Top 10 Songs by Patsy Cline

Patsy Cline has one of the best voices in music. With a voice that travels through time, Cline made an indelible mark on music before her untimely passing in a plane crash in 1963 when she was 30. In her 15-year career, Cline recorded a catalog of songs that still resonate with audiences to this day. While hits like “Crazy” and “I Fall to Pieces” became mainstays on radio airwaves, there are plenty of deep cuts that are of equal quality. Below, explore 10 of Cline’s best songs.

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1. “Always”

Many people have recorded covers of “Always,” but none like Cline. Her rendition is simply unforgettable. Her voice is filled with nostalgia in a way that captures the heart and passion of the lyrics written by Irving Berlin as a wedding fit for wife Ellin Mackay, pledging to stand by her side through the ebbs and flows of life. Cline’s voice is haunting but in the most tender-hearted way. She makes the song timeless and is far and away one of her best.

I’ll be loving you, always
With a love that’s true, always
When the things you plan
Need a helping hand
I will understand, always, always

2. “Crazy”

It’s impossible to think of Cline and not have this song come to mind. Written by Willie Nelson, Cline turned “Crazy” into a hit, reaching No. 2 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and crossing over into pop, peaking at No. 9 on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100. While others have recorded covers, no one brings this song to life quite like Cline. It’s the kind of song that reaches through the radio and grabs one’s attention and doesn’t let it go until she holds that final note. Her version is so compelling that it was fittingly inducted into The Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry in 2003.

Worry, why do I let myself worry?
Wondering what in the world did I do?
Crazy for thinking that my love could hold you
I’m crazy for trying and crazy for crying

3. “Sweet Dreams of You”

Cline truly shows off the endurance of her voice on “Sweet Dreams.” It feels like her heart is breaking as she sings, a gift she conveys in many of her songs. She does this especially in “Sweet Dreams,” longing to move on from the memory of a man who no longer loves her. She’s accepted this fate, but not without a few devastating lyrics along the way like, why can’t I forget the past/Start loving someone new/Instead of having sweet dreams about you. The song is only 13 lines, but that’s all she needs to sweetly break your heart. If you need a good cry while nursing heartache, this song will do the trick.

Sweet dreams of you
Every night I go through
Why can’t I forget you and start my life anew
Instead of having sweet dreams about you

4. “I Fall to Pieces”

“I Fall to Pieces” is one of Cline’s most well-known songs for a reason. Her voice is devastating but in the best way. That’s especially true when she’s singing a heartbreaking ballad like “I Fall to Pieces.” It feels like your heart is breaking alongside her as she sings you walk by and I fall to pieces. Like “Crazy,” it’s quintessentially Patsy and when walking down memory lane, this oldie by goodie is a must-listen.

You tell me to find someone else to love
Someone who love me too (love me too)
The way you used to do (used to do)
But each time I go out with someone new
You walk by and I fall to pieces

5. “She’s Got You”

Here, the music legend beautifully captures a love that is no longer, with only the leftover records and class ring left to remember him by. Cline has a way of making you believe every word she sings, and “She’s Got You” is no different. Cline delivers subtle vocal tricks, like the way she holds the “or” before asking “has it got me?” that makes her delivery so interesting. Writer Hank Cochran kept his promise when he pitched the song to Cline, telling her he just wrote her next No. 1 hit, as “She’s Got You” topped the Billboard Hot Country & Western Sides chart in 1966 and became a top 15 hit on the Billboard Hot 100.

I’ve got the records
That we used to share
And they still sound the same
As when you were here
The only thing different
The only thing new
I’ve got the records
She’s got you

6. “Walking After Midnight”

Interestingly enough, Cline wasn’t a fan of “Walkin'” at first, but agreed to record it after making a deal with her record label that if she recorded “Walkin,'” she could also cut a track she really liked, “A Poor Man’s Roses (Or a Rich Man’s Gold).” It became her breakout hit, with audiences going crazy over her profound voice. The song hit No. 2 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart and No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1957. It’s hard to imagine Cline’s catalog without it, as she makes the lyrics sing with her vibrant contralto voice. It’s easily one of her best and most memorable tunes.

I go out walkin’ after midnight
Out in the moonlight
Just hopin’ you may be somewhere a-walkin’
After midnight, searchin’ for me

7. “A Poor Man’s Roses (Or a Rich Man’s Gold)”

On the flip side of “Walkin’ After Midnight” is “A Poor Man’s Roses.” This is a great story song, the kind that was made for Cline’s voice. Here, she contemplates what’s better, gold from a rich man, or a delicate rose from a tender-hearted poor man? As the song progresses, it’s clear she chooses the latter, as the rose is worth its weight in gold. Cline tells this through her storied voice that sings alongside the pretty violins. Cline fought to record this song, and her catalog is better for it.

And yet the hand that brings the rose tonight
Is the hand I will hold
For the rose of love means more to me
More than any rich man’s gold

8. “That’s My Desire”

The vivid imagery of this song is what makes it a particular standout, from the dim cafe where the gypsies play and two lovers dancing all through the night to when she sings I’ll gaze into your eyes divine. Of course, Cline’s voice is the bow that ties it all together, so powerful that she’ll have you longing to be transported into the song to experience the kind of love she’s singing about—the sign of a truly timeless singer.

To hear you whisper low,
Just when it’s time to go,
“Darling, I love you so!”
That’s my desire

9. “Blue Moon of Kentucky”

This waltz originally written and recorded by bluegrass legend Bill Monroe allows Cline to show off the personality in her voice. It has a little flair to it, her smoky voice shining bright as the moon she’s singing about. You don’t often hear her voice like this, hitting deep notes that take on the character of the song. “Blue Moon” was also cut by Elvis Presley in 1954 and appeared on the soundtrack of Cline’s Academy Award-nominated autobiographical film, Sweet Dreams, which starred Jessica Lange and was released in 1985.

Blue moon of Kentucky, keep on shining
Shine on the one that’s gone and left me blue
Blue moon of Kentucky, keep on shining
Shine on the one that’s gone and left me blue

10. “A Church, A Courtroom and Then Goodbye”

A lesser-known song in Cline’s catalog, this hidden gem is one of Cline’s favorites, as she told to the song’s writer, Eddie Arnold, during her first performance on the Grand Ole Opry in 1955. Cline was singing about the perils of divorce at a time before it was popularized in song, more than a decade before Tammy Wynette’s “D-I-V-O-R-C-E” topped the charts. Over the course of three minutes, Cline tells the sad tale of a couple looking back on their wedding day in a church, the next scene taking place in a crowded courtroom where they’re singing papers to end their marriage. Her voice as strong as ever, you believe her as she cries I hate the sight of that courtroom/Where man-made laws push God’s laws aside. If Cline herself has designated it as a personal favorite, then you know it’s one of her best.

We walked from that courtroom together
We shook hands, and once again, we cried
Then it was the end of our story
A church, a courtroom, and then goodbye

Photo by GAB Archive/Redferns

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