Help me find songs that refer to states!

First of all, thanks for the suggestions. I’m writing them all down.

Regarding Nevada, I didn’t use Stop In Nevada because the only time the name is mentioned is during that line, which is the title of the song. If he’d said Nevada somewhere else, without “Stop in” in front of it, I’d use it.

Same with New York, and New York State of Mind.

The Bee Gees’ Massachusetts has the state, but that’s it for the title. Too easy. No other words in the title.

Oh, and C3? Thanks for reminding me that St. Robinson In His Cadillac Dream by Counting Crows mentions Maryland.

Rocky Mountain High, John Denver.

It is all about Colorado and mentions the state in the chorus.

Try some Hank Williams Jr. songs. He mentions lots of places. In A Country Boy Can Survive He mentions Alabama, South Carolina, California, Mississippi, and New York.
Then there’s Texas Women Others include Oklahoma, Georgia, Louisiana, Tennessee, and several more.

Then there’s folk song that covers all the states: “Your State’s Name, Here” listed on: this site as being by Lou and Peter Berryman

I know, it’s an aquired taste.

There is some dispute as to whether “Georgia On My Mind” was meant to refer to the state or to Hoagy Carmichael’s sister, Georgia.

“All My Little Words,” the Magnetic Fields–
“I could never make you stay
Not for all the tea in China,
Not if I could sing like a bird,
Not for all North Carolina,
Not for all my little words”

“Looking Out My Back Door,” Creedence Clearwater Revival–
“Just got back from Illinois,
Lock the front door, oh boy,…”

“Unseen Power of the Picket Fence,” Pavement–
“So let’s go way back to the ancient times,
When there were no 50 states
And on a hill there stands Sherman,
Sherman and his mates,
And they’re marching through Georgia…
And there stands R.E.M.”

“The Pointless, yet Poignant, Crisis of a Co-Ed”–Dar Williams
“And I still write to my senators saying they should legalize cannabis
And I should know, cause I am a horticulturist,
I have a husband and two children out in Lexington, Mass.”

Good luck with your list! Cheers!

And there’s Can’t You See?, by the Marshall Tucker Band. We sure are set for Georgia, aren’t we? :stuck_out_tongue: Ramblin’ Man also gets TN and, if you like, LA: “I’m on my way to New Orleans this morning, leavin’ out of Nashville, Tennessee…”

In Blue Sky, also by the Allmans, you get “Goin’ to Carolina, won’t be long that I’ll be there,” which you could probably use to refer to either or both Carolinas. :wink:

I was wondering how many states Tori Amos covered in the lyrics to Scarlet’s Walk, which is kind of a travelogue album. There are lots of cities, but only two states. New Mexico (in A Sorta Fairytale) and Virginia (song of the same name). And Mississippi in gets mentioned on a b-side.

The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, by The Band, mentions Tennessee.

For My Brother (Derek Trucks Band) starts “In the battle for the California sun.” Though I’d mention that because I doubt anyone else knows that song, and I like that line.

What Did Delaware, Boys?

Mentions Delaware, New Jersey, Idaho, Maryland, Iowa (“Ioweigh”), Washington, Wiscon-sin, Nebraska (“New-brass-key”), Tennessee, Arkansaw, Florida (“Flora-die”), Missouri, Oregon, Oklahoma (“Oklahom”), California (“Califon-ya”), Hawaii (“Hawai-ya”), Mississippi (“Mississip” and Minnisota.

I’m pretty sure I’ve heard a version with Alaska in it too.

Well, Wisconsin’s state song “On, Wisconsin!” doesn’t JUST refer to the state in the title. That 70’s show song ends with “Hello Wisconsin!”

You already have Minnesota, but another song that mentions it is Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA” (“from the Lakes of Minnesota”)


“I Got a Gal in Kalamazoo” (unambiguous, non-punning Michigan reference)

Gram Parson’s “Hickory Wind” for South Carolina.
Doc Watson’s “Tennessee Stud” for Arkansas.
Roger Miller’s “King of the Road” for Maine.

I know I’m not the only Doper who knows this song, which names all the states for you in one fell swoop:

Fifty Nifty United States

Here are several songs that mention Kansas

Artist: Aaron Lines
Album: Living Out Loud
Title: She Called Me Kansas
This one has already been mentioned, but I thought I’d link the lyrics, they are accurate to a point.

Artist: Jo Dee Messina
Album: Jo Dee Messina
Title: You’re Not In Kansas Anymore

Artist: Procol Harum
Album: A Salty Dog
Title: The Devil Came From Kansas

This next song’s lyrics are also fitting, sadly.

Artist: Regina Regina
Album: Regina Regina
Title: Ticket Out Of Kansas

Here are a couple that mention Nevada.

Artist: Mark Knopfler
Album: Sailing To Philadelphia
Title: Sands Of Nevada

Artist: They Might Be Giants
Album: Unknown
Title: Nevada

I got the songs from this site. :slight_smile:

For another Maryland reference, you can always go with Springsteen’s Hungry Heart.
“Got a wife and kids in Baltimore, Jack, I went out for a ride and I never went back…”

We’re getting a lot of duplicated states in the suggestions. How about an updated list from the OP of which states he still needs?

Also from Dar Williams- “When Sal’s Burned Down”

“Cause there ain’t no cowboys in this Connecticut town”

I was expecting Gordon Lightfoot’s Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald to mention Michigan, but it does only in the context of Lake Michigan, whereas it mentions Wisconsin and Cleveland by name:

“The ship was the pride of the american side
Coming back from some mill in wisconsin
As the big freighters go, it was bigger than most
With a crew and good captain well seasoned
Concluding some terms with a couple of steel firms
When they left fully loaded for cleveland

The only mention of anything Michigan-y (which is where the ship sank) is the following reference to Whitefish Bay:

“Does any one know where the love of God goes
When the waves turn the minutes to hours?
The searches all say they’d have made whitefish bay
If they’d put fifteen more miles behind her.”

Oh wait, one more refence I just found, to Detroit of all places, which barely counts as Michigan :smiley: :

“In a musty old hall in detroit they prayed,
In the maritime sailors’ cathedral.”

Are you sure that wasn’t by Liz Phair, originally on her Girlysound demos, and then re-recorded for the Juvenelia EP?

Don’t forget Midnight Train to georgia by Gladys Knight and the Pips

He’s leavin’
on that midnight train to Georgia
Said he’s goin’ back to find
the simpler place and time
So, who you missing now?

State Songs by John Linnell (of They Might Be Giants)