Do you love cowboys? How about country music? If you said yes to both of those, then you’re in for a real treat!
I’ve put together a list of the best 26 songs about cowboys of all time. Whether you’re into modern country, classic country, or anything in between, there’s something on this list for you.
So kick back, pour yourself a cold one, and enjoy the best cowboy songs of all time!
What Are the Best Songs About Cowboys?
1. “Cowboys from Hell” By “Pantera”
Who would have guessed that there would be something for metalheads on this list? Pantera is a Texas-based band who decided to highlight their roots in one of the songs off their album Cowboys from Hell.
Only true fans will know that it was indeed their very first single. The lyrics describe cowboys’ fearlessness and the song is accompanied by powerful guitar riffs.
Are you ready to ride with the Cowboys from Hell?
2. “Cowboy” By “Kid Rock”
“cowboy” was the first song by Kid Rock to chart on the Billboard Hot 100. It was also dubbed as the first country rap song. The lyrics about pimping and driving to California make it an ideal song to listen to on a long road trip.
This song is one of Kid Rock’s best works, and has been credited with greatly influencing modern country music. What a fascinating piece of history!
3. “Cotton Eye Joe” By “Rednex”
This song’s origins aren’t overly clear although according to Wikipedia it pre-dates the 1861-1865 civil war. There are also several meanings for the term “cotton-eye.” So, do we really know anything about the song?
Well, it is, without a doubt, a timeless piece of country-folk music. With their own version, the Swedish band Rednex popularised the song in Europe.
4. “Cowboy” By “Lindemann”
“It was always about Cowboys,” says Till Lindemann (yes, the one from Rammstein), before explaining what the song “Cowboy” is really about. Because it’s quite political, as is typical of his lyrics.
He grew up in East Germany, where society was much more pro-Indian and cowboys were seen as bad people. As a result, this song tells the story from a different angle.
5. “Cowboy like me” By “Taylor Swift”
Who could write a better love story than Taylor Swift? The 11th track on her Evermore album is about two people who found love when not looking for it.
And, despite being strong characters, they begin to reveal their vulnerability to each other. So, if you’ve had your fill of tough stories and are looking for some more romantic country-folk tunes, this one’s for you.
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6. “Cowboys Don’t Cry” By “Oliver Tree”
“This song demonstrates my ability to write bangers in any genre,” Oliver Tree said after coming out of retirement to release his last album Cowboy Tears, which featured the first single “Cowboys Don’t Cry.”
And he wasn’t wrong in his assessment, as the song has nearly 29 million views on YouTube.
7. “Ain’t Always the Cowboy” By “Jon Pardi”
“Ain’t Always the Cowboy” from the album Heartache Medication, depicts a woman who refuses to commit to a relationship. The song recognizes the fact that it’s usually the cowboy who runs rides away although in this case , it’s the woman who is leaving.
8. “Cowboy Casanova” By “Carrie Underwood”
Carrie Underwood sends an empowering message to women. This song is about guys who are looking for girls in roadside bars. The cowboy archetype is used negatively in this story, with a macho who turns out to be a desperate seducer.
Pay close attention to the lyrics so you know who to avoid the next time you go out.
9. “Cowboy Style” By “Kylie MInogue”
Cowboy boots and hats are popular all over the world. They even made it to Australia, to inspire one of the biggest stars from that country, Kylie Minogue. “Cowboy Style” became one of the singles from her sixth studio album, Impossible Princess.
The truth behind the song is that it was inspired by Minogue’s relationship with French photographer Stephane Sednaoui. She described him as “the new cowboy coming into town” when she saw him for the first time.
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10. “Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie” By “Johnny Cash”
The most well-known cowboy ballad, performed by none other than Johnny Cash. The song is known by many different names, including “The Cowboy’s Lament,” “The Dying Cowboy,” “Bury Me Out on the Lone Prairie,” and “Oh, Bury Me Not.”
What’s more, William Elliott Whitmore’s version was used in the popular video game Red Dead Redemption.
11. “Cowboy Song” By “Thin Lizzy”
This song was written from the perspective of a cowboy who travels across the United States in search of romance and adventure.
It all begins with a gentle acoustic melody and a country music-style introduction.
But wait! It’s Thin Lizzy, so expect some fast-paced hard rock after that!
12. “Ghetto Cowboy” By “Yelawolf”
Ghetto Cowboy, the final track from Yelawolf’s album of the same name, is a song for big boys and girls, as the rapper says muthaf**ka over 100 times. Nonetheless, the song compares cowboy hardships to ghetto life.
It is the perfect closing track for the album, with its emotional yet rigid instrumental that powers it.
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13. “We Are The Cowboys” By “Willie Nelson”
With the cowboy archetype’s inherent romanticism, portraying them as wanderers in search of heroic adventures, “We Are The Cowboys” points out that cowboys are just regular dudes whose heroism can be seen in fighting injustice in the everyday world.
Willie Nelson’s cover captures this vibe in both the lyrics and the musical layer.
14. “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)” By “Big & Rich”
This one may be familiar to you from the 2012 film Magic Mike. It sounds like a cross between Kid Rock and Keith Urban at times, as it is a perfect fusion of country rap and country rock.
And then there’s the lyrics… Perhaps you should just listen and figure it out for yourself.
15. “Cowboy Take Me Away” By “The Chicks”
Did you know that the title of the song is derived from a popular slogan used in Calgon bath and beauty product commercials? Or that it was widely broadcast on Ugandan Christian radio stations? And had a big influence on Taylor Swift when she was younger?
Isn’t this an interesting mix? But that’s what The Chicks were known for: avoiding clichés.
16. “Should’ve Been A Cowboy” By “Toby Keith”
Another song that romanticizes the cowboy lifestyle by referencing old Westerns. This cowboy is portrayed as a tough, adventurous man who never settles down with his love interest.
The narrator fantasizes about being a cowboy with a “sidekick with a funny name,” traveling to West California and hunting down Western outlaws. To many boys and girls who are passionate about cowboys, this song will undoubtedly transport you back to those times.
17. “Modern Day Cowboy” By “Tesla”
Another metal song with a cowboy theme that became the band’s first single? Here it is!
The song from the band’s debut studio album, Mechanical Resonance, contains references to criminals such as Billy the Kid and Al Capone. This is true until the final verse, which refers to Cold War tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union. In addition to being political, it became iconic enough to be featured in Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock.
18. “Why’d You Come In Here” By “Dolly Parton”
This one is massive! Not only because it was performed by Dolly Parton, but also because it was her 18th number one song on the country chart and spent a total of 20 weeks on the chart.
The lyrics are a first-person narrative of a woman whose ex-lover parades his new relationships in front of her. Of course, everything takes place in the Wild West, with cowboys and cowgirls as the main characters!
So, if you’re heartbroken, you should definitely give it a shot!
19. “Space Cowboy” By “Kacey Musgraves”
Apparently, being a cowboy is often a metaphor for someone who does not want to settle down and commit to a relationship.
Yet another sad love story about a guy who tells the main character that he needs space and wants to leave her. Unfortunately, she realizes that pursuing him is pointless and the only thing she can do is say goodbye.
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20. “Ride Cowboy Ride” By “Bon Jovi”
Without Jon Bon Jovi, no song list would be complete. “Ride Cowboy Ride” perfectly captures the western austerity and wildness.
The song was eventually recorded in the band’s bus and added at the last minute to the album “New Jersey.”
21. “If I Was A Cowboy” By “Miranda Lambert”
Country music, the prairie, and galloping horses – who didn’t wish to be a cowboy or a cowgirl as a child? Miranda Lambert’s song “If I Was A Cowboy” transformed childhood fantasies into adulthood.
The main character wishes to live in the Wild West and dreams of becoming a Cowboy or actually… a Cowgirl.
22. “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?” By “Paula Cole”
The narrator of this three-time Grammy-nominated song fantasizes about spending her life with a Western-styled hero.
However, what appears to be a dream life can sometimes be a nightmare. The touching story, sung with raspy vocals by Paula Cole, will send chills up your spine without a doubt!
23. “Cowboys and Angels” By “George Michael”
Cowboys and Angels became George Michael’s longest song to date, clocking in at 7 minutes and 16 seconds. The lyrics are about the absurdity of wanting what you can’t have and depict a love triangle in which everyone loved someone else.
Cowboys are portrayed in the same light as angels. Being a dream partner, chased by the love interest of the main character.
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24. “Cowboys and Angels” By “Dustin Lynch”
The second song on the list with the same title. But don’t worry, it’s not an error. Unlike George Michael’s song, this one shows how opposites can attract.
He, like a good angel, can fall in love with a tough and unapproachable cowboy. With reciprocity, in this case!
25. “The Last Cowboy Song” By “The Highwaymen”
Nothing captures the spirit of the American West better than this song. It all comes down to the passage of time. The multi-part harmonies of Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Kris Kristofferson pay heartfelt tribute to a world that changes forever.
26. “I Wanna Be A Cowboy’s Sweetheart” By “Patsy Montana”
Patsy Montana was the first female country music performer to have a platinum song. The song is a woman’s lament for the rough-and-tumble cowboy lifestyle (and of course, the cowboy himself).
And if you enjoy yodeling, this song is perfect for you.
This diverse list is sure to include something for everyone. Although it may appear that country songs predominate at first glance, cowboy songs can be diverse. Simply put, the Wild West has long inspired artists of all ages and musical genres.
Cowboys influenced many stories. From dreams of being a tough guy to romantic tales or political manifestos.
So take a listen through these top songs about cowboys and let me know in the comments what you’re favorite is!