Whether you’re a Friday Night Lights bleacher fixture, a proud college football fan, an NFL fanatic or just a fantasy player, football season has a little bit to offer for everyone, and if you couldn’t tell, we’re pretty happy at the Statesman about having football back.
To celebrate here at “Gone Country,” we figured we’d create a playlist of some of the best football songs country music has to offer. Sure, we’ll start off with “Are You Ready For Some Football?” but the list is much more extensive than that. Some songs are available on YouTube but not Spotify (and vice versa) so we’ll give you the best in a list, with a more comprehensive playlist at the end.
Enjoy, and get ready to tailgate.
1. “Are You Ready For Some Football?” — Hank Williams, Jr.
Bocephus redid “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight” for the Monday Night Football anthem on ABC in 1989. He was a “MNF” mainstay every year, until his outspoken views on politics got him in trouble with ABC. He was yanked from the lineup in 2011 for making a Hitler reference while talking about President Obama on live TV. Politics aside, this is still the first thing I remember about watching football every Monday night as a kid, and its nostalgic value still holds up.
2. “Parking Lot Party” — Lee Brice
It’s not really about football, but it is about tailgating and the fun times that come with cold beer and hot grills in the parking lot. The lyrics are repetitive and stereotypical, but it’s not a bad song to put on your tailgating playlist.
3. “I’ve Been Waiting All Day For Sunday Night” — Carrie Underwood
Underwood’s 2016 version repurposes Underwood’s and Miranda Lambert’s 2014 hit “Somethin’ Bad.”
4. Drinkin’ Town With a Football Problem — Billy Currington
For anyone who’s ever lived in a small town where the only recreational activities were watching football and drinking, this one’s for you.
5. “The Boys of Fall” — Kenny Chesney
Chesney’s nostalgia-fest cuts right to the heart of what it’s like to play under the Friday night lights. It’s not the first time he’s drawn from the high school football well, and it wouldn’t be his last, but this song captures a feeling. Plus, a fun fact for all the #txhsfb fans out there: Most of the video was filmed in or around Celina, Texas.
6. “Country Nation” — Brad Paisley
Paisley, always the master of schmaltz, lays it on thick in this celebration of college football, which premiered on College GameDay at the beginning of the 2015 season. He namechecks several college teams and mascots throughout the song, and I find myself smiling at it despite its cheesiness (even if the video clearly shows Aubie the Tiger when he mentions my beloved, long-suffering Tennessee Volunteers.) It’s also equally as schmaltzy live, with a prerecorded video for each college town Paisley plays on his tour.
7. “PRIDE” — Corey Smith
Jefferson, Ga. native Smith has always made it clear he was never an athlete in high school, opting instead to play his guitar and write songs on his grandmother’s porch. “PRIDE” is the song for anyone who had plenty of school spirit in high school, but didn’t play a down.
8. “The Ball” — James Otto
The Uncle Rico of country music songs, this one waxes poetic about what would have happened to the song’s protagonist had he not dropped the ball on a game-winning play.
9. “What I Almost Was”— Eric Church
This song, along with “Two Pink Lines” and “The Hard Way,” from Church’s “Sinners Like Me,” form a trio of songs about missed chances and new opportunities in life. “What I Almost Was,” kind of like the other “what-if” song on this list, finds Church thankful for his life and its blessings after a high school football injury sidelined his college hopes.
10. “Texas Longhorn”— Django Walker
As big a celebration of the Texas Longhorns as you’ll ever find in music. And never forget, OU sucks.
Take a listen to the above songs plus some more, in our playlist below.
Gone Country aims to thoughtfully explore the country music genre and where it’s headed, with a focus on national trends and buzzworthy news of the week. For info about album releases and concerts, check out this week’s Country Music Roundup.
Questions, comments, suggestions? Let me know on Twitter @jakeharris4 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.