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Texas is the second-largest state in the U.S. Austin, Texas is not just the state’s capital, but it is known as the world’s live music capital. So it comes as no surprise that many songs are dedicated to this beautiful southern (or southwestern) state.
By listening to some of these songs, you can get an idea of what Texas is like, even if you’ve never visited. In this article, we share with you the 12 most famous songs about Texas.
What You Will Learn
- 12 Songs About Texas
- 1. “Amarillo Sky” by McBride & The Ride
- 2. “All My Ex’s Live in Texas” by George Strait
- 3. “Texas, Our Texas!” by William J. Marsh and Gladys Yoakum Wright
- 4. “El Paso” by Marty Robbins
- 5. “Rodeo” by Garth Brooks
- 6. “Galveston” by Glen Campbell
- 7. “Austin” by Blake Shelton
- 8. “If You’re Gonna Play in Texas” by Alabama
- 9. “Too Far From Texas” by Stevie Nicks
- 10. “London Homesick Blues” by Jerry Jeff Walker
- 11. “Texas (When I Die)” by Tanya Tucker
- 12. “She’s Like Texas” by Josh Abbott Band
- Final Thoughts on Songs About Texas
12 Songs About Texas
According to the Austin Chronicle, there were more than 3,500 songs about the Lone Star State back in 2003, and we can only assume that number has grown. Let’s check out the best ones:
1. “Amarillo Sky” by McBride & The Ride
“He just takes the tractor another round
And pulls the plow across the ground,
He says, “Lord, I never complain, I never ask why,
But please, don’t let my dreams run dry
Underneath, underneath this Amarillo sky.”
The song revolves around a farmer somewhere near Amarillo, Texas. The farm has been in his family for generations, and he prays he’ll be able to continue with the tradition. The song describes the hardships Texan farmers are faced with all the time. It mentions hail, drought, diesel prices, and cheap grain and highlights the farmer’s effort and persistence.
2. “All My Ex’s Live in Texas” by George Strait
“All my exes live in Texas,
And Texas is a place I’d dearly love to be,
But all my exes live in Texas,
And that’s why I hang my hat in Tennessee.”
The narrator jumps to the point right at the beginning of the song: He grew up in Texas, and he loves it. But unfortunately for him, he has many ex-girlfriends who are probably not happy, and they all live in Texas. He says that even though he would love to return to Texas, he can’t because of the exes. Instead, he now lives in Tennessee and keeps dreaming of his home.
3. “Texas, Our Texas!” by William J. Marsh and Gladys Yoakum Wright
“Texas, O Texas! Your freeborn single star
Sends out its radiance to nations near and far.
Emblem of freedom! It sets our hearts aglow,
With thoughts of San Jacinto and glorious Alamo.”
This song has been the state’s official song since 1929. It reflects one of the most important events in the state’s history: The Texas Revolution. One turning point was the Battle of the Alamo, where a small group of Texans fought the Mexicans. Although the Texans lost, this event became a symbol of resistance. The decisive battle that eventually led to Texas becoming independent happened in San Jacinto, near today’s Pasadena, which is why it’s mentioned in this song.
The “freeborn single star” references the Texan flag that represents the state’s unity. This song points out what the Texan people are proud of: loyalty, bravery, and persistence.
4. “El Paso” by Marty Robbins
“Back in El Paso, my life would be worthless,
Everything’s gone in life, nothing is left,
It’s been so long since I’ve seen the young maiden,
My love is stronger than my fear of death.”
This ballad tells a story about a cowboy who sees the girl he’s in love with having a drink with another man. Because of his jealousy, he kills the man and runs off towards New Mexico. But his love for the girl draws him back to El Paso. In the end, he dies in her arms, but he’s happy they were reunited.
Although a sad story, this song will make you long for El Paso, even if you’ve never visited.
5. “Rodeo” by Garth Brooks
“His eyes are cold and restless,
And his wounds have almost healed,
And she’d give half of Texas
Just to change the way he feels.”
Rodeos are a significant part of Texas culture, and it’s the state’s official sport. This song is dedicated to a cowboy addicted to rodeos. The adrenaline makes him come back to the rodeo even though he ends up injured, and his girl is worried about him. She wants him to change, but she knows that’s impossible because he loves rodeos too much to give them up.
6. “Galveston” by Glen Campbell
“Galveston, oh Galveston,
I still hear your sea waves crashing,
While I watch the cannons splashing,
I clean my gun
And dream of Galveston.”
This song tells a story about a young man who had to leave Galveston and the girl he’s in love with to fight in a war. He dreams of returning home during the battles and imagines hearing the waves. The young man feels hopeless and wonders whether the girl is waiting for him. He doesn’t want to die before going home and seeing his girl and the sea birds that fly around the island.
Anyone who’s ever yearned to return home will be able to connect with this song.
7. “Austin” by Blake Shelton
“If you’ve got somethin’ to sell, you’re wastin’ your time, I’m not buyin’
If it’s anybody else, wait for the tone, you know what to do,
And P.S., if this is Austin, I still love you.”
In this love song, a girl leaves her man because she wants to clear her head. The man assumes she went to Austin because she always talked about it. After about a year, the girl calls him, but he doesn’t pick up the phone; instead, she gets his answering machine. She hears the words “P.S. if this is Austin, I still love you” and realizes the message is for her.
Although this is a love story not really related to Texas, it’s always nice to hear a catchy melody mentioning the beautiful city of Austin.
8. “If You’re Gonna Play in Texas” by Alabama
“So we dusted off our boots and put our cowboy hats on straight,
Them Texans raised the roof when Jeff opened up his case,
You say y’all want to two-step, you say ya want to do-si-do,
Well, here’s a fiddling song before we go.”
This lighthearted song is about a band that comes to Texas to play a show. The crowd loves their music, but they feel something is missing: a fiddle. Fiddles are an iconic instrument in country music, so the crowd asks the band to play one. According to the audience, you shouldn’t play in Texas if you don’t have a fiddle.
9. “Too Far From Texas” by Stevie Nicks
“Maybe my love could fly over the ocean,
Maybe my heart should try to leave him alone,
All that I really know is that he’s going
Too far from Texas,
Too close to home.”
The song is about a woman whose love is returning to London, where he has a family. As the other woman in his life, she feels heartbroken he has to leave. The man promises he will return, but he never does, and she knows the relationship doesn’t have a future. Now, Texas reminds her of him and the time they spent together. She’s left alone in a room in Houston, where she longs for him.
10. “London Homesick Blues” by Jerry Jeff Walker
“I wanna go home with the armadillo,
Good country music from Amarillo,
The friendliest people and the prettiest women you ever seen.”
Almost everyone that moves far away feels homesick after a while. This song is about feeling lonely and lost in another country. The narrator is in London, and as time goes by, he feels the urge to go back home to Texas. Everything in London seems dull and annoying, and he isn’t able to find himself there. He wants to return to his home as soon as possible.
11. “Texas (When I Die)” by Tanya Tucker
“When I die, I may not go to heaven,
I don’t know if they let cowboys in,
If they don’t, just let me go to Texas, boys,
‘Cause Texas is as close as I’ve been.”
This song is an expression of love towards Texas. The singer compares Texas to several other states and explains why they aren’t as good. She says that even though her body may be elsewhere, her soul never leaves her home. If she can’t go to heaven, the singer states she will be happy to spend eternity in Texas because the two are almost the same to her.
12. “She’s Like Texas” by Josh Abbott Band
“She has faith in God’s greater plan,
She trusts I’m a good man,
And that’s why I’ll always believe,
She’s like Texas, and she likes me.”
Here, the narrator compares two of his loves: a girl and his home, Texas. He describes the girl’s appearance and character by comparing them to different locations in Texas and concludes they have much in common. The narrator feels happy she likes him because she’s just as beautiful as his beloved Texas.
Final Thoughts on Songs About Texas
We hope you’ve enjoyed our collection of the 12 best songs about Texas. Even if you aren’t from the Lone Star State, we are positive you’ll enjoy the country beat and maybe even wish to visit. With their southern charm and western sensibilities, the people of Texas will surely give you a heartwarming welcome.
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