What makes a country song truly depressing? It's the kind of song that doesn't have a silver lining anywhere, no matter how hard you look.

In compiling this list of country music's most depressing songs ever, we left out a lot of great sad songs, simply because they had an element of hope or redemption. In order to make the cut, these 30 tracks had to be pretty downright bleak: They tell the stories of people who are stuck in their difficult or tragic circumstances, with no hope of finding a positive spin on the situation.

Story songs made up a big component of this list. Reba McEntire offers up a tragic tale of preventable illness and death, Dolly Parton shares an unwed mother's grim fate and Tracy Lawrence paints a desolate picture of a man mourning the family life he almost had. Cody Johnson and John Anderson relay gripping tales of regret, while some other artists, like Dierks Bentley, are in flat-out denial about their unfortunate circumstances.

Read on for Taste of Country's list of the most depressing country songs of all time. Does your No. 1 match our No. 1? Feel free to let us know in the comments.

The 30 Most Depressing Country Songs Ever, Ranked

Country songs can be sad, angry, dark or tragic, but nothing beats these 30 tunes for sheer bleakness. The difference? Artists sing these songs from the perspective of people who've got no hope left — at least, it feels like it — and the results are downright depressing.

Gallery Credit: Carena Liptak

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