The very best nostalgic country songs transport us back to simpler times, before the wear and tear of adult life stripped away layers of youthful innocence. Here are seven country songs that successfully capture the euphoria of that first kiss, the joy of Saturday nights with friends, and the bittersweet feelings that accompany memories of days gone by.
Nostalgic Country Songs – #1: 19 Something. Calling all Gen Xers: This one is your anthem. Mark Wills’ mega-hit song hit the airwaves in late 2002 and became an instant country music classic. It’s catchy and energetic, and it praises some of the most iconic symbols of 70s and 80s America. If you ever wore parachute pants (or made fun of someone who did), drove a Trans AM or played with Stretch Armstrong, this is a must-listen tune that’s sure to make you think back and smile.
Nostalgic Country Songs – #2: Letter to Me. Brad Paisley’s soulful 2007 release is just what its title suggests: A letter set to music. But it isn’t any ordinary letter. Letter to Me perfectly captures the balance of both good and painful teenage memories, and tempers them with advice passed from present-day Paisley to his 17-year old self. If you’ve ever wished you could go back and give your younger self some good, heartfelt guidance, this is the song for you.
Nostalgic Country Songs – #3: Red Dirt Road. Sometimes a specific place can elicit strong emotional memories, as superduo Brooks and Dunn demonstrate with this 2003 hit. From one end to the other, the Red Dirt Road serves as the placeholder for many childhood and teenage memories, from spiritual awakenings to the innocence of brand new young love. Every person from every generation has his own Red Dirt Road; where is yours?
Nostalgic Country Songs – #4: Strawberry Wine. She may not get much air time these days, but Deana Carter struck a chord with women everywhere with her 1996 debut single. Strawberry Wine looks back at the bittersweet nature of first love and subsequent loss, and reminds us that something as simple as a taste of wine can trigger powerful, seductive memories of days gone by.
Nostalgic Country Songs – #5 and #6: Young and I Go Back. It’s a nostalgic music doubleshot from superstar Kenny Chesney. Young takes a playful look back at stereotypical teenage bad-boy behavior and praises the wiles of youth. I Go Back shares a string of memories triggered by the popular song Jack and Diane. It’s about being transported back to simpler times via the power of music. What else would you expect from the popular recording artist?
Nostalgic Country Songs – #7: Remember When. Alan Jackson’s tender ballad lovingly chronicles the stages of he and his wife’s relationship, from the beginning and into the future beyond song’s end. It’s a beautiful reflection on the nature of love and on their personal long-term partnership. The roots of a love that’s carried on despite challenges are well-worth a nostalgic glance into the past.
So there you have it: Seven nostalgic country songs. Although each song is stylistically unique, they’re all intensely personal stories of love, loss, survival and perseverance that can help us all take a long look back before moving forward.