Roll your windows down and turn up your stereo because summer is coming and that means country music season! Nothing pairs better with a hot, sunny day than some Tim McGraw and Zac Brown Band, that's for sure. But, this summer I challenge you to do more than just jam to your tunes. Listen closely and see what you learn from the lyrics because country songs have some of the best life lessons. It's totally worth the extra focus. Here are a few songs you can start with!
1. "Humble and Kind" by Tim McGraw.
"Hold the door, say please, say thank you..."
From simple manners to the larger truths of life, Tim McGraw seriously hits the nail on the head with this one. Not only is this song hauntingly beautiful, it's also riddled with life lessons.
2. "Chicken Fried" by Zac Brown Band.
"It's funny how it's the little things in life that mean the most."
Raising our glasses and toasting to fried chicken may seem like it epitomizes America's glutenous tendencies, but this song is actually about appreciating the simplicity of life. Catchy, fun and all-American, this song is a feel good classic that reminds us to take a step back and admire the little things in life.
3. "Girl In A Country Song" by Maddie & Tae.
"I can slide on over, but you're gonna get slapped."
Girl power, right? There's something about listening to these girls go off about the stereotypes portrayed in country music these days that is extremely empowering. Hell yeah, "there aint no sugar for you in this shaker of mine." Stay strong, ladies!
4. "Bless The Broken Road" by Rascal Flatts.
"Others that broke my heart, they were like northern stars pointing me on my way."
As we grow up and mature, it's important to accept our mistakes, failures, shortcomings and the things that simply didn't work out. Everything that has happened to you has made you a better, smarter, stronger person, but most importantly, it's made you into you. In this song, Rascal Flatts takes his time to thank god for the things in his life that didn't work out because they lead him to where he is now. Truly inspiring, especially if things haven't been going your way.
5. "Before He Cheats" by Carrie Underwood.
"Maybe next time he'll think before he cheats."
This song passionately recaps the events that take place after a girl finds out her boyfriend cheated. Carrie teaches us that it's OK to be angry sometimes. In many situations, such as the one presented here, people are deserving of our rage. Maybe don't destroy a car (I usually use the "kill them with kindness" approach myself), but nonetheless, anger isn't always a negative emotion. Sometimes it helps us find peace in otherwise frustrating situations.
6. "I Loved Her First" by Heartland.
"A place in my heart will always be hers."
Just go listen to it because my words simply cannot do it justice. (P.S. Love you dad!)
7. "Meanwhile Back At Mama's" by Tim McGraw.
"I miss being somebody everybody knows there. Everybody knows everybody."
Another heart-wrenching one about the importance of home and family. In this song, Tim McGraw sings about returning to his hometown. His story serves as a reminder to everyone about what's truly important. (Hint: Something about supper on the stove, beer in the fridge and being surrounded by family.)
8. "Let It Go" by Zac Brown Band.
"Save your strength for things that you can change, forgive the ones you can't"
Learn to let it go, fam. Here, Zac Brown Band sings about the lessons he learned from his father. That being said, the life lessons described here are pretty self explanatory. Overall, accept what life throws your way and remember that, despite anything, life goes on.
9. "Smoke Break "by Carrie Underwood.
"He's a big city, hardworking man just trying to climb the ladder."
I don't generally support things that endorse unhealthy habits, but Underwood is (as usual) the exception. I don't think this song is as much about smoking cigs and taking shots as it is about letting yourself relax. It's important to take the pressure off ourselves every once and a while.
10. "You're Gonna Miss This" by Trace Adkins.
"I got two babies of my own - one's 36, one's 23."
If this doesn't make you cry, you may be heartless. Another song that helps listeners recognize the importance of staying in the present. Instead of getting caught up in your own future, take a step back and enjoy what's going on right now. Because guess what? You're probably gonna miss this.