Baltimore, Maryland, has a rich musical history that has been celebrated in countless songs over the years. Its music scene has crossed many genres, from jazz and blues to rock and hip-hop.
In this article, we’ll explore the best songs about Baltimore that capture the essence of the city and its unique culture.
1. “Raining in Baltimore” by Counting Crows
Song Year: 1993
“Raining in Baltimore” is a melancholy ballad about the singer's feelings of loneliness and isolation in a rainy Maryland city.
The lyrics portray Baltimore's rainy streets and the singer's longing for companionship and love. The song is a tribute to the city and its rainy weather. It has become a fan favorite and a staple of the band's live shows, showcasing Counting Crows' talent for creating emotional and poignant music.
2. “Baltimore” by Randy Newman
Song Year: 1977
American singer Randy Newman sings this ode to Baltimore and its rich history and culture.
The lyrics describe the city's vibrant neighborhoods, iconic landmarks, and the struggles of its residents. The song also touches on the city's social and economic issues, such as poverty, violence, and inequality.
“Baltimore” features heartfelt lyrics that inspire resilience and hope and encapsulate the city’s spirit.
3. “The Lady Came From Baltimore” by Tim Hardin
Song Year: 1967
This classic folk-rock song by Tim Hardin tells the story of a woman who arrives in Baltimore seeking a better life but finds only disappointment and heartache.
The lyrics accurately describe the city, from its rows of houses to its dirty streets and tired people.
The song is a poignant reflection on the harsh realities of life in a big city, particularly for those who come seeking a better life but find themselves trapped in a cycle of poverty and despair.
4. “Baltimore Rain” by The Amity Affliction
Song Year: 2020
Australian metalcore band sings this heartfelt tribute to Baltimore, its people, and their struggles.
The lyrics talk about the pain and suffering the people of Baltimore endure, from poverty and crime to racial injustice and police brutality.
The title refers to the rainy weather that often characterizes the city and the metaphorical rain that falls on the city's troubled streets.
5. “What's New in Baltimore” by Frank Zappa
Song Year: 1986
This satirical song is a humorous commentary on the state of affairs in Baltimore in the 1980s.
The lyrics highlight various social and political issues, including corruption, drug addiction, and urban decay, prevalent in Baltimore at that time.
Zappa's witty lyrics and playful melodies create a lighthearted yet thought-provoking critique of the city's problems.
6. “Baltimore Gas & Electric Co.” by Raymond Scott
Song Year: 1940
Lovers of jazz will enjoy “Baltimore Gas & Electric Co.”. The song's upbeat tempo and playful melodies capture the energy and spirit of Baltimore, a vibrant city known for its rich cultural heritage and thriving arts scene.
This jazz instrumental piece is named after the Baltimore Gas & Electric Company, a utility company serving the city.
The use of electric instruments and innovative production techniques also reflects the city's role as a hub of technological innovation and progress.
7. “Baltimore Knot” by Banner Pilot
Song Year: 2009
American punk rock band Banner Pilot tells a story about Baltimore, painting a vivid picture of the city's neighborhoods, people, and culture.
The title refers to a specific type of knot used by sailors, a nod to the city's maritime history. The lyrics reference iconic Baltimore landmarks and the city's struggles with poverty and inequality.
“Baltimore Knot” is a love letter to the city and a celebration of its unique character and history.
8. “Hey Baltimore” by Kariz Marcel
Song Year: 2016
“Hey, Baltimore” is another touching tribute to Baltimore, its people, and its struggles.
The lyrics vividly describe the city's streets, neighborhoods, and landmarks. They also speak of the challenges faced by its residents, from poverty and violence to systemic racism and inequality.
As a native of Baltimore, Kariz Marcel celebrates the resilience and spirit of Baltimoreans and calls for unity and justice in the face of adversity.
9. “Keep Baltimore Beautiful” by Skeeter Davis
Song Year: 1968
Back in 1968, Skeeter Davis promoted environmental awareness and encouraged residents of Baltimore to take care of their city with this song that is still relevant today.
The lyrics describe the beauty of Baltimore and urge listeners to keep the city clean and free of pollution.
The growing environmental movement of the 1960s, which sought to raise awareness about the negative impacts of pollution and encourage people to take action to protect the environment, inspired Davis to write this song.
10. “In Baltimore” by K-Mack
Song Year: 2021
“In Baltimore” is another rap tribute to Baltimore and its residents’ struggles.
K-Mack uses his powerful lyrics and smooth flow to describe the challenges of living in a city plagued by poverty, crime, and social inequality.
He highlights many systemic issues like police brutality and drug addiction contributing to Baltimore’s problem.
The song emphasizes the pride and resilience of the city's people in the face of adversity.
11. “Tomorrow Night In Baltimore” by Waylon Jennings
Song Year: 1970
The legendary Waylon Jennings tells the story of a man on the road dreaming of a romantic encounter in Baltimore.
The lyrics describe the city's famous Inner Harbor and the singer's longing for love and companionship.
The song is a beautiful tribute to Baltimore, one of America's oldest and most historic cities. Jennings captures the city's charm and beauty in his lyrics, creating vivid imagery of its skyline, streets, and people.
12. “Baltimore Blues No. 1” by Deer Tick
Song Year: 2007
“Baltimore Blues No. 1” is a melancholy ode to the city often associated with urban decay and poverty.
The lyrics describe the gritty and rough edges of the city, with references to dilapidated buildings and drug addiction.
Despite these bleak images, the song also conveys a sense of nostalgia and longing for a time when things were simpler and the city was filled with more hope and promise.
13. “Barefoot in Baltimore” by Strawberry Alarm Clock
Song Year: 1968
American psychedelic rock band, Strawberry Alarm Clock, sings this ode to Baltimore. The lyrics describe the city's unique culture, including the music scene and diverse neighborhoods.
The title refers to the laid-back, carefree attitude of the city's residents, described as walking around barefoot and enjoying life to the fullest.
The song's upbeat melody and catchy lyrics capture the spirit of Baltimore and have made it a beloved classic among fans of 1960s rock music.
14. “Baltimore's Fireflies” by Woodkid
Song Year: 2020
“Baltimore's Fireflies” is a hauntingly beautiful song by French singer-songwriter Woodkid. It’s an ode to Baltimore and its residents who have struggled with poverty, crime, and racial inequality.
The lyrics describe the city as a place of contradictions, where beauty and darkness coexist. Woodkid sings about the fireflies that light up the city at night, a symbol of hope and resilience in the face of adversity.
15. “The Streets of Baltimore” by Bobby Bare
Song Year: 1966
Bobby Bare tells the story of a man who leaves his rural hometown to try his luck in Baltimore, only to find disappointment and disillusionment in the harsh urban environment.
The lyrics describe the gritty reality of life in Baltimore, including the poverty, crime, and social decay that afflict many urban areas.
The song is a poignant reflection on the struggles and challenges of life in the city and has become a classic of the country music genre.
16. “For Baltimore” by All Time Low
Song Year: 2012
“For Baltimore” is an upbeat and catchy ode to the All Time Low’s hometown of Baltimore. The lyrics celebrate the city's unique culture and spirit, referencing local landmarks and experiences.
The song's upbeat tempo and infectious melody make it a fan favorite and a popular choice for live performances.
17. “Baltimore Oriole” by Sheila Jordan
Song Year: 2012
“Baltimore Oriole” is another beautiful jazz song about Baltimore. It is a tribute to the Baltimore Oriole, a small, brightly colored bird native to the Baltimore area.
The lyrics describe the beauty of the bird and its surroundings. The song also references the city's famous Inner Harbor and the sounds of the Chesapeake Bay.
18. “Take Me Back to Baltimore” by Elizabeth Cotten
Song Year: 1983
Elizabeth Cotten sings this nostalgic tribute to Baltimore, where she spent much of her life.
In the lyrics, Cotten reminisces about the Baltimore streets, buildings, and people that hold a special place in her heart. She expresses a longing to return to the city and relive the memories of her youth.
19. “Baseball in Baltimore” by NRBQ
Song Year: 1978
“Baseball in Baltimore” is a lively and upbeat song by NRBQ that pays homage to Baltimore and its love for baseball, specifically the Baltimore Orioles.
The lyrics reference the team's legendary players, including Brooks Robinson and Jim Palmer, and the excitement of attending a game at Memorial Stadium.
With its catchy melody and playful lyrics, this song has become a beloved anthem for Orioles fans and a testament to the city's deep connection to the sport.
Top Songs About Baltimore, Final Thoughts
Baltimore has inspired many musicians over the years, resulting in a diverse range of songs that pay tribute to the city's history, culture, and people.
Whether you're a Charm City native or simply a fan of great music, these songs will surely delight and inspire you.