Ernest Tubbs

50 Songs about Texas that you’ll never forget

Songs written about Texas seem to have it all: love, heartache, adventure, and a ton of state pride. And, boy, are there are lot of them: back in 2003, the Austin Chronicle estimated that there were over 3,500 songs written about the Lone Star State. With tracks ranging from Ernest Tubb’s classic “Waltz Across Texas” to the more recent single “Travis County” by Gary Clark, Jr., we’re sure you’ll recognize some of these titles in our list of 50 famous Texas songs below.

Historic Songs About Texas

Texas has a long, storied history of country, folk and gospel music. Its regional anthem, Texas, Our Texas, dates back to 1924, while Texas A&M’s “Aggie War Hymn” has been linked back to World War I. Here are some of the most classic and important tracks that help define that state’s past.

  1. Texas, Our Texas” by William J. Marsh
  2. “Waltz Across Texas” by Ernest Tubb
  3. “Deep in the Heart of Texas” by Gene Autry
  4. “Aggie War Hymn” by J.V. “Pinky” Wilson
  5. The Yellow Rose of Texas” by various artists including Elvis Presley and Mitch Miller
  6. “Deep Elem Blues” by The Shelton Brothers
  7. “T is for Texas (Blue Yodel No. 1)” by Jimmie Rodgers
  8. “Red River Valley” by Woodie Guthrie
  9. “Texas Lullaby” by David Allan Coe
  10. “Fighter, Raiders, Fight” by Vic Williams and John J. Tatgenhorst

Our Pick: “Waltz Across Texas” by Ernest Tubb

Ernest Tubb, also known as the Texas Troubadour, is considered a pioneer of country music. Despite being known for popularizing the honkey-tonk genre, one of his biggest hits, “Waltz Across Texas,” was actually a dance hall favorite during waltz lessons.

For a state dripping in pride and patriotism, it makes sense that some of its most popular and long-standing songs do the same. Take, for instance, Tanya Tucker’s “Texas (When I Die),” in which she says when she dies instead of going to heaven she’d rather go to Texas. Also included below is “London Homesick Blues,” which fans of Austin City Limits might recognize as the show’s theme song from 1977 to 2004.

  1. “London Homesick Blues” by Gary P Nunn and Jerry Jeff Walker
  2. “Miles and Miles of Texas” by Bob Wills
  3. “All My Exes Live in Texas” by George Strait
  4. “Texas Flood” by Stevie Ray Vaughan
  5. “God Blessed Texas” by Little Texas
  6. “Beautiful Texas” by Willie Nelson
  7. “Texas (When I Die) by Tanya Tucker
  8. “Luckenbach, Texas” by Waylon Jennings
  9. “El Paso” by Marty Robbins
  10. “If You’re Gonna Play in Texas (You Gotta Have a Fiddle in the Band)” by Alabama

Our Pick: “Texas Flood” by Stevie Ray Vaughan

This song serves as the title track to Vaughan’s 1983 debut studio album. Due to the success of the song and record, it became a standard track in the musician’s arsenal. But die-hard country fans know that it’s actually a cover of the 1958 version by Larry Davis.

New Songs About Texas

In recent years Texas music has seen another boom, due to the growing popularity of  Austin and more crossover music popping up on mainstream radio. Roots country music has begun to blend with alternative rock and even pop, giving way to artists like The Highwomen, Leon Bridges and Kacey Musgraves.

  1. “Texas Sun” by Leon Bridges and Khruangbin
  2. “Wheels Of Laredo” by The Highwomen
  3. “Texas Pride” by Miranda Lambert
  4. “Travis County” by Gary Clark, Jr.
  5. “Lubbock or Leave it” by The Chicks
  6. “Too Far From Texas” by Stevie Nicks
  7. “Texas Time” by Keith Urban
  8. “Texas On My Mind” by Pat Green
  9. “Texas Was You” by Jason Aldean
  10. “Dime Store Cowgirl” by Kacey Musgraves

Our Pick: “Texas Sun” by Leon Bridges and Khruangbin

These two Texas-based groups have garnered a ton of accolades over the last few years, due in part to their collaborative EP “Texas Sun,” which features the head-bobbing title track listed above.

Songs About Texas Cities & Towns

There are thousands of songs written about the great state of Texas, so it’s no surprise that there are tons of songs devoted to specific cities and towns within its borders. On this list, you’ll notice a healthy mix of old country and new, with “King of Country” George Strait making an appearance multiple times—unsurprising considering the Texas native has over 30 albums under his belt.

  1. “Austin” by Blake Shelton
  2. “Galveston” by Glen Campbell
  3. “Corpus Christi Bay” by Robert Earl Keen
  4. “Houston” by R.E.M.
  5. “El Paso” by Marty Robbins
  6. “Abilene” by Waylon Jennings
  7. “Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind?” by George Strait
  8. “La Grange” by ZZ Top
  9. “Amarillo By Morning” by George Strait
  10. “San Antonio Rose/New San Antonio Rose” by Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys

Our Pick: “La Grange” by ZZ Top

Due to the subject matter of this song (it’s about a brothel), or the otherworldly guitar playing, one might have missed that it takes place on the outskirts of La Grange, TX, a city in Fayette County near the Colorado river.

While there are plenty of songs with the word Texas in the title, there are also many songs that indirectly touch on the state but also reach much further than its southern borders. Perhaps the most recognizable of the bunch is “(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66,” which was released in 1946 and has since been recorded by the Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry, John Mayer and more.

  1. “Duello nel Texas” by Ennio Morricone
  2. “Eve’s Daughter” by Amanda Shires
  3. “Bob Wills is Still the King” by Waylon Jennings
  4. “Love at the Five and Dime” by Nanci Griffith
  5. “(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66” by Bobby Troup
  6. “On the Trail of the Buffalo” variant of John B Freeman’s “The Buffalo Song”
  7. “The Lone Ranger” theme music by Gioachino Rossini
  8. “Home on the Range” by Dr. Brewster M. Higley
  9. “The Hill Country Theme” by Willie Nelson
  10. “Jack Straw” by Grateful Dead

Our pick: “Eve’s Daughter” Amanda Shires

Below is a great list of songs that are uniquely Texas. Some are about Texas, some just popular in Texas history and modern play.

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