Whether you’re heading out on Route 66 or another fabulous Texas road trip, you will need some tunes to help take your journey to the next level. I have a giant list of road trip songs, but if you want something a bit more specific to Texas for when you hit the Texas portion of Route 66, this list is only songs about Texas so you can stay in a Texas state of mind.
At the bottom is a free Texas playlist on Spotify that you can use on your trip!
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The Top 10 Best Songs about Texas
Here are the best songs about Texas. How many have you heard?
Yellow Rose of Texas (Various)
While this might be one of the most famous songs about Texas (and certainly one of the most famous to mention Amarillo), it’s a classic American folk song dating back to at least the 1850s.
While there are many versions, from Gene Autry to Elvis Presley, however, it’s the version by Michael Martin Murphey that’s perfect for hitting the road on your trip.
London Homesick Blues (Gary P. Nunn)
Gary P. Nunn wrote “London Homesick Blues” while homesick in London in 1973. This song should be the anthem of any homesick Texan that feels like a fish out of water. The song was also recorded by Jerry Jeff Walker with Nunn on the Viva Terlingua album.
In 1977 the song became the official theme song for Austin City Limits, making it one of the most famous songs about Texas at the time. Nearly 50 years later and it’s still sung in dance halls across the state (and on many a homesick Texan’s playlist). -Erin from Sol Salute
God Blessed Texas (Little Texas)
Released in 1993 by the band Little Texas, “God Blessed Texas” has become something of an anthem for the Lone Star State.
The song, which reached national popularity when it was released, makes the argument that Texas is such a special place, God spent extra time when creating it–in other words, “if you want to see heaven, brother, here’s your chance.”
More than 25 years later, the song is still popularly played at various events around the state, including professional sports games and at Six Flags theme parks–and it definitely deserves to feature on any Texas playlist! – Kate from Lone Star Travel Guide
On alternative rock band R.E.M.’s seventh album, you’ll find their song Texarkana, a beautifully ambiguous song written and performed by the band’s bassist, Mike Mills. Bizarrely, the final version of ‘Texarkana’ makes absolutely no references to Texas in its lyrics, despite the song name.
That being said, the references in the song to the “forty-thousand stars in the evening” and “twenty-thousand miles to an oasis” will surely resonate with anybody driving across the huge expanses of Texas. -Ella from Many More Maps
Deep in the Heart of Texas (Gene Autry)
Written by June Hershey, this song is an Ode to the Texas state of the US and it has inspired many covers. While Perry Como first sang it in 1942, Gene Autry’s rendition in “Heart of the Rio Grande” and “Stardust on the Stage” solidified its position in pop culture.
The simple and catchy melody of the song made it so infectious that BBC had to ban it during work hours for the fear that it’ll affect work performance. This is why it will always be a part of Texas Culture. – Chisom Evare from Awesome Traveler Blog
Luckenbach, Texas (Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson)
Texas is home to several of the largest cities in the United States, but there’s something especially magical about Texas small-town life. And no song captures that magic better than “Luckenbach, Texas”, sung by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson and written by Chips Moman and Bobby Emmons.
This ode to “getting back to the basics of love” struck a chord with listeners who longed to find peace, quiet, and happiness with their sweetie in Texas. It hit number one on the country charts back in 1977 and was even covered by Alvin and the Chipmunks. -Stella Jane from Around the World in 24 Hours
Ohio (Come Back to Texas) [Bowling For Soup]
One of the campiest songs from the early 2000s is by the bank Bowling For Soup. They released the goofy song Ohio (Come Back to Texas) in 2004. It’s a fun ode to the Lonestar State written from the perspective of a Texan guy whose girlfriend leaves him and runs off to Cleveland. Because he wants her to come back to him, the song attempts to remind his lost love of the greatness of Texas.
The best part of the song is where he names all the iconic Texans who want her back like Willie Nelson, Troy Aikman, NASA, and the Bush twins. It’s an upbeat song with a fun take on the coolness of Texas. -Derek and Mike from Everything Copenhagen
All My Ex’s Live in Texas (George Strait)
This late 1980s country hit about a man who has to live out of state to avoid all of the women he has jilted in the past is a cheeky ode to some of the often overlooked corners of Texas (and the women who live there).
While the song made it to number one on both the US and Canadian country charts, no one seemed to bother to get the punctuation in the title correct. As Wikipedia notes, the apostrophe in the song’s title is used incorrectly, signifying the possessive case for a singular ex, rather than a slew of plural exes. -Editor’s Choice
That’s Right (You’re Not From Texas) [Lyle Lovett]
Being Texan comes with a level of pride that borders on cocky and Lyle Lovett’s “That’s Right (You’re Not From Texas)” is a lighthearted song about that infamous Texas pride. That’s Right pokes fun at the city fashion trends of cowboy hats and cowboy boots. It then goes on to sing about the Texas culture that’s so misunderstood by most outsiders.
It so well represents the state that it was used in a tourism advertising campaign. Friendly Texans will welcome you with open arms, even if, that’s right, you’re not from Texas. -Erin from Sol Salute
She’s like Texas (Josh Abbott Band)
“She’s like Texas” is one of the lesser-known, yet equally endearing, songs about Texas. Released in 2010 by the popular Texas country artist, Josh Abbott, the song encompasses so many of the iconic characteristics of Texas that natives and visitors alike have grown to love.
From the bluebonnets that grow wild each spring to the fields of cotton crops that are grown by farmers in West Texas, the lyrics of the song perfectly capture the various aspects and regions of the Lone Star State. “She’s like Texas” was not only the first single the Josh Abbott Band released, it was also the name of the band’s first album. -Melissa from Parenthood and Passports
40 More Texas Songs for Your Texas Playlist
Ten songs simply aren’t enough to cover all the great Texas songs, so here are another forty!
Texas Cups Cali Blu*ts (King Lil G, Bun B)
The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton (The Mountain Goats)
West Texas in My Eye (The Panhandlers)
Texas Love Song (Slaid Cleaves)
Wacko from Waco (Bill Joe Shaver)
Snowqueen of Texas (The Mamas & The Papas)
Texas (When I Die)
Houstonfornication (Travis Scott)
Route 66 (Chuck Berry)
El Paso (Marty Robbins)
Padre Island Moon (Sidney Stephens)
Texas Sun (Khruangbin & Leon Bridges)
Texas Man (The Chicks)
Dallas to Houston (South Park Mexican)
If You’re Gonna Play in Texas [You Gotta Have a Fiddle in the Band] (Alabama)
Amarillo (J Balvin)
Dallas Days and Fort Worth Nights (Chris LeDoux)
Austin, TX Blues (Netherfriends, Blake Rules)
2AM in Houston (Yung Bleu)
The WASP [Texas Radio and the Big Beat] (The Doors)
T for Texas [Blue Yodel No. 1] (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind (George Strait)
El Paso (Taking Back Sunday)
This Ain’t Dallas (Hand Williams, Jr.)
Rio Grande (Freedom Fry)
Galveston (Glen Campbell)
Texas in My Rear View Mirror (Mac Davis)
Green Juice in Dallas (Larry June)
Run the World [Girls] (Beyonce)
El Paso (Shovels & Rope)
San Antonio Rose (Willie Nelson, Ray Price)
Texas Cookin’ (Guy Clark)
Corpus Christi Bay (Robert Earl Keen)
A Quick Death in Texas (Clutch)
Waltz Across Texas (Ernest Tubb)
Padre Island Time (Trip Hunt)
Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys (Willie Nelson)
El Paso (Grateful Dead)
Save this Free Texas Playlist
To save this playlist, open in Spotify and hit the “follow” button. Then you’ll be able to stream it on your very own Texas road trip!
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Pin these Texas Songs for Your Texas Playlist
Stephanie is a born-and-bred Oklahoma mom and travel expert who has been to over fifty countries. After living in Eastern Europe for four years, she has moved with her family back to Oklahoma to write about her favorite places growing up: Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, & Route 66!