Beyond I Do: 6 Country Songs That Affirm a Lasting Marriage

Beyond I Do: 6 Country Songs That Affirm a Lasting Marriage

Last update on June 13, 2013.

Many of today’s country musicians offer a look, sound, and music video just slightly backwoods of the Top 40 charts. But the genre tends to embrace its artists through the decades, giving listeners the advantage of hearing about marriages as they mature over the years.  While some of country’s best known standards denounce “Your Cheating Heart” and ask “Who’s Cheatin’ Who”, let’s take a look at some songs affirming--not just healthy marriage--but actions that can preserve them.

6. Love Song—Miranda Lambert

“I was standing there cryin’ in the kitchen

It’s been one of those mornings that’s gonna last all day

And he comes in, wraps his arms around me

And I don’t even have to say a thing

That’s what makes it love

That’s what makes it a love song”

While sometimes we only want to talk about the challenges faced by married couples, with simple lyrics and a simple melody, the now Mrs. Shelton reminds us that  the companionship and knowledge of your spouse in a good marriage can help get you through hard days.  An added bonus is that she wrote the song with then-fiancee Blake Shelton, and one can only hope it served as a form of premarital counseling for the pair.

5. When I Said I Do—Clint Black

“When I said I do, I meant that I will

Til' the end of all time

Be faithful and true, devoted to you

That's what I had in mind, when I said I do

Well this whole world keeps changin'

And the world stays the same

For all who came before

And it goes hand in hand

Only you and I can undo

All that we became

That makes us so much more

Than a woman and a man”

Clint and his wife Lisa Hartman-Black recorded this ballad after about 8 years of marriage.  I love how it speaks of the timeless quality of marriage in a world of shifting values.  They also reference the sanctifying power of marriage and the way they, as a couple, have become more than just the sum of their individuality.

4.  One Woman—The Randy Rogers Band

“Well back when I was selfish

I thought I needed more

But that road led me nowhere

And I closed that door

And now I love for

One woman, you, for me

I know that you’re all I’ll ever need

Forever beside you, spending my life loving

One woman”

With Texas country’s contribution to the list, Randy may be interpreted as singing about renouncing infidelity in a relationship.  However, I also see in these lyrics a rebuke of today’s culture’s putting off of marriage to have your fun first—showing that wild “free” living is ultimately unfulfilling and that true contentment is found in commitment.

3. Keep On Lovin’ You—Reba McEntire

“Lord knows we've had our share of fights

Our sleepless nights, our ups and downs

We've had plenty and then some of baby I'm gones and turnarounds

Sometimes I swear it might be easier to throw in the towel

Someday we're gonna look back

Say look at us now

That's why I keep on lovin' you”

As a woman who’s been married for over two decades, Queen Reba knows that a marriage between two imperfect people does not always look like a fairy tale, but that looking (and committing) to a shared future helps carry a couple through the hard times.  Another thing that stands out in this song is that love is not simply an emotion, but an action often one of perseverance and self-sacrifice in order to preserve the marriage.

2. Forever and Ever Amen—Randy Travis

“They say time takes its toll on a body

Makes a young girls brown hair turn gray

Honey I don't care I ain't in love with your hair

And if it all fell out well I’d love you anyway

They say time can play tricks on a memory

Make people forget things they knew

Well it's easy to see it's happenin’ to me

I've already forgotten every woman but you”

In the happiest song on the list, Randy Travis promises love forever and emphasizes the committed nature of authentic love. Such a forever (and ever amen!) love sticks around regardless of circumstantial details, including the inevitable physical changes over time or other surprises over the years.

1. Lee Brice—Love Like Crazy

“Be a best friend, tell the truth, and overuse ‘I Love You’

Go to work, do your best, don't outsmart your common sense

Never let your prayin' knees get lazy

And love like crazy”

This hit about a 58-year marriage speaks for itself (the song explicitly states that the chorus is based on a true story). It’s even more beautiful when you learn that it was based off the 50+ year marriage of Brice’s grandparents.  Billboard’s #1 country song of 2010, “Love Like Crazy” spent 55 weeks on the charts--suggesting that we are hungry for marriage-affirming messages, even in our music.

These 6 were my choices, but I would love to hear your thoughts. Bonus points if you recommend a song I haven’t heard before.

Media:
Sandra Steinbacher

Sandi Steinbacher is a single 20-something in Houston, Texas who loves two-stepping and makes friends with every baby she sees. You can follow her @me_llamo_sandi.

Comments

  1. Adam Moore

    Adam Moore on 06/13/2013 3:01 p.m. #

    Excellent article! Great songs to show how marriages can be successful and fruitful. A couple of songs that I would add, but they could fall more under just a country love song.

    Trace Adkins: For the rest of mine. Great song about love and how marriage should be until death do you part.

    Diamond Rio: Meet in the middle, I believe marriage is about compromise and not letting pride or selfish desires get in the way.

    Keith Whitley or Alison Krauss: When you say nothing at all. In a marriage, the couple should be able to know each other well enough to read their spouse's mind.

    These are the humble thoughts of a young single man who is wanting to experience love the way God intended it to be.

  2. Sandi

    Sandi on 06/13/2013 3:14 p.m. #

    Adam, Never heard the Trace Adkins song, so you do indeed get bonus points!!

    A song I thought of after submitting the article was Josh Turner's "Time Is Love"--he talks about while it is important to make money and provide for your family, being there for and with them takes priority over always going after more. I also love Josh's quote, when asked why his wife starred in the "Your Man" video, he said that having anyone else play his love interest would be embarassing.

  3. Adam Moore

    Adam Moore on 06/13/2013 3:27 p.m. #

    Sandi, I am glad to receive bonus points! :) I didn't think about "Time Is Love". That is a great song and that is an interesting quote about the video of "Your Man". That shows true love, sort of reminds me of Kirk Cameron stating that he wouldn't kiss anyone but his wife in the movie, "Fireproof".

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