Jacksonville, Florida, is a city that has inspired many artists over the years. From the Southern rock anthems of Lynyrd Skynyrd to the country twang of Josh Turner, musicians have found plenty of material in the city's culture, history, and landscape. In this article, we'll explore some of the best songs about Jacksonville, spanning multiple genres and decades.
Jacksonville by Josh Turner
Song Year: 2003
“Jacksonville” is a country music song by Josh Turner, released in 2003. The song is about the narrator's experiences growing up in Jacksonville, a city in the state of Florida.
In the song, Turner sings about the sights and sounds of Jacksonville, such as the St. John's River and the city's skyline. He also reflects on his memories of riding in his father's truck and playing baseball in the park. The song has a nostalgic tone and captures a sense of pride and affection for the city of Jacksonville.
I'll Never Play Jacksonville Again by Graham Parker
Song Year: 2001
“I'll Never Play Jacksonville Again” is a rock song by English musician Graham Parker, released in 2001. He is best known for his role as the lead singer of Graham Parker & the Rumor.
Musically, “I'll Never Play Jacksonville Again” has a lively, upbeat tempo with guitar, drums, and keyboard instrumentation. The song showcases Parker's distinctive voice, which has been described as raspy and soulful.
Jacksonville Kid by Lynyrd Skynyrd
Song Year: 1977
“Jacksonville Kid” is a rock song by the Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, released in 1977. The song was included on the band's album “Street Survivors.” It has a powerful, bluesy sound with guitar, piano, and harmonica instrumentation.
The song features the characteristic Southern rock sound that Lynyrd Skynyrd is known for, with intricate guitar solos and powerful vocal harmonies.
Jacksonville by Sufjan Stevens
Song Year: 2005
This contemporary song by the widely popular Sufjan Stevens is another example of a song about Jacksonville, although in this case, the city in question is located in the state of Illinois. The song has a sparse, melancholic sound with guitar, piano, and orchestral instrumentation.
The song showcases Stevens' gentle voice and poetic lyricism and features complex harmonies and arrangements characteristic of his work. He is also known for his deeply personal and introspective lyrics, often touching on themes of faith, family, and personal growth.
The Day Jacksonville Burned To The Ground by Ron Johnson & Mary Mathews
Song Year: 2007
Musically, “The Day Jacksonville Burned To The Ground” has a classic folk sound with acoustic guitar, mandolin, and vocal harmonies. The song features a traditional verse-chorus structure and showcases the expressive vocals and storytelling abilities of the singers.
Jacksonville Blues by Janet Klein and Her Parlor Boys
Song Year: 2004
“Jacksonville Blues” has a traditional jazz and blues sound with acoustic guitar, upright bass, and clarinet instrumentation. The song features a slow, swinging rhythm and showcases the band's ability to create an authentic vintage sound.
Janet Klein's vocals are particularly notable for their expressive quality and ability to convey the emotion of the lyrics.
Jacksonville Interlude No. 1 by Junior Bonner
Song Year: 2008
This is an instrumental piece by Junior Bonner, released in 2008. The song is a short interlude that features a solo electric guitar playing a simple melody over a sparse background of drums and bass.
The song title references the city of Jacksonville, Florida, a town known for its strong connection to country and Southern rock music.
Bad Seed by Glen Campbell
Song Year: 1967
While not entirely about Jacksonville, this Glen Campbell song focuses on the city in its final verse. The tune starts in Little Rock but ends in Jacksonville, with the speaker declaring it's their next stop.
The song is noted for its prominent guitar and soulful country tune, though Campbell is far better known for his country-pop hits in the 1960s and 1970s, including “Wichita Lineman” and “Rhinestone Cowboy.”
Jacksonville by Brandon Flowers
Song Year: 2010
“Jacksonville” is a song by Brandon Flowers that was released in 2010. The song is an upbeat, guitar-driven rock track that features Flowers' distinctive vocals and catchy melody.
Lyrically, the song is a nostalgic reflection on youth and innocence, with Flowers singing about growing up in small-town America and dreaming of bigger things.
Long Time Man by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Song Year: 2001
“Long Time Man” is a song by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, released on their 2001 album “No More Shall We Part.” The song is a cover of a 1965 single by the American folk musician Tim Rose and mentions Jacksonville in the lyrics.
Cave's deep, gravelly vocals lend a sense of world-weary gravitas to the song's lyrics, which meditate on the passing of time and the inevitability of death.
Jacksonville Skyline by Whiskeytown
Song Year: 2001
This is a song by the alternative country band Whiskeytown, which got released on their 1997 album “Strangers Almanac.” The tune is named after the skyline of Jacksonville, Florida; the lyrics reference the city directly.
Whiskeytown's music blended elements of country, rock, and folk with a raw and emotional sound, often drawing comparisons to Neil Young and Gram Parsons.
Orange Ball-Peen Hammer by Mudhoney
Song Year: 1995
“Orange Ball-Peen Hammer” is a song by the American grunge band Mudhoney, which was released on their 1992 album “Piece of Cake.” The song features a driving, heavy guitar riff and Mark Arm's distinctive vocals, which are often characterized by their snarling, sarcastic tone.
Going Back To Jacksonville by Fat Fanny
Song Year: 2006
“Going Back To Jacksonville by Fat Fanny is a lesser-known song on this list but one that’s well worth seeking out for fans of music about Jacksonville. The song is a tribute to the city of Jacksonville, Florida, and celebrates everything the city has to offer.
Waitin’ For The Evening Mail by Max Morath
Song Year: 2006
This is an American folk song written by Max Morath. The song has its roots in the country's rural areas and tells the story of a man waiting for his lover's letter to arrive. He mentions she’s in Jacksonville.
The song was first recorded in 1923 by Marion Harris and became an instant hit, with its simple yet moving melody and lyrics that spoke to people's hearts.
Goodnight by Suzy Bogguss
Song Year: 1999
“Goodnight” is a song by Suzy Bogguss, an American country music singer and songwriter. It was released as a single in 1999 and appeared on her album “Voices in the Wind.”
The song is a soothing lullaby that features Bogguss' gentle vocals and a soft acoustic guitar. The lyrics speak of Suzy not knowing where someone is, and names Jacksonville as one of the potential locations. It was written by Beth Nielsen Chapman and was inspired by the tradition of singing lullabies to children at bedtime.
Top Songs About Jacksonville, Final Thoughts
In conclusion, Jacksonville has inspired a diverse range of songs across different genres and time periods.
From country to rock and folk to blues, artists have found inspiration in the city's culture, people, and landmarks. Whether you're a Jacksonville native or just a fan of good music, these songs offer a glimpse into the city's rich musical heritage and how it has inspired countless American musicians.