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Texas has been the subject of countless songs over the years, from classic country anthems to rock ballads and everything in between. The Lone Star State has inspired artists from all genres to write about its rich history, vast landscapes, and unique culture.
In this article, we will be exploring ten of the best songs about Texas, each with its own unique style and perspective on what makes the state so special. From Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again” to George Strait’s “All My Exes Live in Texas,” these songs capture the spirit and character of Texas, and the enduring influence it has on American music. Whether you’re a native Texan or just a fan of great music, these ten songs are sure to capture your heart and transport you to the heart of Texas.
So sit back, grab your boots and your hat, and let’s take a journey through the best songs about Texas.
1. “Beautiful Texas” by Willie Nelson
“Beautiful Texas” is a classic country ballad written and performed by the legendary musician Willie Nelson. The song opens with a gentle acoustic guitar riff and Nelson’s distinctive voice singing about the natural beauty of the Lone Star State. He paints a vivid picture of rolling hills, bluebonnets, and wide open skies, as well as the warmth and hospitality of the Texan people. As the song progresses, Nelson sings about the simple pleasures of life in Texas, from fishing in the rivers to watching the sun set over the horizon. The chorus is a joyful celebration of the state, with Nelson exclaiming “Beautiful Texas, you’re the wisest and the best!” Overall, “Beautiful Texas” is a heartfelt ode to a beloved home state, filled with nostalgia, warmth, and a deep sense of pride.
2. “Texas (When I Die)” by Tanya Tucker
“Texas (When I Die)” is a classic country song performed by Tanya Tucker that pays tribute to the singer’s home state of Texas. The song is a reflection on the singer’s life and her deep connection to Texas, with Tucker singing about how her heart will always be in the Lone Star State, even after she has passed away. The song features a slow, mournful melody, with Tucker’s powerful vocals bringing a sense of melancholy to the lyrics. The song’s chorus is particularly moving, with Tucker singing, “When I die, I may not go to heaven / I don’t know if they let cowboys in / If they don’t, just let me go to Texas / Texas is as close as I’ve been.” Overall, “Texas (When I Die)” is a deeply emotional and personal song that captures the beauty and soul of Texas, and the bond that Texans have with their home state.
3. “All My Exes Live in Texas” by George Strait
“All My Exes Live in Texas” is a classic country song by George Strait that tells the story of a man who has had relationships with several women from different parts of the United States, but all of his former lovers have ended up living in the Lone Star State. The song has a lively and upbeat tempo, with a catchy chorus that is easy to sing along to. The lyrics are full of humor and wit, with Strait playfully poking fun at his own romantic misadventures. The song features a traditional country sound, with twangy guitars and fiddles adding to the upbeat vibe. Overall, “All My Exes Live in Texas” is a fun and entertaining song that showcases Strait’s signature blend of traditional country music and clever storytelling, and has become a beloved classic in the country music genre.
4. “Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love)” by Waylon Jennings
“Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love)” is a classic country song performed by Waylon Jennings that takes the listener on a journey to the small town of Luckenbach, Texas, and celebrates the simple pleasures of life and love. The song has a laid-back, easygoing tempo, with a distinctive guitar riff that sets the tone for the rest of the track. The lyrics describe the idyllic setting of Luckenbach, with Jennings singing about a place where the beer is cold, the music is live, and the people are friendly. He also sings about the power of love, and how it can bring people back to the basics of what is truly important in life. The chorus is a sing-along anthem, with Jennings declaring that “We got back to the basics of love” in Luckenbach. Overall, “Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love)” is a timeless classic that celebrates the beauty of small-town life, and reminds us of the importance of simplicity, community, and love.
5. “If You’re Gonna Play in Texas (You Gotta Have a Fiddle in the Band)” by Alabama
“If You’re Gonna Play in Texas (You Gotta Have a Fiddle in the Band)” is a classic country song by the band Alabama that pays homage to the importance of the fiddle in traditional country music. The song has a catchy, upbeat tempo, with a driving rhythm section and soaring harmonies from the band’s vocalists. The lyrics describe the essential role of the fiddle in creating the distinctive sound of country music, with Alabama singing about how the instrument can make people dance, sing, and feel alive. The chorus is particularly memorable, with the band declaring that “If you’re gonna play in Texas, you gotta have a fiddle in the band,” a catchy line that has become a rallying cry for fans of traditional country music. Overall, “If You’re Gonna Play in Texas” is a fun and energetic song that celebrates the unique sound and spirit of country music, and serves as a testament to the enduring legacy of the fiddle in the genre.
6. “Texas Flood” by Stevie Ray Vaughan
“Texas Flood” is a classic blues rock song performed by Stevie Ray Vaughan, a legendary guitarist and musician. The song opens with a powerful guitar riff that sets the tone for the rest of the track, which is filled with blistering guitar solos and soulful vocals. The lyrics describe the intensity and power of a flood in Texas, using the natural disaster as a metaphor for the raw, emotional intensity of the blues. Vaughan’s guitar playing is particularly impressive, with his lightning-fast fingers and innovative techniques creating a sound that is both deeply rooted in tradition and unmistakably modern. The song features a driving rhythm section, with a propulsive beat that keeps the energy high throughout. Overall, “Texas Flood” is a masterpiece of blues rock, showcasing Vaughan’s incredible talent as a guitarist and his deep understanding of the emotional power of the blues. It has become a beloved classic in the genre, and a testament to the enduring influence of Texas blues on the world of music.
7. “Too Far From Texas” by Stevie Nicks
“Too Far From Texas” is a heartfelt country ballad by Stevie Nicks, best known as the lead singer of Fleetwood Mac. The song features a simple, understated arrangement, with acoustic guitar and piano providing a gentle backdrop for Nicks’ expressive vocals. The lyrics describe a sense of longing and nostalgia for Nicks’ home state of Texas, and the pain of being separated from loved ones and familiar places. Nicks sings about the wide open spaces and endless skies of Texas, and the deep sense of connection and belonging that she feels there. The chorus is particularly moving, with Nicks singing, “Too far from Texas, too close to home / Too far from where you are, too close to be alone.” Overall, “Too Far From Texas” is a beautifully crafted song that showcases Nicks’ talent as a songwriter and her ability to capture complex emotions in a simple, direct way. It is a powerful tribute to the enduring influence of Texas on Nicks’ life and music.
8. “The Yellow Rose of Texas” by Various Artists
“The Yellow Rose of Texas” is a traditional folk song that has been performed by many different artists over the years, including Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Willie Nelson. The song has a simple, catchy melody, with a sing-along chorus that makes it a favorite among fans of traditional American music. The lyrics tell the story of a soldier who is separated from his love, the “yellow rose of Texas,” and who longs to be reunited with her. The song is steeped in Texas history and folklore, with references to the Battle of San Jacinto and the legendary hero Davy Crockett. Over the years, “The Yellow Rose of Texas” has become an enduring symbol of Texas pride and resilience, and a reminder of the state’s rich cultural heritage. Whether performed as a rousing anthem or a tender ballad, the song remains a beloved classic among fans of folk, country, and Americana music.
9. “Dime Store Cowgirl” by Kacey Musgraves
“Dime Store Cowgirl” is a song by country music singer-songwriter Kacey Musgraves that celebrates the journey of self-discovery and the importance of staying true to one’s roots. The song features a bright and catchy melody, with Musgraves’ sweet, clear vocals front and center. The lyrics describe Musgraves’ personal journey from a small-town girl to a successful musician, and her struggle to find her place in the world while staying true to her roots. Musgraves sings about the challenges of fame and the pressure to conform to others’ expectations, but ultimately affirms her commitment to being a “dime store cowgirl,” someone who remains authentic and grounded no matter where life takes her. The song features a lively rhythm section and a driving beat that give it an infectious energy and an uplifting feel. Overall, “Dime Store Cowgirl” is a fun and empowering song that celebrates the beauty of individuality and the power of staying true to oneself, no matter where one’s journey leads.
10. “Austin” by Blake Shelton
“Austin” is a country ballad by Blake Shelton that tells the story of a man who is trying to move on from a failed relationship. The song features a classic country sound, with acoustic guitar and piano providing a gentle, melancholic backdrop for Shelton’s soulful vocals. The lyrics describe the narrator’s struggle to let go of his memories of his ex-girlfriend, who he met and fell in love with in Austin, Texas. Despite his attempts to move on, he finds himself drawn back to the city and the memories it holds. The chorus is particularly moving, with Shelton singing, “Austin, I still love you / It’s hard to breathe without you / I miss you more than I should / Than I thought I could.” Overall, “Austin” is a heartfelt and emotional song that captures the pain of lost love and the struggle to move on. Shelton’s powerful vocals and the simple yet evocative arrangement make it a classic in the country genre, and a testament to the enduring power of great songwriting.