Wading in the waters of past memories is something we all do. Whether that means looking back on fond memories, or recalling a time when things weren’t so easy, we all tend to ruminate of past life experiences. So here are some memorable country songs about memories that offer up interesting perspectives about childhood, love, life and loss.
Best Country Songs About Memories
19 Somethin’ by Mark Wills
Released in 2002, 19 Somethin’ by Mark Wills takes the listeners on an entertaining journey back in time to the 70s and 80s.
This song will first grab your attention with the funky, buoyant guitar riffs in the beginning, and will keep your ear with the sentimental lyrics. The words in this song mentions some of the most relevant, feel good social characteristics of the decades, giving it an effervescent appeal to those who are familiar with the references.
Wills captures the nostalgia of being young and carefree with this song, making sure it’s not only upbeat and enjoyable for listeners, but also relatable.
Mark Wills gave us the gift of time travel and temporary release from the confines of adult responsibilities with his song 19 Somethin’. Even as a 90s baby myself, this song still manages to take me back.
- You Might Also Like: Redneck Country Songs
Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It by Darius Rucker
In his song Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It Rucker tells us of a relationship he chose to leave, but still thinks about often.
The lyrics portray regretful memories that paint a picture of a man who put in a lot of work to make his relationship successful, but eventually had to say enough is enough.
It just goes to show that even when you know leaving is the right thing to do, it doesn’t mean the memories of the past are lost to the breakup. Sometimes, they’re the hardest thing to make go away.
- You Might Also Like: Male Country Singers of the 60s
- You Might Also Like: Male Country Singers of the 70s
Automatic by Miranda Lambert
With the modern developments of smart phones, AI, and a technological gadget for basically everything under the sun, it can be easy to lose sight of what life was like back in the good ‘ol days.
In her song Automatic Miranda Lambert reminds listeners of a time when things were a less robotic and more manual; back when things took time to accomplish, and instant gratification wasn’t such a large scale concept.
In a world of texts, instant messages, and FaceTime, Automatic reminisces on writing letters. Similarly, in a world of Amazon, Shein, and other online only stores, Automatic recalls driving a long way just to hand pick a special outfit in person.
I think people who grew up outside of the technology age, and maybe even some that grew up just on the cusp of it, can get a lot of heart warming value from this song even if country music isn’t their particular cup of tea.
Automatic is a feel good, nostalgic country song about what life was like before all the advancement.
- You Might Also Like: Female Country Singers of the 90s
We Were Us by Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert
Sometimes having memories means missing the past even when things didn’t ultimately work out, which is exactly what Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert sing about in their song We Were Us.
This song is chalked full of thoughtful flashbacks before the heartache set in from a failed relationship. Through the use of something they call “disconnected images” Lambert and Urban sing of memories that depict town in which their love transpired, and ultimately failed.
While remembering all the old places and activities that remind them of each other, We Were Us is not only a song about lost love, but also memories that were not lost on anyone.
- You Might Also Like: Female Country Singers of the 2000s
I Go Back by Kenny Chesney
Kenny Chesney knows all about music that catapults you into the past and that’s exactly what he sings about in I Go Back.
I Go Back is a great tune about hearing a song and instantly going back to that place and time. He sings about Jack and Diane, Keep On Rocking Me Baby, and Only The Good Die Young, recalling all the moments each song takes him back to.
Obviously a lot of new memories have happened for Chesney since the release of this hit single in 2004, but the memorable roots of the song still hits home for many today, and even became the name of his 2023 tour.
Religiously by Bailey Zimmerman
Religiously by Bailey Zimmerman is an example of looking back on memories with a more regretful outlook.
In this song, Zimmerman describes an ex lover who he has discovered is dating someone else. Upon this discovery, he is reminded of the times they were together and looks back on how he managed to lose someone who treated him so well.
This song hits home for anyone who still thinks about a past relationship that went sour. Bailey Zimmerman’s fast rise to fame isn’t just due to his raspy vocals and well written lyrics. His ability to remain vulnerable and honest in his songs is what gives them that extra punch of emotional impact.
Not all memories are good, but at least we have good country songs about memories to help make it all better.
Red Dirt Road by Brooks and Dunn
Do you remember the life lessons you learned in your youth? Where those memories took place? What made them lessons in the first place? What made them significant?
In Red Dirt Road by Brooks and Dunn, they sing of the lessons hidden throughout the memories of childhood and adolescence growing up out in the country.
This song warms the heart and taps the toes. For those who grew up out in the rural parts of town, this song will tug on your emotions with the most sentimental pull.
He Didn’t Have To Be by Brad Paisley
Childhood memories can sometimes go a little deeper than just recalling foolish choices and getting away with rowdy behavior. Sometimes those memories include parental figures that left a lasting impression on your life.
In He Didn’t Have To Be Brad Paisley recalls his mother back when she was living the single life trying to raise him. Eventually, she meets his step father, who turned out to be more of a father to him than his biological one.
With an emotional slow tempo, powerful lyrics, and that enticing slide guitar in the background, He Didn’t Have To Be is a bittersweet country song about memories from a step son’s perspective, of a man that showed him love when he didn’t have to.
As Good As I Once Was by Toby Keith
The older you get, the further you get from the prime of your life, but that doesn’t mean the ghost of your old self doesn’t still live in your mind and help you out now and again.
In As Good As I Once Was Toby Keith reminds us that even though age can hinder our physical capabilities in life, with a little help from the memories of our past selves, we can still rally with the youngins on occasion.
In pure Toby Keith fashion, this song is a comical take on reality for those of us who have aged out of our more athletic years, but are still open to getting back on the horse now and again.
Everyone gets older, making this a universal classic for people of all generations.
What Was I Thinking by Dierks Bentley
Picture a guy sitting around a table of friends sharing beers while he’s disclosing a story about one hell of a night with a girl he was interested in. That’s what you get from the high energy song What Was I Thinking by Dierks Bentley.
At 165 beats per minute, Bentley takes listeners on a high tempo ride as he recalls a recent night spent with a woman. The song hits the ground running as Bentley describes having to run away from the girl’s father upon picking her up for the evening.
Shortly after, he and his date find themselves in a whirlwind of risky business throughout the duration of the song, leading Bentley to admit in hindsight, he wasn’t really thinking at all, at least not about anything but her.
I love this song because it shows how fun it can be to look back on those nights when our younger, more naive selves tended to act a little more carelessly.
While it may not have seemed like a big deal in the moment, looking back we can’t help but laugh at the fact we got away with some of the shenanigans we pulled.
Ladies in the ‘90s by Lauren Alaina
Lauren Alaina won’t just take you back in time with her song ‘Ladies In The 90s, she’ll have you up on your feet dancing and singing into your hair brush.
Born in 1994, Alaina touches on all the songs she grew up on that shaped her music prowess. Subtle nods to some of the greats like Hit Me Baby One More Time, Strawberry Wine, and Cowboy Take Me Away creates a nostalgic chorus comprised of lyrical snippets from a variety of hit 90s tunes.
Ladies in the ‘90s is a clever country song about memories, particularly for all those 90s babies out there (myself included) who grew up in listening to the hits of that decade.
Memories Are Made Of by Luke Combs
Nothing beats the memories of being young, in love, fresh out of high school, with the whole world in front of you.
Luke Combs reminds us just what “Memories Are Made Of” in this feel good song about reminiscing the past. Luke narrates his young, wild nights with beers and friends, along with a temporary love he couldn’t manage to hold onto.
This song will definitely have you missing the younger years, but as Luke reminds us, those fleeting moments, both good and bad, are what memories are made of.
Using general imagery many of people can relate to, Combs made this song universal to anyone who experienced that first summer after high school graduation, or that first summer-only love.
Memories From The Past by Heidi Hauge
Sometimes lost love can haunt us like a ghost. In her song Memories From The Past, Heidi Hauge sings of the lover no longer in her life, but definitely still in her head.
Taking place at a bar they used to frequent, Hauge narrates in that classic country twang, experiencing visions of her past as if they are still happening; the band playing their favorite song, her ex lover sitting with her telling her they love her.
Sadly, as the chorus reminds us, all these visions are just memories from the past, materializing in her mind.
An oldie but a good, Memories From The Past is a great country song about memories. It’s classic country sound, use of slide guitar, and Heidi Hauge’s vocals with have you singing along in no time.
Mayberry by Rascal Flatts
In such a fast paced time like the present, sometimes it’s preferable to think back to the slower times of the past, and that’s exactly what Rascal Flatts does in their song Mayberry.
Written about a fictional town of Mayberry, North Carolina, this song touches on the very real memories that coincide with small town living; slow moving days where neighbors know each other well and make each other home made sweet tea.
This song is reminiscent of everything that was good back before the hustle and bustle of modern times took over.
In Color by Jamey Johnson
Memories and black and white photos go together like, well, memories and black and white photos.
In his song In Color, Jamey Johnson narrates going through old pictures with his grandfather. With each picture, his grandfather tells about the memory attached the photo, explaining that the picture may be worth a thousand words, but the experience is something entirely different.
This is easily one of my favorite country songs about memories, not just for its quality lyrics and storyline, but for its emotional and classic country blues sound. Jamey Johnson’s vocals compliment the words beautifully.
Wrapping It Up
Whether you’re looking back fondly on the warm memories of adolescence, recalling a wild Saturday night to entertain your friends with, or remembering moments of a lost love, memories are powerful things.
While memories may only be visions in our minds, they take a physical form every time someone puts them in a song. For that, we can thank country music for keeping the memories alive, and the music playing.
This article was written by Paige and edited by Michael.