45 Songs About the Great State of Georgia
All Roads Lead to Georgia
They say that when you die, whether you're going to heaven or hell, you have to go through Atlanta first. When railroads were king of transportation, that was true, and now it's even more accurate now that planes have become the preferred mode of travel.
Whether you've lived in Georgia, have vacationed there, or have just passed through, it's a great state. Georgia is known for its pecans, peaches, poultry, and peanuts. It's the birthplace of Coca-Cola and the home of the Masters Golf Tournament, antebellum homes, and lots of famous people (take the quiz below).
Celebrate the great state of Georgia with a playlist of pop, rock, country, and R&B songs. We have a long list to start you out!
1. "Midnight Train to Georgia" by Gladys Knight & The Pips
The subject in this 1973 is a Georgia man who left his home state for Los Angeles, aiming to become a star. He sold his car, pawned all his hopes, and bought a one-way ticket to the west coast.
Unfortunately, all he met there was rejection and dashed dreams, so now he's returning home to his native Georgia, as he yearns for a simpler place and time. His lady friend has decided to join him. She explains, "I'd rather live in his world than be without him in mine."
2. "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia" by Reba McEntire
Vicki Lawrence claimed this song first in 1972, but country star Reba McEntire made it famous two decades later, in 1991. The tune tells the twisted story of a man who returns from a two-week trip away from home.
On his way back home, he visits a local bar only to hear a friend confess that the young man's wife had been sleeping with him as well as another man. The angry and disheartened husband returns home to an empty house and grabs his gun. He assumes that his wife has left town.
Gun in hand, the cuckold husband sneaks through the woods to the home of the friend who had been cheating with her. He detects small footprints leading the way. His friend is dead, and he fires a shot in the air to alert the Georgia State Patrol.
Knowing the rumors around town, the sheriff assumes the husband killed his wife's illicit lover, and a sham of a trial convicts him to a swift death by hanging. In a plot twist, the song's female narrator admits that the footprints in the snow that night were hers. She is the sister of the cuckold husband and killed both her sister-in-law and the lover, disposing of her sister-in-law's body in a way that it will never be found.
If you enjoy songs that tell a story, there are lots more to choose from!
3. "Georgia on My Mind" by Ray Charles
In 1979, Georgia designated "Georgia on My Mind" as the official state song. Although often associated with Ray Charles, the tune actually dates back to 1930. However, it is Ray Charles' 1960 version that is the most famous. It's a love song to a state that beckons one back, as it evokes sweet and clear memories of moonlight through the pines and the welcoming arms of one's home state. All roads lead back home.
What's your relationship to Georgia?
4. "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" by The Charlie Daniels Band
This famous ballad from 1979 involves a Georgia boy's deal with the devil. The devil was out collecting souls and hadn't met his quota when he heard the protagonist, Johnny, playing his fiddle with great skill.
Also a master fiddle player, the devil appealed to Johnny's sense of pride by challenging him to a fiddle-playing duel. If Johnny won, then he walked away with a beautiful gold fiddle. However, if the devil won, he captured Johnny's soul. (Hellfire, damnation, and the whole firey bit! The stakes were high!)
Johnny boasts that he's "the best that's ever been," and the contest begins. The two impressively square off in a fierce fiddle playing battle that ends with Johnny's victory. Acknowledging vanquishment, the devil lays the golden fiddle at Johnny's feet. Johnny dares the devil to a future rematch.
5. "The Devil Comes Back to Georgia" by Charlie Daniels, Mark O'Connor, Travis Tritt, Marty Stuart and Johnny Cash
Ten years after the devil was chased out of Georgia, he decides it's time for a rematch with Johnny. This 1993 country song is the sequel to "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," describing their follow-up fiddle playing duel.
Johnny is a father now and has been spending less time with his fiddle than with his new family. With a little practice and the same bravado, however, he emerges once again as the fiddle playing victor.
6. "Chattahoochee" by Alan Jackson
The Chattahoochee River flows through Georgia along the border with Alabama down to Florida. Locals sometimes refer to it as "The Hooch." People who grow up along rivers have their own brand of fun, and the man in this 1993 country song recalls the highlights of his youth.
Growing up, he learned to swim in the muddy waters of the river. Then as a teen, he spent time drinking with his friends along its bank or parking with his girlfriend. He credits the river to teaching him "a lot about livin' and a little 'bout love."
7. "Georgia Rain" by Trisha Yearwood
Many years have passed since the woman in this 2005 country song has been back to her home in Jasper County, Georgia. She notices all of the changes and drives by the family home of her first love. Memories flood her mind like the Georgia rain. Her feelings for her high school love still remain.
8. "Watermelon Crawl" by Tracy Byrd
Driving through Georgia in late July, curiosity got the best of this fella when he saw a homemade sign that pointed to a watermelon festival. The 1994 country song likely refers to Cordele, Georgia's annual Watermelon Days Festival.
The small town's mayor invited participants to enjoy the sweet red watermelon wine. He asked them not to drink and drive but instead to dance the watermelon crawl. From the description of the dance, I can't imagine any half-drunk person being able to actually do the watermelon crawl, but maybe that's half the fun.
9. "She's So Georgia" by Jon Langston
Georgia girls are their own breed of awesome, according to this 2015 country song. They are the right balance of backwoods badass country girl and sweet southern belle. The guy in this song is proud of how his Georgia girl screams "Go Dawgs," baits her own hooks, and starts her own fires. She also cleans up nice and is a queen of the south. She's everything he's looking for.
10. "Oh, Atlanta" by Alison Krauss and Union Station
In this 1995 bluegrass song, a Georgia native has left her home but hears Atlanta calling her back home. She reminisces about the old times she had and knows that Georgia is where she belongs.
11. "Why Georgia" by John Mayer
This self-reflective 2001 alternative rock song describes a low point in John Mayer's life when he had dropped out of the prestigious Berkelee College of Music and moved from Boston to Atlanta. He questions whether he's made the right choice in relocating to a new city to launch his career. He has nothing yet to show for it but is willing to take the chance on a new future in Georgia. Looks like he made it after all!
12. "Highway 20 Ride" by Zac Brown Band
In this 2009 country song, a divorced father describes to his young son his feelings about making the drive east to the Georgia/South Carolina line every two weeks to pick the boy up from his mother then drop him back off again. Although the parents couldn't get along, the dad tries hard to keep his relationship with his son going strong. He burns up Highway 20 to bridge the distance between them and hopes that one day his son will understand.
Take the Quiz: Famous People From Georgiaview quiz statistics
13. "Georgia Clay" by Josh Kelley
Some things instantly take you back to the past. In this 2011 country song, the sight of Georgia clay and his old truck (now covered under a blue tarp) evoke memories of being a high school boy. Who knows how old he is now, but he's savoring memories of tailgating with friends and making out with girls in that truck. That Georgia clay really sticks with you.
14. "Rainy Night in Georgia" by Brook Benton
This lonesome R&B song from 1969 describes a guy with a suitcase, a guitar, and nowhere to spend the night. As the rain pours down, he bunks down in the boxcar of a train and holds his sweetheart's photo close. You can feel his sense of isolation from the world.
With its subtropical climate, Georgia is one of the rainiest states, receiving moderate to heavy rain. For more songs about rain, click here.
15. "Macon" by Jamey Johnson
The guy in this 2010 country song is a long-haul trucker. Although his job takes him away from home, all he can think about is returning to Macon, Georgia, where his partner waits ready to welcome him with loving arms.
16. "Georgia Peaches" by Lauren Alaina
Runner-up of the 2011 American Idol contest, singer Lauren Alaina dusts off all the southern cliches about Georgia girls for this 2011 country song. According to her, they wear short skirts, sip lemonade, and don't cuss. They drive the boys crazy with their accent, aren't afraid of a little dirt, and are sweet as Georgia peaches.
17. "The Moon Over Georgia" by Shenandoah
When it came to suitors, this man's wife could have chosen a Georgian aristocrat who owned a mansion, an Atlanta hotel, and other high-dollar real estate. Rather than marry Mr. Moneybags, however, she chose the narrator of this touching 1990 country love song.
All this sentimental man of modest means could offer her was the moon:
And she took the moon over Georgia
She'd rather have a million stars in the sky than a gold mine.
She took the moon over Georgia
When it came down to his world or mine she took
The moon over Georgia.
18. "Lonely Night In Georgia" by Marc Broussard
The frequent traveler in this 2004 R&B song is on the road away from his Georgia home. He's lonesome and separated from the one he loves and the home he misses. Everything he does reminds him of where he wishes he could be—back home in Georgia.
19. "Hot'lanta" by 38 Special
Unless you've tried the hot, humid sub-tropical climate of Atlanta, you just don't get it. This 1988 rock song does, however, as it tries to convey just how dreadfully freakin' hot Atlanta can get.
I been desert hot down in Phoenix
I been smoggy hot out in L.A.
I been high and dry hot in Colorado
I been charred out on the Midwest Plains
I been madhatter flattened by the heat in Manhattan
I been muggy on the Mighty Miss
I been burned like a stick on Route 66
But I ain't never been this.
20. "Ramblin' Man" by The Allman Brothers
A ramblin' man refers to a man who is a restless soul, usually a ladies man, who wanders from place to place. In this classic 1973 rock song, a man whose father was a Georgia gambler boasts that he's been ramblin' from the time he was born (on a Greyhound bus riding down Highway 41). It's weird what some people brag about.
Even More Songs About the Great State of Georgia
21. Cold Summer Day in Georgia
22. I Been to Georgia on a Fast Train
Billy Joe Shaver
23. State of Georgia
24. Me and You and a Dog Named Boo
25. (Sittin' on) the Dock of the Bay
26. Sweet Georgia Brown
Atlanta Rhythm Section
28. Statesboro Blues
The Allman Brothers
29. Walking Back to Georgia
30. Walking Back to Georgia
Jim Messina & Kenny Loggins
31. Sweet Augusta Darlin'
32. Cedartown, Georgia
34. Georgia Peaches
35. I Was on Georgia Time
36. 20 Miles to Georgia
37. Burn Georgia Burn
38. Ol' Red
39. Georgia Woods
40. Little Georgia Rose
Travis Tritt & Ricky Skaggs
41. Meet in the Middle
42. Georgia Clay
43. Georgia Rose
44. Head's in Georgia
J.J. Cale & Eric Clapton
Funny and Interesting Names of Places in Georgia
Questions & Answers
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