Kenny Rogers: His Top Five All-Time Best Lyrics

One of the best-selling artists of all time, Kenny Rogers encompassed many music genres with over 120 hit singles. His death on March 20, 2020 sadden millions of worldwide fans and in some ways, marked the beginning of the summer of pandemic.

In the U.S., he charted country, pop, and contemporary charts more than 200 separate weeks. Worldwide, he sold more than 110 million records over a span of seven decades.

The recipient of numerous awards, Rogers had been honored with Grammys, Amercian Music Association, Association of Country Music, and Country Music Association accolades.

He was voted the “Favorite All-Time Singer of 1986.” In 2013, Rogers was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and received the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award from the Country Music Association.

Rogers evolved with the music of his times, beginning with a rockabilly group dubbed The Scholars, progressing through stints with The Bobby Doyle Three, The New Christy Minstrels, The First Edition, all before he became a solo artist with mega-hits like “Lucille,” “Lady,” “Love Lifted Me,” “Coward of the County,” and “The Gambler.”

He teamed up with Dottie West and Dolly Parton for such hits as “Every Time Two Fools Collide,”  “Anyone Who Isn’t Me Tonight,” “What Are We Doin’ in Love,” “All I Ever Need Is You,” and “Islands in the Stream.”

Photo by Jack Dennis

Following are the top five all-time best lyrics from Kenny Rogers:

5. ‘DECORATED MY LIFE’

Like a rhyme with no reason in an unfinished song
There was no harmony life meant nothin’ to me, until you came along
And you brought out the colors, what a gentle surprise
Now I’m able to see all the things life can be shinin’ soft in your eyes

And you decorated my life, created a world where dreams are a part
And you decorated my life by paintin’ your love all over my heart

4. ‘SHE BELIEVES IN ME’

And she believes in me, I’ll never know just what she sees in me
I told her someday if she was my girl, I could change the world
With my little songs, I was wrong
But she has faith in me, and so I go on trying faithfully
And who knows maybe on some special night, if my song is right
I will find a way, while she waits… while she waits for me!


3. ‘COWARD OF THE COUNTY’

“I promised you, Dad, not to do the things you done.
I walk away from trouble when I can.
Now please don’t think I’m weak, I didn’t turn the other cheek,
and Papa, I sure hope you understand:
Sometimes you gotta fight when you’re a man.”


2. LUCILLE

You picked a fine time to leave me,Lucille
With four hungry children and a crop in the field.
I’ve had some bad times,
I’ve lived through some sad times,
But this time the hurtin’ won’t heal.
You picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille.



1. ‘THE GAMBLER’

You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away, know when to run.
You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table.
There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done.



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Raised in San Antonio, Jack Dennis’ early experiences were as a newspaper reporter and private investigator. With a Texas State University bachelor’s degree, Jack studied journalism, education and psychology. He was the founding vice-president of Sigma Delta Chi, the Association of Professional Journalists at the University. Jack has received numerous awards, including Investigative Reporter of the Year from Rocky Mountain Press Association, David Ashworth Community Award, and Leadership in Management.
Some of the people and groups Jack has interviewed include:
Music
Elvis Presley, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Willie Nelson, B.B. King, George Strait, Roy Orbison, Justin Timberlake, Steven Tyler, Freddie Mercury, Kenny Rogers, Kenny Loggins, Jackson Browne, Steve Wariner, Tanya Tucker, Scotty Moore, Fats Domino, Patty Page, Tommy Roe, Emmy Lou Harris, Johnny Rivers, Charly McClain, Kinky Friedman, John McFee, Guy Allison & Patrick Simmons (Doobie Brothers) , Randy Bachman (BTO), Jim Messina, Todd Rundgren, Alvin Lee, Gary Puckett, The Ventures, Freddy Cannon, Augie Meyer, Christopher Cross, Whiskey Myers, Sha Na Na (John “Bowzer” Baumann), Flash Cadillac, Jerry Scheff, John Wilkinson, Darrell McCall, and more.
Politicians & News
George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Lady Bird Johnson, Greg Abbott, Rudolph Giuliani, Larry King, Jack Anderson, Tom Bradley, Connie Mack, and more.
Actors
Clint Eastwood, Mike Myers, Taylor Lautner, Cameron Diaz, Jerry Lewis, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, Selena Gomez, Tippi Hedren, James Earl Jones, James Woods, Jim Nabors, Martha Raye, Rosalind Russell, June Lockhart, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Howie Mandel, Meg Ryan, Cheri Oteri, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, James Drury, Melanie Griffith, Nathan Lane, Alan Thicke, Lou Diamond Phillips, Clint Howard, Tony Sirico, Cesar Romero, Michael Berryman, Tracy Scoggins, William Windom, Warren Stevens and more.
Space Explorers
Buzz Aldrin, Alan Bean, Wally Schirra, Dave Scott, Gene Cernan, Walt Cunningham, Scott Carpenter, Gene Kranz (NASA Flight Director), Ed Mitchell, Richard Gordon, Bruce McCandless, Vanentina Treshkova (first woman in space, Russia), Alex Leonov (first man to walk in space, Russian), Al Worden, Dee O’Hara (nurse to astronauts) and more.
Sports: Joe Torre, Roger Staubach, Bob Hayes, Billie Jean King, Manuela Maleeva, Drew Pearson, Bob Lilly, Tim Duncan, David Robinson, George Gervin, Tony Parker, Shannon Miller, Cathy Rigby, Bruce Bowen, Wade Boggs, Fernando Valenzuela, Bernie Kosar, Dale Murphy, Jim Abbott, Dick Bartell, Mike Schmidt, Dan Pastorini and more.
Notables
May Pang, Bob Eubanks, Vernon Presley, Vester Presley, Charlie Hodge, Joe Esposito, Rick Stanley (Elvis’ step-brother, Harold Lloyd (Elvis’ first cousin), Doyle Brunson, Kara Peller, Hank Meijer, Norman Brinkler, Stanley Marcus, Jerry King, Mac King, Nathan Burton, Zach Anner, Louie Anderson, Owen Benjamin, Steve Byrne and more.

As head of Facilities for a major retailer (H-E-B Food/Drugs) for 20 years, Jack co-founded Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association (PRSM) and was elected President to establish PRSM magazine. Jack is a writer, speaker, golf-concierge and happiness coach. He has researched and studied happiness for over 40 years.
Jack was a prolific writer for Examiner.com, with over 1,900 articles written in six years. His articles and stories have appeared in AXS Entertainment, The ROWDY Country Music, Memphis Flash, and numerous magazines.

He is author of “Miracles of Justice,” a true courtroom drama novel about social injustice and miracles.

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