as sweet as strawberry wine, warm as a glass of brandy … and honey, I stay stoned on your love all the time.” Ideal if you want to give your new date the impression of how romantic you are!
‘Remember When,’ Alan Jackson
“Remember when thirty seemed so old, now it’s just a stepping stone.” Delivered in Jackson’s effortlessly smooth brogue, this plaintive ballad looks back on the first kindling of an intense love. Like many country classics, it balances joyful memories with a sense of regret at the way things don’t always pan out as you assume they will when you’re in the first flushes of romance.
‘Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?’ Shania Twain
Country music does have an immense pool of talent to choose from, so there are several genuine superstars of the genre. Twain is one of those gifted singers who has perfected the transition from country to global recognition, and ‘Whose Bed’, from her second album, will definitely get your evening off to a flying start. As with much of her material, the slant is always on the lighthearted side. Coupled with a rollicking tune and bluesy violin, this is perfect for introducing a bubbly atmosphere to your date.
‘I Walk The Line,’ Johnny Cash
Cash was a fearless performer who combined an unusually confrontational outlook for a country singer with enduring melodies. His five-decade career brought countless anthems into the public eye, but this particular love song was one of his most famous – inspiring two movies.
‘Hard Rock Bottom of Your Heart,’ Randy Travis
Back in the mid-80s, the New York Times notoriously pronounced country music was finished. But its exponents continue to expose the sham behind such an attention-seeking headline. Deliberately celebrating country’s more traditional roots in the face of crossover acts, Travis released this song in 1990, when it became his longest-running number one single. This is no chart-friendly love song, but a poignant plea to save a relationship which has
‘Crazy,’ Patsy Cline
Before her tragic and untimely death in a plane crash, aged 30, Cline produced over 100 recordings in her prolific eight-year singing career. ‘Crazy’ is one of her most recognizable songs, and the natural beauty of her voice is enough to send shivers down anyone’s back as you entertain your new date.
‘I Will Always Love You,’ Dolly Parton
It might have been played to death, particularly when covered by Whitney Houston as part of the soundtrack of the hit 1992 film ‘The Bodyguard,’ but this is definitely an all-time classic love song, from one of country’s most iconic performers.