Making the Most of Everything: Country Music Lessons

For every nostalgic song produced by country music, there is one that reflects on the opposite message. Living in the moment is important for everyone, especially in a time where little distractions are so common. In order to have no regrets, you have to make the most of every minute, which is a hard task. Country music always cuts to the heart of a matter, and this topic is no different. As someone in college who is trying to make the most of these four years, these songs will always have a special place. Here are five of the greatest ‘living in the moment’ country songs:

“I Hope You Dance” – Lee Ann Womack

This country pop song came out in March 2000, and won multiple awards. Lee Ann Womack reminds me of Carrie Underwood in some ways. This song is filled with hope about the future and emphasizes not letting any time go by without making the most of it. It’s hard not to feel inspired!

“Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along, / Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder where those years have gone”

“Don’t Blink” – Kenny Chesney

If you’re a fan of Kenny Chesney, then you know that this song is one of his all-time greats. It veers away from his traditional carefree, relaxed beach vacation songs. (Beer in Mexico will always be a classic!) It is fitting that the 2007 album was titled Just Who I Am: Poets and Pirates. He tries to figure out the secret to life, and it’s pretty simple, just live! It seems like just yesterday when I first came to UT, so I definitely relate to this song.

“Trust me friend a hundred years goes faster than you think…So don’t blink”

“I Saw God Today” – George Strait

You wouldn’t think that a song about new baby would really be relatable to most college students, but it’s the general idea that any major life event creates some reflection and a desire to not let things go by so fast. George Strait released this song on his album Troubadour in 2008- considered one of the finest in his long career.

“His fingerprints are everywhere / I just slowed down to stop and stare / Opened my eyes and man I swear, I saw God today”

“You’re Gonna Miss This” – Trace Adkins

A dad who is watching his daughter grow up narrates this song. Each stage of her life brings struggles but also blessings, something everyone can relate to. When the times get too trying, it’s easy to wish you get over the hump and be past it, but there’s so much good you could miss with that kind of outlook. He stresses to her to enjoy every stage of life, because there’s always a part of it she’s going to miss.

“You’re gonna miss this / You’re gonna want this back / You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast”

“Live Like You Were Dying”

In my opinion, this is the ultimate song about living in the moment. I have gotten to see Tim McGraw perform this song three different times in person, and I still get goosebumps. Between the lyrics, the sound, and the way Tim McGraw sings the song, it extremely powerful. The message is clear in this 2004 hit- don’t just live life, live it to the fullest and truly appreciate every moment.

“And he said someday I hope you get the chance, to live like you were dying”

No matter the situation or circumstances, or even the phase of our lives that we find ourselves in, country music remains clear on one thing. Enjoy life and don’t take time for granted- live in the moment!


Filed under Blog Post 3, Classic Country, Country Pop, Song Analysis

10 Responses to Making the Most of Everything: Country Music Lessons

  1. Caitie Labay

    I really enjoyed this article! The first song immediately caught my eye and made me want to read it because I am a huge fan of that record. I really appreciated how you talked about how country music has many songs that are filled with nostalgia, but at the same time there are songs like this that talk about living in the moment. I think it’s a beautiful contrast and it made for a very interesting read. Of course I am a bit biased since I love every song on your list. I think they all relate well to each other and pull at the heartstrings of every listener. Great article, thanks for sharing!

  2. Sierra Smith

    Ginny, I really enjoyed reading this post! I was original how you addressed a topic that is so relevant to people our age. I agree, it’s one of the most important things to do while you are still young is to live life to the fullest. My parents have always told me to do so because we grow up so fast! I’m glad you mentioned “I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack because that was, and still is, one of my mom’s favorite songs because of its inspiring message. She would always quote the song and tell me and my sister to appreciate the years we have, to take chances in life, and to have fun above all. You also ended with one of the best “live in the moment” songs, which I have always loved. Great post!

  3. Adam Keyrouze

    These songs are all great! This post caught my attention when I opened it because I am a huge Kenny Chesney fan and I also downloaded “Live Like You Were Dying” when it first came out. I actually thought the song “Live Like We’re Dying” by Kris Allen instead of the “live like you were dying” song by Toby Keith but both are great songs with the same message being portrayed. On the other hand “Don’t Blink” I immediately started singing it as soon as i read the title in your post. It feels like it was just released yesterday even though it has been around 8 years now! Great topic and selection of songs for this post!

  4. John Monroe

    Any list of songs with “Don’t Blink” and “You’re Gonna Miss This” is a great list and you really knocked it out of the park tying all of these together. I really enjoyed your words about being in them moment and living life – that is something that has really been on my mind lately. I agree with you in saying that Country Music has said time and time again to enjoy life and live it, I would probably go on to add that Country Music as a genre might be best suited for this. Maybe it’s just personal bias but I can’t imagine pop or hip-hop doing such a theme justice like good ‘ole Country Music does.

  5. Tyler Dial

    Dear Ginny, what a killer blog! I also love songs about living in the moment and I think you picked 5 amazing ones. Country music is so great because it actually can inspire you to live a better life and it encourages you to take it day by day. It allows you to focus on what’s important. “Live Like You Were Dying” would definitely be a serious contender for my 10 favorite country songs of all time. Just like these songs are simple reminders, this post was also a great reminder this morning to enjoy life as it goes by. Thank you!

  6. Elissa Killebrew

    This is such a great idea for a list! I grew up listening to all of those songs, and I absolutely love them. I remember in high school I was always telling my mom that I couldn’t wait to graduate and go to college because high school was really rough sometimes. And every single time I said that she always mentioned the Trace Adkins song “You’re Gonna Miss This.” And now every single time I hear that song I always tear up a little because sometimes I really do feel nostalgic for my past. I love that you made this list because these songs are some of the best country songs, and I have totally forgotten about them!

  7. Another song that fits this general theme is Kathy Mattea’s “Time Passes By.” I can’t figure out if she’s taking about people dying or just moving out of our lives when she says “people pass on,” but still I think it’s a catchy and pretty fantastic song:

  8. Kayla Miracle

    I really enjoyed this list. “I Hope You Dance” is one of my favorite songs to listen to whenever I’m feeling down, it has the message that you can get up and do anything by making the most of life. Everyone in my family is a Tim McGraw fan so”Live Like You Were Dying” is another one of my faves (probably because the amount of times that songs album was played in the car has embedded it into my brain). This list is especially good because it shows something that country music is really good at which is reminding people that there is more to life than whatever is happening right now. I know that country music is a genre I can turn to to feel more positive and get in a better mood. I will definitely be turning to the songs in this list the next time I’m wallowing in my problems! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Kelby Floerke

    I think I know every word to every one of these songs. This is list is great and I love how you incorporated all of these things in regards to college kids living it up in these four short years that we have. It made me think about how I do need to appreciate the time that I do have here because I am already a sophomore and that is crazy to think! Almost half way done is a little crazy to me. My mom always tells me these are the best four years of your life, so live it up! These songs all make me appreciate the time I have had and the fun times I have to come! Great post!

  10. Stephanie Sebo

    Honestly, this list brought out some big emotions in me. “I hope you dance” by Lee Ann Womack especially makes me emotional. Every single time I hear this song, I think of my parents. They are the greatest role models in my life and my absolute best friends. Everything she says in this song reminds me of things my parents have told me. They have given me every single opportunity in life, which I can only hope to give my kids one day. They never told my siblings or me that we couldn’t accomplish something, and I think that is so important. This song just flooded back so many memories of times I needed encouragement.

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