Country music and crying go hand in hand like ketchup and french fries, so we figured we’d list our 10 favorite country songs about crying. From legends like Roy Orbison to modern artists like Sugarland, the best country songs about crying are all sad in their own ways.
Johnny Cash made his career off the song “Cry! Cry! Cry!,” a song he wrote overnight when record executives told him they needed something a little more memorable. If not for this song, he may have never become one of the most famous country singers of all time. Let us know what your favorite country song about crying is in the comments, especially if we didn’t include it on our top 10 list.
1. Roy Orbison- Crying
“Crying” by Roy Orbison is not only one of the best country songs of all time, but one of the best songs every written period. Released in 1962, “Crying” is a country ballad about running into your ex-lover and feeling devastated because the memories come flooding back- “But, darling, what can I do? / For you don’t love me / And I’ll always be crying over you / Crying over you.”
2. Willie Nelson- Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain
Originally performed by country legend Roy Acuff, “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” was made famous when Willie Nelson recorded it in 1975 for his Red Headed Stranger album. The song kick-started Nelson’s career as a country superstar, as previously he was more known as a prolific writer.
3. Johnny Cash- Cry! Cry! Cry!
If you’re a big fan of Johnny Cash, you know that “Cry! Cry! Cry!” was his first successful song that helped launch his career (that fact is mentioned several times in the 2005 movie Walk the Line.) The narrator of the song is distressed that his woman is going out at night and behaving in a less than savory manner, hanging with sugar daddies and sleeping around- “Everybody knows where you go when the sun goes down / I think you only live to see the lights of town / I wasted my time when I would try, try, try / ‘Cause when the lights have lost their glow you’ll cry, cry, cry.”
4. Faith Hill- Cry
A beautiful cover by Faith Hill, “Cry” won her a Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance in 2003. The song was originally written and recorded by Angie Aparo in 1999 for his album The American. The narrator of the song is heartbroken after giving so much love and not receiving any back, begging her partner to cry just a little so she feels like she is getting some in return- “If I had just one tear running down your cheek / Maybe I could cope maybe I’d get some sleep / If I had just one moment at your expense / Maybe all my misery would be well spent.”
5. Brooks & Dunn- Cowgirls Don’t Cry
From their 2008 album Cowboy Town, “Cowgirls Don’t Cry” by Brooks & Dunn is about a tough woman who always held back tears in her life, despite her hardships. The first verse depicts her falling off her pony, the second her husband cheating on her, and the final her father dying, as he tells her “cowgirl don’t cry.” The song was re-recorded as a duet with Reba McEntire just a month after it’s release.
6. Keith Urban – Tonight I Wanna Cry
A soft piano ballad, “Tonight I Wanna Cry” by Keith Urban can be found on his 2004 album Be Here. The narrator of the song is heartbroken over losing a loved one, either due to death or a break up- “I’ve never been the kind to ever let my feelings show / And I thought that bein’ strong meant never losin’ your self-control / But I’m just drunk enough to let go of my pain / To hell with my pride, let it fall like rain.”
7. Restless Heart- I Want Everyone To Cry
Wouldn’t it be great if the entire world was as sad as you were while going through a rough time? That’s the concept of Restless Heart’s “I Want Everyone To Cry,” found on their self-titled album from 1985- “I want everyone who hears this song to cry / Maybe I’ll get over her if the whole world helps me try.” How selfish of you Restless Heart!
8. Brenda Lee- The Crying Game
Originally written by Geoff Stephens and recorded by English artist Dave Berry, Brenda Lee was the first artist to cover the song in 1965 (Boy George eventually went on to record a famous rendition of the song in 1992.) The narrator of the song describes how unfortunately familiar they are with crying- “First there are kisses / Then there are sighs / And then before / You know where you are / You’re sayin’ goodbye.”
9. Sugarland- I Won’t Cry
Although many of the songs on this list are about crying due to heartbreak, the narrator in Sugarland’s “I Won’t Cry” decides to take a stand on shedding tears for someone who isn’t worth it- “I won’t cry for you / I won’t lie for you / I won’t waste another day / Wonderin’ how to make you stay / I’ve been a fool ’til now but now I’m through / Baby I won’t cry for you.”
10. Linda Ronstadt- Don’t Cry Now
A wonderful ballad by Linda Ronstadt, Don’t Cry Now is the title song from her 1973 album of the same name (her first released on Asylum Records.) The narrator encourages the listener to keep their chin up, no matter what kind of pain they may be going through- “When you’re lying alone in the night time / And your loneliness turns into fear / With the words of your memory failing and falling / You’re drowning in a river of tears / But don’t cry now.”