Monday’s Music Moves Me: State Songs

Had a heck of a time trying to come up with a theme. The randomizer thing didn’t work as well as it has (it recommended songs I’ve already done), so I had to think of something. Then, the first song of the following playlist came to me in the mail, and I had my theme. Here are some more-or-less official state songs. Most of these came off this list, the last one I added because I like it.

  1. Tommy Emmanuel featuring Bob Littel, “Georgia On My Mind” The official version of this, by Ray Charles, is the accepted version, but hey, Tommy Emmanuel…
  2. The McCoys, “Hang On Sloopy” This is the official rock & roll song of Ohio. That’s Rick Derringer on the guitar and vocal.
  3. Dolly Parton, “Rocky Top” Tennessee has ten official songs, by the way, but this is the one they play at University of Tennessee football games. It was written by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, who wrote a bunch of hits for The Everly Brothers. To coin a Southern expression, Dolly Parton hung the moon, as far as I’m concerned. I have a lot of admiration and love for her.
  4. John Denver, “Take Me Home, Country Roads” John Denver is tied with Stephen Foster for the number of official state songs written (2). The guy who named himself Denver wrote a beautiful tribute to West Virginia, which has been that state’s official anthem since 2014.
  5. “Hawai’i Pono’i” This is the official state song of Hawaii, a lovely tune that talks about defending it with spears.
  6. Jimmie Davis, “You Are My Sunshine” Jimmie Davis was governor of Louisiana from 1944 to 1948 and again from 1960 to 1964. Before then, he was a commercially successful recording artist. This has been Louisiana’s state song since 1977.
  7. Gordon MacRae, Shirley Jones, and cast, “Oklahoma!” From the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical, of course. This is from the 1955 film adaptation that starred Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones.
  8. The Kingsmen, “Louie Louie” The unofficial rock & roll song of the state of Washington, even though The Kingsmen are from Oregon. Contrary to popular belief, there is nothing obscene about the lyrics.
  9. Bill Monroe & The Bluegrass Boys, “Blue Moon Of Kentucky” Monroe is generally credited as the father of bluegrass music, and a pretty good mandolin player to boot. He honored his home state with this song.
  10. Patti Page, “Stars Fell On Alabama” Not really an official song for the state, but “Stars Fell On” appeared on their license plates for a time in the ’90’s and early part of this century. Guess it was better than “Heart O’ Dixie.”

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for September 23, 2019.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, Alana, and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.

21 thoughts on “Monday’s Music Moves Me: State Songs

  1. Dang, and you didn’t pick Maryland’s song? (More on that later). Hang on Sloopy and Louie, Louie, make up an all-star list just on their own. That Hawai’i song (let’s see, someone on You tube called it “badass”) just thinking of all those people ready to defend their chief with spears – the imagery that song produces is priceless! And Dolly Parton – I admire her so even though I’m not into country music. Now, about the Maryland song. Back when I did a Civil War Sunday feature I blogged about the Maryland state song , which is really martial in a Civil War sort of way (calling out the “northern scum” for starters). There have been many attempts to get a different song or change the lyrics – all fail. Maybe it’s time to dust off that blog post….


    1. Kind of like “Boudin,” the French Foreign Legion’s song, where they make fun of the Belgians, hm? To put the list together, I found a list of all the state songs on Wikipedia and chose the ones that were pop tunes (at one time or another). The only official state song that I chose that sounded like a state song (i.e. like a hymn) was Hawaii’s.

      Guess it’s time to pull that post out of mothballs…


  2. John,

    Here we are in our last full week of the month on the dance floor and once again, you’ve brought out an A-list of random song choices for us to enjoy. ‘Hang On Sloopy’ reminds me of my uncle. I’m not sure why unless he used to like singing it when I was a kid. Listening to rock tunes from the 60s often came spent in the company of my uncles and aunts. Oh, goody you included Tennessee’s fight song, “Rocky Top” by no other than our favorite Tennessee gal, Dolly Parton. 🙂 She seems like a nice lady. I’d love to meet her someday. You also shared one of my favorites ‘Take Me Home Country Roads’ a song that mentions my home state of West Virginia. Too bad Denver’s life was cut short. He was such a talented fellow. Your playset includes many state-related titles. At first, I thought YT generated a random list of them until I scrolled back to see where my thinking went awry. What a marvelous, fun theme for ‘your choice mewsic pick’ week! Thanks for being apart of the dance party, my friend!


  3. This is a great list that made me think..glad you chose the song Oklahoma. I can’t help but think of Blue Hawaii by Elvis and New York, New York sung by…Liza with a Z since that song was actually written for her not Frankie


  4. Dude. you got some great choices here for sure. Oh my gosh, Hang on Sloopy I sang in my first band. Actually I was only back-up in that band. Johnny Apollo & his Apaches.. hahahaha that name always killed me. Wow, Dolly parden… she’s a legend for sure. That Hawaiian anthem is so pretty! Wow that next tune I’m sure was in my gramma’s early days hahahaha too cute. The Oklahoma movie was really beyond its years with the plot, but it was really cool. Well, time to move on my friend… great choices & big hugs… HAPPY AUTUMN!!!


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