Amelia Olson
September 29, 2014 12:00 pm

Nothing says heartache, longing, and regret like an old-timey country love song. Surprisingly, a lot of the most valiant, older country songs are flooded with a progressive push, particularly from female artists of that time. These songs are touching and beautiful in their honesty about love and heartbreak, and really have a way of coaxing out your inner feels. Whether you’re mourning love lost or just feeling the pangs of a new crush, here’s a 10-song playlist to soothe your achey-breaky heart.

1.  “You’re The Reason Our Kids Are Ugly” – Loretta Lynn & Conway Twitty

The playful and snarky banter between Lynn and Twitty makes for a tense and mostly silly ballad of domestic life and the absurdity of child rearing. The bickering is light and humorous, and ultimately a sweet ode to raising children with someone you love.

2. “Touch Your Woman” – Dolly Parton

Sometimes we span entire continents trying to talk things out, when all the answers can be found in the way we touch and are touched. (Geez, Dolly – You’ve got all the answers to love.)

3. “Just Between You and Me” – Charley Pride

The bellowing, deep dips of way-down-low vocals, and the romantic, humble longing of Pride’s voice is enough to make any of us want to be the reason he’s singing this song.

4. “Lady Bird” – Lee Hazlewood & Nancy Sinatra

Though technically not country, the southern drawl of Hazlewood’s voice makes it easy to imagine a blanket spread out in a field, daydreaming in some southern town. The entire collaboration on Fairy Tales and Fantasies: The Best Of Nancy and Lee stirs up feelings of lust, tension, and regret, and this song is no exception.

5. “Arizona Yodeler” – DeZurik Sisters

Little known sister duo, The DeZurik Sisters, are just about as sweet and country as it gets. With harmonies that melt the heart, and the iconic yodeling country old-timey sound, “Arizona Yodeler” sounds like birds and feels like unassuming love.

6. “Rich Man’s Gold” – Patsy Cline

Patsy Cline’s music continues to be the anthem for powerful women. Unrelenting and vulnerable, Cline reminds us how material appreciations pale in comparison to a sweet and genuine heart.

7. “Bury Me Under The Weeping Willow Tree” – The Carter Family

With the cracking of the old, hissing record, “Bury Me Under the Weeping Willow Tree” pulls at all the heartstrings. The harmonies will gently tear you apart with a melody that just feels like nostalgia.

8. “The Pill” – Loretta Lynn

Nope, no words. Just listen.

9. “Jolene” – Dolly Parton

Yes, another Dolly song, but she is well worth two spots on this list. The ache in Dolly’s voice, the undertone of seething resentment, the undeniably vulnerable fear. Everything about “Jolene” screams like a last-ditch effort to revive a dwindling and untrustworthy love. I can’t help but wonder: is Jolene an opportunist, pouncing on a “taken” man, or is Dolly’s man an easily-swindled jerk? (Probably both.)

10. “D-I-V-O-R-C-E” – Tammy Wynette

Somewhere in between the wispy breaths of Wynette and the steel guitar, we find ourselves in the complication of marriage. The tenderness of holding the weight of implications and consequences of ending a marriage in the presence of children, “D-I-V-O-R-C-E” lassos the deep, dark sadness of being born to two perfectly incompatible humans.

Go ahead and put on your gunny sack dress and take a swig of something spirited – you’ve got plenty of time to reminisce on all the lost love and longing of the iconic women and men before you.

(Image via.)

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