Top ten tear in your beer country songs
Country music and tales of heartbreak go together as well as a bar stool and a cold beer. It’s as if the pair were custom made for each other, which is something you probably can’t say about that lost love who broke your heart. From lonely cowboys to bar flies across America, millions of people turn to country music to soothe their broken hearts. We here at Honky Tonk Haven are especially fond of heartbreaking country songs, as no one on our staff could keep a happy relationship together if their life depended on it. From He Stopped Loving Her Today to I’m so Lonesome I Could Cry, there are millions of sad country songs out there, and here are a few of our favorites.
- He Stopped Loving Her Today by George Jones
This trembling ballad of lost love and heart break was released by the legendary George Jones in 1980, and kick started a comeback to his then flagging career. The now legendary song was rewritten multiple times and was originally hated by Jones, who claimed that “Nobody’ll buy that morbid son of a bitch!” However, luckily for Jones, the song’s performance was not nearly as sad as its subject matter and it sat at the top of country charts for 18 weeks. Telling the story of man who can’t get over his lost love and doesn’t until the very day he dies, it’s truly one of country music must gut wrenching songs and a must have for any lonely dive bar juke boxes.
- Whiskey Lullaby by Brad Paisley
The 2005 CMA song of the year is about as sad as it gets, with an accompanying music video that is somehow even sadder than the song itself (Seriously go give it a watch). Written by country great Bill Anderson and Jon Randall, the song itself tells the story of two broken hearted lovers who drink themselves to death, and contains what may be the most haunting line in all of country music with,“He put that bottle to his head and pulled the trigger.”
- I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry by Hank Williams
One of the original sad country classics, this song of loneliness was released in 1949 and inspired by Hank’s on and off again relationship with his wife Audrey. Hank’s personal pain shines through every word and it’s easy to imagine him on the verge of tears while singing it. Simply put, if you don’t sympathize with Hank, you’ve never really had your heart broken.
- Sunday Morning Coming Down by Johnny Cash
Everyone loves the idea of sticking it to their ex and going out to their favorite honkytonk for a night of drinking after a breakup, but it’s very seldom that people talk about the loneliness that usually follows those nights. Sunday Morning Coming Down tackles the what happens the morning after, telling a tale a broken, lonely man on Sunday morning, after all the neon lights and drinks of the night before are gone. With happy families on their way to Sunday church and the bars closed, there is nothing worse than feeling hungover and helplessly alone on a Sunday morning.
- Hello Walls by Faron Young
Originally written by Willie Nelson, the song became a hit for Faron Young when released in 1961. It tells the tale of a lonely man whose woman left him, and now all he has left to talk to are the bare walls and lonely ceiling of his home. I don’t know about y’all, but I know the team here at Honky Tonk Haven has spent its fair share of time muttering at lonely walls after breakups.
- Diamonds and Gasoline by Turnpike Troubadours
While the Turnpike Troubadours haven’t set the mainstream country world on fire, their five studio albums truly deserve a spot in every self-respecting country fan’s collection. Based out of Oklahoma, the Turnpike Troubadours have released what is arguably some of the best country music of the last decade, and like any great country band they have songs so sad they’d make the most seasoned bull rider cry. Words won’t do it justice, so be sure to give Diamonds and Gasoline a listen.
- If Heartaches Were Horses by George Strait
All Hail King George! Everyone is familiar with George Strait, the living legend with a record setting all genre 60 number one hits. However, while his 60 number ones are spectacular, it’s in the king’s album cuts that country fans can finds some of his best material. Released on the 2008 album Troubadour, If Heartaches Were Horses is sad country music at its best. Using a mix cowboy imagery and classic country twang, the King paints a picture of worn out cowboy with nothing left but a broken heart.
- I Fall to Pieces by Patsy Cline
Before there was Miranda Lambert or Carrie Underwood, or even Dolly Parton and Reba, there was Patsy Cline, one of country music’s original female superstars. Her 1961 smash hit I Fall to Pieces is one of her most recognizable songs, and with good reason. Describing a woman whose heart breaks every time she sees her former lover, Patsy’s strong vocals and rich tone carry the song, turning a familiar theme into a masterpiece.
- Hurt by Johnny Cash
Originally released as a Nine Inch Nails song, Cash’s cover of the song has arguably become more popular and recognized than the original version. The 2003 CMA song of the year and Cash’s last before his death, the melody and lyrics are truly haunting. The song and music video serves as both a reflection on Johnny Cash’s life, and a reminder on how fragile and difficult life can become. A classic in every sense of the word. Watch the music video. Now.
- She’s Actin’ Single by Gary Stewart
Last, but certainly not least, is the 1975 classic by the man once known as the king of honkytonk, Gary Stewart. While the song itself is upbeat, its subject matter is most certainly not. A tale that’s been played out in bar rooms across America, She’s Actin’ Single tells the tale of a man who drowns his sorrows in booze while his ex-wife drowns herself in new men. The song may be simple, but it’s a classic with a can’t be beat formula. After all, there ain’t nothing more common in a Honky Tonk then a broken men drowning his sorrows.
Bonus song: Traveling Alone by Jason Isbell
Sources from Songfacts.com