21 of Garth Brooks’ Best Songs

Garth Brooks is one of the most well-known country singers with iconic songs such as “Friends in Low Places” and “The Dance.”

With all of his talent, it’s no wonder he is the best-selling country singer, even topping Dolly Parton (but never topping Dolly Parton hair), coming in at a net worth of $400 million. In no particular order, we’ll discuss the top 21 of Garth Brooks’ best songs, and you’ll see why he’s beloved.

Garth Brooks can capture almost any emotion in his songs. He has some that tell stories of love, passion, and fun and heartbreaking things like affairs, loss, and even murder.

“Friends in Low Places”

“Friends in Low Places” makes the Garth Brooks number one hits list for a good reason. This song is about having friends who are ordinary people, and he loves it that way. He doesn’t have to pretend to be someone that he’s not.

This song is so legendary that the whole bar will often start singing whenever it’s played. It’s almost magical how it brings all types of people together. If there is ever one country song to know, this is it. 


“Ain’t Goin’ Down” (‘Til the Sun Comes Up)

“Ain’t Goin’ Down” is another one of Garth Brooks’ songs with lyrics that are plain fun. This song talks about the thrill of being teenagers, sneaking out, and rebelling against their parents. 

This song is one of the first country songs to mix with a bit of rap to raise the beat of the music of its time. If you are looking for some upbeat, fun country music, this song is where it’s at.


“Two Pina Coladas”

Garth Brooks has a way of bringing people together in the bars, and this song is another example of that in action. I’ve seen many times where strangers become friends to join together singing this song with drinks in hand. This song is also famous for those karaoke nights. “Two Pina Coladas” is well-known, fun, and all about kicking back and relaxing with some drinks. 

“Rodeo”

“Rodeo” is another one of Garth Brooks’ songs that is fun and upbeat. It’s about a woman who wants her man to love her as much as he loves the rodeo. The beat picks up as it encompasses the passion and thrill that goes into the rodeo and why he’s so into it. Initially, the song was written to be sung by a woman, but Garth does what he does best. He sings a story that captivates his audience.


“Papa Loved Mama”

Garth Brooks knows how to tell a story with his voice. “Papa Loved Mama” is another song that tells a story that isn’t one of his personal experiences. At first, it may sound like another love song, but it has a dramatic twist that unfolds as you listen.

It’s an upbeat song about a beautiful woman who ends up cheating on her husband while he’s out driving a truck. Papa finds out about Mama’s affair when he comes home to surprise her with flowers. In the end, he winds up in jail after he puts his truck through the hotel in a jealous rage. 


“The Thunder Rolls”

If controversy and drama are desired, this song fits the bill. Garth Brooks brings both with “The Thunder Rolls.” It’s a story-telling song about an affair and the storm that rages within from the pain it causes. The original music video was controversial because it included themes of physical abuse and murder. Many channels refused to even play the video because of the violence.


“If Tomorrow Never Comes”

Not all of his songs are about fun. “If Tomorrow Never Comes” is one of Garth Brooks’ meaningful songs. This song pulls at the heartstrings when he discusses how he wants to ensure his love knows how he feels about her. So, if tomorrow never comes, will she know how he truly feels? It’s a beautiful and moving song about not waiting to tell someone that you love them because nobody is promised tomorrow.


“The Dance”

“The Dance” is one of Garth Brooks’ best songs to get the tears flowing. He knows how to tap into our emotions with his words and voice in this emotional song. Love is an emotion that can be one of the happiest and most painful emotions we can feel. 

This song encompasses both sides of love, the beauty and the pain that goes with it when we need to say goodbye. The song leads us to ask ourselves if we knew how it would end, would we ever begin? Is the love, the moment, worth the pain in the end? Garth thinks so.


“Unanswered Prayers”

This song is another one of Garth Brooks’ meaningful songs. “Unanswered Prayers” discusses how sometimes we think we know what we want, but it’s not always in God’s plans. 

He sees an old flame he used to pray to be with, but now he has someone so much better. Life happens for a reason, and at the moment, it may feel like we’re not being heard, but God knows what He’s doing. Sometimes the greatest gifts are the ones we didn’t even know we wanted.  


“Standing Outside the Fire”

This Garth Brooks song makes the list because it’s another emotional piece but in a different way. It encourages the listener to do more than survive. We should be pushing ourselves to take risks and do more than we think possible. 

“Standing Outside the Fire” is the perfect ending to the list because it leaves us feeling that it’s okay to reach for more, do the hard things, and push the boundaries that hold us back. 


“Two of a Kind, Working on a Full House”

One of Garth Brooks’ best songs was actually recorded by Dennis Robbins in 1987 and was a moderate hit. Brooks put it on his “No Fences” album in 1990, and it reached number one on the Billboard country charts. It is a fun, up-tempo song that Brooks still likes to have fun with at his concerts.

The fast-paced honky-tonk sound of the song, complete with a fiddle intro, is reminiscent of older country music. Brooks channeled that energy well and used it to make this simple song a country classic. It could be considered one of the top 10 Garth Brooks songs.


“Learning to Live Again”

Another song from the Garth Brooks number 1 hits list is this one that got written for the album “The Chase,” released in 1993. It is a song about overcoming adversity and finding the strength to move on after experiencing heartache or loss. It is about starting over, finding new hope and purpose, and rebuilding a life.


“What She’s Doing Now”

This is another Garth Brooks meaningful song. Many of the songs Brooks is known for are about memories and thinking about what could have been. “What She’s Doing Now” is a ballad about wondering what an old lover is doing in their current life. He wonders about her whereabouts and has a lot of regrets about what could have been.


“More Than a Memory”

This song brings to life the feeling we’ve all had after a bad breakup. You can be so angry at someone for leaving that you want to forget them but find yourself unable to think of anything else. The narrator says he has destroyed everything that makes him think of her and is trying to stay awake so she won’t visit his dreams.

“More Than a Memory” does what Brooks is known for, describing feelings we have all had in words that bring them out and make us feel them again. The song was written for the album titled “The Ultimate Hits” in 2007 and spent 20 weeks at the top of the Billboard charts.


“Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)”

Garth Brooks is a storyteller, and since country music is the perfect way to tell stories in song, he has performed well in his career. This song tells the story of an old rodeo cowboy who doesn’t have the strength to keep doing his job. The physical demands of being beaten up by bulls and bucking broncos have become too much for his old and broken body.


“That’s the Way I Remember It”

Brooks did an odd experiment in the late nineties that confused many fans. He released an album called “Garth Brooks in…the Life of Chris Gaines”. It was supposed to be the soundtrack to a film called “The Lamb” that never happened.

The album features an alter-ego of Brooks, an Australian rock singer named Chris Gaines. The song does with rock what Brooks has been doing with country music all along, telling the story of someone remembering an old flame and longing to feel that way again.


“American Honky-Tonk Bar Association”

This up-tempo party anthem is one that Garth Brooks loves to play at his live shows. It gets the crowd moving and singing along, usually after a few drinks. The song compares country dive bars and saloons to fraternal organizations and business groups.

Written by Bryan Kennedy and Jim Rushing for Brooks’s album “In Pieces”, it made it to number one on the Billboard Hot Country charts. It is still a popular song by fans on streaming music sites and YouTube, where they can see Garth Brooks songs with lyrics.


“Dive Bar”

One of the staples of country music is the drinking song. Garth Brooks has written and recorded a few drinking songs in his career. The tradition goes back to the beginning of the genre.

Brooks performed this fun and fast song about dive bars with Blake Shelton. Attempting to bring listeners back to radio, they released the song only to country music radio stations for a month in 2019. After that, Brooks went on a tour to visit seven dive pares around the country. 


“Shameless”

“Shameless” is a song first recorded by Billy Joel in 1989. When he wrote it, he said the music of Jimi Hendrix had been a source of inspiration to him. Garth Brooks took his inspiration from Joel when he remade the song a couple of years later for his “Ropin’ the Wind” album.

While the original Billy Joel version was a power ballad, Brooks turned it into a contemporary country song that is arguably more popular than the original. The two men performed the song together on stage a few times, including at the ceremony when Brooks got inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.


“To Make You Feel My Love”

“Make You Feel My Love” is a standard recorded by Bob Dylan in 1997. It has gotten covered by many musical artists, including Adele, Michael Bolton, Kelly Clarkson, and Pink. Garth Brooks recorded a version of it for the soundtrack to the film “Hope Floats.”

Brooks renamed the song “To Make You Feel My Love” and recorded it with his future wife, Tricia Yearwood. Changing the tune from folk rock to soft country brought a lot of new listeners to Brooks.


“She’s Every Woman”

Victoria Shaw is a successful country music singer and songwriter, and she co-wrote this song with Garth Brooks for his album titled “Fresh Horses.” It was number one on the US and Canadian charts.

The song is about a man talking about the things he likes about a woman in his life. She gets described as having all the strongest aspects of every woman he has ever known.

Final Thoughts

Listening to Garth Brooks’ best songs make you feel nostalgia, bringing you back to the ’90s when you had to wait for a song to come on the radio when you wanted to hear it. He is synonymous with fantastic country music. 


The songs take me back and make me think of cruising through the country with the windows down and the radio blaring. Although Garth Brooks had number one hits later on, it’s mainly his hits from the 90s and early 2000s that get played and that many still thoroughly enjoy today.

Photo by Jean_Nelson

Writer

Caitlin Devlin is a music, entertainment and lifestyle writer based in London. When she’s not creating playlists for Repeat Replay, she’s reviewing gigs and interviewing artists for Ticketmaster UK and thinking about what her Spotify Wrapped will look like this year.

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