Top 20 Country Music Love Songs of the 1980s

From Willie Nelson to Dolly Parton

Country music in the 1980s was the era of Urban Cowboy - the movie that started the craze, and really brought country music to the forefront. Stars such as Anne Murray, Willie Nelson, Eddie Rabbit, George Jones, Alabama, Dolly Parton and others were heard on the radio. I've combed through several resources of songs that were Number One hits in the 1980s, and picked 20 of my favorites.

"The Sweetest Thing (I've Ever Known)" - Juice Newton

Juice Newton - Anthology
Juice Newton - Anthology. Capitol Records

In "The Sweetest Thing (I've Ever Known)" Juice Newton sings of a couple that have been together for a long while, but they're just in love as they were long ago. The woman claims that loving her man is the sweetest thing she's ever known.

Romantic Lyric:
"I remember all the laughter and the tears we shared last night. And as we lie here, just two shadows in the light before the dawn, the sweetest thing I've ever known is loving you."

From the Album Anthology

"Timber, I'm Falling In Love" - Patty Loveless

Definitive Collection - Patty Loveless
Definitive Collection - Patty Loveless. MCA Nashville

Patty Loveless sings of being swept off her feet in "Timber, I'm Falling in Love."

Romantic Lyric:
"You're so pretty, look so sweet. Your love's sweepin' me off of my feet. You're the only one I'm dreamin' of. I can't believe that I'm falling in love."

From the Album The Definitive Collection

"I Fell In Love Again Last Night" - Forester Sisters

The Forester Sisters - 'Greatest Hits'
The Forester Sisters - 'Greatest Hits'. Warner Brothers

In "I Fell In Love Again Last Night," the Forester Sisters sing about a couple that keeps rediscovering their love. The lady says that everything her guy does just makes her keep falling in love all over again.

Romantic Lyric:
"When you kissed me the way you've always done, like the first time you were with me, and my heart just came undone. Lying here this morning, boy, I know you're still the one."


"You Look So Good In Love" - George Strait

George Strait - 'Strait Out of the Box'
George Strait - 'Strait Out of the Box'. MCA Nashville

In "You Look So Good In Love," George Strait sings the song of a man who sees his ex with her new guy, and he realizes that the new guy must be doing something right, because his ex never looked more beautiful. She looks at her new guy with love in her eyes, and he wishes she would still look at him that way.

Romantic Lyric:
"Oh how you sparkle, and oh how you shine. That flush on your cheeks is more than the wine. And he must do something that I didn't do. Whatever he's doing, it looks good on you."

From the Album

"You And I" - Eddie Rabbitt & Crystal Gayle

Eddie Rabbitt - 'Greatest Hits'
Eddie Rabbitt - 'Greatest Hits'. Capitol

Eddie Rabbitt and Crystal Gayle sing this beautiful song about a couple that is building their dreams together. They believe that their reward is to have each other. Lovely song.

Romantic Lyric:
"Just you and I, sharing our love together. And I know in time, we'll build the dreams we treasure."


"The Closer You Get" - Alabama

Alabama - 'Essential Alabama'
Alabama - 'Essential Alabama'. RCA Nashville

In "The Closer You Get," Alabama sings about a couple, where the man tells his lady that he's falling hard for her, the closer she gets to him.

Romantic Lyric:
"Could I be dreamin'? Is this really real? 'Cause there's something magic the way that I feel in your arms tonight."


"I Couldn't Leave You If I Tried" - Rodney Crowell

Rodney Crowell - 'Diamonds and Dirt'
Rodney Crowell - 'Diamonds and Dirt'. Sony BMG

Rodney Crowell sings in "I Couldn't Leave You If I Tried" about a man that tells his lady that no matter what he may say or do, he could never leave her. She can trust that he'll always be there.

Romantic Lyric:
"Years may come and friends may go but that's OK. Darlin' you're the only one I need to stay. I know I said I never would be satisified. Baby I lied I couldn't leave you if I tried."

From the Album Diamonds & Dirt

"Close Enough to Perfect" - Alabama

Alabama - Livin', Lovin', Rockin', Rollin': The 25th Anniversary Collection
Alabama - Livin', Lovin', Rockin', Rollin': The 25th Anniversary Collection. RCA

In "Close Enough to Perfect" Alabama sings about a man that realizes that his lady isn't perfect, but she's close enough to perfect for him.

Romantic Lyric:
"Well sometimes she gets down and starts to cry. But then again a lady has a right. She's everything I ever wanted, she's all I'll ever need. She's close enough to perfect for me."

From the Album

"I Always Get Lucky With You" - George Jones

George Jones - '16 Biggest Hits'
George Jones - '16 Biggest Hits'. Epic/Legacy

George Jones sings in this song about having ups and downs, but when he's with his lady, he always feels lucky, in "I Always Get Lucky With You."

Romantic Lyric:
"I've had good days, and bad days, but when the day is through, I always get lucky with you."


"Always on My Mind" - Willie Nelson

Always On My Mind - Willie Nelson
Always On My Mind - Willie Nelson. Legacy Recordings

In "Always on My Mind," Willie Nelson tells the story of a man who realizes that he's treated his lady like she was second best, and he apologizes, saying that she was always on his mind.

Romantic Lyric:
"If I made you feel second best, girl I'm sorry I was blind. You were always on my mind."

From the Album Always on My Mind

"I Still Believe in You" - Vince Gill

I Still Believe in You - Vince Gill
I Still Believe in You - Vince Gill. MCA Nashville

In "I Still Believe in You," Vince Gill sings about a relationship on the rocks. The man realizes that he's put his lady last on his list, and he apologizes, telling her nothing is worth losing her.

Romantic Lyric:
"I still believe in you, with a love that will always be standing so strong and true. Baby, I still believe in you and me."

From the Album I Still Believe in You

"Love in the First Degree" - Alabama

In The Mood: The Love Songs
In The Mood: The Love Songs - Alabama. RCA Nashville

Alabama sings the song of a man who recognizes that he's truly in love with his lady, and he asks her to lock him away and throw away the key, because he's guilty of "Love in the First Degree."

Romantic Lyric:
"Now babe, I'm not beggin' for mercy. Go ahead and throw the book at me. If lovin' you's a crime, I know that I'm as guilty as a man can be."

From the Album In the Mood: The Love Songs

"I Will Always Love You" - Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton - Love Songs
Dolly Parton - Love Songs. Sony Legacy

In "I Will Always Love You," Dolly Parton sings about a couple where they know they don't really belong together, and the woman tells the man that she'll always love him and wish him the best.

Romantic Lyric:
"Oh, I do wish you joy, and I wish you happiness. But above all this, I wish you love."

From the Album Love Songs

"My Only Love" - Statler Brothers

The Statler Brothers - 'Greatest Hits'
The Statler Brothers - 'Greatest Hits'. Mercury Nashville

The Statler Brothers sing this lovely wedding song from a man's point of view. He says that he's so lucky to have her, and he'll always remember this day, and he thanks the Lord for having her in his life.

Romantic Lyric:
"You and I were meant for one another. Today we'll join our hearts eternally. And this moment I'll always remember all the words that mean so much to me."


"When You Say Nothing At All" - Keith Whitley

Keith Whitley - '16 Biggest Hits'
Keith Whitley - '16 Biggest Hits'. Legacy Recordings

In "When You Say Nothing At All", Keith Whitley sings that his lady shows him she loves him, even without her saying a word.

Romantic Lyric:
"The smile on your face lets me know that you need me. There's a truth in your eyes sayin' you'll never leave me. The touch of your hand says you'll catch me if ever I fall. You say it best when you say nothing at all."

From the Album 16 Biggest Hits

"Forever and Ever, Amen" - Randy Travis

Very Best of Randy Travis - Randy Travis
Very Best of Randy Travis - Randy Travis. Rhino

In "Forever and Ever, Amen," Randy Travis sings a man's praises about his lady. He tells her he'll love her as long as old men sit and talk about the weather, and as long as old women sit and talk about old men. He says even if her hair all falls out, he'll still love her, 'cuz he ain't in love with her hair, but he's in love with her.

Romantic Lyric:
"If you wonder how long I'll be faithful. I'll be happy to tell you again. I'm gonna love you forever & ever, forever & ever, amen."

From the Album "The Very Best of Randy Travis"

"Could I Have This Dance" - Anne Murray

Anne Murray - 'The Best, So Far'
Anne Murray - 'The Best, So Far'. Capitol

One of my very favorite songs from the movie Urban Cowboy has to be Anne Murray's "Could I Have This Dance." The song tells the story of a groom asking his bride for their first dance at their wedding.

Romantic Lyric:
"Could I have this dance for the rest of my life? Could you be my partner, every night? When we're together, it feels so right. Could I have this dance for the rest of my life?"


"I'll Still Be Loving You" - Restless Heart

Restless Heart - 'Greatest Hits'
Restless Heart - 'Greatest Hits'. RCA Nashville

Restless Heart sings one of the prettiest wedding love songs with "I'll Still Be Loving You". The song sings of promises of loving someone forever.

Romantic Lyric:
"Never before, did I know how loving someone could be. Now I can see you and me, for a lifetime."


"Feels So Right" - Alabama

Alabama - 'For the Record: 41 Number One Hits'
Alabama - 'For the Record: 41 Number One Hits'. RCA Nashville

Alabama's "Feels So Right" tells the story of lovers doing what lovers do.

Romantic Lyric:
"Your body feels so gentle and my passion rises high. You're lovin' me so easy. Your wish is my command."

From the Album

"He Stopped Loving Her Today" - George Jones

George Jones - 'Hits I Missed, and One I Didn't'
George Jones - 'Hits I Missed, and One I Didn't'. Bandit Records

George Jones' "He Stopped Loving Her Today" is considered one of the best country songs ever. It tells the story of a man who is no longer with the love of his life, but he tells her he will love her until he dies. And that's exactly what happens in the song.

Romantic Lyric:
"He stopped loving her today. They placed a wreath upon his door. And soon they'll carry him away. He stopped loving her today."

From the Album Hits I Missed and One I Didn't