Even though the best songs about Olympia mention the place either in their title or lyrics, it's not always the focus of these memorable songs.
Whether they talk about Olympia, Washington, or Olympia, Greece, here are some top songs about Olympia.
1. “Olympia, WA” by Rancid
Song Year: 2015
“Olympia, WA” by Rancid is one of the best songs about Olympia. It’s also one of the best-loved songs to feature in this Washington area.
It’s a punk-rock tribute to the music scene Rancid knows the best. Inherent in the lyrics is a nostalgia for the comfort of Olympia’s familiar surroundings and theaters.
There’s also an excellent guitar solo midway through the song that showcases the band’s artistic talent.
Artists dream of moving to bigger, better cities. The surprisingly touching revelation of “Olympia, WA,” is that just because a place is more prominent, busier, and famous, it doesn’t guarantee happiness.
2. “Olympia My Home” by Tom Dyer
Song Year: 2018
One of the best, more recent songs about Olympia is “Olympia My Home.” It’s part of a larger album by artist Tom Dyer.
Like other songs on the album, the song is a love letter to Dyer’s hometown. It highlights the quirky eccentricities of the place he grew up with warmth and affection.
He may see it with new eyes, but Dyer retains a special affection for Olympia, which comes through in his composition and musical artistry.
3. “Song of Olympia” by Carla Maffiolett
Song Year: 2019
So far, we have limited our discussions to the best songs about Olympia to the geographical place. But there’s also a famous classical composition about Olympia.
In the episodic opera The Tales of Hoffman, Jacques Offenbach introduces his audience to several characters, including the clockwork doll Olympia.
“Song of Olympia” is a high-flying coloratura aria designed to show off the technical ability of the singer. It demands she hit increasingly high notes ever more rapidly.
Because Olympia is a doll, her clockwork sporadically runs down. That makes the singer recover between glancing off of stratospherically high ledger lines, and the music slows down to reflect the doll “unwinding.”
Even so, it ends badly for Olympia. Her efforts to impress her maker lead to her singing too high and too fast, and she sings herself to death.
4. “Olympia” by The Hole
Song Year: 1994
Another of the best songs about Olympia comes from the alternative rock band “The Hole.”
Their song “Olympia” partly waxes nostalgia for their years in Olympia. But that’s a surface reading.
The lyrics tackle the pressure on young people to be the same and emulate their adults. In some cases, “Olympia” argues, that means inheriting prejudices we’re better off without.
5. “Olympia Is A Pretty Great Washington Place, Eh?” By The Guy Who Sings Songs About Cities and Towns
Song Year: 2020
“Olympia Is A Pretty Great Washington Place” is by contemporary artist The Guy Who Signs Songs About Cities And Towns. I’m not sure where his first name ends, and surname begins.
At first, listen; it does what it says on the tin. But it’s also a tribute to Olympia, WA. The lyrics rattle off its attractions and the reasons it's perennially popular with locals.
It has a largely repetitive orchestration, but as the song progresses, it shifts, becoming more jazzy and brassy as it builds momentum. These harmonic touches add a dash of color to the music that too easily gets overlooked because of a pronounced drum beat.
6. “Olympia On Parade” by Ultimate New Orleans Brass
Song Year: 2014
“Olympia On Parade” is another of the best songs about Olympia. As the band name suggests, this funk song is appropriately brassy.
There’s a funk beat and a heavy jazz influence. Its fast marching tempo and the stomping beat is catchy. Whatever your taste in music, the solos and speed of this song will get you up and dancing despite yourself.
7. “Mr. Olypmia” by Jeff Beal
Song Year: 2018
“Mr. Olympia” has the distinction of being an instrumental song with Olympia in the title. Beal is an accomplished jazz musician known for his innovative instrumental improvisations.
The jazz song is part of the soundtrack to Bigger: The Joe Weider Story. The film tells the story of famous Canadian bodybuilder Joe Weider. Beal’s carefully crafted music follows the trajectory of his pitfalls and successes.
“Mr. Olympia” is one of his successes and is appropriately triumphant. A mellow harmonic line grounds the melody. But the overall tonality is brassy, bright, and confident. It’s catchy and designed to make you tap your feet in time to the music.
8. “BF BASS (Ode to Olympia)” by Bryan Ferry
Song Year: 2010
Bryan Ferry’s song about Olympia blends electronic rock and pop music.
The Olympia of this song is a person. They’re the subject of a bittersweet love song. The speaker loves but feels disconnected from Olympia, who they worry is always borrowing trouble.
Despite that, their love persists, and while it’s not the happiest love song ever written, neither is it doomed. It’s clear that complications aside, the speaker wouldn’t have their love any other way.
9. “Queen of Olympia” by Shrew
Song Year: 2019
“Queen of Olympia” is an electronic song by the band Shrew. It makes prominent use of a synthesizer.
The instrument is in perpetual flux, its sound constantly changing. That’s appropriate because “Queen of Olympia” asks questions about the necessity of change and our drive to redefine ourselves as we grow older.
10. “Oh Come On” by Veda Hille
Song Year: 2008
Veda Hille’s song about Olympia is undeniably odd. “O Come On” is a peculiar mix of stray lines from hymns, psalms, and motifs of blood and death. It marries these into religious iconographies like the Sacred Heart and the Blood of Christ.
It’s unclear if the Olympia under discussion is the mythical mountain of Greek Gods, Olympia, Washington, or somewhere more esoteric and emotional. It may even be a person.
Despite the lyrical hodgepodge with its imagery of grief, dying, and anguish, the melody is upbeat. The result is a fascinating musical composition.
11. “Olympia” by DMA’s
Song Year: 2023
We end on a recent note. “Olympia” by the DMA is another nostalgic song about Olympia written in 2023.
Many consider this song a tribute to their fans. It fondly remembers the early years of their career, when making music full-time was daunting, and fame felt overwhelming.
Olympia becomes a peaceful place of a safe harbor, away from the hubbub of their successful lives. But even as they seek out the shelter of Olympia, they find the act of making music equally comforting.
Top Songs About Olympia, Final Thoughts
Even the best songs about Olympia always have a double meaning. Olympia always features the title and often the lyrics, but there’s more to these songs than commemorating a special place.
They tackle questions of identity, change, and whether we can ever go home again, making them memorable.