25 Best Songs About Pennsylvania

14. Pennsylvania Blues Tonight by Status Quo

Song Year: 2008

This song features an upbeat sound and lyrics that celebrate the atmosphere of Pennsylvania.

The song’s lyrics discuss wanting to return to a place where jazz bars brim with beautiful music and the people respect each other’s personal space. Funny enough, the protagonist lands in Pennsylvania.

Status Quo is a British rock band formed in 1962. The band was headed by members Francis Rossi, Andy Brown, and Alan Lancaster and performed mainly in the hard rock and psychedelic genres.

15. Pittsburgh Town by Pete Seeger

Song Year: 1956

This song is about the smoky town of Pittsburgh. It describes life in the steel and iron manufacturing plants, namely the problematic aspects of working in an environment riddled with sulfur smoke.

Folk and blues artist Woodie Guthrie initially wrote this song, but Pete Seeger recorded it. Seeger and Guthrie were originally members of the Almanac Singers band, performing folk and blues music with meaningful lyrics.

16. Pittsburgh Pennsylvania by Guy Michell

Song Year: 1952

Another song about Pittsburgh comes from singer Guy Mitchell and songwriter Bob Merill. This song, however, is unique in that it features an upbeat, playful tune with lyrics that celebrate a pawn shop in Pennsylvania.

Instead of purchasing an item, the protagonist encounters a young woman whom he takes dancing to.

Guy Mitchell was an American actor and singer best known for his eponymous show, The Guy Mitchell Show. He sold 44 million records in total, including top singles like Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

17. 30,000 Pounds of Bananas by Harry Chapin

Song Year: 1974

This song is a narrative tune about a banana truck heading for Scranton, Pennsylvania. The driver is distracted and floats the pedal, discarding the bananas all over the highway.

It’s a humorous song from Harry Chapin, the American singer-songwriter known for his folk rock sound and activist endeavors.

Ironically (and sadly), Harry Chapin died in a roadside collision involving a semi-truck—but it wasn’t carrying bananas.

18. 1-76 by G-Love and Special Sauce

Song Year: 1997

I-76 is an homage to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and its highways. In the song, the protagonist drives around the city, along East and West River Drives, to return home.

The I-76 highway, or Schuylkill Highway, is known for leading to the city’s major sports arenas.

G-Love grew up in Philadelphia, and in this beautiful song, he remarks on his adolescence spent in the city.

G-Love and Special Sauce is a three-member hip-hop and blues band headed by main vocalist Garret Dutton.

19. Home for the Holidays by Perry Como

Song Year: 1954

You’ve likely heard this classic Christmas song—but did you know it’s about traveling to and from Pennsylvania? The song’s lyrics discuss travelers near and far heading across the country, and Pennsylvania is mentioned twice.

Perry Como was an American singer, actor, and TV personality who recorded a now-famous Christmas album featuring this very song.

The song itself, however, was written and composed by Robert Allen and Al Stillman.

20. I’m in a Philly Mood by Daryl Hall

Song Year: 1993

This song is about a classic night in Philadelphia. The singer remarks on an evening well spent with his friends, dancing to tunes on the radio. He falls in love and makes a home with his lover in Philadelphia.

The song features groovy beats and a soulful tune, one of Daryl Hall’s best. Daryl Hall is an American soul and R&B singer known for founding the hit group Daryl Hall and John Oates. Daryl Hall is originally from Philadelphia and has many songs about the city.

21. Fall in Philadelphia by Hall & Oates

Song Year: 1972

From renowned band Hall & Oates (detailed above) comes yet another top hit about the city of Philadelphia.

This song is about a storm brewing over the city. The protagonist wants to leave Philadelphia because the crime has gotten worse, and he can’t pay his bills, but he decides to remain for another autumn season in Philly.

Hall & Oates is a soul, R&B, and alternative rock band consisting of Daryl Hall and John Oates. The two have written and performed many songs about their hometown of Philly.

22. Kids From Philly by George Thorogood

Song Year: 1980

George Thorogood is a singer and songwriter from the Northeast. He makes high-energy blues songs that have earned tremendous acclaim, including Bad to the Bone and I Drink Alone.

His song, Kids From Philly, is about children growing up in Philadelphia.

Although the song is instrumental, it is one of the band’s many popular songs about the City of Brotherly Love, so it’s safe to say this one’s about Philadelphia.

23. Ode to a Pittsburgh by Loudon Wainwright III

Song Year: 1970 

Loudon Wainwright III was a singer, songwriter, and father of famous folk singer Rufus Wainwright. He was known for his high-pitched voice and mournful songs about the American heartland.

Ode to a Pittsburgh is an ode to the singer’s hometown. In the song, he discusses the beauty of Pittsburgh, from its manufacturing plants to its smokestacks. Despite the high crime rate and pollution, the singer loves his hometown—hence the song.

24. South Street by The Orlons

Song Year: 1962

This song is about hippies dancing on South Street in Philadelphia. The singers discuss the joys of dancing in downtown Philly with their friends and encourage others to meet them in the South Street bars to dance.

The Orlons were a predominantly female vocalist group from Philadelphia. Members include Rosetta Hightower, Marlena Davis, Steve Caldwell, and Shirley Brickley. They primarily made songs for dancing to—this one’s a great example.

25. Allentown by Billy Joel

Song Year: 1982

This song is the lead track on Billy Joel’s famous 1982 album, The Nylon Curtain. It blends folk and rock for a unique sound all its own.

The song’s lyrics are about Allentown, Pennsylvania, and discuss the experience of working at Bethlehem Steel, the once-largest steel factory in the world.

The factory was known for its harsh conditions and blue-collar workforce, and Billy Joel perfectly encapsulates the feel of manufacturing in small-town America.

Billy Joel is an American singer, pianist, and songwriter known for his songs Uptown Girl and Piano Man.

Top Songs About Pennsylvania, Final Thoughts

Pennsylvania is among the oldest states in our nation—so there are many songs about the Keystone State. From Billy Joel to Wiz Khalifa, many of the artists on this list hail from Pennsylvania and have written beautiful songs about its many cities, towns, and atmosphere.

Consider adding these songs together for a perfect playlist that encapsulates the atmosphere of the best state in the country, whether you’re celebrating a road trip or a homecoming party. While you’re at it, check out our guide to songs about Philadelphia.

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2 Comments

  1. You left out the most important piece….
    The 1958 stringband/ mummers inspired song by th Nu Tornados…
    “PHILADELPHIA, U.S.A.

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