In every genre, there are some songs that we should all hear at least once in our lifetimes, whether we're fans of that style of music or not. Some are quintessential to the genre; others are underrated fan favorites; all of them mean so much.

Among The Boot's list of 50 Country Songs Everyone Must Hear Before They Die, readers will find both classics and modern hits from within the country genre and its sub-genres: Americana, alt-country, bluegrass and folk. If a song falls within one of those categories, it has to meet only one other qualification to be considered for this list: It needs to make those who hear it laugh, cry, think, feel or sing and dance along; it needs to move its listeners.

Only 50 artists are represented on The Boot's 50 Country Songs Everyone Must Hear Before They Die list, and the songs selected aren't necessarily each act's biggest or most well-known hit. These 50 songs, however, speak to The Boot's staff members -- and to country music fans -- for various reasons and in various ways.

Flip through the gallery to read about each track. The Boot will expand this list in the future, so be sure to share your own picks in the comments section below. You can also press play on the playlist below to listen to 48 of the 50 songs (because "Friends in Low Places" and "Gunpowder & Lead" are not available on Spotify).

Listen to The Boot's 50 Country Songs Everyone Must Hear Before They Die