The 10 Best Ricky Nelson Songs of All-Time

Ricky Nelson

Music lovers are at least remotely familiar with the name Ricky Nelson, despite the fact that he was killed in a plane crash in 1985, at only 45 years of age. Considering the fact that he had been in the public eye as a performer since the tender age of eight, it’s no surprise that he was much loved and even revered. Over the years, he starred in a number of films and produced a number of albums that were much loved by the public. Below are just 10 of his songs, ones often considered the best by many individuals. They’re ranked from number 10 to number one, complete with a YouTube link to each one. Go ahead and check the links out and see which one is your favorite.

10. A Teenager’s Romance (1957)


Here is a song that details what it’s like for so many people who fall in love during their teenage years. The lyrics in the song talk about falling for someone, experiencing a red-hot love, and then going through the confusion of having those feelings cool just as quickly. In short, the song accurately brings to light the struggle of experiencing so many intense feelings in such a short amount of time.

9. Sweeter Than You (1959)


Have you ever experienced a situation where you’ve been so close to someone that you genuinely feel like there’s not a person on earth that is better than them? That is precisely what this song talks about, saying that it is impossible to find anyone that is sweeter than the individual in the song. The song goes on to talk about how as long as the individual in question is with the person singing the lyrics, that person will never be alone. In its purest form, the song talks about the desire that we all have to find a love of that caliber and to hold on to it once we do find it.

8. It’s Up to You (1963)


Like many of Nelson’s songs, this one also tells a story. This time, it involves telling the story of someone who has been trying to hold a particular relationship together for some time, with very little success. The song is rather melancholy because it goes on to talk about wanting to make things work with this particular individual, yet finally coming to the realization that no matter what the person in the song does, things may not work out because in the end, he knows that he’s done all he can do and it’s now up to the person that he’s talking to. The song works well as a story because virtually everyone has been in that position at one time or another where they felt that they had literally done everything they could think of in order to hold a relationship together and that it was now in the hands of the other individual whether or not the relationship would survive.

7. Poor Little Fool (1958)


This particular song starts out telling the story of a man who considers himself to be something of a playboy, right up until he meets what he believes to be the woman of his dreams. He talks about knowing ahead of time that he’s going to fall in love and how he’s no longer playing the field. The problem is, he doesn’t understand that she also plays the field and that she has been playing him the entire time. At the end of the song, he considers himself a fool because he fell for the very same game that he’s been playing for years.

6. Hello Mary Lou (1961)


This is a sweet song that is more or less about taking a single look at someone and falling head over heels in love with them. It’s told in a cute way and many people often equate it to being teenage sweethearts and then getting married later on. In general, it’s a happy, upbeat song. It’s also one that was so popular that it was covered by numerous other individuals over the years, including such musical stalwarts as The Statler Brothers.

5. I Will Follow You (1963)


Those of us who are lucky enough to have a relationship with someone we genuinely treasure often I feel as though we would literally follow them anywhere in order to be with them. That is precisely what this song talks about. For any person who has ever had this type of relationship, it’s easy to understand where Nelson is coming from in this song because once you experience that type of relationship, you realize that everything else you thought was so important in life becomes less so. The important thing involves spending as much time as possible with the person that you love the most, even if that means following them to the end of the Earth and back.

4. Be Bop Baby (1957)


The song doesn’t do much in the way of lyrics, but it was extremely popular during its time because it subscribed to the overwhelmingly popular doo-wop rhythm. As such, some of the lyrics may not make sense to people who read through them today, but it worked well for the time. In short, it’s a lively song about falling in love and having fun.

3. Never Be Anyone Else But You (1959)


Just like the title says, this is a song that describes meeting someone who is completely and utterly unique. It talks about being an absolute all over that person because there’s no one else like them around. For anyone who has ever met someone like this in real life, it’s obvious that this is something we were singing about.

2. Travelin’ Man (1961)


As you might have already guessed from the title, the song speaks to the listener about moving around a lot. In this particular case, the singer is moving around a lot because he can’t settle down. He has different love interests in every town and he’s constantly going from one place to the other, hoping all the while to find that special person that makes him want to settle down and live a life that he’s only experienced in his daydreams.

1. Lonesome Town (1959)


This is probably one of the saddest songs that Nelson ever recorded. It’s really not about a town at all, but about losing a significant other and feeling so lonely that the pain is indescribable. Unfortunately, it’s a song that a lot of people can also identify with.

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One Comment

  1. Thanks for the list. “Teenagers Romance” is a very slight song, largely forgotten despite being his first big hit. I disagree on that one.

    Also surprised “Garden Party,” his autobiographical final top 10 hit, didn’t make the list.

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