A Country Music Conversation: Sirius Top 1000 Country Songs of All Time, #810-#801

Misheard lyrics make a classic on this part of the list even more fun to listen to.


Ned Miller, “From a Jack to a King”

#2 | 1962

JK: A stone cold classic that doesn’t… wait for it… wait for it… overplay its hand. About Right

KJC:  I learned so many classic country songs for the first time from hearing Ricky Van Shelton cover them.  This is a good one.  About Right


Trace Adkins, “(This Ain’t) No Thinkin’ Thing”

#1 | 1997

KJC:  Not nearly as clever as “Nobody in His Right Mind Would’ve Left Her.” He has so many worthy songs excluded, too. Trade this one out for “Arlington” or “I’m Tryin’.”  So Wrong (This Song)

JK: Presages the anti-intellectualism of contemporary country in ways that were all too predictable, and not one of Adkins’ better performances. So Wrong (Doesn’t Belong)


Tim McGraw, “Watch the Wind Blow By”

#1 | 2003

JK: Another McGraw hit that I have no recollection of ever hearing. So Wrong (Doesn’t Belong)

KJC:  Not a fan of the Dancehall Doctors set.  So Wrong (Doesn’t Belong)


Sawyer Brown, “Thank God For You”

#1 | 1993

KJC:  Put aside his poppin’ fresh dance moves and you’re still left with a song that’s a total winner.  About Right

JK: As we said when they popped up the first time, their ballads were their finest moments and should be included here, but I also think this is the best of their uptempo hits. Too Low


Lonestar, “What About Now”

#1 | 2000

JK: Fine enough, I suppose, but hardly essential. Sort of like Lonestar, period. So Wrong (Doesn’t Belong)

KJC:  They’re not overrepresented so much as oddly represented.  Swap this one out for “Everything’s Changed” or “No News.” So Wrong (This Song)


Jim Ed Brown & Helen Cornelius, “I Don’t Want to Have to Marry You”

#1 | 1976

KJC:  It was a little dated even in 1976, but it’s still a classic after all these years.  About Right

JK: The career arcs for Brown and Cornelius were strange, in that they were always more successful together than solo. This all-timer of a duet, though, shows why that was the case. About Right


Eli Young Band, “Drunk Last Night”

#3 | 2013

JK: This band lost the plot after their cover of “Even If It Breaks Your Heart.” So Wrong (Doesn’t Belong)

KJC:  I like the songwriting here a lot.  I wish the arrangement was a little slower, as the driving beat undermines the vulnerability of the lyric.  So Wrong (Doesn’t Belong)


The Kentucky Headhunters, “Dumas Walker”

#15 | 1990

KJC:  One of those songs where discovering the misheard lyrics elevates it, instead of ruining it. (I’m looking at you, Robert Christgau, for defiling “Boulder to Birmingham.”) About Right

JK: A band that Nashville never truly knew what to do with and certainly wouldn’t know what to do with now. Perhaps I’m biased because they’re local, but I love this oft-misunderstood song about Miss Walker. About Right


Kenny Chesney, “You Save Me”

#3 | 2006

JK: As with many of Chesney’s songs, I’m sure I’d prefer it if were re-recorded by a competent vocalist. It’s a well-written cut, for what it’s worth. Too High

KJC:  I like Chesney well enough.  But how they managed to include 28 (!) singles on this list and still skip over most of his best ones is beyond me. I love The Road and The Radio album, and its lead single, “Who You’d Be Today,” should be on this list. So Wrong (This Song)


The Statler Brothers, “Bed of Rose’s”

#9 | 1970

KJC:  Meanwhile, the Statler Brothers have four songs on this list.  That’s 1/7 of the Chesney representation. All of their entries are classics.  Several more classics are missing. “Class of ’57,” anyone??? Too Low

JK: I cannot think of any recent top 10 hits that presented such a potential challenge to the audience. “Flowers On the Wall” is their bigger hit, but this is the Statlers’ best single. Too Low

Previous: #820-#811 | Next: #800-#791


  1. I like “What About Now” and “No Thinkin’ Thing” but i can’t see them included here (or a great many other songs on this sirius list). Saw Lonestar and Jamie “There Is No Arizona” O’Neal at the Bloomsburg Fair in ’01 and Trace w Diamond Rio at the BF in ’02. Trace was better than I expected but he started losing me when he released that honky badonk garbage. Richie McDonald and Jamie O were great.

    Like Statler’s “Bed of Roses” but never got to see the Statlers in concert. One of the Statlers was part of the audience at a Suzy Bogguss show held at the Shakespeare Theatre in Staunton, VA in 2004.

    RIP Jim Croce – 9/20/73

  2. “Bed Of Rose’s” was a pretty great song. I may have missed it, but is “Hello, Mary Lou” anywhere on here?

    I didn’t buy the Tim McGraw album and wasn’t a fan of the song mentioned here, but the other singles from it were pretty decent. I am still bitter about his self-titled first album not gaining any traction at radio.

    I really, really like “I Don’t Want to Have To Marry You.” Brown’s and Cornelius’ harmonies were just gorgeous on that song, right up there with all those George Jones/Melba Montgomery duets.

  3. I feel like I know every Tim McGraw single, yet I’m with Jonathan: I don’t remember this song at all and that’s crazy with McGraw. So puzzling to see its inclusion on the list. Also just want to say I’m enjoying reading this feature (it’s such a big undertaking too!) and keep up the great work guys!

  4. Kentucky Headhunters were country music’s great opportunity lost and probably a rebuke to Alabama (who I love anyway). They were a sonic evolution – nothing sounded like them. Remember how the Judds had a sound? Great songs, but you knew instantly they were the Judds? That was the Headhunters. Too bad. This song is far too low.

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