I attend Wellesley College, where I am earning my degree in Studio Art and English with a concentration in Creative Writing.
Celebrating Summer With Country Music
As the summer winds down and thousands of families and kids enjoy their last hurrah in the sun, many will be planning their last beach vacation. For those of you who are eager to soak up every last drop of summer, or for those of you who are eager to plan a paradise vacation for a break from the cold of winter, here are 15 must-have songs for your next beach vacation playlist.
Best 15 Country Songs for the Beach
- "Toes"—Zac Brown Band (2009)
- "Margaritaville"—Jimmy Buffett (1977)
- "Some Beach"—Blake Shelton (2004)
- "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems"—Kenny Chesney (2002)
- "The Seashores of Old Mexico"—George Strait (2005)
- "When the Sun Goes Down"—Kenny Chesney (2004)
- "Cheeseburger in Paradise"—Jimmy Buffett (1978)
- "Beachin’"—Jake Owen (2014)
- "Two Piña Coladas"—Garth Brooks (1998)
- "Somewhere on a Beach"—Dierks Bentley (2016)
- "Knee Deep"—Zac Brown Band (2011)
- "Pink Sunglasses"—Miranda Lambert (2016)
- "Summertime"—Kenny Chesney (2006)
- "Everything’s Gonna be Alright"—David Lee Murphy & Kenny Chesney (2017)
- "Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset"—Luke Bryan (2018)
1. "Toes"—Zac Brown Band
Year Released: 2009
In the decade since the Zac Brown Band released "Toes," they have positioned themselves as a powerhouse of country music capable of producing everything from heart-wrenching ballads to beach-lovin’ tunes such as this one. The message is simple: When you’ve got your “toes in the water, ass in the sand,” life is good.
I got my toes in the water, ass in the sand
Not a worry in the world, a cold beer in my hand
Life is good today
Life is good today . . .
— "Toes," Zac Brown Band
2. "Margaritaville"—Jimmy Buffett
Year Released: 1977
Leave it to Jimmy Buffet, the original country castaway, to transform his vision of paradise into a real chain of restaurants aimed at whisking away your troubles and bringing you the calm beach vibe we’re all looking for.
Nibblin' on sponge cake
Watchin' the sun bake
All of those tourists covered with oil
Strummin' my six string on my front porch swing…
— "Margaritaville," Jimmy Buffett
3. "Some Beach"—Blake Shelton
Year Released: 2004
Blake reminds us that, sometimes, when life puts you in uncomfortable situations, the only thing to do is to picture yourself in some distant beach paradise where “there's a beautiful sunset burning up the atmosphere” and “there's music and dancing and lovers romancing in the salty evenin' air.”
Driving down the interstate
Running thirty minutes late
Singing Margaritaville and minding my own
Some foreign car drivin' dude with a road rage attitude . . .
— "Some Beach," Blake Shelton
4. "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems"—Kenny Chesney
Year Released: 2002
In his music video, Chesney says, “The islands; they’re the one place where you can truly be as you are. Where it doesn't matter what you’ve done, how you make your life. You’re just there with the sun, the sand, the sea, and the locals. But the notion of “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems” isn't a song title, but a way of life . . . my way of life, where I feel the most alive, where I feel the most settled. When I’m not with you, the fans, out there on the road, it’s where I feel really at home.”
Cheers to that, Kenny!
No shoes, no shirt, and no problems
Blues, what blues?
Hey I forgot 'em.
The sun and the sand . . .
— "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems," Kenny Chesney
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5. "The Seashores of Old Mexico"—George Strait
Year Released: 2005
Despite being a song about running from the law, something about it whisks your worries away with romantic visions of “the seashores of old Mexico.” The song was originally written and recorded by country legend Merle Haggard and covered by George Strait in 2005.
I left, out of Tucson, with no destination in mind.
I was runnin' from trouble and the jail-term the Judge had in mind.
And the border meant freedom, a new life, romance,
And that's why I thought I should go . . .
— "The Seashores of Old Mexico," George Strait
6. "When the Sun Goes Down"—Kenny Chesney
Year Released: 2004
You may travel hundreds of miles to reach your beach destination for the sun and the waves, but as Chesney knows, something magical happens when the sun goes down on a beachside paradise. That’s the golden hour when romance really begins.
When the sun goes down, we'll be groovin'
When the sun goes down, hey Uncle Kenny
When the sun goes down over the water
Everything is hotter when the sun goes down . . .
— "When the Sun Goes Down," Kenny Chesney
7. "Cheeseburger in Paradise"—Jimmy Buffett
Year Released: 1978
Oh, Buffet, you’ve done it again! This lovable and somewhat silly song has wormed its way into America's heart. After all, most of us would love to have a cheeseburger in paradise (and anywhere else). In fact, people love the song so much that you can find a Cheeseburger In Paradise Restaurant everywhere from Waikiki, Hawaii, to Indianapolis.
Tried to amend my carnivorous habits
Made it nearly seventy days
Losin' weight without speed
Eatin' sunflower seeds
Drinkin' lots of carrot juice and soakin' up rays . . .
— "Cheeseburger in Paradise," Jimmy Buffett
8. "Beachin’"—Jake Owen
Year Released: 2014
If you’re looking for an upbeat song to enhance the good-time vibes at your next beach getaway, nothing could be better than “Beachin’,” by Jake Owen. Of course, the artist who famously throws free beach concerts (and often drops in on fans’ parties) knows just how to get the party going.
And it's sunshine, blue eyes, tan lines, slow tide
Rollin' white sand, cold can koozie in my hand, just a summertime strolling
Chillin', breazin', sippin', singin' whoaoaoh . . .
— "Beachin’,"Jake Owen
9. "Two Piña Coladas"—Garth Brooks
Year Released: 1998
It's common wisdom “that science has proven that heartaches are healed by the sea." That said, the piña coladas do most of the legwork. For your next vacation, we prescribe a salty ocean breeze, a little Garth, and—of course—two piña coladas.
So bring me two piña coladas
I want one for each hand
Let's set sail with Captain Morgan
Oh, and never leave dry land . . .
— "Two Piña Coladas," Garth Brooks
10. "Somewhere on a Beach"—Dierks Bentley
Year Released: 2016
There’s nothing like a beach vacation to forget about your most recent breakup. Apparently, all you need is a beach, some booze, and a brand new girl to make things right.
I went wheels up on a runway
And that ticket was a long way
I'm somewhere on a beach
Sipping something strong . . .
— "Somewhere on a Beach," Dierks Bentley
11. "Knee Deep"—Zac Brown Band
Year Released: 2011
“Knee Deep” was a real collaboration. As songwriter Wyatt Durrette told Taste of Country, he had always been a fan of Jimmy Buffet, so he wanted to write a beach song inspired by his most recent breakup. After writing the first verse, he brought it to the Zac Brown Band, who helped to write the second verse.
However, the song was still missing a bridge. The collaborators decided to bring the song to Jeffrey Steele, who helped them complete it. They then recorded with Jimmy Buffet on “You Get What You Give,” Brown’s second major label album.
Wishin' I was
Knee deep in the water somewhere
Got the blue sky, breeze and it don't seem fair
The only worry in the world . . .
— "Knee Deep," Zac Brown Band
12. "Pink Sunglasses"—Miranda Lambert
Year Released: 2016
Miranda Lambert sure knows the power of a good pair of rose-tinted sunglasses. Slip them on, and not only is the world transformed into a mellow sepia tone in which the cares of the present seem to slip away, but they also make you feel like a person transformed (as if transported to another time). In other words, they are the perfect accessory for your next beach vacation.
In my pink sunglasses
Always makes the world look a little bit better
In my pink sunglasses
You can try 'em anytime you need a change of the weather . . .
— "Pink Sunglasses," Miranda Lambert
13. "Summertime"—Kenny Chesney 2006
Year Released: 2006
Summertime is the season when young love and formative memories happen. “Summertime” evokes all those nostalgic feelings of summer love and freedom that many of us wish we could return to.
Perfect song on the radio
Sing along 'cause it's one we know
It's a smile, it's a kiss
It's a sip of wine, it's summertime . . .
— "Summertime," Kenny Chesney
14. "Everything’s Gonna Be Alright"—David Lee Murphy & Kenny Chesney
Year Released: 2017
If you're anything like me, vacation is a time to destress and get away from the daily grind. There’s nothing quite like sitting on a beach somewhere, watching the waves gently roll into the shore, to remind you that everything’s gonna be alright.
This song was made after Murphy, who has been in the country music business for years, sent the song to Kenny Chesney, for whom he had written songs such as “Living in Fast Forward” and “Live a Little.” Chesney loved it and decided to work with him. Chesney has stated that, "when David Lee sent me the song 'Everything's Gonna Be Alright,' it just made me happy; it just made me smile." Well, Mr. Chesney, it certainly does make us smile.
Everything's gonna be alright
Everything's gonna be alright
And nobody's gotta worry 'bout nothing
Don't go hittin' that panic button . . .
— "Everything’s Gonna Be Alright," David Lee Murphy & Kenny Chesney
15. "Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset"—Luke Bryan
Year Released: 2018
Despite not explicitly being a beach song, the spirit of this summer love anthem holds true for any sunshine-filled getaway. As Bryan tells fans, "It talks about love in a summer and summer love. It doesn't get any better than summer love way back when. And then, when you say 'Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset, Repeat,' that's what you do in the summer. You wake up. You go get your tan on, and the sun goes down and you do it over and over."
Sunrise, sunburn, sunset, repeat
Moonlight, all night, crashing into me
Nothing will ever be easy as you and me
Tangled up with nowhere to be . . .
— "Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset," Luke Bryan