10 Country Songs That Sound Fun to Annie F. Downs

The author, speaker and podcast host breaks down the songs that have soundtracked her life.

Written by Lindsay Williams
10 Country Songs That Sound Fun to Annie F. Downs
Annie F. Downs; Photo credit: Micah Kandros

Author and speaker Annie F. Downs is a huge fan of country music. More specifically, the Georgia native declares her love of ’90s country in her new book, That Sounds Fun (Revell), which, incidentally, is also the name of her popular podcast. Recent episodes have featured Little Big Town’s Kimberly Schlapman, Maddie & Tae, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Dave Barnes, Jay and Allison DeMarcus and Lauren Akins, among others. Annie ends every podcast episode by asking each guest, “What sounds fun to you?” Now, she’s flipping the script and posing the same question to readers in her latest book, full of all of her favorite things, personal stories and plenty of reasons why life is meant to be savored. Every chapter feels like a conversation you’d share over coffee with a trusted friend as Annie recalls nights spent in the Ryman pews and on the front row at 3rd & Lindsley. She talks about her affinity for the Loveless Cafe and afternoons spent at Radnor Lake or Sevier Park. Spend a few minutes with her, and you’ll see why the ‘F’ in Annie F. Downs could easily stand for Fun. Now, she’s taking us down memory lane with a playlist that stretches from middle school Annie all the way to Music City Annie. Here are 10 songs that sound fun to her:

Annie F. Downs; Cover art by: Matt Lehman

1. Shes in Love with the Boy,” Trisha Yearwood

“That was the middle school song my friends and I belted out any opportunity we got.”

2. Some People Do,” Old Dominion

“I absolutely love Old Dominion’s harmonies and their sound, and there’s just something about the flow of this song and the way the lyrics twist around that is so beautiful.”

3. Fancy,” Reba

“Huge Reba fan. And whenever anybody asks me what the ‘F’ in my name stands for, I always say, ‘Might’ve been born just plain white trash, but Fancy was my name.’ I think it’s just one of the most classic songs in country music.”

4. Love You Like I Used To,” Russell Dickerson

“He’s wonderful. He’s one of my dear friends. Russell writes songs and sings songs that directly reflect what he’s really living. This song is how he feels about his wife, and I just absolutely love hearing his music.”

5. Wide Open Spaces,” The Chicks

“That’s the song that came out when I was moving to college, and I’m so emotionally attached to the memories of singing that song and that whole album really—that whole Fly album. But that song was just me going to college.”

6. Champagne Night,” Lady A

“It was so fun to watch that song become their song on Songland. They’re three of my close friends, and I have just watched them grow and have such an incredible career. Every song they have is a hit, and this one—it has such fun lyrics, and it sounds fun. I need a tank top with the chorus on it.”

7. Shes Every Woman,” Garth Brooks

“I just love the description of the woman he sings about. I’ve always thought that was such a beautiful description of writing about someone you care about.”

8. Islands in the Stream,” Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton

“This is my go-to karaoke song. I can do both parts perfectly. It is so fun. I absolutely love this song. And anything Dolly I’m here for.”

9. Craving You,” Thomas Rhett (feat. Maren Morris)

“My friend, Dave Barnes, helped write that song, and I have always found his writing and TR’s writing to be very interesting in how they create phrases. So for them to turn this song into being about craving a person I thought was such good writing. And Thomas Rhett’s voice is always gonna be one of my favorites.”

10. Youre Still The One,” Shania Twain

“Listen, what doesn’t Shania do perfectly? That whole album is so good. ‘You’re Still The One’ is just such a sweet, long-term relationship song. I knew I couldn’t make a Top 10 list without a Shania song on it.”