First off, it is more important than ever to spend time with friends and family however you can and to reflect on those that made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. So while we may be distanced this year for Memorial Day, let’s come together and not forget the reason for the long weekend. With that being said, let’s get to the fun part. Grab some headphones, plug into some speakers, or just turn the volume up LOUD and get ready for the ultimate country music memorial day playlist.
1.) Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue – Toby Keith
Grab that “Red Solo Cup” and get ready to dive in. We thought we should start off this playlist on a VERY strong note and what would be better than this American anthem from the Big Dog Daddy himself, Toby Keith?
Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue FUN FACT – At first, Keith refused to record the song and only sang it live at his concerts for military personnel. The reaction was so strong that the Commandant of the Marine Corps, James L. Jones, told Keith it was his duty as an American citizen to record the song.
2.) Only in America – Brooks & Dunn
Name a better country duo thank Brooks & Dunn… we’ll wait. Also, we’ll wait for you to pick a lyric that captures the spirit of America better than this: “Only in America, where we dream as big as we want to.”
Only in America FUN FACT – Politicians from Both parties have used this song throughout their campaigns including George W. Bush, John Kerry, Barack Obama, Newt Gingrich, Scott Walker, Mitt Romney, Ted Cruz, and Donald Trump.
3.) The House That Built Me – Miranda Lambert
While we’re all about partying on a day off, sometimes you have to take a moment to slow it down. This time, we’re doing it with this heartfelt ballad from Miranda Lambert. Everyone knows that feeling when they walk into their childhood home and this song captures that sentimental feeling perfectly.
The House That Built Me FUN FACT – The song was initially written and was on hold for Lambert’s then boyfriend Blake Shelton, but she loved the song so much, she stole it from him. Think that’s what ultimately led to the break-up?
4.) Southbound – Carrie Underwood
Want to feel like your in the midst of a summer vacation on the lake? This is the song for you. “Southbound” with its propulsive rhythm, sunny guitar riffs and breezy organ accents, this track shows off Underwood’s stunning vocals in a surprising new way… on a carefree party anthem.
Southbound FUN FACT – The video was filmed on Cinco de Mayo and features some of Underwood’s friends and family, including her husband, Mike Fisher, and their son, Isaiah.
5.) John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16 – Keith Urban
Okay, we know this song is by an Australian, but what could be more American than some folk music, an iconic tractor, and one of the most repeated bible verses. This track is the perfect blend of traditional country themes with a little 70s funk vibe, and of course Keith Urban’s voice. But really, we could listen to him sing anything.
John Cougar, John Deere, and John 3:16 FUN FACT – Besides John Mellencamp, the song also name drops Don McLean, Kris Kristofferson, John Wayne, Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, and Marilyn Monroe.
6.) Pontoon – Little Big Town
After listening to this song, we’re all scouring where to find someone that has a pontoon boat we can crash for the weekend for “makin’ waves and catchin’ rays up on the roof”. If you have one and are near the Denver area, please feel free to drop us a note. We’ll bring the cooler.
Pontoon FUN FACT – Laird said that the idea for “Pontoon” came about when a publisher asked about a song that he and Hemby wrote for Miranda Lambert called “Fine Tune”, but the publisher thought that it was called “Pontoon”. After Hemby corrected him, the two thought that they should write a song called “Pontoon”.
7.) Drink In My Hand – Eric Church
If you’re not spending this weekend with a drink in your hand, you’re doing it wrong. So forget all your problems, leave your worries at the office (even if this year it’s in your home), and make sure to pour you something strong before you play this one.
Drink In My Hand FUN FACT – The song was Church’s first #1 on the country chart.
8.) The Weekend – Brantley Gilbert
It’s the weekend. Let’s listen to “The Weekend”… and no, we’re not talking about the Canadian R&B singer. This time, we’re talking about Brantley Gilbert’s hit all about clocking out at 5pm and living it up for a few days.
The Weekend FUN FACT – Gilbert penned “The Weekend” over the phone with Nashville songwriter Andrew DeRoberts, without ever meeting him face to face.
9.) Home – Dierks Bentley
Feeling a little bit nostalgic? Dierks Bentley has you covered. We like to think of this song as a modern-day-country-influenced version of “America the Beautiful” all about the wonderful place that all of us call home.
Home FUN FACT – In January 2012, singer-songwriter Jason Isbell posted on Twitter that he thought Bentley plagiarized his song “In a Razor Town”, which has a nearly identical melody. After a little back and forth online, ultimately on January 7, Isbell followed that he would not fight with Bentley over Twitter.
10.) Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day – Luke Bryan
This is our new life motto. In the words of Luke Bryan himself, “The important thing is the fact that if you live in that hunting, fishing, loving-every-day mentality, you’re going to be a little more stress-free, and your quality of life will be a little better.”
Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day FUN FACT – Bryan namechecks the Flint River, the 344-mile-long river that cuts right through the singer’s hometown of Leesburg, Georgia. He also named his clothing line 32 Bridge after the Route 32 bridge that crosses the river.
What do all of these songs have in common? Besides residing in this incredible playlist, they’re all by artists featured in AXS TV’s Memorial Day Weekend Music Marathon! So, if you need a playlist longer than 11 songs, just flip on AXS TV, turn it up loud, and let the weekend roll! Thank you to all our troops and active military. To those that have served and made the ultimate sacrifice, you are never forgotten.
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Tags: AXS TV Concerts, Brantley Gilbert, Carrie Underwood, Country Music, Dierks Bentley, Eric Chruch, Garth Brooks, Keith Urban, Little Big Town, Luke Bryan, Memorial Day, Miranda Lambert, toby keith
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