Tracklisted: The United States of Song

News / Special Features / Tracklisted / June 2, 2016

Much like the classic mixtape, Tracklisted presents a collection of songs under a selected theme, which you can check out below. Click on the provided Spotify widget and listen to this week’s arrangement while you read a few words about the list.

Today’s Theme: The United States of Song
Meghin Moore/Interviewer

The 50 states of America. What a great nation…I mean that! There’s really no reason to craft a campaign around “Make America Great Again” when it’s already a great place, but I digress. Originally, I wanted this edition of Tracklisted to focus on great songs for road trips, but that’s such an overdone topic, so with the help of a little MV brainstorming session, The United States of Song was born. This playlist features 51 tracks: one for every state, as well as an additional bonus track that talks about all 50. Sadly, that bonus track isn’t “Wakko’s America” from Animaniacs, but if you want to get a refresher on the geography of the U.S. — and all the state capitals — I highly suggest watching this first.

 

I’ll be honest when I say that taking on this edition of Tracklisted was a bit of a challenge. For some states, namely California, Texas and New York, there were a plethora of songs I could choose from. For others, like North Carolina, North Dakota, Iowa, as well as a few other midwestern states, I ran into some issues. I did try to weave in threads of the original road trip idea, but I found myself listening to over 151 songs just to narrow it down to the eventual 51.

The only two guidelines I really followed were to make sure each state’s name appeared in the title of the song and 51 different artists were present. Does this mean the songs themselves are about the states? Not necessarily, but there’s a solid geographic theme going on. There’s a broad mix of artists on this list, matching our country’s population, ranging from classic country singers and classic rock artists to modern-day rockers and pop stars.

Diversity was key here, given the proverbial melting pot of various cultures, ideologies and personalities, which allows everybody residing in the U.S., resident or not, to pursue (to some degree) “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” So go ahead. Explore your sense of adventure. I hope that when you listen to this mix, you’ll want to visit as many states as possible, or at the very least, plan a cross-country road trip.

 

Tracklisting:

  • Alabama Pines – Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
  • Alaska – Dr. Dog
  • Arizona – Pedro The Lion
  • Arkansas Heat – Gossip
  • California Dreamin’ – The Mamas & The Papas
  • Colorado Bound – Townes Van Zandt
  • Connecticut Steps – Into It. Over It.
  • Hello, I’m In Delaware – City and Colour
  • Sink, Florida, Sink – Against Me!
  • The Devil Went Down To Georgia – The Charlie Daniels Band
  • Hawai’i ’78 – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
  • Private Idaho – The B-52’s
  • Giant Of Illinois – Andrew Bird
  • Indiana – Cymbals Eat Guitars
  • Iowa Alligator – Hezekiah Jones
  • Campfire Kansas – The Get Up Kids
  • My Old Kentucky Home – Johnny Cash
  • Leaving Louisiana In The Broad Daylight – Emmylou Harris
  • Maine Island Lovers – Okkervil River
  • Going To Maryland – The Mountain Goats
  • Massachusetts – Arlo Guthrie
  • Michigan – The Milk Carton Kids
  • The Biggest Ball Of Twine In Minnesota – Weird Al Yankovic
  • Miss The Mississippi And You – Merele Haggard & The Strangers
  • Happiness, Missouri – EL VY
  • Wild Montana Skies – John Denver
  • Painting Nebraska – Braid
  • Sands Of Nevada – Mark Knopfler
  • New Hampshire – Matt Pond PA
  • Timberwolves At New Jersey – Taking Back Sunday
  • New Mexico’s No Breeze – Iron and Wine
  • New York City Serenade – Bruce Springsteen
  • Carolina In My Mind – James Taylor
    *Side note: So technically this song doesn’t have “North Carolina” in its name. Songs featuring North Carolina in the title were extremely hard to find. I’m making a slight exception for this song, solely because it is about North Carolina the state. 
  • North Dakota – The Wooden Sky
  • Ohio – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
  • Oklahoma – Gordon Macrae (from the 1955 motion picture, based on the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical)
  • Ballad Of Oregon – River City Extension
  • Pennsylvania – The Hundred Acre Woods
  • Rhode Island Is Famous For You – Erin McKeown
  • South Carolina – Tennis
  • South Dakota Morning – Bee Gees
  • Tennessee – Gillian Welch
  • No Place But Texas – Willie Nelson
  • Yeah Yeah Utah – Marietta
  • Moonlight In Vermont – Billie Holiday
  • The Ghost Of Virginia – Justin Townes Earle
  • Four Hours In Washington – M. Ward
  • West Virginia Chocolate Drop – Larry and His Flask
  • Sorry About Wisconsin – Red Letter Day
  • Wyoming Birds – Damien Jurado
  • BONUS TRACK: I Wanna See The States – hellogoodbye

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Meghin Moore
Meghin Moore is a Penn State grad and Pennsylvania native who resides in Virginia, happily nestled between Washington, D.C. and Richmond. She's the site's Managing Feature Editor, as well as one of the two Missaligned Podcast co-hosts. When she's not eating her weight in burritos or attending various concerts, she can often be found reading a book or trying to keep tabs on the latest news happening around the world.






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