3 Country Songs That Will Make Any Fan Tear Up

Country music can really pull on your heartstrings. Sometimes it’s the simplest songs—indeed, three chords and the truth—that evoke the most emotion in you. And country music just has a knack for that specific way of getting you to remember what’s most important and for getting a tear to form in the corner of your eye.

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To wit, these three songs here below are perfect examples of that reality. Not only that but these are three songs from perhaps the three greatest country artists ever. So, let’s explore.

[RELATED: 3 Beatles Songs That Will Make Any Listener Tear Up]

1. “Hurt,” Johnny Cash

This Johnny Cash song, which is as brittle as it is powerful, is a cover of the 1994 Nine Inch Nails track from that band’s album, The Downward Spiral. Cash recorded his version in 2002 on his album, American IV, which was co-produced by Rick Rubin. That came just a year before the iconic country singer died in 2003. On the song, Cash sings,

I hurt myself today
To see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
The only thing that’s real

The needle tears a hole
The old familiar sting
Try to kill it all away
But I remember everything

2. “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” Hank Williams

One of the first country stars in modern music, Hank Williams recorded this song in 1949 and it’s since stood the test of time. Though Williams died in 1953 at just 29-years-old, this is one of his many songs that remain integral to the country music genre. And as the song title suggests, the track is about feeling disconnected, lonesome and apart from your love. On it, he sings,

Hear that lonesome whippoorwill
He sounds too blue to fly
The midnight train is whining low
I’m so lonesome, I could cry

I’ve never seen a night so long
And time goes crawling by
The moon just went behind the clouds
To hide its face and cry

3. “I Will Always Love You,” Dolly Parton

While Dolly Parton and her music partner Porter Wagoner weren’t romantically together, the two collaborated for many years. It was Wagoner who gave Parton her first big break in entertainment, putting her on his popular television variety show. But when Parton wanted to go solo, she wrote this tune as an ode to her mentor, telling him both she was leaving and that, well, she would always love him for what he did for her. Since then, the song was covered by Whitney Houston and has become one of the most well-known tracks ever. But on it, Parton, who released the album in 1974 on her album, Jolene, sings,

If I should stay
I would only be in your way
So I’ll go, but I know
I’ll think of you every step of the way

And I will always love you
I will always love you
My darling, you, mm, mm

Bittersweet memories
That is all I’m taking with me
So goodbye, please don’t cry
We both know I’m not what you, you need

And I will always love you
I will always love you

Photo by Jim Steinfeldt/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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