Whether we’re saying “the devil made me do it” or “speak of the devil,” there are actually a lot of ways in which the devil is tied in our language and culture. Country music is no stranger to the ruler of hell, so we’ve compiled our 10 best country songs about the devil. From classics you already know like “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” by Charlie Daniels Band to more obscure titles like Joe Buck’s “The Devil is on His Way,” this list represents our favorite country songs with devil in the title. It’s interesting how different country artists sing about the devil; sometimes he’s a metaphor for a suave man, while other times the devil represents the bad things in someone’s life like addiction or depression.
1. The Charlie Daniels Band - The Devil Went Down To Georgia
How could we write a list of country songs about the devil without including one of the most famous American songs of all time? Found on their 1979 album Million Mile Reflections, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” by Charlie Daniels Band is a fast paced bluegrass/country tune with fiddle action that lights you on fire. The man in the song “Johnny,” is challenged to a fiddle duel by the devil himself, making for an interesting and suspenseful story told through song.
2. Kris Kristofferson- To Beat the Devil
3. Joe Diffie - If the Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets)
“If the Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets)” by Joe Diffie is a lighthearted yet depressing song about the crippling effects of being in debt. The man in the song gets a loan on his new car, but soon finds out that being debt is miserable. Towards the end of the song, he says, “They say debt is a bottomless pit where the devil likes to play / I’d sell my soul to get out of this hole, but there’d be hell to pay.”
4. Dolly Parton- Speaking of the Devil
From her 1995 album Something Special, “Speaking of the Devil” sees Dolly Parton comparing a man in her life to the devil- “Oh speaking of the devil well here he comes now / Looking like an angel got my defenses down.” The man is described as an object of lust in the song, rather than someone the singer would want an emotional connection with.
5. Gillian Welch The Devil Had A Hold Of Me
Released on her second studio album Hell Among the Yearlings, Gillian Welch delivers a song that has an open interpretation with “The Devil Had A Hold Of Me.” I can’t say for sure what this song is about, although it’s possibly about the evil deeds you do as a child without knowing what you’ve done wrong.
6. Chris Knight - Devil Behind the Wheel
Chris Knight’s “Devil Behind the Wheel” uses the devil as an metaphor for the wrong path that the narrator of the song has gone down- “I need an angel in the worst kind of way / seems like I get meaner every single day / I don’t remember making the devil no damn deals / Maybe I got lost one night and the devil got behind the wheel.”
7. Steve Earle - The Devil’s Right Hand
From his 1988 album Copperhead Road, “The Devil’s Right Hand” by Steve Earle is a dark song that touches on the morality of guns and how we shouldn’t use them in the heat of the moment. The boy in the song grows up wanting a gun, and eventually does get a few as he gets older. At the end of the song he is a grown man, and after getting into a dispute during a card game, shoots another man dead.
8. Bob Wills- The Devil Ain’t Lazy
This classic by Bob Wills reminds us that the devil never takes time off from trying to make our lives miserable. According to Wills in “The Devil Ain’t Lazy,” the devil works “24 hours a day,” which is a nice way of telling us that temptation and sin can strike at any moment.
9. Jamie O’Neal - Devil on the Left
Found on her sophmore album Brave, “Devil on the Left” by Jamie O’Neal can basically be inturpretted as “bad things happen to good people.” The song describes a woman who is living in between good and evil, with a devil on the left and an angel on the right- “They’ve got her dancin’ in the middle of the fight.”
10. Joe Buck - Devil is on his Way
If you’ve never heard Joe Bucks music, get ready for something a little different. “Devil is on his Way” rocks so hard I’m just going to let you listen to it and decide for yourself what you think. The song can be found on the 2007 album Joe Buck Yourself.by