Country music tells stories of real life. And no genre sings it better when it comes to heartbreak, the loss of love, and divorce.

Looking back to the 1960s and 1970s, there were two songs about splits by country music queens of their day: Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette. Lynn sang the classic “Rated X,” which was out in 1972, and talked about what women go through in the public eye after a divorce. It was quite salty at the time it came out.

Wynette is known for the ultimate country music divorce song, “D-I-V-O-R-C-E,” which topped the country charts in 1968. It was six years later, in 1975, that she and George Jones got divorced. It was a huge deal at the time because, in their day, they were the Tim McGraw and Faith Hill of country music.

Fast forward to the 2020s, and breakups and heartbreaks leading to divorce still top the country’s music charts. Carly Pearce and Chris Stapleton are close to topping the charts with their GRAMMY Nominated (Best Duo/Group Performance) heartbreak duet about a couple that communicates so little: “We Don’t Even Fight Anymore.”

They say divorce is one of the three most stressful changes in life, next to death, sickness, and losing a job. Sadly, statistics say that 40-50 percent of marriages these days end in divorce. The divorce rate for second marriages is even higher, with approximately 60-67% of second marriages ending in divorce.

In country music, many marriages end in divorce, so when Tim and Faith celebrated their 27th wedding anniversary last year, it really was something to celebrate. They are not the only marriage success in country music as Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, and Keith Urban, and Nicole Kidman are approaching 20 years of wedded bliss.

We look at five country music songs about the loss of love and divorce.

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  • "Starting Over Again" (1980) - Dolly Parton

    This Dolly Parton classic is the ultimate divorce song. The song lyrics’ first verse gets right to the point, “Momma moved out / Daddy sold the house / They split up the money / And went on their way / And all the king’s horses / And all the king’s men / Couldn’t put mommy and daddy back together again.”

    This Dolly album, Dolly, Dolly, Dolly, came out right before she released her 9 to 5 and Odd Jobs album, which brought her a whole new set of music and movie fans. Reba remade this touching song on her 1995 On My Own album, where she recorded some of her favorite covers.

  • "Every Other Weekend" (2007)

    Reba McEntire with Kenny Chesney – Reba makes another divorce song that hits home for many going through this tough lot in life. This song appeared on her 2007 Duets album. The song features Kenny Chesney and tells the tale of divorce from both sides, Mom and Dad.

    The two released a video for the song, which features the couple exchanging kids. It features video footage of Reba sitting in a park but just Chesney’s vocals.

  • "Give It Away" - (2006) - George Strait

    The King of Country Music himself, sings the sad tale of divorce in his 2006 hit “Give It Away.” The song details the stuff being divided when a married couple split. The song was written by Jamey Johnson, Bill Anderson, and Buddy Cannon. Jonhson’s divorce inspired it at the time. The song became Strait’s 41st No. 1 single on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, setting a new record for most No. 1 singles on that chart at the time. Conway Twitty held the previous record for number-one hits.

  • "Mama's Broken Heart" (2011) - Miranda Lambert

    This classic breakup song is epic, with Miranda telling her mom not to share her advice after such a bad breakup. The song was written by Kacey Musgraves, Brandy Clark, and Shane McAnally.

    Lambert told us of the song when it came out in 2013, “I think we all have at some point or another, mostly when we’re young. Especially crazy teenage love — you think the world is ending if you break up.” The music video really adds to the tension of the song, as we see Miranda playing the role of someone not dealing very well with a breakup.

  • "You'll Think of Me" (2004) - Keith Urban

    This heartbreaking big hit from Keith Urban ranked number one on the country charts and even peaked at number 6 on the US Adult Top 40 chart. The song’s lyrics say in the chorus, “Take your records, take your freedom / Take your memories, I don’t need ’em / Take your space and take your reasons / But you’ll think of me.”

    The music video for the song features Keith singing in a dark and empty house with flashbacks of good times with his love.

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