50 Songs To Best Describe Every State
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50 Songs To Best Describe Every State

These should at least be the unofficial anthems if not the official ones.

50 Songs To Best Describe Every State

We all know that most states have their own style(s) of music, but did you know that they all have state anthems too? Yep, just like the United States, each individual state has an anthem.

Of course, you probably didn't know that all fifty states have anthems because most people do not care about whatever boring classical song their state chose to put people to sleep during government meetings.

These songs, however, are both great representations of their states and are good for casual listening.

So here's every state as a song.

Alabama: Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd

The first song on this list should surprise nobody. Sweet Home Alabama is a rock classic, and has become a staple of the state of Alabama. If you spend a day in Alabama and somehow avoid this song, you must have been in the wrong part of Alabama.

Alaska: American Child by John Denver

Is this song a banger, no, but it does do a pretty good job describing Alaska. No offense to the people of Alaska, but y'all need to step up your game because, while John Denver is this list's MVP, Alaska gets the dud of his big "Americana" tracks. I would've picked in Inuit war chant for this spot, but they spread into Greenland and Canada, which doesn't work for a list that should make you think "'Murica"

Arizona: Ocean Front Property by George Strait

Is this song really about Arizona, probably not, but this song is great and it tells you what you'll see in most of Arizona. Being landlocked is a large part of this state and what makes this song a fitting tribute. That said, if you don't know the definition of landlocked, then I've got some real estate that you might be interested in.

Arkansas: Going Back To Arkansas by Big Bill Broonzy

The odyssey I had to go on to find a good Arkansas song was a bit ridiculous. Almost all of the southern states have a great selection to pick from, but Arkansas came down to this song from a blues legend and a great classical piece. Since one of the requirements for this list was to be a song that was jam worthy, and this is a great blues song for all the Razorbacks out there.

California: California Love by 2Pac ft Dr. Dre 

California has one of the widest selections of songs to choose from for this list, but California Love gets the nod because it does a great job of representing the state. This song shouts out most of the highlights of the state and hypes the party aspect of the West Coast and specifically L.A. Plus, West Coast Hip-Hop is still one of the largest parts of the California music scene, so a hip-hop song representing that state feels fitting.

California: California Girls by The Beach Boys

Actually, California has enough people that it deserves another anthem. Nothing screams California like the beach, and The Beach Boys sent out a love letter to all the California Girls long before Katy Perry and Snoop Dogg decided to do it again. California Love shouts out the cities, but California Girls shouts out the girls of California.

California: Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash

Out of respect for the legendary outlaw, I had to throw his signature song on here. Besides, there are enough incarcerated citizens in Cali for this to be an anthem. Folsom, California may only be a small city in one of the largest states, but Cash was larger than life, so this song gets to be an honorary anthem.

Colorado: Rocky Mountain High by John Denver

I said John Denver would return on this list, and, low and behold, here he is with one of his signature songs that really shows the Rocky Mountain spirit in Colorado. Denver really paints a picture of all that Colorado is during the course of this song. Most of Denver's music is just good, easy listening that you can sing or hum along too, which perfect for lists like these.

Connecticut: Connecticut by Judy Garland & Bing Crosby

So full disclosure here, while this song is definitely a Connecticut classic, it mostly is the choice here because I don't associate Connecticut with being NSFW, and the other great songs I found about Connecticut were most NSFW. I'm not going to name the other songs here, but you'll know them when you find them. Also if Connecticut is actually a very NSFW/Rock state, then I will gladly apologize for my choice here.

Delaware: Delaware by Perry Como

This song is very much the best song to represent Delaware, and honestly it's a bit infectious. Not quite Baby Shark infectious, but this song is very sing-song and chant worthy, which makes a great unofficial anthem. Delaware also doesn't have a ton in the way of competition, so this song kinda got an easy win.

Florida: Floridays by Jimmy Buffet

When people think of Florida, it's usually in relation to either beach vacations or retirement, so naturally the Florida pick should be something along those lines. Enter Jimmy Buffet, the man who has made an entire career of making relaxing music that fits a day on the beach. This track just feels like a love letter to days spent in relaxing old Florida.

Georgia: The Devil Went Down to Georgia by Charlie Daniels Band

While this song may not tell you a lot about the great state of Georgia, it just such a classic that picking another song feels almost disrespectful. This song also somewhat en captures the Georgia spirit because it showcases its got a bit of rebelliousness, a bit of religion, a bit of pride, and a lot of southern charm.

Hawaii: (Somewhere) Over the Rainbow by Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole

This song is so associated with Hawaii that it is one of the first things you think of when you think of Hawaii. For anyone who has been to the Aloha State, this song can re-invoke memories of the islands. There's also a 99% you know the chorus to this song, so it is definitely one that you can sing along too.

Idaho: Idaho by Bryan Lanning

I'm not sure what constitutes Idaho royalty, but here ya go, a song just for y'all. The Kings and Queens' of small towns and potatoes can jam out to this on the back roads of all the farms in the great state of Idaho. After writing that, I know realize that "small towns and a form a produce" is applicable to most states in the U.S., but it's really the only things I can think of in Idaho besides Boise State and their blue field.

Illinois: Illinois Anthem by Chicago Farmer

Illinois, you're lucky I am willing to do research for these articles because y'all are missing a good one here in this dude Chicago Farmer. He's a little unpolished in place, but this song screams Midwest folk music, and feels like a good song for the parts of Illinois that are not Chicago. The Illini' need any wins they can get, and this is a fun song that talks about the state, its people, and ends win Illinois winning.

Indiana: Indiana by Rockapella 

I am surprised it took this long to get a "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego" song on this list, but it's a good one. A lot of the songs on this list talk about what the state is like or help you visualize the state, but this song runs through most of the big things in this state and helps you envision casual life in Indiana. Farms, racing, good 'ole boys, and Santa Clause seems about right for this state.

Iowa: Iowa Stubborn from "The Music Man"

I don't have a ton of experience with Iowa and it's people, so I am just going to trust this song from "The Music Man" as good judgement of Iowa. If this is Iowa, I'm cool with that, but even if modern Iowa is a bit different, you sing or him this old tune as a memorial to the good 'ol days.

Kansas: Home on the Range by Many People, but Originally Dr. Higley of Kansas

Sometimes a state just gets it right. While there are a few great songs about Kansas and it's different parts, Kansas' official state song is just great for picturing what Kansas is like, and is a great anthem song. Home on the Range represents the state of Kansas so well that there is no reason to pick another one.

Kentucky: Blue Moon of Kentucky by Bill Monroe

The Bluegrass state kinda had to have the "Father of Bluegrass" as the representative for Kentucky on this list. While I prefer the Elvis version of this song, I gotta put respect on the name of Bill Monroe because he is credited for creating the genre of Bluegrass that takes its name from "the Bluegrass State," Kentucky. This pairing is just meant to be.

Louisiana: Born on the Bayou by Creedence Clearwater Revival 

When you think of Louisiana, one of two things comes to mind, either New Orleans or the Bayou. This song is great for the latter, and is just a great Louisiana song in general.

Louisiana: The Saints are Coming

As an anthem for Louisiana, this song doesn't fit as well as Born on the Bayou, but what this song meant in a post-Katrina New Orleans can't be denied. This song definitely deserves to be an honorable mention because what it meant to New Orleans, and what New Orleans means to Louisiana can't be ignored.

Maine: Portland, Maine by Tim McGraw

I really tried to find a better Maine anthem, but it was just impossible, There just isn't a ton of great music about Maine, but at least this song as an anti-anthem effect. Instead of being a song that celebrates Maine, this one makes fun of Maine, but it's a joke that Mainers can have fun with and rally behind.

Maryland: The Preakness by Panda Bear

While I could pick one of about 500 songs about Baltimore, I'm instead going to pick a song by a Maryland native that is inspiring enough to be an anthem. The name "The Preakness" is also a reference to the legendary Baltimore race track.

Massachusetts: Dirty Water by The Standells

As much as I wanted to put "Shipping Up To Boston" by the Dropkick Murphys, this list is more about the state than the individual cities. Dirty Water is still very important to Boston, as it is part of the Red Sox Identity, but it also extends through other parts of the coast of Massachusetts. #DirtyWater

Michigan: Detroit Rock City by Kiss

I know that Detroit Rock City is more about Detroit than Michigan, but this song is Detroit, especially from a sports standpoint. The legend of Kiss extends all over the world, so there are worse songs for the state of Michigan to be associated with. Gotta love Rock 'n Roll in the Motor City.

Minnesota: Say Shh by Atmosphere

A song about Minnesota by someone from Minnesota, that's good enough for me. Really though, there is a surprising amount of good music about Minnesota, but this song is the most Minnesota of the Minnesota songs.

Minnesota: Uptown by Prince

The Minnesota Legend deserves at least an honorable mention on this list, and this song is a shout out to one of Minnesota's most well-known neighborhoods. Prince is so iconic in Minnesota that Justin Timberlake felt obligated to do a tribute to the Minnesota legend during his Super Bowl halftime performance.

Mississippi: Mississippi Mud by Hank Williams III

Just a good party song for the people of Mississippi that does extra well in the summertime when the river makes a little extra mud. Country music also just goes over really well in the South. After a day hanging out along the Mississippi River, everyone knows the Mississippi mud.

Missouri: Missouri Waltz by James Royce Shannon

Missouri is another state that has just gotten it right, as the Missouri Waltz is a state song that is a great song. While the Johnny Cash rendition is the one linked here, but even the University of Missouri's version is pretty good. Good job Mizzou.

Montana: Big City by Merle Hagard

Merle Haggard told us everything we need to know about Montana by telling you everything he is trying to avoid by going to Montana. Nothing but Freedom from the "Big City" awaits people in the Montana country side.

Nebraska: Close To The Land (America's Heartland) by Michael Martin Murphy

The Heartland State lucks into a great song that generates a visual of Nebraska, but could really be any part of Middle-America. Weirdly, most of the great songs about Nebraska are either depressing, about something that happened in Nebraska, or both. I need the corn-huskers to start writing some anthem because I am currently disturbed and saddened by the current song selection.

Nevada: Viva Las Vegas by Elvis Presely

Sorry Reno, but this song is too iconic to be left of this list. While I could have just done this song as a honorable mention, when people think of Nevada, this song still is one of the first things to come to mind. Viva Las Vegas!

New Hampshire: Granite State of Mind by the Super Secret Project

Just like Empire State of Mind is an anthem for New York, Granite State of Mind is an anthem for New Hampshire. This song is also a banger for a parody song, as the beat for Empire State of Mind is already great, but this song is actually good. It's everything a good parody should be.

New Jersey: Livin' On A Prayer by Bon Jovi

Now follow me here, Bon Jovi is originally from New Jersey, and this song is about a young couple going through problems that would line up with New Jersey. While that may be a bit of a stretch, Bon Jovi is a New Jersey legend much like follow Jerseyan Bruce Springsteen, but, between Livin' On a Prayer and Atlantic City, Livin' On a Prayer does a better job repping the NJ.

New Mexico: Feels Like Home (New Mexico True) by Richmond

Well, this is convenient. The New Mexico Tourism department did my job for me, and was even kind enough to make a promo video for it. If it's good enough for New Mexico's tourism department, then it's good enough to make the list.

New York: New York State of Mind by Billy Joel

There are quite a few great New York songs, but the official pick for this list belongs to a New York anthem that can be applied to the whole state well, and not just NYC. Billy Joel's New York State of Mind is a great smooth jazz anthem that goes over great for an end of the night drinking tune. Granted whenever Billy Joel is on the keys, it's usually a good last call drinking song.

New York: Empire State Of Mind by Jay-Z (Feat. Alicia Keys)

Oh, you thought New York was just getting one entry on this list. While Empire State of Mind is much more about the city of New York, this song is an NY anthem for anyone who has made it from New York. Brooklyn legend Jay-Z drops an ode to his city that is still played all over New York.

New York: N.Y. State of Mind

Oh, you thought New York was just getting two songs. Just as Nas and Jay-Z have paralleled each others careers, their New York anthems parallel each other, with Nas writing a classic about the gritty underground of New York in the 90's and Jay-Z's ode to the city coming a decade later. N.Y. State of Mind can also apply to other parts of the state, where as Empire State of Mind is more NYC proper.

North Carolina: Tobacco Road by The Nashville Teens

Splitting the Carolina's leads to an interesting pick for the North, as most of the songs of the Carolinas are either South or non-distinguished. Tobacco Road is in the great state of North Carolina, and separates the two big rival universities of North Carolina, UNC and Duke. NC State and Wake Forest are also part of the Tobacco Road rivalry, but Duke and the University of North Carolina are separated by ten miles full of hate, which has created a great North Carolina rivalry.

North Dakota: My Home In North Dakota by Adam Taylor

If you haven't noticed, I give bonus points to locals because no one knows their state quite like someone from there. Adam Taylor is North Dakota boy who wrote a great song about his home in the state of North Dakota, and it's a great song for the people who have left their homes in ND to go elsewhere. Given that most people wanna leave North Dakota, now you can leave and still feel like your at home with this song.

Ohio: Ohio by The Black Keys

The Black Keys are great at making emo anthems, but this time they made an anthem for their home state of Ohio. Weirdly, I think they actual did a better job with this anthem than their usual emo stuff, but Oh(io) well.

Oklahoma: Tulsa Time by Don Williams

Tulsa Time gets the nod here because the whole state of Oklahoma is on Tulsa Time, since it's all in the same time zone. All jokes aside, this song is a great anthem style song, and is definitely great for every Okie during a homecoming trip.

Oklahoma: Oklahoma! by Rodgers & Hammerstein 

I feel obligated to shout out the song about Oklahoma that everyone knows. I'm not sure how anthemic it feels, but it is a great sing-a-long, so I guess there is a place for it on this list.

Oregon: Coming Home (Oregon) by Mat Kearney

So I was originally going to put some song about Portland here, but then I was this music video and was like, "Yeah, This is an Anthem." Like this should be the recruitment video for the University of Oregon because this is a better pitch than some recruiters give. It's all about coming home to Oregon, the place that Mat Kearney, and maybe someday you, loves.

Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania by Bloodhound Gang

While this song about Pennsylvania may be a bit NSFW, it's all upbeat and high energy, which every good anthem needs. There are a lot better songs from Pennsylvania, but this is the one about the whole state, whereas most of the others are about cities in the state. For example:

Pennsylvania: Allentown by Billy Joel

Allentown might be the most well known song from PA, but it is about some town in Pennsylvania, and according to limited research, is actually titled after a different town than the one the lyrics match up with. Still, this song is big enough and fun enough to warrant a place on this massive list.

Rhode Island: Back to Rhode Island from Family Guy

Not gonna lie, the idea of having this song represent Rhode Island wasn't mine originally, but one that was suggested to me. A great fit is a great fit, and this song is definitely a great fit for Rhode Island and comes across as a love letter to the state.

South Carolina: South Carolina Low Country by Josh Turner

Shouts out to Mikaela Kathryne's article for this suggestion. While this song may not be as upbeat as others, it's enough of a jam that you can sing this like an anthem, which is close enough. Apparently, not all of South Carolina is "low country," but that hasn't stopped me on this list before, and it won't stop me now.

South Dakota: Badlands by Bruce Springsteen

Apparently Springsteen mentioned that this was about South Dakota or something like that. Regardless, South Dakota is barely even mentioned in any songs, let alone being the topic of many songs, so there wasn't much of anything to pick from. I need some South Dakotan's to stop doing whatever y'all do for fun and write a banger about Mount Rushmore or something.

Tennessee: Back to Tennessee by Billy Ray Cyrus

I originally had no idea that this was a song from the Hannah Montana movie, but Tennessee is country, and this country song rocks out hard enough to be an anthem. This song screams coming home to the good ole South and being a good ole Southern boy, but can really apply to anyone wanting to be in Tennessee and living their Tennessee roots.

Tennessee: Copperhead Road by Steve Earle

This insane road in Tennessee history has became one of the most popular line dances ever, and I wouldn't mind an anthem that gets the people movin' and feeling excited. The story behind this song is dark, but that hasn't stopped people from using it as a celebration before, so why stop now.

Texas: My Texas by Josh Abbott ft Pat Green

Here's where I get into some trouble, but you know what, this deserves to be the Texas anthem. Unlike most songs about Texas, this song covers most of our great state, while also being by Texans. Two good ole boys from Texas wrote a fantastic song that deserves to be the first song for Texas on this list.

Texas: Deep in the Heart of Texas by Gene Autry

But in order to please some of y'all, I have a few bonus picks for my home state of Texas. "The stars at night are big and bright," and if anyone from Texas didn't read that and instinctively clap, I am revoking your status as a Texan has been revoked. You can reapply in a few years or relocate to Oklahoma.

Texas: Amarillo by Morning by George Strait

Now you can all be happy that the King of Texas Country, and maybe Country Music period, is on this list with one of the most iconic songs in country music. This song isn't an anthem in the traditional sense, but it is so beloved that I would be put on some kind of kill list for leaving it off, and isn't that how an anthem should make you feel. At least, I'm pretty sure that is the case...

Utah: Utah Tribute by Chris Ledoux

I really don't know what else to say. Unless you want a song about Salt Lake City, BYU, or something by the Mormon Tabernacle choir, this is it. Even if you do want one of those, this song is still better.

Vermont: Moonlight in Vermont by Willie Nelson, or 500 other people.

This song is a great anthem because you can pick whatever version you want your anthem to be and listen to that version. If there isn't a version that exists that you like, first off you need to try and expand you musical taste from your niche, but you could make a cover too. The chord progression and instrumentals are easy enough to accomplish that in about a week.

Virginia: Take Me Back to Old Virginia by Jerry Lee Lewis

While Jerry Lee Lewis may not have a ton to do with Virginia, this song would have you believe he is a local, and this song can make you feel like one too. Just don't assume you know everything about Virginia after this song, because you definitely aren't even close.

Washington: Come as You Are by Nirvana

When most people think of Washington State, they think of Seattle, and when most people think of Seattle, they think of Nirvana or Starbucks. Unfortunately, Starbucks hasn't dropped any anthems yet, so we are going with Nirvana. As much as I wanted to put "Smells Like Teen Spirit" here, when it comes to repping the state as a whole, this song is just better for it, and is the bands' second most popular song.

West Virginia: Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver.

You knew it was going to be this song before you even clicked on this article. If this version doesn't sell you on the anthemic qualities of this song, try Mark Strong's version. It's a thing of beauty.

Wisconsin: That 70's Show Theme by Cheap Trick

The show was a generational icon, and most people think of this show when they think of Wisconsin. As much as I wanted to pick the Wisconsin State Song, but I love "On, Wisconsin" because it was also my school's fight song. This theme song, however, is amazing and is very clearly anthemic.

Wyoming: Song of Wyoming by John Denver

The king of making songs about the states, John Denver makes one last appearance for one last state. Song of Wyoming inspires visions of this beautiful state, and is able to be an anthem in the right arrangement.

Wyoming: I Can Still Make Cheyenne by George Strait

But I had to end this list with one more song from the King of Country. Thanks for reading this marathon of a list. Hopefully, "You Can Still Make Cheyenne."

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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