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Rhode Island, the smallest state in the United States, may be small in size but it has a big impact on the world of music. This tiny state has been a muse for countless artists and musicians over the years, inspiring some of the most beautiful and memorable songs of all time. From its stunning coastline to its rich history and culture, Rhode Island has captivated the hearts of many and continues to do so to this day. In this article, we will explore some of the best songs about Rhode Island that have been written and performed by musicians throughout the years. These songs range in style, from rock and roll to folk and everything in between, but all share a common thread: a deep appreciation for the unique and special qualities of Rhode Island. Some of the songs on our list are well-known classics, while others are lesser-known gems that deserve wider recognition. Each song tells a story, capturing a moment in time or celebrating a particular aspect of Rhode Island culture. Whether you’re a native Rhode Islander or just a music lover looking for some great tunes, this list is sure to have something that will delight and inspire you. So sit back, relax, and let’s take a musical journey through the best songs about Rhode Island.
1. “The Last Resort” By The Eagles
“The Last Resort” is a song by the American rock band The Eagles, which was released in 1976 as part of their album “Hotel California.” The song is known for its unique blend of rock and country music, as well as its poignant lyrics that tackle the topic of human impact on the environment. The song starts off with a mellow guitar riff, followed by the band’s trademark harmonies. The lyrics tell a story of a paradise that is slowly being destroyed by human greed and ignorance. The song’s chorus, “call someplace paradise, kiss it goodbye,” has become an iconic phrase that represents the idea that humans are destroying the very things that they hold dear.
2. “Rhode Island Is Famous For You” By Jack Haley and Estelle Loring
“Rhode Island Is Famous For You” is a song that was first introduced in the Broadway musical “Inside USA” in 1948. The song is a whimsical tribute to the small state of Rhode Island, and celebrates the unique quirks and charms of the state. The song features a catchy melody that is delivered in a playful and lighthearted manner. The lyrics are full of clever wordplay, with lines like “if you like prohibition, it’s a boon” and “if you like a seaside resort, old Narragansett Bay” highlighting the state’s idiosyncrasies. The song was popularized by Jack Haley and Estelle Loring, who performed it as a duet in the original production of “Inside USA.” Their chemistry and playful banter added to the song’s charm, and helped to make it a hit with audiences.
3. “Little Rhody” By Timmy May
“Little Rhody” is a song by Timmy May, an American musician from Rhode Island. The song pays tribute to the state of Rhode Island, affectionately known as “Little Rhody,” and celebrates the state’s unique culture and history. The song features a catchy melody and upbeat instrumentation that captures the energy and spirit of Rhode Island. The lyrics are full of references to the state’s landmarks and attractions, including “The Towers” in Narragansett and the famous “Hot Wieners” sold at Olneyville New York System. One of the standout elements of “Little Rhody” is the sense of pride and affection that May has for his home state. The song is a love letter to Rhode Island, and celebrates the state’s unique quirks and charms. May’s vocals are full of enthusiasm and energy, and his passion for his subject matter is palpable.
4. “Rhode Island” By The Front Bottoms
“Rhode Island” is a song by the American indie rock band The Front Bottoms, which was released in 2011 as part of their album “The Front Bottoms.” The song is a melancholic reflection on love, loss, and the passage of time, set against the backdrop of the state of Rhode Island. The song features the band’s trademark lo-fi instrumentation, with acoustic guitars and drums providing a simple but effective accompaniment to the vocals. The lyrics are introspective and bittersweet, with lines like “I want to kiss you on the mouth and tell you I’m your biggest fan” and “Rhode Island feels like a second home, but not in a romantic way” highlighting the complex emotions that the song evokes.
One of the standout elements of “Rhode Island” is the way that the band uses the state as a metaphor for the passing of time and the inevitability of change. The song’s chorus, “Everything feels like yesterday, just like we left it,” captures the sense of nostalgia and longing that pervades the entire track.
5. “Summertime In Rhode Island” By Someday Providence
“Summertime In Rhode Island” is a song by Someday Providence, an American rock band from Rhode Island. The song celebrates the joys of summertime in the state, and captures the sense of excitement and possibility that comes with the arrival of warmer weather. The song features a driving beat and catchy guitar riffs that evoke the energy and vibrancy of summertime in Rhode Island. The lyrics are full of references to local landmarks and attractions, including “the beach in Narragansett” and “the Newport Jazz Festival,” highlighting the state’s many cultural and recreational offerings. One of the standout elements of “Summertime In Rhode Island” is the way that the song captures the sense of community and togetherness that characterizes the state’s summertime scene. The lyrics celebrate the way that Rhode Islanders come together to enjoy the season, with lines like “everyone is out and about, dancing in the streets” and “it feels like home when we’re all together.”
6. “Holiday In Rhode Island” By The Softies
“Holiday In Rhode Island” is a song by The Softies, an American indie pop band formed in the mid-1990s. The song is a wistful ode to a romantic getaway in Rhode Island, and captures the sense of yearning and anticipation that comes with a long-awaited vacation. The song features simple instrumentation, with acoustic guitars and gentle percussion providing a soft and dreamy backdrop to the vocals. The lyrics are full of romantic imagery, with lines like “we’ll watch the sunrise over the ocean blue” and “we’ll dance in the sand beneath the stars.” One of the standout elements of “Holiday In Rhode Island” is the way that the song captures the sense of escape and adventure that comes with a vacation. The lyrics celebrate the idea of leaving behind the stresses and worries of everyday life, and immersing oneself in a new and exciting experience.
7. “Sweet Rhode Island Red” By Ike & Tina Turner
“Sweet Rhode Island Red” is a song by Ike & Tina Turner, an American soul and rock duo that was active from the 1950s to the 1970s. The song is an upbeat celebration of a woman named “Rhode Island Red,” who is praised for her beauty, charm, and vivaciousness. The song features a funky bassline and horn section that give it a lively and energetic feel. The lyrics are full of playful double entendres and innuendos, with lines like “she’s my chicken, she’s my oyster too” and “she’s the best bird in the barnyard, honey, what you gonna do?” One of the standout elements of “Sweet Rhode Island Red” is the way that the song captures the sense of fun and mischief that characterized much of Ike & Tina Turner’s music. The song is a playful celebration of female sexuality and confidence, and celebrates the idea of being unapologetically yourself.
8. “Rhode Island” By The Innocence Mission
“Rhode Island” is a song by The Innocence Mission, an American folk band formed in the late 1980s. The song is a haunting and introspective reflection on the beauty and complexity of Rhode Island, and captures the sense of mystery and wonder that characterizes the state’s natural and cultural landscapes. The song features sparse instrumentation, with delicate acoustic guitars and gentle percussion providing a subtle and understated backdrop to the vocals. The lyrics are full of evocative imagery, with lines like “the sea has her own quiet way of talking to the shore” and “the sky is a cathedral and it hangs above us all.” One of the standout elements of “Rhode Island” is the way that the song captures the sense of longing and nostalgia that comes with contemplating a place that one has left behind. The lyrics celebrate the beauty and wonder of Rhode Island, but also acknowledge the bittersweet feelings of loss and distance that can accompany memories of the past.
9. “Tour The States” By Renald Francoeur
“Tour The States” is a song by Renald Francoeur, a Canadian singer-songwriter. The song is a catchy and educational tribute to the United States, and features a rapid-fire listing of all 50 states in alphabetical order, accompanied by visuals of each state’s landmarks and cultural highlights. The song features a lively and upbeat melody, with Francoeur’s clear and expressive vocals providing a playful and engaging tour guide through each state. The lyrics are full of fun and interesting facts about each state, with lines like “Alabama’s got the space center, rocket ships and outer space” and “In Wyoming they’ve got Yellowstone, a national park that’s all their own.” One of the standout elements of “Tour The States” is the way that the song combines education and entertainment, making it a fun and engaging way for people to learn about the geography and culture of the United States. The song’s infectious energy and memorable melody have made it a favorite among children and adults alike, and have helped to cement its status as a classic of educational music.
10. “Poor Little Rhode Island” By Guy Lombardo
“Poor Little Rhode Island” is a song by Guy Lombardo, a Canadian-American bandleader and musician who was popular in the 1920s, 30s, and 40s. The song is a lighthearted and humorous tribute to Rhode Island, poking fun at the state’s small size and humble reputation. The song features a jaunty melody, with Lombardo’s smooth vocals and the band’s playful instrumentation giving the song a lively and upbeat feel. The lyrics are full of humorous jabs at Rhode Island, with lines like “there’s one thing that’s clear, the state is much too small, you can’t find it on the map at all.” One of the standout elements of “Poor Little Rhode Island” is the way that the song captures the sense of affectionate teasing that is often directed at small and overlooked places. The song celebrates Rhode Island’s quirks and idiosyncrasies, even as it pokes fun at its size and relative obscurity.