When I listen to country love songs, I find myself drawn to one of two types.
The first is the long-time love song.
This is the song about the couple that has been together for a while and already has an established relationship. They already know each other, and they already know where their relationship stands. They are stable and happy and just want to appreciate the time they have together.
Think “In Spite of Ourselves” by John Prine and Iris DeMent, “She and I” by Alabama, and “If We Were Vampires” by Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit.
Now, the other type of love song I’m drawn to is the complete opposite. It’s the “Choosing to Fall” love song.
These songs depict the moment when one person finally chooses to open themselves up to another person.
As listeners, we’re able to hear as someone decides that they are willing to possibly be hurt or rejected because this person, this potential love is worth the risk.
Maybe I just like the cheesiness or I read too many romance novels, but I can’t help but be drawn into these songs almost every time.
I mean, the “choice” that is the catalyst around these songs is super compelling and relatable. We all want someone to choose us or have someone that’s worth the choice, right?
Take a look at the following songs, and see if you also want to choose to fall (get it?) for this type of country love song.
“Scale these Walls” by Caroline Spence
Bear with me while I overanalyze the lyrics of this song.
The singer is someone who has been in “flight or fight” mode her entire life, but now she has someone that she wants to be with, to break through her walls.
But the song is more complex than that because the singer says that she has built up her walls for this other person as if she was closing herself off from their potential.
Now, she wants this other person to scale her walls, but she is also tearing down her own walls.
The song shows that for love and a relationship to work, all parties must be willing to put in effort.
Memorable lyrics:“So I’ll let you in slowly brick by brick / ‘Cause I don’t want to hold back now”
“Mend” by Morgan Wade
I really like this song because while it shows that the relationship is already established, “Mend” is that moment when the singer finally lets her partner help her.
The partner in the song is leaving the singer, but that forces the singer to come to terms with the fact that she wants this person in her life.
She was holding back in the relationship and lets this person leave but soon has that realization that she doesn’t want them to leave.
It’s the epitome of choosing to love someone. The singer is literally choosing to try to keep this person with her by finally opening up.
Memorable lyrics:“I don’t know what’s wrong with me, / But you came along and finally I see / The type of love I know I need”
“Shake the Frost” by Tyler Childers
Similar to Morgan Wade’s song, “Shake the Frost” shows a couple at some sort of breaking point, and the singer is forced to come to terms with his feelings for and actions toward the other person.
Another aspect to that “choice” of love is learning how to compromise and be the person your partner needs. In this song, the singer realized he needs to show his love more through drives and expressing himself emotionally.
With many of these songs, the choice to fall for someone comes with the responsibility of working through your own inhibitions and trauma.
Memorable lyrics:“So I let that car just sit there / When I should’ve took you driving / With the windows down while the music played”
“Cover Me Up” by Jason Isbell
Once again, this song speaks to the choice of healing oneself in order to be who one’s partner needs them to be.
The singer has a lover, but he doesn’t fully trust them. His life choices and his lack of sobriety cause him to test his partner and push them away.
But his choice to get sober allows him to reconnect with his partner and now assure them they are good enough and that he’s chosen them.
Memorable lyric:“So cover me up and know you’re enough to use me for good”
“Where Do I Sign” by Brett Eldredge
Now, this song is more about convincing someone to choose you despite their worries or trust issues.
I actually really love this song because the singer has already chosen this person. It also is unique because both the singer and the other person are adults who are fully formed and have it all together.
A lot of songs about choosing to love someone or choosing to give yourself to someone have one or both of the people working through trauma.
In Eldredge’s song, the other person is healed from past love trauma and has their life together, and now, both the singer and this person are in a healthy place to try to be something.
Memorable lyrics:“We’ll come together whenever you need / I’ll give you space but I’ll cross your mind”
“Who You Thought I Was” by Brandy Clark
I’ll admit that Clark’s song is a break-up song, which doesn’t usually lend itself to being a good song about choosing to love someone. Because, well, there’s not a lot of love going on…
Why I think this song fits into this category is that the singer is putting aside (or, at least, wanting to put aside) her own wants and dreams in order to be the best version of herself for the person she loves.
Once again, even though the relationship has already passed, the singer is making the conscious choice to continue to love this person.
Memorable lyrics:“Now I wanna be the me / I should’ve been when we were together”