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55 Songs About North Carolina and South Carolina

FlourishAnyway believes there is a playlist for just about any situation and is on a mission to unite and entertain the world through song.

Celebrate the magic of the Carolinas with a playlist of songs about the states that boast both beaches and mountains, good Southern food and hospitality, sweet tea and shag dancing and lots of warm sunshine.

Celebrate the magic of the Carolinas with a playlist of songs about the states that boast both beaches and mountains, good Southern food and hospitality, sweet tea and shag dancing and lots of warm sunshine.

The Carolinas: Where People Have Been Made Kinder by Sweet Tea and Warm Sunshine

If you're lucky enough to be from the Carolinas like I am, then you know that you can leave home, but the Carolinas will never leave you. They have a way of calling you back. There, you have both the ocean and mountain paradise within short reach. People are kinder, made sweeter by the sweet tea and warm sunshine. They take their time for one another, even if it means stopping traffic.

Celebrate the uniqueness of this region with a playlist of songs that is primarily country. We have a long list to get you started.

1. "Carolina in My Mind" by James Taylor

It's easy to miss the little things when you're so far away from home. The narrator of this 1969 soft rock song feels homesick for North Carolina and reminisces about the sunshine, the moonshine, his dog, and all things familiar.

Singer-songwriter James Taylor's hometown is Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Although the song was only a mild commercial success at the time it was released, it has since become an unofficial state anthem and an unofficial song for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

2. "Carolina" by Harry Styles

The former One Direction star wrote this upbeat 2017 rock song about a real person, a young woman he met on a blind date several years ago. The Greenwood, South Carolina, native moved to the west coast and made such an impression on Harry Styles that he wrote a song about her. Describing her as bookish and charming, he claims she said he reminds her of home.

3. "Gone to Carolina" by Shooter Jennings

Sometimes it only takes a simple sensory cue to send your mind racing back to the comfort of home. That's what happens to the guy in this 2006 country song when he smells the sweetness of rain or sees a face in the crowd that he thinks he recognizes. He's suddenly transported back to Carolina, where he knows he'll always be welcomed. Shooter Jennings is the son of country music stars Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter.

4. "Heads Carolina, Tails California" by Jo Dee Messina

In this uptempo country song from 1996, a woman encourages her partner to pick up and take a one-way road trip. The Carolinas are high on her list. She suggests that they'll decide their destination by flipping a coin:

Heads Carolina, tails California
Somewhere greener, somewhere warmer
Up in the mountains, down by the ocean
Where don't matter, long as we're goin'
Somewhere together, I got a quarter
Heads Carolina, tails California.

5. "Wagon Wheel" by Darius Rucker (featuring Lady Antebellum)

Bob Dylan initially wrote part of this song, and decades later, the folk band Old Crow Medicine Song completed the tune and released it. In 2013, Darius Rucker reimagined it as a country song. Darius Rucker grew up in Charleston, South Carolina.

The song features a hitchhiker who travels 17 hours from New England down South through Roanoke to Raleigh. Northern winters have proven brutal, he's lost his money gambling, and he's on his way to see his lover. Anyone half-familiar with Southern geography, however, will catch mistakes in the song. Can you?

6. "Carolina Can" by Chase Rise

In this 2014 country song, Chase Rice fondly recalls his years from growing up in Asheville, North Carolina, and attending the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, where he was a linebacker. He remembers laying pennies on the railroad ties, Friday night football, chewing Red Man, drinking beer, and his (ahem) fifth year of college. Now that he's chasing his dreams of stardom by living two time zones and 10 states away, he finds that when he needs a reminder of who he is, Carolina can provide it.

If Chase Rice looks a bit familiar, it may be because in 2010, he was the runner-up on the reality television Survivor: Nicaragua.

7. "Carolina" by Eric Church

This 2009 country song is autobiographical for Eric Church, who is a native of Granite Falls, North Carolina. He misses North Carolina so much that at times it's as if his home state is calling him home like a lover who misses him.

Despite his hectic work schedule, he describes carrying with him memories of home—where the "mountains are a canvas for the Maker's hand." He longs to fish again in the local river and travel back in time and place to the cabin his grandpa built.

8. "Oh, Carolina" by Parmalee

The narrator in this 2013 country crossover hit misses his lover when he travels far from home. She cries when he leaves because she fears he won't return. However, home is with his partner, who "feels like Carolina."

9. "Beer Never Broke My Heart" by Luke Combs

A fiery Carolina girl made tracks all over this guy's heart, then she high-tailed it out of town, leaving the narrator with a broken heart. Now the narrator in this fun 2018 country song compares this type of betrayal and hurt to all the other types of disappointments he's faced.

I've had a largemouth bass bust my line
A couple of beautiful girls tell me goodbye
Trucks break down, dogs run off
Politicians lie, gettin' fired by the boss.

He decides to play it safe by drowning his sorrows in beer. Luke Combs is an Asheville, North Carolina native.

10. "She's Carolina" by Cody Webb

In this 2016 country ditty, the narrator describes the South Carolina darling who has captured his heart. He says she's

  • a lover and a fighter
  • sweeter than sweet tea
  • wilder than a hurricane
  • a flip-flops and tan lines in the wintertime kind and she
  • holds nothing back.

Cody Webb grew up surrounded by these Carolina girls, as he's from Ridge Spring, South Carolina.

11. "Carolina Girls" by General Johnson & the Chairmen of the Board

If you've ever been to Myrtle Beach, then there's no doubt you've heard this 1980 staple of beach music, with its famous (and true!) music refrain: "Carolina girls (Carolina girls) Best in the world!"

Okay, I admit I'm biased, as I grew up in South Carolina. The tune brags about how Carolina girls are Southern pearls who are more precious than diamonds and hotter than heat but they're also tough. Even if you're not a Carolina girl, be an honorary one with this song. We're all pretty wonderful in our own ways!

12. "Carolina Kiss" by Chris Lane

The country boy in this 2012 tune misses an ex-lover from Carolina. She reminds him fondly of all that is pure, natural, and good about his home state: honeysuckle dew, the smell of clover, a summer breeze. The narrator recalls his former lover so vividly he can almost feel the beat of her heart and the way she kissed. Chris Lane calls Kernersville, North Carolina his hometown; thus, you wonder whether there's a real girl who inspired this song.

13. "Oh, Carolina" by NEEDTOBREATHE

NEEDTOBREATHE is a Christian rock band from Seneca, South Carolina, and their 2014 song features a narrator who passionately misses his Carolina home. After traveling the world, he definitely has stories to tell. However, now that he's discovered where he truly belongs, his priority is to return home and recommit himself to Carolina living.

"Chasing angels or fleeing demons, go to the mountains." - Jeff Rasley, American writer

"Chasing angels or fleeing demons, go to the mountains." - Jeff Rasley, American writer

Prominent Musicians From the Carolinas

The Carolina connection may be a birthplace, where they grew up, and/or where they currently live.

Musician & Carolina ConnectionMusician & Carolina ConnectionMusician & Carolina Connection

Randy Travis - Marshville, NC

Kellie Pickler - Albemarle, NC

Eartha Kitt - North, SC

James Brown - Barnwell, SC

Lee Brice - Sumter, SC

Roberta Flack - Black Mountain, NC

Charlie Daniels - Wilmington, NC

Chubby Checker - Spring Gully, SC

Ronnie Milsap - Robbinsville, NC

Darius Rucker - Charleston, SC

Chris Daughtry - Roanoke Rapids, NC

Josh Turner - Hannah, SC

Nina Simone - Tryon, NC

Dizzy Gillespie - Cheraw, SC

Iron & Wine - Chapin, SC

Jermaine "J" Lamar Cole - Raleigh, NC

The Marshall Tucker Band - Spartanburg, SC

Aaron Tippin - Travelers Rest, South Carolina

Clay Aiken - Raligh, NC

Peabo Bryson - Greenville, SC

Tori Amos - Newton, NC

Rob Thomas (of Matchbox Twenty) - Lake City, SC

Luke Combs - Asheville, NC

Eric Church - Granite Falls, NC

14. "Home in My Mind" by Scotty McCreery

Even though he's far away from home, the guy in this 2018 country song returns there in his mind. As he sits all alone 1,000 miles away from home, he thinks of the Carolina pines, the sweet tea, supper on the stove, and the woman he loves.

Scotty McCreery is from Garner, North Carolina, and in 2011, he won the tenth season of American Idol.

15. "Lost" by Walker McGuire

The hometown Carolina boy in this 2018 country song is crazy in love. He claims to knows every inch of the couple's hometown like the back of his hand, even if you blindfold him. However, when it comes to his girl, he becomes as lost as

  • a country boy's first trip to the city
  • no headlights in the Carolina mountains or
  • a penny in a wishing well fountain.

16. "Carolina Moon" by Scotty McCreery (featuring Alison Krauss)

Although the narrator in this 2013 country song left his home state of North Carolina years ago in search of work, he still feels the pull of the home. He particularly misses the mountains, the Carolina moon, and the Southern stars. Although he doesn't have the opportunity to return to North Carolina as much as he'd like, he knows that one day he will go home there to stay:

Now when I die, boys, make me this promise
You'll send my body back up North Carolina way
I don't want no tombstone, just lay me next to Mama
And let the honeysuckle grow wild upon my grave.

17. "I Go Back" by Kenny Chesney

Songs can trigger strong memories. For the narrator of this upbeat 2004 country ditty, "Jack and Diane" reminds him of his high school girlfriend. He's a Carolina native, and various songs prompt memories of home and people he once knew there:

I go back to the smell of an old gym floor
And the taste of salt on the Carolina shore
After graduation and drinkin' goodbye to friends
And I go back to watchin' summer fade to fall
Growin' up too fast and I do recall
Wishin' time would stop right in its tracks
Every time I hear that song, I go back, I go back.

18. "19 You and Me" by Dan + Shay

In this 2014 country love song, a man reflects back on the first summer of his relationship with the woman he still loves. They met at Myrtle Beach years ago during "the summer of 19 you and me."

It was Carolina hot (102 degrees), and their hearts melted into one another as they danced in the sand. When vacation time ended and it was time to part ways, they realized this was more than just a summer fling.

19. "Comin' to Your City" by Big & Rich

I bet even if you don't like country music you could still jam to this 2005 country song. The tune features narrators who invite the audience to meet them in a variety of geographic locations, from Philly to Kansas to Cincinnati.

As they describe their trip around the nation, they say a few things about each location. Although Greenville, South Carolina, was an unintended stop, the good ol' Carolina boys came to their rescue with some adult beverages:

Well we broke down in Greenville
In the middle of a hayfield
But a Bud Light truck pulled up and helped us out.

20. "Dancin', Shaggin' on the Boulevard" by Alabama

Before they hit it big, the country supergroup Alabama played for tips six nights a week at a Myrtle Beach bar from 1973-1980. They grow nostalgic in this easy-going beach song from 1997 song. In it, they reference a number of places on the Grand Strand that either no longer exist or that changed substantially. (Remember The Magic Attic, Peaches Corner, and the former Mother Fletcher's?) If you're a Carolinian, then this tune will remind you of Beach week vacation and the sun, dancing, and time spent letting loose with friends.

Carolina girls:  raised on sweet tea and sunshine.

Carolina girls: raised on sweet tea and sunshine.

Even More Songs About North Carolina and South Carolina

SongArtistYear Released

21. South Carolina Low Country

Josh Turner


22. Carolina

Benjamin Gibbard


23. Carolina

Sara Bareilles


24. Carolina Dreams

Ronnie Milsap


25. Carolina Eyes

Scotty McCreery


26. Carolina (I Remember You)

The Charlie Daniels Band


27. Carolina on the Line

Sunny Sweeney


28. Carolina



29. Lay Me Down Carolina

Conway Twitty


30. Life's Too Short

Darius Rucker


31. Carolina Blue

Bucky Covington


32. Carolina

Corey Smith


33. Carolina from My Soul

Julie Roberts


34. Oh Carolina

Vince Gill


35. Stay in the Country

The Marshall Tucker Band


36. My Carolina

Lee Brice


37. Blue Ridge Mountain Sky

The Marshall Tucker Band


38. Sumter County Friday Night

Lee Brice


39. Carolina Low

The Decemberists


40. She Took the Wind from His Sails

George Strait


41. Carolina Girl

Bobby Kendall


42. We All Go Home

Joe Nichols


43. White Lightnin'

George Jones


44. Not Even the Trees

Hootie and the Blowfish


45. Day in the Life

Lenny Cooper


46. Carolina Boys

Lee Brice


47. Take It Down

John Hiatt


48. Hickory Wind

The Byrd


49. Greensboro Woman

Townes Van Zandt


50. Pretty Girl From Raleigh

The Avett Brothers


51. Carolina in the Morning

Dean Martin


52. I Wonder

Kellie Pickler


53. North Carolina

Tyler Nail


54. Outer Banks of Caroline

Jamie Trent


55. Carolina

Taylor Swift


© 2018 FlourishAnyway


FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on April 01, 2020:

Peggy - Anyone who has grown up or spent some time in the Carolinas knows it's a very country music-friendly area. Thick accents, hash BBQ, church the social center, backwoods living, clogging as a cultural artform.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on April 01, 2020:

I am not surprised that many songs have been written about North and South Carolina. They are beautiful states. Most of these songs appear to be country oriented.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 07, 2019:

Amy - Great voice. Thank you for the suggestion.

Amy on September 07, 2019:

Another great one is Northern Carolina by Tyler Nail

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 22, 2019:

Nora - Now that you know which titles you're searching for, download the songs from the digital streaming platform of your choice then burn a CD on your computer for your friend.

Nora Wynne on July 22, 2019:

I’m looking to put songs about Carolina on a cd for a friend who is moving to South Carolina. Any such thing possible?

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 04, 2018:

Dora - I agree with you. My drink is not the same either. Thanks for stopping by! Hope you are doing well.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on October 04, 2018:

I can relate to the homey feeling of the artists who call the Carolinas home. Love the lyrics of Kenny Chesney, except that my drink may not be the same as his.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 03, 2018:

Devika - Thank you. I appreciate your compliments.

DDE on October 03, 2018:

Beautiful mountains and another song list to think of for me.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 02, 2018:

Linda - Glad you enjoyed this. Many times, the comments are rich with content and I like reading them as well as articles, too! Have a wonderful week!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 02, 2018:

Liz - People are very loyal to where they are from, but I think Carolinians are especially so. Thanks for stopping by. Have a great week!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 02, 2018:

Audrey - I could almost hear you sing that across the internet. Thanks so much for you kind comment.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on October 02, 2018:

This was a nice way to learn about the Carolinas. The comments are interesting, too. Thanks for the education, Flourish.

Liz Westwood from UK on October 02, 2018:

Great list. I had no idea there were so many songs about Carolina.

Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on October 01, 2018:

What a fantastic list of songs! I love the Carolinas. And I love this hub with all it presents. "Nothin' could be finer than to be in Carolina in the morning" lalalala. An oldie, but goodie. Thanks, my friend, for another entertaining, enjoyable journey to songland.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 01, 2018:

Linda - What a kind soul you are. You're too good!

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on October 01, 2018:

So many songs, the Carolina's must be a very special place. Because you are from there, that's living proof. The James Taylor song was the first one I thought of. Who knew there would be so many more. Glad you are safe. Have a wonderful week.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 01, 2018:

Tarheel Tim,

I didn't realize you still lived in the state. I'm glad you didn't incur significant damage and are safe. I'm now in the metro Richmond area, and we fared significantly better from the hurricane, having a number of tornadoes and lots of rain.

So you're from near Mt. Olive eh? Very cool. Every time I see Mt. Olive pickles I'll think of you. My parents moved to Gaffney, SC, when I was going into sixth grade. People know it as the home of the Peachoid water tower on I-85 and from the House of Cards on Netflix. I haven't been back to Gaffney in many years, as my parents moved after I graduated college and now they live a mile away. We still have family and friends sprinkled throughout the Carolinas, however.

I enjoyed learning more about you!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 01, 2018:

Shyron - Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. With I-95 going straight down the East Coast, I'm sure many people have driven straight through North and South Carolina without stopping, probably on their way to Florida. They are beautiful states. Hilton Head is a great place to vacation if you ever get the chance. Have a wonderful week, sweet lady!

Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on September 30, 2018:


We live in Carolina. We often tease that there is only one Carolina.

No joke, we fared well, but many of our friends saw lots of problems after the storm. We were lucky - our dwelling on one of the islands only received minor damage.

Yes, I'm glad I attended that school. It's a special environment.

But growing up, I spent a considerable amount of my formative years along the mighty Neuse River, near Pickle Town USA. This is why your list had a special meaning for me.

If you know the area, which I think you do, my wife and I now reside in the Triangle (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill) area.

Concerts and recordings mean nothing without the hard work of people like you who take the time to put wonderful play list together to remind us of these treasures so we can go visit them again.

Much respect and admiration,



FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 30, 2018:

Sherry - It's funny how many songs mention both Carolina and California in the same song. You're right. They're both very different. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on September 30, 2018:

What a list you have on the Carolinas. I know some of the songs but when you put them together, you appreciate them more. Thanks for doing this.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 30, 2018:

Tim - Thanks for the kind comment. You're a UNC grad! What a great school! I tried to get my daughter to apply there, but teens know everything.

That would have been awesome to see the Chairmen of the Board in concert. I also used to work not too far from Mt. Airy (model for the Andy Griffinth Show) but I was just over the state line in Virginia. It's a slower paced lifestyle.

I love vacationing in the Outer Banks but worry about what the hurricane has done to the area and the people there. Do you have people in the Carolinas? If so, how did they fare in the hurricane?

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 30, 2018:

Bill - Thanks for reading. Have a wonderful Sunday!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 30, 2018:

Heidi - Thank you for your kind thoughts. My aunt and uncle live a stone's throw from the beach at Murrell's Inlet near Myrtle Beach on the first floor of a condo, but amazingly suffered no damage. We couldn't believe it. Nature is a fickle thing. Have a wonderful week ahead.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 30, 2018:

Louise - Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. South Carolina is a beautiful, historic place to visit if you ever get a chance (e.g., Charleston) and the beaches are nice as well (e.g., Murrells Inlet).

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 30, 2018:

Shannon - It's a song called "I Wonder." Thanks for the suggestion! Have a great week!

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on September 30, 2018:

Flourish, you got me on this one. The only one I could think of was Carolina Moon and you already have it, unless Sweet Caroline counts, I know it was written for Caroline Kennedy.

I don't remember the Carolinas the only connection I have is passing through.

Blessings my friend, fantastic job.

Sherry Hewins from Sierra Foothills, CA on September 30, 2018:

Nice list. I recently moved from California to North Carolina, so #4 particularly hit home. I must say the landscape and climates are very different, even though both have mountains and beaches.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 30, 2018:

Pamela - The beaches sure get the attention, but the mountains are truly beautiful. Yes, the Carolinas have suffered greatly with the hurricane. Thank you for reading and commenting.

Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on September 30, 2018:

Golly (to quote any number of people from fictional Mayberry) Flourish,

I should have known therein resides a Carolina Girl at heart,

This is an awesome playlist, friend.

I know each and everyone of these songs.

When I attended the oldest public university in the nation (UNC-Chapel Hill), I was amazed at how many people from across the world knew of J.T.'s classic song.

Heads Carolina-Tails California is another great tune that gets the feet moving as well as the wheels. I saw the Chairman of the Board perform that classic "Carolina Girls" outside of Greenville, N.C. once. They put on a great show.

And you, Flourishanyway, always create the most interesting playlist.

God bless your soul.


Much respect always,


Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 30, 2018:

I had no idea there were that many. I remember the James Taylor song, though, and since that was #1 on your list, I feel vindicated. :)

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on September 30, 2018:

I would never have thought there were so many songs about or from this area! Wow. Since you're from there, I hope none of your family or friends were seriously impacted by the recent hurricanes.Happy Sunday!

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on September 30, 2018:

It's surprising how many songs you can find. There's certainly a lot here. I've never been to either of the Carolinas, but my Aunt lived in South Carolina. I'm not sure where exactly though.

Shannon Henry from Texas on September 30, 2018:

Not from anywhere near there. I grew up in Illinois and live in Texas, but these are awesome songs. I know most of them. There's one by Kelli Pickler. I can't recall the title right now, but she's talking about wondering if her mother ever thought of her. She's in Carolina and her mom is in California. "From now on I won't be in Carolina. Your little girl is off to Tennessee."

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on September 30, 2018:

I love the mountains in North Carolina. This is a great collection of songs about those 2 states. These states sure have suffered lately from all the rain following the hurricane. Many prayers for them.