Top Songs Written by Shane McAnally

Shane McAnally is one of the most talented and decorated songwriters in music today. Many know the name; all know the songs. Before becoming a songwriter, McAnally started his solo career in 1999 with three charted singles on Hot Country Billboard. After dozens of chart-topping singles, awards, and winning the 2019 ACM Songwriter of the Year award, he has proven that we still haven’t seen (or heard) everything from the songwriter and producer.

McAnally is thankful for the artists and producers that took a chance on him and wants other writers to experience their breakthroughs. In 2019, Shane McAnally joined fellow songwriters Ester Dean and Ryan Tedder on the NBC show Songland, assisting undiscovered songwriters in the creative process, landing them a single with names like The Jonas Brothers, John Legend, and Lady A’s “Champagne Night.”


Here are some of our favorites from the leading songwriter:


1. “Merry Go ‘Round” by Kacey Musgraves (2013)

“Mama’s hooked on Mary Kay / Brother’s hooked on Mary Jane / And daddy’s hooked on Mary two doors down / Mary, Mary quite contrary / We get bored, so we get married / And just like dust, we settle in this town.”

Musgrave’s debut single “Merry Go ‘Round” kickstarted her successful career and ongoing co-writing relationship with McAnally, writing over 20 songs together, including nine on her debut album Same Trailer, Different Park. This single peaked at #10 on Country Airplay and won the Grammy Award for Best Country Song in 2014.


2. “One Night Standards” by Ashley McBryde (2020)

“It’s just a room key / You ain’t gotta lie to me / Can’t you just use me like I’m using you? / How it goes is, bar closes / There’s no king bed covered in roses / Just a room without a view / I don’t want a number, you ain’t gonna answer / Let’s just stick to the one-night standards.”

Both McAnally and McBryde’s narrative skills come to life while setting ground rules for casual encounters in “One Night Standards.” The lead single from her second studio album, Never Will, was nominated for the 2021 ACM Song of the Year.


3. “T-Shirt” by Thomas Rhett (2015)

“You were moving around in the TV light / I ain’t never seen anything like / Your dress, my floor / The way you wore my T-Shirt.”

For those that have seen Thomas Rhett in concert, you may have seen his frequent encore when he takes to the drum set for this hit song. If you have, then it will be no shock to you that “T-Shirt” is certified platinum and topped the charts taking the #1 spot on the Billboard Country Airplay chart. In an interview with The Boot, Rhett and McAnally shared that T-Shirt” got cut from the first album and put on hold. “That would usually make the other artist go, ‘I don’t want it anymore.’ But he [Rhett] was like, ‘I love that song, no matter what,” McAnally said.


4. “Mama’s Broken Heart” by Miranda Lambert (2011)

“Go and fix your makeup, girl, it’s / Just a breakup / Run and hide your crazy and start actin’ like a lady / ‘Cause I raised you better, gotta keep it together even when you fall apart / But this ain’t my mama’s broken heart.” 

Peaking at #2 on the Billboard country charts, “Mama’s Broken Heart” was written by both McAnally and his friend Kacey Musgraves. With McAnally’s storytelling and Musgrave’s mix of southern belle and rough around the edges, this sassy country jam is certified platinum.


5. “Break Up in a Small Town” by Sam Hunt (2014)

“But there’s only so many streets, so many lights / I swear it’s like I can’t even leave my house / I should’ve known all along / You gotta move or move on / When you break up in a small town.”

Over the last several years, McNally has written several songs with Sam Hunt. Along with “Break Up in a Small Town” peaking at #2 on the Billboard Country Airplay, this song has something special. Most songs clock in around 300 words, but this talk-singing hit has over 500 songs, making it uber catchy.


6. “Somewhere With You” by Kenny Chesney (2010)

“Laughing loud on a carnival ride, yeah / Driving around on a Saturday night / You made fun of me for singing my song / Got a hotel room just to turn you on / You said pick me up at three a.m. / You’re fighting with your mom again / And I’d go, I’d go, I’d go somewhere with you.”

Off of Chesney’s Hemingway’s Whiskey album, “Somewhere With You” changed McAnally’s career after it spent three weeks at #1. This hit was McAnally’s first #1 and first platinum certification after spending 16 years in and out of Nashville when Kenny took a chance on a young songwriter.

This record changed my life. Kenny took a chance on a song called “somewhere with you” and after 16 years in and out of Nashville, I had my first #1. I am forever grateful. @JTXROCKSTAR @smacksongs https://t.co/GNox7IAIlX — Shane McAnally (@shanemcanally) September 28, 2018


To hear more of country music’s best new releases, head to our Playlists Page and follow The Nash New Releases playlist on Spotify. For the latest in country music news follow The Nash News on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and TikTok, and don’t miss our brand new newsletter!


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