Country music is always epic, no matter what decade it came from. But we all know country tunes shined the most during the 90s. From Tim McGraw’s “Don’t Take The Girl” to Trisha Yearwood’s “She’s In Love With The Boy,” it seems like the tunes from this era just never get old. Check out a list of our favorite, best 90s country songs, below, just in case you forgot what some of them are. They’re in no particular order, of course.
10. “Don’t Take The Girl” (1994), Tim McGraw
There’s probably no other country music song that’s more touching than Tim McGraw’s “Don’t Take The Girl.” The song tells the story of two young lovers dealing with difficult scenarios at three different stages in their lives. In each situation, the man does all he can to make sure different people “don’t take the girl.”
In the first verse, the young man, named Johnny, is eight years old, about to go on a fishing trip with his father. A young, unnamed girl, apparently Johnny’s age, is also present, with a fishing pole in her hand. Johnny doesn’t want the girl to come fishing with them. So he begs his father to, “take any boy in the world / Daddy please, don’t take the girl”.
The song’s second verse finds Johnny and the girl ten years later, now as teenagers. The two have since fallen in love and are now dating. As Johnny and his girlfriend are on a date at the movies, they encounter a robber with a gun. The robber grabs the girl and tells Johnny to give in to his demands. Johnny surrenders his money, wallet, credit cards, a watch that his grandfather gave him, and even his car keys so that the girl would be safe.
Verse three takes place five years after the second verse. At this point, Johnny and the girl are now married and expecting their first child, and the girl is eventually rushed to the hospital to have her baby delivered. The baby is safely delivered, but the doctor informs Johnny that his wife is “fading fast.” Johnny then collapses to his knees and prays to God that his wife survives, even asking that his own life is taken instead of his wife’s as long as she’s okay.
The song ends with a repeat of the opening line of the song: “Johnny’s daddy was taking him fishin’ when he was eight years old” leaving the listener with the impression that the cycle has begun to repeat itself.
“Don’t Take The Girl” was released in March 1994 as the second single from his album Not a Moment Too Soon. The song was McGraw’s fifth single overall and his first number-one single on the Hot Country Songs chart.
Learn more about “Don’t Take The Girl” here.
Learn more about Tim McGraw here.
Read the lyrics for “Don’t Take The Girl” here.
9. “Check Yes or No” (1996), George Strait
“Do you love me, do you want to be my friend?…” We bet every country music fan knows the lyrics that come next.
“Check Yes or No” is a song written by Danny Wells and Dana Hunt Black, and recorded by George Strait. It was released in September 1995 as the lead single from his box set Strait Out of the Box. It peaked at number-one on both the U.S. Billboard country chart and the Canadian RPM country chart.
The song pretty much has the cutest lyrics ever. It’s an ode to a lover in which the narrator discusses the history of their relationship, detailing how their romance began when they were just in school.
Learn more about “Check Yes Or No” here.
Learn more about George Strait here.
Read the lyrics for “Check Yes Or No” here.
8. “It’s Your Love” (1997), Tim McGraw Ft. Faith Hill
Meet the first Tim McGraw and Faith Hill duet to hit number one. “It’s Your Love” is a song written by Stephony Smith. It was released in May 1997 as the first single from McGraw’s album Everywhere. The song reached number one on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart in its fifth week on the chart. The song stayed there for six weeks and became McGraw’s and Hill’s first top-ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100. The accompanying music video showcases McGraw and Hill, who was very noticeably pregnant with the couple’s first daughter, Gracie.
Since it’s release, it’s still a fan favorite to play at weddings. The lyrics just make it one of the best love songs ever recorded. It totally helps that the singers are married in real life, too.
Learn more about “It’s Your Love” here.
Learn more about Tim McGraw here.
Read the lyrics for “It’s Your Love” here.
7. “She’s In Love With The Boy” (1991), Trisha Yearwood
Who hasn’t dated someone their dad didn’t like? That’s exactly the scenario Trisha Yearwood sings about in “In Love With The Boy.”
The track was released in March 1991 as the lead single from her self-titled debut album. The song reached number one on the Billboard U.S. Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart and was the first of five number ones on the country chart for Yearwood.
The song is an upbeat song about a teenage couple named Katie and Tommy in a small town becoming betrothed. Katie’s father does not approve of their relationship and after the couple returns home late after a date, he angrily confronts them; but Katie’s mother comes to their defense, pointing out to Katie’s father that they were no different from Katie and Tommy when they were teenagers and how her own father didn’t approve of the relationship, but she married him anyway and that Katie will do the same with Tommy.
“He was wrong and honey you are too / Katie looks at Tommy like I still look at you.”
Learn more about “She’s In Love With The Boy” here.
Learn more about Trisha Yearwood here.
Read the lyrics for “She’s In Love With The Boy” here.
6. “Friends In Low Places” (1990), Garth Brooks
Next, comes a song from Yearwood’s real life husband, Garth Brooks. His song “Friends In Low Places” was released in August 1990 as the first single from his album No Fences. The song spent four weeks at number one on the Hot Country Songs and won both the Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association awards for 1990 Single of the Year. “Friends in Low Places” was written in 1989 by songwriters Dewayne Blackwell and Earl Bud Lee.
According to Lee, the idea of the song came when he and some songwriting friends gathered for lunch one day at Tavern on the Row, a popular Nashville eatery. When the check came, Lee realized he had forgotten his money. He was asked how he was going to pay for the meal, and he replied, “Don’t worry. I have friends in low places. I know the cook.” Lee and his songwriting partner, Blackwell, immediately recognized that the line “friends in low places” had potential, but they didn’t act upon it immediately. Then, months later, Lee and Blackwell were at a party, celebrating a recent #1 hit by another songwriter. They began to talk about the “friends in low places” idea, and “at that very moment, it all started to come together in a song,” Lee told the author of The Stories Behind Country Music’s All-Time Greatest 100 Songs.
Learn more about “Friends In Low Places” here.
Learn more about Garth Brooks here.
Read the lyrics for “Friends In Low Places” here.
5. “Amazed” (1999), Lonestar
“Amazed” is a song written by Marv Green, Aimee Mayo, and Chris Lindsey. The first version of the song was recorded by the American country music group Lonestar, whose version was released in March 1999 as the second single from their 1999 album Lonely Grill.
Lonestar’s version is their longest-lasting number one single and biggest hit, spending eight weeks at the top of the Billboard country chart. The song’s touching and adorable lyrics, instantly made it every couple’s “song” making it one of the best love tunes in the 90s.
Learn more about “Amazed” here.
Learn more about Lonestar here.
Read the lyrics for “Amazed” here.
4. “Sold” (1995), John Michael Montgomery
“Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident)” is a song written by Richard Fagan and Robb Royer, and recorded by country music artist John Michael Montgomery. It was released in May 1995 as the second single from Montgomery’s self-titled album. It hit number-one on the country charts in the United States and Canada in July 1995, and is one of Montgomery’s best-known songs. It was named Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks’ number-one single for 1995.
The song is uptempo, and the narrator tells a story about a woman he saw at the Grundy County, Tennessee Auction. It proceeds with the narrator courting the woman in the style of an auction chant, making it catchy as hell.
Learn more about “Sold” here.
Learn more about John Michael Montgomery here.
Read the lyrics for “Sold” here.
3. “Strawberry Wine” (1995), Deana Carter
What girl doesn’t say “Strawberry Wine” is the ode to her life?
“Strawberry Wine” is the title of a debut song written by Matraca Berg and Gary Harrison, and recorded by Deana Carter. The song went on to peak at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart, and the Canadian RPM Country Tracks. “Strawberry Wine” is Carter’s most successful single in her career overall.
The song tells the story of co-writer Berg’s own coming of age as a teenager outside of Luck, Wisconsin, she recalled to Country Weekly, “We used to go to my grandparents’ dairy farm in the summer. My aunt, who’s six months younger than me, and I would try to score some wine. And I met this boy…”
The lyrics describe a time in her youth when she lost her innocence and compares her love to the sweetness of “strawberry wine”. As she grows older, she returns to this place, to find that everything has changed.
Learn more about “Strawberry Wine” here.
Learn more about Deana Carter here.
Read the lyrics for “Strawberry Wine” here.
2. “Chattahoochee” (1992), Alan Jackson
Chattahoochee” is a song co-written and recorded by music artist Alan Jackson. It was released in May 1993 as the third single from his album A Lot About Livin’ (And a Little ’bout Love). Jackson wrote the song with Jim McBride.
The song is uptempo and talks about growing up along the Chattahoochee River that forms part of the border between Georgia and Alabama. Alan Jackson talks about the song in the liner notes for his 1995 The Greatest Hits Collection: “Jim McBride and I were trying to write an up-tempo song and Jim came in with the line ‘way down yonder on the Chattahoochee’. It kind of went from there. It’s a song about having fun, growing up. and coming of age in a small town – which really applies to anyone across the country, not just by the Chattahoochee. We never thought it would be as big as it’s become.”
Learn more about “Chattahoochee” here.
Learn more about Alan Jackson here.
Read the lyrics for “Chattahoochee” here.
1. “Any Man Of Mine” (1995), Shania Twain
“Any Man of Mine” is a song co-written and recorded by Canadian country music artist Shania Twain. It was released in April 1995 as the second single from her album The Woman in Me. The song was written by Robert John “Mutt” Lange and Twain. The song became Twain’s first number one hit at country radio, as well her first crossover hit after it cracked the top 40 on the pop charts.
On April 26, 1995, the full video was released onto her website and onto the CMT. The video showcases Twain’s famed midriff, while she dances around in jeans and a jean-vest. The country theme of the video is prominent, filmed at a ranch, with Twain being around a horse, and driving a truck pulling a horse trailer.
The song is about a woman who is telling her man the things he needs to do to make her happy and satisfied. “Any man of mine better be proud of me even when I’m ugly, he still better love me and I can be late for a date—that’s fine, but he’d better be on time,” she sings. The lyrics and fun cheerleading-sound beat make the song super catchy, especially to women who can relate to what Twain’s singing about.
Learn more about “Any Man of Mine” here.
Learn more about Shania Twain here.
Read the lyrics for “Any Man of Mine” here.