Western Music
The Lone Writer  

Western Writers of America members choose the all-time best Western songs.

The Western Writers of America surveyed its 600-plus members of writers, authors, and poets for the top 100 Western Songs of all time.

Each one of the members was asked to select 10 songs, and the votes were then tabulated at the WWA offices. The list was presented at the WWA’s Annual Convention in Knoxville, Tennessee.

This list is an interesting mixture of old, traditional songs, movie soundtracks as well as songs categorized as “country.” All of these songs have the characteristics of great Western music, from Western-themed stories to the distinct hum of the rugged steel-string acoustic guitar.

1. Ghost Riders in the Sky
2. El Paso
3. Cool Water
4. Streets of Laredo/Cowboy’s Lament
5. Back in the Saddle Again
6. High Noon/Do Not Forsake Me
7. Oh Shenandoah/Across the Wide Missouri
8. Tumbling Tumbleweeds
9. Home on the Range
10. Red River Valley
11. Big Iron
12. Don’t Fence Me In
13. Bury Me Not in the Lone Prairie
14. Desperado
15. Wildfire
16. Cattle Call
17. Pancho and Lefty
18. Little Joe, the Wrangler
19. They Call the Wind Mariah
20. Coyotes
21. Along the Navaho Trail
22. Happy Trails
23. Rawhide
24. Yellow Rose of Texas
25. Mamas, Don’t let your Babies Grow up to Be Cowboys
26. Ballad of Davy Crockett
27. Wayward Wind
28. Strawberry Roan
29. When the Works All Done This Fall
30. Empty Saddles in the Old Corral
31. Ballad of the Alamo
32. Mule Train
33. My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys
34. Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door
35. Amarillo by Morning
36. Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
37. Last Comanche Moon
38. Oh My Darling, Clementine
39. The Rebel (Johnny Yuma)
40. Ballad of Ira Hayes
41. North to Alaska
42. My Rifle, My Pony and Me
43. Don’t Take Your Guns to Town
44. South of the Border
45. Desperadoes Waiting for a Train
46. Get Along, Little Dogies
47. Buffalo Gals
48. I’m an Old Cowhand from the Rio Grande
49. New San Antonio Rose
50. Gunfight at the OK Corral
51. Wild Montana Skies
52. Last Cowboy Song
53. Ballad of Paladin
54. Tonight We Ride
55. Oklahoma!
56. I’d Like to Be in Texas for the Roundup in the Spring
57. Call You Cowboy
58. Bonanza
59. Old Double Diamond
60. Lorena
61. The Hanging Tree
62. Dust Eatin’ Cowboys
63. Cowpoke
64. Old Timer
65. Red Headed Stranger
66. Last Wild White Buffalo
67. Jesse James
68. Faster Horses
69. El Dorado
70. Goodbye Old Paint/I’m Leaving Cheyenne
71. Tom Dooley
72. I Want to Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart
73. Wayfarin’ Stranger
74. The Old Cantina
75. I Ride an Old Paint
76. Grandpa
77. Someday Soon
78. Summer Wages
79. Battle of New Orleans
80. Jingle, Jangle, Jingle
81. Blue Shadows on the Trail
82. O Susanna
83. Sweet Betsy from Pike
84. Colorado Trail
85. When Roy Rogers Was Around
86. Navajo Rug
87. Remember the Alamo
88. Billy the Kid
89. Life is Like a Mountain Railroad
90. Old Chisholm Trail
91. Whatever Happened to Randolph Scott
92. Desert Pete
93. Rocky Mountain High
94. Theme from the Searchers
95. Wagon Wheels
96. Vaya Con Dios
97. Ridin’ Down the Canyon
98. Shifting, Whispering Sands
99. Oklahoma Hills
100. Master’s Call

4 thoughts on “Western Writers of America members choose the all-time best Western songs.

  1. John Brennan

    What about “Mama tried”?

  2. ted R holland


  3. Jim

    Uh…how could we leave out the great “I’ve got tears in my ears from lyin’ on my back when I cried in my sleep over you”?
    I understand, however, the omission of “Passengers will please refrain from flushing toilets while the train is in the station darling I love you.”

  4. Giff

    Just discovered your blog today. Lots of great info!

    My only quibble with this list is that “Lorena” should have been rated much higher. For me, it’s the ultimate Western love song.

Leave A Comment

book cover mockup for Western Writing

Looking for an Epic Western Adventure? Look No Further!

How would you like to ride hell-bent for leather into a world full of adventure and heroism?

Get Your Free Copy Today>>