Top 10 Tim McGraw Songs
Tim McGraw songs are some of the most iconic of the last couple of decades of country music. The superstar singer has a penchant for discovering some of the strongest, most unique material in Nashville, and he’s consistently recorded adventurous songs that most country artists wouldn’t touch.
From fun, lighthearted novelty songs to broad, sweeping-message songs, and everything in between, McGraw has built one of the most artistically and commercially successful careers in country music history, based in no small part on his song choices. Our list of the Top 10 Tim McGraw Songs pulls together tracks from every aspect of his career.
“Something Like That”
McGraw released this song in the summer of 1999, as the second single from his hit CD A Place in the Sun. With descriptive lyrics about a summer romance (“She had a suntan line and red lipstick / I worked so hard for that first kiss / A heart don’t forget something like that”), this tune could almost be turned into a big-screen romantic comedy. “Something Like That” bears the distinction of being the most-played song on country radio throughout the entire decade of 2000-2010.
“Just to See You Smile”
McGraw set a new record with this 1997 chart-topper. Staying on the charts for 42 weeks, “Just to See You Smile” was the longest-running country single ever to chart at the time. A sad and painfully familiar tale about a man loving enough to let go, the song appears on McGraw’s Everywhere album, as well as on his Greatest Hits, Greatest Hits: Limited Edition and Number One Hits.
“My Next Thirty Years”
This Phil Vassar-penned hit, the fifth and final single released from McGraw’s A Place in the Sun, was released in the summer of 2000. McGraw was 34 years old when he promised he’d “raise a little family and hang out with my wife.” He was already fulfilling that with wife Faith Hill, who gave birth to their third daughter the following year. The song stayed at No. 1 for five weeks, earning a spot in the Top 10 Tim McGraw Songs.
“Highway Don’t Care”
McGraw scored his third straight hit single from his career-redefining album Two Lanes of Freedom with “Highway Don’t Care.” He released the album via Big Machine Records after winning his way to artistic freedom in a landmark lawsuit against Curb Records. The dramatic, moody track features a guest vocal from Taylor Swift, as well as Keith Urban on guitar. Wrtten by Mark Irwin, Josh Kear, and Brett and Brad Warren, the song was yet another re-invention for McGraw, taking him in a more crossover direction.
“The Cowboy in Me”
This song took over the No. 1 slot in November 2001, bumping labelmate Jo Dee Messina‘s “Bring on the Rain” (which features McGraw on background vocals) out of the top spot. Written by Jeffrey Steele, Al Anderson and Craig Wiseman, it was the third single from Set This Circus Down. With painfully honest lines such as “The face that’s in the mirror when I don’t like what I see / I guess that’s just the cowboy in me,” this song is still a favorite for live audiences more than a decade later.
“Angry All the Time”
A memorable duet with wife Hill, this 2001 hit was a sharp departure from the romance the couple convey in real life. Written by Bruce Robison, its gut-wrenching lyrics took the song to No. 1 for two weeks. A sample: “Our boys are strong now, the spitting image of you when you were young / I hope someday they can see past what you have become.” The song is a strong example of something most Nashville artists wouldn’t have cut, qualifying as one of the Top 10 Tim McGraw Songs.
“It’s Your Love” (With Faith Hill)
The first duet McGraw sang with his wife also became his first Top 10 on the pop charts. The debut single from his 1997 album Everywhere, “It’s Your Love” spawned a music video that featured a very pregnant Hill, who was only weeks away from delivering the couple’s first child, Gracie. The romantic tune stayed at the top of the charts for six full weeks. The song is one of several hit duets the pair have recorded.
“If You’re Reading This”
McGraw co-wrote this song with the Brad and Brett Warren, after reading a magazine article about the numerous casualties of war. The powerful song, written from the perspective of a soldier who leaves his loved ones a letter in case he doesn’t make it home, was debuted at the 2007 ACM Awards, with families of soldiers sharing the stage with McGraw. While it was never intended as a single, numerous radio stations started airing the live performance, and a remixed live version was released in June. It eventually went to No. 3 on the country chart.
“Grown Men Don’t Cry”
One of the most heart-wrenching, emotional songs of McGraw’s legendary career, this was the first single from 2001’s Set This Circus Down. Penned by Tom Douglas and Steve Seskin, the song’s tender opening lines, “All mornin’ I’d been thinkin’ my life’s so hard / And they wore everything they own / Livin’ in a car … I don’t know why they say grown men don’t cry,” make it a perennial radio favorite. It reached No. 1 on Billboard‘s Hot Country Singles chart, and No. 25 on the Billboard Hot 100.
“Live Like You Were Dying”
It’s one of the biggest songs of McGraw’s career, and for good reason. Relaying the story of a man diagnosed with a terminal illness who chooses to spend his remaining days “sky diving” and “Rocky Mountain climbing,” the song became even more powerful when McGraw lost his own father, baseball great Tug McGraw, in January 2004 — the same month the song was released. A No. 1 country song for seven weeks, it also landed at No. 4 on the Adult Contemporary chart.