Texans like to define themselves by size. We learned long ago that everything is bigger in Texas (although you might get an argument from Alaskans), and that pertains to music as well. There are hundreds of songs about Texas and whittling down the list to the four best is overwhelmingly difficult, however, it’s not impossible. Texas Monthly magazine defined a Texas song as one that was written or performed by any Texas native or resident. We have higher standards. The song must be about Texas or some aspect of the state. Here goes.
“Screw You, We’re From Texas” by Ray Wylie Hubbard. This is a song that defines the Texas attitude. Texans may dress and act differently from those in other states, but that’s because they are individuals who do things with flair, style and guts. Hubbard acknowledges the flaws of Texas in his song, including the Kennedy assassination and political and business scandals, but in his mind, those flaws are more than made up for by the creativity of those from the state and the ability to get things done at the most important times. It’s a song filled with piss and vinegar, but it’s also a good listen with a strong beat and a message.
“What I Like About Texas” by Gary P. Nunn. Somewhat similar to Hubbard’s entry, but instead of putting the chip on his shoulder as he defends his state, Nunn turns public relations director and tells you about Texas’ many attributes. He starts off by describing the physical beauty of the state and moves on to the spirit of the people. Nunn goes on to sing about the food and drink of the state as well. He does it all with clever lyrics and a great harmony. Many Texans have called this song their true state anthem.
“All My Ex’s Live in Texas” by George Strait. The song is about the women in country star George Strait’s life, and they are all from Texas. He loves Texas and all the women there dearly. In the song, Strait describes all the attributes of the women he has married, loved, kissed or gone out with and how much they mean to him. In addition to talking about the women, he talks about the great places in Texas that he loves and the memories he has. He also makes sure you know that with so many ex’s in Texas, he has had to move to Tennessee.
“Deep In The Heart of Texas” by June Hershey and Don Swander. This is the song that most non-Texans think of when their thoughts turn to the largest state in the continental United States. It is a pleasant song that is easy to sing and fairly easy to remember. The opening lyric of the song talks about how the stars at night look bigger and brighter in Texas. The rest of the song continues in that same vein, with Texas attributes being bigger and better than those from other states. That’s how Texans look at their state, and they want everyone to know it. The song is performed regularly at college football games throughout the state by bands from the University of Texas, University of Houston, Texas Christian, and Rice University.