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Last updated on June 1st, 2023 at 09:28 pm
Patsy Cline may have had a short-lived career, but she didn’t waste it. She gifted us with some of the most classic country songs to ever grace our ears, from “Crazy” to “I Fall to Pieces.”
Check out our list of the 18 best Patsy Cline songs.
Best Patsy Cline Songs
18. “You’re Cheatin’ Heart”
“You’re Cheatin’ Heart” may have originally belonged to country superstar Hank Williams, but there’s a reason that Patsy Cline’s 1962 cover of the song was used in her biographical movie Sweet Dreams.
The song carries a subtle vibe of karma coming back to bite you and has us playing it one repeat whenever we’ve been wronged by an ex-lover, too.
Written by Fred Burch Tillis, “Strange” was first recorded by Patsy Cline in 1961 and is included on her Sentimentally Yours album.
Cline’s expert performance on this mid-tempo hit is anything but “strange.”
16. “A Poor Man’s Roses (or a Rich Man’s Gold)”
This 1957 release by Patsy Cline has the classic feel of the 50s, and her vocals soar.
“A Poor Man’s Roses (Or a Rich Man’s Gold)” has a slightly more lighthearted feel than some other Patsy Cline songs, adding to its appeal.
15. “I Can See an Angel”
We don’t care that “I Can See an Angel” wasn’t a chart-topper for Patsy Cline. We love it anyway.
This upbeat song with the signature Nashville Sound of the day had a fun feel that’ll get you swaying.
14. “Why Can’t He Be You”
Even if “Why Can’t He Be You” wasn’t a chart-topper, there’s a reason why it is included on the Greatest Hits album first released four years after Patsy Cline’s death.
In keeping with the theme of many of the best Patsy Cline songs, the song speaks on the torments of being in one relationship with the perfect person while wishing they could be a former love that you can’t forget.
Fun fact: her close friend Loretta Lynn recorded it in tribute to her in 1977.
13. “You Belong to Me”
“You Belong to Me” was one of many that Patsy Cline would go on to record with The Jordanaires.
Although it was never a major hit for her while she was alive, her deep voice on the 1950s classic sound molded together so well.
12. “He Called Me Baby”
Like many songs on our best Patsy Cline songs list, “He Called Me Baby” may not have been initially recorded by the country singer, but she still left her indelible mark on it.
Unlike some of the other covers Cline did, however, Charlie Rich’s original recording did well on several country charts, peaking at No. 1 on both the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs and the Canadian RPM Country Tracks charts.
In comparison, Cline’s version only reached 23 on the Hot Country Singles chart.
“He Called Me Baby” was one of the songs recorded in what would be her last recording session before her untimely death.
11. “Imagine That”
1962 Patsy Cline single “Imagine That” appeared on her Sentimentally Yours album.
Although it didn’t reach as high on the charts as others on our list, it still showcases Patsy Cline’s range as a singer and the singular touch she brought to the material she recorded.
10. “You’re Stronger Than Me”
One of the lesser-known Patsy Cline songs on our list, “You’re Stronger Than Me,” never appeared on a major-label album.
Written by Jimmy Key Cochran, Cline recorded the song in 1962.
It’s a mid-tempo Cline classic about the heartbreak of lost love and how difficult it is sometimes to let go of someone completely.
9. “Three Cigarettes in an Ashtray”
One of the earliest singles ever recorded by Patsy Cline, “Three Cigarettes in the Ashtray,” was released on the heels of “Walkin’ After Midnight” in August 1957.
Even though it didn’t succeed on the radio or in sales, it was still received well among critics.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic said of the song’s album, Country Great: “There may not be any huge hits that jump out at the casual listener, but discerning fans will realize that any album containing…’ Three Cigarettes (In an Ashtray)’ is essential listening.”
Cline sings this slow, moody ballad in her typical heartbreaking style.
This song was another posthumous release for the beloved country superstar, and we’ll “Always” remember it as one of the best Patsy Cline songs.
The song was originally penned in 1925 by Irvin Berlin, who wrote it as a wedding gift for his wife.
Cline recorded it in 1963, just weeks before her death, and it wasn’t even released until 1980.
Patsy Cline’s fan club, “Always…Patsy Cline,” is still active.
7. “Back in Baby’s Arms”
“Back in Baby’s Arms” might not have been quite as big a hit as some of the other Patsy Cline songs on our list, but it’s still one of our favorites.
Unlike some of the sad, heartbreaking themes of lost love in many of these hits, this song gives us all the feels as the narrator expresses her relief at being back in the arms of the one she loves after a fight.
6. “She’s Got You”
This upbeat jazz-pop song with a hint of a country overtone is one of the most unique Patsy Cline songs.
“She’s Got You” is a sentimental breakup song about having all the mementos of a relationship but no longer having the one you shared them with.
Writer Hank Cochran played the song for Cline and her friend and fellow country singer, Dottie West, for the first time at Cline’s home.
Cline loved it so much that she sang it over the phone to her manager and record producer and then recorded it during her next session in the studio.
The song didn’t only become a hit for Cline in the U.S. but also became her first hit in the United Kingdom, reaching 43 on the charts.
We can also thank the classic song for leading to Cline becoming the first woman in country music to headline her own show in Vegas.
5. “Leavin’ on Your Mind”
Sadly, heartbreaking “Leavin’ on Your Mind” was the last official single that Patsy Cline would ever release.
It was given first to Canadian singer Joyce Smith, whose version wasn’t successful.
Cline’s version eventually peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart.
It continues to make its mark in pop culture. It was featured in the 1989 film The Wizard and the third episode of the first season of the ABC series Lost.
4. “I Fall to Pieces”
“I Fall to Pieces” is a country music standard, and there’s no question why.
Recorded by Cline in November of 1960 and released in January of 1961, the song was co-written by Hank Cochran and Harlan Howard. It was offered to several artists, including Brenda Lee and Roy Drusky, before initially making it to Cline’s ear.
Cline was reluctant to record it at first, too, noting it needed more country instrumentation.
Then, when she got into the studio and found out The Jordannaires would provide the background vocals, she was even more hesitant, fearing that they would “drown out the sound.”
Despite these hiccups, the song was eventually completed and proved to be one of Patsy Cline’s biggest hits, earning her the number-one spot on the Hot Country Songs chart.
Years later, its legacy lives on as CMT’s 100 Greatest Songs in Country Music special ranked it at number seven.
3. “Sweet Dreams (Of You)”
This country ballad, written by Don Gibson, is about not being able to let go of someone you love no matter how hard you try.
These lost loves slip into our “Sweet Dreams” and constantly torture us.
Of all the Patsy Cline songs, this one cuts us more profound than the others, knowing that her version of the song wasn’t even released until after her premature death from a plane crash in 1963.
2. “Walkin’ After Midnight”
It seems to be a pattern, as Cline almost didn’t record this legendary song, thinking it was all pop and no country.
Still, we’re confident she’s glad she didn’t pass it up, considering “Walkin’ After Midnight” became the song that flung her into superstardom.
She sang the song during a January 1957 episode of Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts. It received a positive critical response and gave Cline her very first major hit single, peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard country music chart.
The combination of the jazz, blues, and traditional pop elements paired with Cline’s classic sound makes this song about searching for lost love clearly one of the best Patsy Cline songs ever recorded.
We’d undoubtedly be “Crazy” if this iconic song wasn’t #1 on our list of the best Patsy Cline songs.
Written by future country living legend Willie Nelson, Cline is the one who captured the hearts of America with this multi-chord country classic.
It wasn’t an automatic pairing, as Cline said she didn’t want to record any songs that talked about losing love or had an embrace for vulnerability.
However, she ultimately changed her mind, and we’re sure glad she did.
Nelson noted Cline’s vocals on the song as his favorite, saying she sang the song “with delicacy, soul, and perfect diction.”
When the song was released, it eventually peaked at number two on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles chart and even crossed over to the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at the number nine spot.
The song’s success is part of what led Cline to be named the Favorite Female Country Artist that year by Billboard.
The song was so well-received that she received three standing ovations when she debuted it at the Grand Ole Opry on August 21, 1961.
The whole world seems crazy about “Crazy,” and we couldn’t agree more.
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