Here’s a playlist of the top clean country songs! These are upbeat country songs with appropriate, family-friendly lyrics that you won’t mind your kids singing along to.
This idea for this post started back at Christmas time… my college son was home for the holiday break, and I enlisted his help in finding appropriate country songs for my 10 and 8 year olds to listen to.
Country music is not a genre that I have spent a lot of time listening to. I didn’t grow up with country, and just haven’t been around it a whole lot.
But then I had a son who was born a cowboy! Jonathan has truly been into horses and all things western since he was 2 years old. I don’t know where his passion came from, but he got his first cowboy boots for Christmas when he was 2, and he’s been wearing boots ever since. We all assumed he would grow out of it, but he is now 11 and competing in rodeo events on horseback!
So that’s my story of how this playlist came to be. Aidan started listening to country while away at college, and he helped me find songs that are appropriate for Janie and Jonathan. They love music and will sing along to all the songs (and memorize all the lyrics), so it was important to set some standards.
This was my criteria when choosing clean country songs:
- No profanity
- No inappropriate relationships
- No alcohol references (I’ll explain more below)
We have love songs about married relationships, but not cheating and affairs. I’ve also chosen to avoid break-up songs or “she left me” songs because that’s not the stage of life my kids are in. No need to focus on that!
As far as alcohol goes, my husband and I think there’s a difference between a passing beer reference, and a song that encourages drinking as a way to deal with the problems of life. We don’t want our kids to listen to music that promotes the latter.
We’ve also chosen to avoid love songs that get a little too specific, even if they are talking about a marriage relationship…
Now, I’m certainly not saying that everyone has to make the same choices we have! But I do want you to know what my criteria were so that you’ll know what to expect with these songs.
Country… the genre that values family.
One thing that I did not realize about country music is how much this genre focuses on family and the simple things that are the most important in life. These songs have reminded me how fast time goes by, and how valuable family is, even on the hard days.
Recommended Cody Johnson Songs:
Cody Johnson is a native Texan (woo hoo!) and has some fabulous music that the whole family will enjoy.
- ‘Til You Can’t – a top favorite for us!!
- God Bless the Boy
- Known for Loving You
- By Your Grace
- Human (references whiskey)
Recommended Granger Smith Songs:
Jonathan and I both agree that Granger Smith is our new favorite artist! Also a native Texan, Granger Smith has some awesome family-friendly sing-along worthy songs.
We were a little disappointed to learn recently that Granger Smith is stepping away from his music career to focus more on serving in his local church, but honestly that just made us love him even more.
- Backroad Song – an awesome feel-good song
- Country Things
- That’s Why I Love Dirt Roads
- Man Made
- Buy a Boy a Baseball
- That’s What Love Looks Like – beer reference (“a soldier and a beer and a white cross grave”)
- 6 String Stories
- In This House – the kids love this one!
- Tailgate Song
Recommended Josh Turner Songs:
Josh Turner is another country artist who has primarily clean music. The kids don’t like him quite as much as Granger Smith, but he’s got some good stuff! He has an album of entirely gospel music titled, “I Serve a Savior.” If you enjoy his sound, he has a lot more music to explore than what I’ve listed here.
- Long Black Train
- I Saw the Light (from his gospel album, “I Serve a Savior”)
- Everything is Fine
- Would You Go With Me
More favorites from assorted country artists:
- Randy Travis – Forever and Ever, Amen
- Randy Travis – Deeper Than the Holler
- Justin Moore – We Didn’t Have Much
- Trace Adkins – You’re Gonna Miss This
- Jordan Davis – Buy Dirt
- Blake Shelton – I’ll Name the Dogs (one bad word, we have chosen to let it pass but it’s up to you!)
- George Straight – Take Me to Texas
- Alan Jackson – Drive
- Johnny Cash – Daddy Sang Bass, Ring of Fire, Walk the Line
- Keith Urban – Days Go By, I’ll Fly Away
- Tim McGraw – Where the Green Grass Grows
- Thomas Rhett – Be a Light
Cindy Apr 28, 2023
How about “Grandpa, tell me about the good old days” from the Judds. Love that song!
Annmarie Apr 29, 2023
I so appreciate your take on this and your time and willingness to share, as always. Yay! Thank you so much! (and to your college age son!)
Marian Roberts Apr 29, 2023
Thank you for this awesome list!
Dorothy Apr 29, 2023
So glad you posted this. Since I retired I very seldom listen to the radio anymore. I listened to some of the songs on your list, on youtube. How 'bout that.....decent music hasn't died after all. I will be buying some of these. Thank you!
Brenda Apr 29, 2023
I personally listen to K-LOVE but you have listed some great country songs. I like your son helped to develop a clean list!
Debbie Apr 30, 2023
Sarah, thank you for this list of country songs appropriate for kids. Please post other genres especially any hymns or Christian songs that are favorites. As a grandparent, this would be so helpful in spending time with them.
Jackie May 3, 2023
What a great list! :) My boys like, “Ain’t Nothin’ Wrong With the Radio” by Aaron Tippin. The Chipmunks version is great too! We also like Aaron’s “You’ve Got to Stand for Something.” One of my husband’s favorites is “Drive” by Alan Jackson.
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