Alright, we’re gonna add a little twang to the “7 Happy Songs” series (read the first two here and here). You’ll notice these songs are SLIGHTLY dated cuz my country phase peaked in about 2007. But they still have a place on my iPod, and I’ll tell you why.
1. “Find Out Who Your Friends Are” by Tracy Lawrence. I looovvvvve songs about friendship, and this one’s perfect with its fiddles and steel guitars. PLUS it features guest vocals from Tracy’s real-life friends, Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney!
2. “It’s a Great Day to Be Alive” by Travis Tritt. Sure, this song is goofy — with subpar lyrics and Travis literally howling on the bridge — but there’s NO WAY I’m not smiling when I hear this.
3. “American Honey” by Lady Antebellum. I will NEVER skip this song! It reminds me of road trips to Kansas with my parents. Love them. Love this. Perfect combo.
4. “Isn’t That Everything” by Danielle Peck. Maybe she’s not rich and famous, but “I know Jesus loves me up in that sky above me.” I like when a song reminds me to count my blessings.
5. “Mayberry” by Rascal Flatts is a throwback to the days of simple pleasures, none of which I remember because I was born in the 80s and I’ve never once watched The Andy Griffith Show. But I think we all ache for something pure and beautiful and uncomplicated. This songs nails it.
6. “It Just Comes Natural” by George Strait. King George strikes again! Those charming vocals and child-like lyrics make for a perfect little love song. Feel free to sing this to me anytime.
7. “Heart Like Mine” by Miranda Lambert. I think we’ve all got a little Miranda in us — a touch of rebel. (OK, more than a touch. Total depravity, people.) But this song, although wrong in some ways, has a hint of gospel that I love.
Honorable mentions include most anything from Martina McBride, Dixie Chicks (pre-Bush bashing), and Taylor Swift (pre-pop).