Writer Shane McAnally answered the question before it was even finished being asked. For him — and many others asked to name the Top Country Song of the Century — Miranda Lambert’s "The House That Built Me" is it.
In times of tragedy, country music heals. Songs from some of the genre's best artists are used as therapy during great personal and national strife. No song has unified quite like Alan Jackson's "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)."
Jamey Johnson's "In Color" would be higher on this list of the Top Country Songs of the Century if it was based purely on artist and songwriter opinion. It's the most frequently named song, or at least one of two (the other is still to come).
“It’s just the greatest message ever put on the radio in my opinion, and to the world frankly,” one country artist said of Tim McGraw's "Live Like You Were Dying." The singer is a bit more humble about song No. 4 on this list of the Top Country Songs of the Century, but he recognizes the importance of the song.
All five remaining songs on this list of the Top Songs of the Century required little or no conversation. Lee Ann Womack's "I Hope You Dance" is an inspiring sonic masterpiece that blanketed country radio for five years before pulling back ever so slightly.
Little Big Town's "Girl Crush" is a song that inspired other artists. Song No. 6 on this list of the Top Country Songs of the Century reminded anyone feeling held down in a very cautious genre that it's alright to be different.
Gretchen Wilson admits that while her hit song "Redneck Woman" was skyrocketing up the airplay charts she didn't feel like she fit in. Years later she'd tell Taste of Country that at the time, she felt underdressed for a black tie party. It's now clear the guests at that party were happy she injected new energy into their predictable sound.
Florida Georgia Line's "Cruise" is the best-selling country song of the century and a song that blew the doors open for a progressive, hip-hop-flavored brand of country that longtime fans of the genre are still trying to determine what to do with.