By Jeremy Hallock
By James Khubiar
By Observer Staff
By Kelly Dearmore
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
"Between the Hank Williams pain songs And Jerry Jeff's train songs And blue eyes cryin' in the rain Out in Luckenbach, Texas Ain't nobody feeling no pain"
—Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson,
With that introduction, welcome to our 100 best Texas songs of all time list, in which we attempt to both quantify and qualify our favorites. We left it pretty wide open: The artist had to be born or based in Texas for a significant amount of time, but other than that, it could be any genre, era or city.
Despite our one-up spirit in several of the bigger Texas cities, our state really is just one big yard separated by different driveways, isn't it? We've all got our stories, our secret and not-so-secret histories, the songs that define us, and that is ultimately what ties us together.
I know the knee-jerk reaction is to look at the rankings and nitpick, but they're rather arbitrary. Hopefully we can turn you on to an artist you've never heard, or at least inspire some dialogue. I'm sure you will tell us what we're missing, too.
Visit DC9 At Night for accompanying Spotify playlists of a majority of the songs, and full blurbs on all of them.
100. Tripping Daisy, "Sonic Bloom"
99. Pleasant Grove, "The Plaque at 16ft"
98. Old 97's, "Timebomb"
97. Devin the Dude, "Doobie Ashtray"
96. Baboon, "Night of the Long Knives"
95. Lyle Lovett, "She's No Lady, She's My Wife"
94. At the Drive-In, "One Armed Scissor"
93. Lil Keke ft. Paul Wall and Bun B, "Chunk Up The Deuce"
92. Stevie Ray Vaughan, "Pride & Joy"
91. ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, "Richter Scale Madness"
90. The Dixie Chicks, "Not Ready To Make Nice"
89. Polyphonic Spree, "Soldier Girl"
88. Scratch Acid, "Owner's Lament"
87. Nomads, "Be Nice"
86. Spoon, "The Way We Get By"
85. Woodeye, "The Fray"
84. Meat Loaf, "I Would Do Anything For Love"
83. The Telefones, "Rocket Rocket"
82. The Hugh Beaumont Experience, "Eric's on Thorazine"
81. Kashmere Stage Band, "Do You Dig It, Man"
80. Butthole Surfers, "Sweat Loaf"
79. Lift to Experience, "Falling From Cloud 9"
78. Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs, "Wooly Bully"
77. Kris Kristofferson, "Me and Bobby McGee"
76. Destiny's Child, "Bills, Bills, Bills"
75. Patty Griffin, "Moses"
74. Centro-matic, "Fidgeting Wildly"
73. The Hochimen, "God Was A Flower"
72. Meat Loaf, "Paradise by the Dashboard Light"
71. Terry Allen, "Amarillo Highway"
70. Deep Blue Something, "Breakfast at Tiffany's"
69. The Relatives, "Don't Let Me Fall"
68. Townes Van Zandt, "Marie"
67. UGK, "Pocket Full of Stones"
66. ZZ Top, "Just Got Paid"
65. Blind Willie Johnson, "John the Revelator"
64. The D.O.C., "It's Funky Enough"
63. Slobberbone, "Barrel Chested"
62. Gary P. Nunn, "London Homesick Blues"
61. Erykah Badu, "Tyrone"
60. James McMurtry, "Levelland"
59. Tum Tum, "Caprice Music" For years, the Dallas hip-hop community's had a love affair with the Chevy Caprice Classic. Tum Tum's "Caprice Music" was an ode to that car culture, illustrating the unique trends specific to our city in the wake of Drank Epidemic Vol. 7. Austin Staubus
58. Tripping Daisy, "Waited a Light Year" Lost in the doldrums of a major label system turnaround, Tripping Daisy's Jesus Hits Like the Atom Bomb remains a gem from start to finish. "Waited a Light Year" could very well be mistaken for a Polyphonic Spree song. Eric Grubbs
57. Pantera, "Walk" Pantera knew how to grab people right away: Put the money riff at the center and everything else will fall in place. Recognizable from the first note, this track off the Arlington four-piece's 1992 LP Vulgar Display of Power holds up to this day. Where else could a ZZ Top-style boogie mesh with Black Sabbath heaviness? Eric Grubbs
56. Centro-matic, "Only in My Double Mind" As prolific as Will Johnson is, one could pick several dozen Centro-matic songs to add to this list. The towering, heavily reverbed vocals and pounding piano make "Only in My Double Mind," from 2011's Candidate Waltz, especially memorable, and the song's power shows that he and the band are still a force 15-plus years into their career. Jesse Hughey
55. Joe Ely, "All Just to Get To You" This 1995 train-hopping rocker reminded people Ely wasn't merely a Flatlander from the past, but a star in his own right. By the end of the song, his vocals make sure he beats his "fists against the moon" in order to get what he wants. Kelly Dearmore
54. Selena, "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom" The shoulda, coulda, wouldas surrounding Selena's brief and heartbreaking career have not gone away over time. The Corpus Christi singer represented so much of what Texas really is: fiercely independent, larger than life. When you reach for that one Selena hit, "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom" always gets the job done. Don't miss "Baila Esta Cumbia" either. Deb Doing Dallas
53. Bun B, "Draped Up" When Pimp C was arrested in 2005, faithful UGK fans were concerned their historic run had come to an end. Bun B, however, released a debut solo album, with "Draped Up" serving as the first single. The single became so popular, Bun's label released an "H-Town" remix that featured Chamillionaire, Paul Wall and Slim Thug. Austin Staubus
52. George Jones, "Cup of Loneliness" My dad used to say "Amazing Grace" sung in a bar full of sinning drunks on a Saturday night would always be superior to the Sunday morning version. That applies here, too, as Jones really sells the miserable keening for some kind of redemption, which he knows all too well, even if his cocaine addiction, lawnmower rides and another couple of marriages were still ahead of him back in 1960. Jesse Hughey