Among the things that sets America apart from other countries are its individual states. Each state has its own distinct history and characteristics and famous songwriters from every state have often captured that unique quality, resulting in tuneful songs about each state.
From sea to shining sea, from Congo Square in New Orleans to Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco, this country has produced some of the greatest songs in the world.
24/7 Tempo has collected the best song about every state, or the best song pertaining to that state, available on music streaming service Spotify. In certain cases, we selected songs about a popular city within the state as a proxy for the state. We’ve got ballads and rock songs, tearjerkers and party anthems on this list. Performers include some of the country’s most famous musicians as well as a few lesser known acts. It’s a list as diverse as America itself, and, like our nation, it’s full of surprises.
Some of the songs on our list are tributes penned by hometown heroes, but many were written by out-of-staters who were moved by the state to write their songs. Another surprise is that not all of the tracks are tributes. Many of these songs are personal reflections by the songwriter that merely use a specific state or city as a backdrop. A few of these songs even express dissatisfaction with the state.
The most prolific songwriter on the list is easily New Jersey’s own Bruce Springsteen. The Boss landed the most popular song not only for his home state, but also for Arkansas and Pennsylvania. And while fellow rockers and singer-songwriters are the most heavily represented, this list also includes some R&B and hip-hop gems.
To determine the best song about every state, 24/7 Tempo reviewed the top-played songs about each state – or songs using a state as a major theme – on Spotify. In certain cases, songs about popular cities within the state were chosen as a proxy for that state. Spotify play counts are as of July 2, 2019 and are rounded to the nearest thousand.