10 Of The Best Country Love Songs Of The 1980s

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Written by Laura Macmillan
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Music has a way of capturing the emotions of a moment and preserving them for years to come. For many, the 1980s were a time of first love and young romance. Against the backdrop of iconic pop songs, couples fell in love and danced the night away.

If you are a fan of classic country, then you need to check out this list of 10 of the best country love songs from the ’80s. Whether you are looking for a song to dedicate to your sweetheart or want to reminisce about those good old days, these tunes will have you feeling the love. Read on!

Related: Read our post here for more amazing country love songs.

1. “Love Is Alive” By The Judds

Our first song is “Love Is Alive” by the Judds, which was released in 1985 in their album Why Not Me. The song is a celebration of love and what it is for the narrator—it is not a word, a candle, a song, or the moon.

The narrator sings that love is very much alive since, for her, it is the person by her side, having breakfast with her every day in the morning and keeping her warm each night.

With its gentle rhythm, “Love Is Alive” is certainly a song you can dedicate to your significant other.

Related: After this, check out our list of 70s country love songs here.

2. “Old Flames (Can’t Hold a Candle to You)” By Dolly Parton

“Old Flames (Can’t Hold a Candle to You)” by Dolly Parton is a classic country song released in her 1980 album Dolly, Dolly, Dolly. It has a message that is relevant to anyone who has ever loved and lost but still loves the one they had lost.

The lyrics tell the story of a woman who encounters a person from her past, and looking back on their relationship, she realizes that she still loves him. The narrator compares him to other men, but for her, they “can’t hold a candle to [him].”

The lyrics to “Old Flames (Can’t Hold a Candle to You)” are poignant and relatable, and the melody is catchy and memorable. Go ahead and give it a listen!

Related: Read our greatest country songs of all time post here.

3. “My Only Love” By The Statler Brothers

If you ever want a song for a country wedding—or any kind of wedding, for that matter—“My Only Love” would be perfect. From the Statler Brother‘s 1984 album Atlanta Blue, this song is a declaration of love.

From the first stanza, it would seem the narrator and the love of his life are ready to tie the knot, and here, he announces how special she is to him and how thankful he is to have her with him every day.

While the lyrics are sentimental, they also convey a powerful message about the depths of love this narrator has.

4. “He Stopped Loving Her Today” By George Jones

1980’s “He Stopped Loving Her Today” by George Jones was released in the album I Am What I Am. It is a profound song, and if you listen deeply to the lyrics, it can possibly move you to tears.

The song tells the story of a man consumed by his love for a woman who does not love him back. Though the woman states he’ll eventually forget her, the man never does and continues to pine for her until his death.

“He Stopped Loving Her Today” might not be the kind of love song one wants to hear, but the undying love the man had for the woman is undeniably the kind one wants to have.

5. “You’re So Good When You’re Bad” By Charley Pride

Released in 1982 on Charley Pride‘s album Charley Sings Everybody’s Choice, we have next, “You’re So Good When You’re Bad.”

In the song, the narrator exalts the amazing characteristics of his lover, of how sweet and kind she is. But unlike some who think the word bad from the title is just a euphemism for the good qualities the woman has behind the closed bedroom door.

With Pride’s deep voice and crooning rhythm, “You’re So Good When You’re Bad” is certainly a love song worthy to be sung to your significant other if you appreciate all her attributes.

6. “Always On My Mind” By Willie Nelson

Our next song, “Always on My Mind,” was released by Willie Nelson in 1982. Though various other artists have covered the song, Nelson’s version won him three Grammy Awards that same year.

The song is about a man who is regretful for not having spent more time with his lover. He reflects on all the moments they shared and how he wishes he had told her how much he loved her.

The theme of the song is regret, and even though we may not always make the right choices, we can still love those who are important to us.

7. “Forever And Ever, Amen” By Randy Travis

“Forever and Ever, Amen” is a country ballad written by Don Schlitz and Paul Overstreet. Randy Travis recorded it in 1987 in his album Always & Forever.

The song tells the story of a man who is madly in love with a woman and is willing to do anything to make their relationship work.

The overall theme of the song is eternal love and dedication. Despite the trials and tribulations that life may bring, the narrator is certain that his love will never waver. This message is conveyed through the use of simple yet powerful words and phrases such as “This love that I feel for you always will be” and the titular “Forever and ever, amen.”

As a result, the song is a beautiful tribute to the power of true love.

8. “The Closer You Get” By Alabama

Country music band Alabama released “The Closer You Get” in 1983 in their album of the same name.

The theme of the lyrics in the song is yearning for love and connection. It describes the narrator’s longing for someone they are attracted to and how that longing intensifies the closer that person gets to him.

Though the speaker never articulates their feelings outright in the song, the hope and possibility of what could be are obviously implied, especially in the line, “I’ll be over the edge [in love] now in no time at all.”

9. “The Sound Of Goodbye” By Crystal Gayle

Released in 1983 by Crystal Gayle, “The Sound of Goodbye” explores the theme of loss and separation.

The song begins with the narrator speculating on the awkward silence between her and her partner as they lay in bed together. For her, the silence—not to mention rumors in the town of her partner’s affair—sounds like goodbye.

While the lyrics are sad, they also convey a message of resilience in the face of loss. Though the narrator is not 100 percent sure this is goodbye, she hopes and waits.

The song ultimately speaks to the universality of grief and how even though saying goodbye is always hard, it is also a necessary part of life.

10. “I Believe In You” By Don Williams

Lastly, we have “I Believe in You” by Don Williams, which took the charts by storm in 1980. It is a country ballad with a simple yet profound message. The lyrics express the narrator’s unconditional love and support for his significant other, regardless of what they may be going through.

The theme of the song is that we all need someone to believe in us, even when we don’t believe in ourselves. This sentiment is conveyed through the use of simple, heartfelt language that anyone can relate to.

Whether it’s a romantic partner, a friend, or a family member, we all need someone who will stand by us no matter what. And that’s exactly what the speaker in this song pledges to do.

Summing Up Our List of 1980s Country Love Songs

These ten country love songs from the ’80s are a testament to the power of love and loss. Each track tells a unique story and explores different aspects of human emotion.

Though these songs may be heartbreaking, they also offer hope in the face of difficult times. Ultimately, they remind us that no matter what life throws our way, we can always find solace in the power of love.

Have we left off a favorite country love song of yours? If so, let us know, and we’ll add it!

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Laura has over 12 years experience teaching both classical and jazz saxophone and clarinet. She now resides in California where she works as a session and live performer.