Chances are if you grew up in a small town in the Midwest, country music was at least somewhat popular if it wasn’t the preferred music genre in your town. In my small Ohio town, country music was pretty popular. Through middle school and high school I remained adamant that I definitely did not like country music. How could I be the small town girl who wanted to get the hell out of this town and make something of herself in a big city if I liked Zac Brown Band?
Well, I did leave my small town and I have been thriving in Chicago. However, when that nostalgia hits I somehow find my way to the country music section of Spotify. I may never want to live in a small town ever again, but when I’m pining for the simplicity of being a kid in a small town again, country music is definitely the cure.
Here are my 10 favorite songs to listen to when I’m feeling nostalgic:
1. “Homegrown” by Zac Brown Band
This upbeat song always is usually the first one I look up when I dive back into the country genre.
2. “Raised on It” by Sam Hunt
A good bop to remind small-town kids just how they grew up and that not everything about it was that bad. Also, Sam Hunt is really cute.
3. “Cop Car” by Keith Urban
Okay, so I always told myself that even with my “I want to be a big city girl and let go of my small town roots so I can’t like country music” mindset I can still like Keith Urban songs. This is because he’s actually Australian! Either way, this song is great and perfect when I miss the days of small-town adventures.
4. “Marry Me” by Thomas Rhett
Thomas Rhett is another country cutie. Plus, he and his wife are relationship goals. This song really has nothing to do with my childhood in a small town but I had to put Thomas Rhett on this list. I debated between this song and “Unforgettable”…okay let’s be honest, “Unforgettable” will probably be on this list at some point.
5. “Wagon Wheel” by Darius Rucker
There is a sports bar that’s down the road from the town I grew up in and my family and I often frequent there karaoke night. When I’m home I look forward to Friday nights there. Country music is the genre that the karaoke singers pick from and I feel like this song is sung pretty much every time I’m there and I’m totally okay with it.
6. “Chicken Fried” by Zac Brown Band
This song just had to be on this list. How could it not be? It’s a classic and I feel like this song brings out my small town side the most. It’s a really fun song and you can’t not sing it when it comes on the radio.
7. “Follow Your Arrow” by Kacey Musgraves
I love this song. It’s a song that basically tells you to do whatever the hell you want and not to care what other people think.
8. “Leave the Night On” by Sam Hunt
I had to throw another Sam Hunt song on this list. Mainly because the beginning of this song is hella relatable if you grew up in small town. “They roll the sidewalks in this town all up after the sun goes down. They say nothin’ good happens here when midnight rolls around.” One of the strangest things I noticed when I moved to Chicago was how late everything was open until! You mean this entire city doesn’t shut down at 9 PM?
9. “All-American Girl” by Carrie Underwood
I loved Carrie Underwood when I was growing up. She has such an amazing voice and this song is one my favorite songs by her.
10. “Unforgettable” by Thomas Rhett
I told you this song would make it on this list.
There are many other country songs that I find myself listening to once I dive into the genre on Spotify. I have a friend who always likes to tell me that I like country music. However, while I’m well aware that you can live in a big city and still love country music and I am remaining firm in my belief that I don’t actually like country music I just listen to it for nostalgia purposes.
Okay… maybe I’m lying to myself.
Check out these songs on this playlist.