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We need songs with names of states in the title

The Houston Choral Society will mount a performance entitled "Postcards from America" on October 4, 2014.  My thought is to celebrate the bicentenial of our national anthem with a group of patriotics songs AND a group of songs about our states.  We have a lot of patrotic songs but only a few songs about states.  I have just come across a wonderful arrangement of "The Tennessee Waltz" by John Arn.  We also have, of course! "If You're Gonna Play in Texas, You Gotta Have a Fiddle in the Band"  that our audiences here in Houston love.  We could use just men, just women or SATB OR any divisi.  THANKS FOR ANY SUGGESTIONS!! 
Betty Devine
Artistic Director/Founder
The Houston Choral Society
Replies (35): Threaded | Chronological
on June 4, 2014 8:17am
A few of my favorites:
•Kansas City, arranged by Mark Brymer, SATB
•Oklahoma! - you might want to use the musical score for the entire piece, instead of an abbreviated version from a medley
•Route 66 - arr. D. Barduhn
on June 5, 2014 6:34am
Thanks so much!  I just remembered Mark Brymer's great arrangments this morning.  GLAD to know about the piece and GLAD to know about D. Baduhn.
on June 4, 2014 10:25am
Dear All:
Four songs immediately come to mind -- "Georgia on My Mind" (Ray Charles); "Moonlight in Vermont" (jazz standard); "Maryland My Maryland" (sung to "Oh Tannenbaum"... lyrics are a bit 'Southern-leaning'...); "Hail Massachusetts" (sung during any intense T-storm!!).
There is also a website that seems to have already collected them -- ""
Hope this helps...
Ron Isaacson
Germantown MD
on June 5, 2014 6:35am
THANKS!   I am well on my way with all this help!!  MUCH appreciated!
on June 4, 2014 12:57pm
California Dreaming
Sweet Home Alabama
Autumn in New York
Take Me Home Country Roads (opening line is "Almost heaven, West Virginia")
on June 5, 2014 6:38am
GREAT IDEAS ALL!  I am getting a GREAT variety of sounds and styles.  Just what a program like this needs!  My singers will be VERY happy with the repertoire variety.  We are doing Carmina Burana next spring, so this will give them a real "change of pace!"
THANKS and best wishes to you!
on June 5, 2014 4:44am
Rhode Island is Famous For You. 
Applauded by an audience of 1
on June 5, 2014 4:51am
North to Alaska  Johnny Horton
Louisiana 1927 by Randy Newman (You'd have to change some words)
This Land is Your Land by Woody Guthrie
That's Right (You're Not From Texas) by Lyle Lovett
Nebraska by Bruce Springstein
Colorada by Stephen Stills
Carolina on my Mind by James Taylor
Banks of the Ohio
Erie Canal
Roll On Columbia byy Woody Guthrie (about Rivers of the Northwest)
California by Joni Mitchell
Sweet Home Chicago
Missouri Waltz (as sung by Johnny Cash)
New York State of Mind by Billy Joel
Tennessee Stud by Jimmy Driftwood
on June 5, 2014 5:05am
Please don't forget the beautiful and very singable MY OLD KENTUCKY HOME.
Also, Beautiful Ohio, Carry Me Back to Old Virginny, and several "Carolina" songs.
Carl Taylor
on June 5, 2014 5:25am
Go on the internet to STATE SONGS and you will get one for every state.
Marty Edelman
Mendelssohn Glee Club of NYC
on June 5, 2014 5:29am
Make sure to get a hold of "Carolina In My Mind" by James Taylor.  That one is a Tar Heel State favorite.
"My Old Kentucky Home"
"Lamentation Over Boston" - A William Billings song that would fit the patriotic theme (it refers to the Revolutionary War) and the state of Massachusetts. 
"New York, New York"
on June 5, 2014 6:54am
"Wakko's America," from  "Animaniacs," has all 50 states and their capitals:
on June 5, 2014 6:57am
"Color Out of Colorado" published by Yelton Rhodes immediately comes to mind, as long as your audience can handle an LGBT focused selection. With the cascading decisions regarding same-gender marriage across the nation, it certainly would be timely.
Applauded by an audience of 1
on June 5, 2014 7:47am
Methinks you'll be in for doing some of your own arrangements, but here are some thoughts to instigate your searches.
Don't forget the football fight songs, and medly arrangements exist.  What better in TX in October?  Americana at their core ... somewhat.
There's always "Moonlight in Vermont", "Alabama Moon", "Roll Along Kentucky Moon", plus "The Rivers of Texas", "Hawaiian Lullaby", "Color out of Colorado", "Back Home in Indiana", "Louisiana 1927", "Marching Throught Georgia", "Banks of the Ohio", and "Ohio" from Wonderful Town, "New York, New York", & "The Eyes of Texas".  You might want to think about lyrics as much as titles like "Ah come from Alabama ... Goin' to Louisana ..." and other travelling songs.   Or think regionally with "Rocky Mtn. High", "When Fall comes to New England".
The shapenote and Moravian books are chuck full of tunes named after towns, and at least one state "Pennsylvania" (Ingalls).
Digging in the folk music area will be productive, but you'll be using lots of solos or doing much arranging.
If you google "state songs" you'll find more than enough, many with sheet music.  (Many you'll gladly skip past, but plenty to fill your bill.)
on June 5, 2014 8:28am
Or "Fifty Nifty United Staes" by Ray Charles
Applauded by an audience of 3
on June 5, 2014 9:28am
SATB - "Michigan Morn"  (H. Owen Reed) 
Janiece Kohler
Artistic Director/Conductor
on June 8, 2014 3:36pm
I second the Michigan Morn suggestion.  H. Owen Reed was a composition professor at Michigan State Univ., so the craftmanship is good.  It used to be available in both SATB and TTBB, and it has a nice piano accompaniment as well.  It's a nice choral ballad and not a pop song, so it could provide a nice contrast to the other pieces that are popularly crafted (unless you're not looking for contrast, tnat is).  
Very interesting idea!  Good luck with the program.  You'll have plenty of good material to sift through, it appears.
Applauded by an audience of 1
on June 5, 2014 1:07pm
Sweet Wyoming Home by Bill Staines; and State Laughs by Tom Chapin (...and in Idaho, they go "ho, ho, ho....and in old Kentuck', they go "nyuk, nyuk" ......and they ro-o-o-o-oll on the ground."
on June 5, 2014 6:27pm
On, Wisconsin
on June 5, 2014 7:51pm
And don't forget "El-A-Noy," from the age of the land rush and the "boosters" who promoted westward migration.  I have an a cappella arrangement if you would like to see it.
Jonathan Miller, Chicago a cappella
on June 6, 2014 7:00am
I applaud David nelson's idea: Fifty nifty united states, Ray Charles, Roncom Music Company, Shawnee Press, Two-Part, SAB, and SATB settings available, three minute performance time: 
Of course all are good but I have experience with this fun work.  Enjoy!
Applauded by an audience of 1
on June 7, 2014 4:57am
Please consider:
Thank you!
Christopher Marshall
on June 7, 2014 5:57am
Hi!  Sounds like fun!  
Here's a couple of choral suggestions:
As a resident of the state of Alabama I would suggest "Alabama" (our state song).  It was arranged by Edwin Robertson and has great four part harmony, as well a TTBB middle section that is reminicient of Wilhousky's "Battle Hymn."  (see collavoce link below)    Also, "Stars Fell on Alabama" is a little jazzier and may be a fun piece, too.
Also, if you want to have a song with a LOT of states, "I've Been Everywhere" by the country legend, Johnny Cash, is a must-have!  It's upbeat, funny, and uses dozens of states throughout 
the song!  It's available on JWPepper.  Good luck!'ve-Been-Everywhere/10060487.item#.U5MK3Sh9nLQ
Cody Johnson
Dir. of Worship Arts
Gulf Shores UMC
Gulf Shores, AL
on June 7, 2014 6:48pm
From the musical Shenandoah, I believe, (medium, square-dance marchy ) :   "Freedom ain't a state like Maine or Virginia, freedom ain't a place you float to find.  Freedom is the flame that [rest/beat] burns within ya, freedom's in the State [beat, beat] of Mind."
...freedom's in the how ya(-) think about ya...
(profoundly ponder-able lyrics with country punch .... A delightful and meaningful song, if you can locate it.)
I seem to recall this was included in the BiCentennial 1976 musical ( that is not the exact title) that was done in many schools that year all over the country. 
Included in the Stone Mountain laser show is "the Devil Went Down to Georgia" if you like that sort of thing, and want to showcase one or two "fiddler" violinists.  Also "Christmas in Dixie" has reference to one or two states.
Has anyone mentioned, (I think this title is correct) "Carolina (in the)Morning".  ("Nothing could be finer that to be in Carolina in the (-) mo-ornin......  No one could be sweeter than my sweetie when I meet her in the -rninh)also "Carolina in my Mind".
My husband suggests, (wish they all could be) "California Girls", which made me think of  "Californina here I Come".
From  Big River, there is "Arkansas".  "Blue Hawaii".  "Old Man River" begins with a phrase about people working on the Missisippi...even though it refers to the river, it is a great song.  There are alternate lyrics.  If you wish to have a
person/section sing the lyrics/melody ,  the chorus can use the half note descending third in the accompaniment to  do the "ah, oh" of the slave-workers.
There is a cute duet -intended for 2 women, but could be sopranos and altos- "why oh why, oh why-oh...Why did I ever leave Ohio?"  Each verse has patter-words that express-build ambivalence - they like New York and suchlike,but...Ohio...
Best wishes,
on June 9, 2014 8:13am
"Back Home Again in Indiana." Also, a lesser-known Hoagy Carmichael song called "Can't Get Indiana Off My Mind." 
on June 24, 2014 11:31am
HI Betty,
A difficult TTBB piece by Elliott Carter called Emblems - I think it is his best choral composition. It has three movements; immediately one hears art the opening: "Maryland, Virginia, Caroline. It is a brief first movement, ending with"Maryland, Virginia, Caroline", on a poem by Allen Tate. One could perform only the first movement.
-Jim Marvin
on July 15, 2014 10:31am
Our organization premiered a work called last year "Altoona Pennsylvania" written by a 16-year old that is very good. It is based on a text by Harvey Milk about living in isolation in a small town.
It is the second track on our most recent recording, available on iTunes:
Please feel to contact us for the music/rights.
Yours truly,
TJ Busse, Controller
San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus
on July 16, 2014 7:19am
Not state names, but terrific place names:  "American Names," Marshall Bialosky's great SATB setting of Stephen Vincent Benèt's wonderful poem.
I mention it here because I've always wanted to do this piece and hope someone will!  best,
on July 17, 2014 4:33am
There is an official state song for Pennsylvania, the title of which escapes me (if not most PA residents - I dare say you couldn't find five people able to sing it!)...which in and of itself should tell you something about its popularity.  And there have been many feeble attempts to write one....but face it, rhymes for the word Pennsylvania don't come easily!  So...may I suggest a good show-tune instead:  Plenty o' Pennsylvania, from a wonderful 50's Broadway musical entitled PLAIN AND FANCY, about the PA Dutch.  I think you can still find a "sheet music" copy of it somewhere.  Fun tune to sing!  Good luck in your search.
on July 17, 2014 9:07am
I'm surprised not to see "Stars Fell on Alabama" on the list: this has always been one of my favorites.
I can get my hands on a nice arrangement of "The Alaska Flag Song" if you are interested.
"Moonlight in Vermont" is already on the list, but worth mentioning again, especially because it's the only popular song I know that has haiku poems as the verses.
I second "Rhode Island is Famous for You" -- very cute lyrics, and it mentions a lot of states.
on July 17, 2014 3:36pm
Google brought these up...
Indiana Wants Me by Some Guy
Sweet Virginia by the Rolling Stones
Ohio by CSN&Y
Tennesee Waltz by Patti Page
Carolina in my mind by James Taylor
Georgia on my mind by Ray Charles
California Dreaming by the Mamas and the Papas
Massachusetts by the BeeGees
Yellow Rose of Texas (oldie)
Kentucky Rain by Elvis
New York, New York
Tennessee Stud - J. Cash
Sweet Virginia by the Rolling Stones
Ohio by CSN&Y
Carolina in my mind by James Taylor
Mississippi on my mind by Jesse Winchester
Arkansas Traveler ...old standard
Sweet Home, Alabama by Lynrd Skynrd
Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man by Cornway and Loretti
Oklahoma Hills by Woodie Guthrie
 Maryland, My Maryland
Tennesee Flattop Box - Johnny Cash
Georgia On A Fast Train - Billy Joe Shaver
Private Idaho - B52s
The Biggest Ball Of Twine In Minnesota - Weird Al
Jordan Minnesota - Big Black

on July 18, 2014 6:47am
...was it Ben Franklin who sang "I refuse to use the pen in Pennsylvania" in the musical 1776?  Now there's an idea!
on July 19, 2014 8:04am
You'll probably soon be aware of all the "regular" well known state name songs--  but since you're in Houston I thought I'd mention the song "Texas Lil' Darlin"  from the Broadway musical of the same name.  (The show is maybe fromt he 50's or 60's.  I lived in Dallas as a child and was active in theater at the Dallas Theater Center and Starlight Musicals.  We did the show---  (The text  "Texas lil' darlin.  I'm plum enraptured with you. I've been in Arizona, and North and South Dakota, but nery' a one of them will ever do.  Texas lil darlin' I've got you deep in my heart.... like Messrs. Rand McNally, I know each hill and valley and it's famous names from Jesse James right up to Jesse Jones---- etc"  **I am VERY surprised I remember those lyrics after many many shows and operas over the last 40 years.  Great idea for the performance "Postcards from America!"   All the best with it--
on July 19, 2014 2:03pm
In my evening-length folk oratorio, Coal, based on the lore and culture of coal mining in West Virginia, I have a song (SATB + piano or synth) called West Virginia Coal. If you would liek to examine it, plese contact me at
asst(a) Sounds like a fun project!
Judith Shatin
McIntire Department of Music
University of Virginia
on July 20, 2014 3:33am
Why not CONNECTICUT  - (Judy Garland & Bing Crosby)  - which also mentions other (less attractive?!) states, as well!  :-)
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