10 Country Songs About Abilene and Other Cities in West Texas
In the country music genre, you can find a lot of songs that are about Texas. However, how many songs are about our area of Texas? I'm talking about West Texas, particularly, the cities and towns that make up the real wild west.
So, I started thinking about all the songs that I know of, that are about places here in West Texas. I'll start off with the most obvious songs, "El Paso" and "El Paso City" both songs are entirely different by Marty Robbins.
Then there are what I believe are the most well-known songs anywhere by the two George's. They are George Strait's "Amarillo By Morning" and George Hamilton's "Abilene."
One day I hear a song that caught my attention, I reached for the volume knob and turned it up. Yep! He's singing about the town of Haskell and the city of Abilene. The song was released in 1998 by Lyle Lovette titled "West Texas Highway."
Then there's my favorite Aaron Watson song titled "San Angelo," or how about Dwight Yoakam's "Fair to Midland," The (Dixie) Chicks have a song called "Lubbock or Leave It." So, let's get started checking these songs out.
I'll admit that once you start listening to all of these songs, you'll agree with me, that West Texas is still the wild west. Many of the songs tell stories of love lost, cowboys and rodeo, outlaws on the run, or a place to settle down with the love of your life.
#1 - El Paso by Marty Robbins
"El Paso" - Lyrics: "Out in the West Texas town of El Paso, I fell in love with a Mexican girl, Nighttime would find me in Rosa's Cantina, Music would play and Feleena would whirl"
This was the first of two songs about the West Texas town of El Paso. The song is about two gunslingers fighting over a woman. Marty Robbins charted on the Billboard Top 100 and went to #1 and made Robbins a household name in 1959.
#2 - Abilene by George Hamilton IV
"Abilene" - Lyrics: "Abilene, Abilene, Prettiest town I've ever seen, Women there don't treat you mean, In Abilene, my Abilene"
The song was originally written by John D. Loudermilk, Bob Gibson, and Lester Brown in 1957. Bob Gibson himself, released the song in 1957 and got some marginal airplay in Texas. However, in 1963 George Hamilton IV re-released the song and it went to #1 for three weeks on the Billboard Country charts. Interestingly enough "Abilene" was recorded and released by 45 different artists to date.
#3 - West Texas Highway by Lyle Lovette
"West Texas Highway" - Lyrics: "I put on my brakes, And I opened my door, I could tell he was a bum, By the muddy boot he wore, He said I'm going down to Haskell, Got a woman down in Abilene"
The song was originally written by Michale Martin Murphy and Owens "Boomer" Castleman in 1967 and released by George Hamilton IV in 1971. However, it was Lyle Lovette's version I heard when he released it in 1998. Lyle puts his style and delivery to Hamilton's '71 hit, give it a listen.
#4 - Amarillo By Morning by George Strait
"Amarillo By Morning" - Lyrics: "Amarillo by mornin', Up from San Antone, Everything that I got, Is just what I've got on, When that Sun is high, In that Texas sky, I'll be buckin' at the county fair, Amarillo by mornin', Amarillo I'll be there"
The song was written by Fraser Paul Alexander and Stafford Terry in 1973. However, it was Chris Ladeux that released it first in 1975, but it was George Strait that put the song into the history books in 1983.
#5 - San Angelo by Aaron Watson
San Angelo - Lyrics: "She said time would heal my broken heart, And I'd find a true companion for my soul, You know she was right, we were wrong, Nothing more than a pretty song, About a Boy, Who loved a girl, In San Angelo"
"San Angelo" was written and released by Aaron Watson and Neal Lowry in 2006 and is not the same "San Angelo" song by Marty Robbins once released. The Aaron Watson song very quickly became a West Texas, Concho Valley favorite.
#6 - San Angelo by Marti Robbins
"San Angelo" - Lyrics: "She sent a message a long time ago, Secora had promised to meet me in San Angelo, I was aware of the chance I was taking, I was an outlaw but great was my love for this girl"
Marty Robbins' song "San Angelo" is about a wanted outlaw that sets out to meet up with the love of his life in the town of San Angelo. You'll have to listen to hear how this song ends.
#7 - El Paso City by Marty Robbins
"El Paso City" - Lyrics: "El Paso City by the Rio Grande, Could it be that I could be, The cowboy in this mystery, That died there in that desert sand so long ago, El Paso City by the Rio Grande, A voice tells me to go and see, Another voice keeps tellin' me, Maybe death awaits me in El Paso"
Marty Robbins wrote and released "El Paso City" in 1976. This song is the sequel of sorts to his 1959 chart-topper "El Paso." The song is about a man on an airplane looking down on the city where the man died for a girl at "Rosas Cantina."
#8 - Lubbock or Leave It by The Chicks
Lubbock or Leave It - Lyrics: "International airport, A quarter after nine, Paris Texas, Athens Georgia's
Not what I had in mind, As I'm getting out I laugh to myself, 'Cause this is the only place, Where as you're getting on the plane, You see Buddy Holly's face"
The song by The Chicks is an accurate description of things seen or happened around Lubbock. However, the lyrics of the song never say "Lubbock." They do speak of Buddy Holly, Paris Texas, and our southern hospitality. I must admit the Chicks really rock in this awesome song.
#9 - Fair to Midland by Dwight Yoakam
"Fair To Midland" - Lyrics: "Now to make myself west Texas-bound, The fare to Midland is all I need, Fare to Midland is all that I need, If I had fare to Midland, I'd take the first seat"
Dwight Yoakam is desperate to get back to west Texas, back to Midland where he can be back with his girl. He says that he'll take the first seat, on a fast train, bus, or plane. Whichever is the quickest way to get back to Midland.
#10 - Texas in My Rearview Mirror by Mac Davis
"Lubbock Texas in My Rearview Mirror" - Lyrics: "I was just fifteen and out of control lost to James Dean and rock and roll, I knew down deep in my country soul that I had to get away, Hollywood was a lady in red who danced in my dreams as I tossed in bed
I knew I'd wind up in jail or dead if I have to stay, I thought happiness was Lubbock Texas in my rearview mirror"
Mac Davis' song has to be included because it's all about the West Texas city of Lubbock. The song starts off as he's glad to be out of this city and state. Only to realize that he would much rather be back in Lubbock Texas. Mac wrote the song in 1976, but released it in 1980 when it shot straight to the top of the charts.
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