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Country Valentines' Classics - Country Valentines' Classics

2006-03-30 15:34

Dolly Parton - I will Always Love You
The original number one most fantastic version - not the Whitney Houston debacle. Even more famous because Dolly used to close her weekly TV show with this. The opening verse was actually spoken, and by the time she broke into the chorus, there was nary a dry eye in the house.

If I should stay
Well, I would only be in your way
And so I'll go, and yet I know
That I'll think of you each step of my way
And I will always love you
I will always love you
Bitter-sweet memories
That's all I have, and all I'm taking with me
Good-bye, oh, please don't cry
'cause we both know that I'm not
What you need

Patsy Cline - I Fall to Pieces
Though it's a song about seeing a former lover, it really is a thinly-veiled song of desperate longing. Or something. Patsy swerved easily between Country and popular music during her short career, but this is a great example of her amazing vocal character.

I fall to pieces
Each time I see you again
I fall to pieces
How can I be just your friend

You want me to act like we've never kissed
You want me to forget, pretend we've never met
And I've tried and I've tried but I haven't yet
You walk by, and I fall to pieces

Willie Nelson - Crazy

Yes, Patsy Cline made it famous, but it's often forgotten that Willie wrote it. And it seems fair to credit him with this eternally popular song in this list, especially since few people have had the sand to appear at Woodstock with an eight-piece dirt floor, skiffle band.

I'm crazy
crazy for feeling so lonely
I'm crazy
crazy for feeling so blue
I know
you'd love me as long as you wanted
then someday
leave me for somebody new

Johnny Cash and June Carter - Ring of Fire
By now it's a staple of any country performance, but it was Cash and co-writer June Carter's very own. The song itself cleverly suggests that love is hell, and who could argue?

Love is a burning thing
and it makes a fiery ring
bound by wild desire
I fell in to a ring of fire...

I fell in to a burning ring of fire
I went down, down, down
and the flames went higher.
And it burns, burns, burns
the ring of fire
the ring of fire.

Clint Black with Lisa Hartman Black - When I Said I do
Though more contemporary than others on this list, the Blacks carry on a fine tradition of real-life same- surname couples popularising duets. Or at least they share a surname now. Which must mean something.

Well this old world keeps changin', and the world stays the same
For all who came before, and it goes hand and hand
Only you and I can undo all that we became
That makes us so much more, than a woman and a man
And after everything that comes and goes around
Has only passed us by, here alone in our dreams
I know there's a lonely heart in every lost and found
But forever you and I will be the ones
Who found out what forever means

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

Leann Rhimes - How do I Live Without You
She's recognised as a country artist, but this crossover hit, recorded by at least five hundred other artists at the same time, deserves a place here, if only because Rimes' version is the one most people remember.

How do I, Get through the night without you?
If I had to live without you,
What kind of life would that be?
Oh, I need you in my arms, need you to hold,
You're my world, my heart, my soul,
If you ever leave,
Baby you would take away everything good in my life,

And tell me now
How do I live without you?
I want to know,
How do I breathe without you?
If you ever go,
How do I ever, ever survive?
How do I, how do I, oh how do I live?

Hank Williams Jr - Love Sick Blues
The second of three generations in a legendary Country family, Hank done sang hisself this here song about a girl who couldn't care less about his sorry bacon.

Well, I'm in love, I'm in love, with a beautiful gal
that's what's the matter with me
Well, I'm in love, I'm in love, with a beautiful gal
But she don't care about me

Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers - Islands in the Stream
Believe it or not, one of the most requested songs at squishy mushy weddings. And cheesy retro parties. Also notable for the fact that the singers are known for their trademark body parts. Kenny's beard, and Dolly's... curly blonde hair.

Baby, when I met you there was peace unknown
I set out to get you with a fine tooth comb
I was soft inside, there was somethin' going on
You do something to me that I can't explain
Hold me closer and I feel no pain
Every beat of my heart
We got somethin' goin' on
Tender love is blind
It requires a dedication
All this love we feel
Needs no conversation
We ride it together, ah-ah
Makin' love with each other, ah-ah

Chuck Norris - Eyes of a Ranger
Penned by country writer of note Tirk Wilder, the opening theme to hit series Walker Texas Ranger (and love song to criminals, horse-wranglers and gunslingers) contains the immortal lines:

When you're in Texas look behind you
Cos that's where a ranger's gonna be

- Anton Marshall

Country music, mournful as it is, has its share of tearjerking love songs. Here are some of the best for you to try on your sweetheart.
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