Looking to celebrate everything Utah? Or more interested in hearing about the not so positive things? There are plenty of musicians who have strong feelings about this state, so here are the best songs about Utah.
1. Salt Lake City by Bob Weir
Song Year: 1978
“Salt Lake City” is a song by American singer-songwriter Bob Weir, released in 1972. The track features on his debut solo album, “Ace”.
The tune has a catchy upbeat rhythm with lyrics that describe Salt Lake City as heaven on Earth. Weir's distinctive voice and the track's instrumental arrangement, which includes a prominent bassline and guitar solo, make “Salt Lake City” a classic rock song that remains popular with fans today.
2. Utah Carol by Marty Robbins
Song Year: 1959
American country singer Marty Robbins released the song in 1959. Robbins captures the spirit of the Old West with his rich baritone and simple guitar melody. The poignant and tragic tale explores the life of Utah Carol, a cowboy gunned down by law enforcement in the early 1900s.
3. Salt Lake City by The Dwarves
Song Year: 2004
The Dwarves, a punk rock act from Chicago, released their tribute to the crossroads of the West back in 2004. The track features on their album “The Dwarves Must Die”.
This is a fast-paced song with distorted guitars, and aggressive vocals that reflect the band's punk rock attitude. The tune’s rebellious spirit and raw energy make it a standout in The Dwarves' discography and a classic in the genre.
4. The Great Salt Lake by Band of Horses
Song Year: 2006
Seattle natives, Band of Horses, didn’t wait long to sing the praises of Salt Lake City. The song is featured in their debut album “Everything All the Time”. The song has a dreamy, atmospheric quality. Lead singer Ben Bridwell's haunting vocals describe the beauty and mystery of Utah's Great Salt Lake, with themes of solitude and introspection. “The Great Salt Lake” is a standout track on the album.
5. The Promised Land by Bruce Springsteen
Song Year: 1986
That’s right, even the Boss has something to say about this occasionally forgotten state.
Released in 1986, it featured on his album “Darkness on the Edge of Town”. This one has a driving beat with Springsteen's signature gravelly vocals and a catchy chorus. The lyrics describe the struggles of a working-class man who grew up in Utah searching for a better life and the promise of the American Dream.
6. Utah…This Is the Place by Sam and Gary Francis
Song Year: 1996
“Utah, This is the Place” is a folk song written by Sam and Gary Francis. In 2002 it was adopted as the official state song to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the settlement of Salt Lake City.
As an ode to the beauty and history of Utah, the song’s lyrics describe the landscapes and the admiration the singers have for its pioneers. The track has a lively melody with guitar and banjo instrumentation and features a chorus that invites listeners to join in singing.
7. I Lost My Sugar in Salt Lake City by Johnny Mercer
Song Year: 1942
This song was written in 1942 by Johnny Mercer. It has a swinging melody that is brought to life by a memorable brass section. Lyrically, the song describes a man who goes to Salt Lake City, to search for his lover. Having been recorded by many artists over the years, this classic tune remains popular with jazz fans and lovers of Mercer to this day.
8. Salt Lake City by The Beach Boys
Song Year: 1965
The legendary California band came out with their take on Salt Lake City back in 1965.
It was featured on their “Summer Days” album. The upbeat tempo, catchy chorus, and vocal harmonies that are typical of their style are all found here. The song is about the band's excitement about performing in Salt Lake City and the fun they expect to have there.
9. Utah Tribute by Chris LeDoux
Song Year: 1988
As if the name wasn’t enough to suggest the intent, “Utah Tribute” is a country homage by Mississippi native Chris LeDoux. The track sings the praises of Utah and its people, with lyrics that celebrate the state's natural beauty, western heritage, and hardworking citizens. It has a traditional country sound with LeDoux's distinctive voice and twangy guitar riffs.
10. Palace of the Brine by Pixies
Song Year: 1991
It seems like every other legend has a track centered around Utah, and Pixies is no exception.
The track appears on their album “Bossanova”. With a haunting and atmospheric quality accompanied by distorted guitar riffs, frontman Black Francis' haunting vocals describe a surreal landscape of salt flats and lakes that evoke a sense of otherworldliness. “Palace of the Brine” showcases the band's experimental approach to rock.
11. Polygamy by Gary Hundley
Song Year: 2020
From a local to his hometown, “Polygamy” is a thought-provoking song by Gary Hundley. Released in 2020, Hundley delivers a traditional country sound with catchy guitar riffs. Its candid lyrics explore the practice of polygamy in Utah. It's a bold and poignant tune that raises questions about morality, tradition, and individual freedom.
12. The Red Hills of Utah by Marty Robbins
Song Year: 1963
Marty Robbins came out with this country cut about the Crossroads of the West more than half a century ago, and it still plays on some local radio stations.
It features Robbins' distinctive vocals and guitar-picking style, and the lyrics mention the stunning scenery of Utah's red hills and the feelings of peace and contentment they evoke. “The Red Hills of Utah” is a classic Robbins tune that has become a favorite among his fans and a tribute to the state's natural beauty.
13. The Beehive State by Randy Newman
Song Year: 1970
Unlike the other songs on the list, this song mocks in a satirical way the state, rather than praising it. Randy Newman, poked fun at Utah's image as a conservative, religious state, with lyrics that describe a place where nothing can grow. “The Beehive State” is a witty and irreverent commentary on Utah's culture that reflects Newman's unique songwriting style.
14. The History of Utah by Camper Van Beethoven
Song Year: 1986
Genre-bending band Camper Van Beethoven wrote this intellectual track for their debut album.
The song is a humorous retelling of Utah's history, from the arrival of the Mormons to the state's modern-day culture. This is a playful tune that showcases the band's eclectic style and their irreverent take on American history.
15. Utah, Gateway to Nevada by Plague of Locusts
Song Year: 1984
With one of the most fascinating band names out there, punk rock outfits Plague of Locusts came with their Utah cut back in the eighties.
The tune has a fast-paced, energetic sound with distorted guitar riffs and aggressive vocals. The lyrics describe the band's experiences traveling through Utah and the state's reputation as a conservative, religious place that contrasts with the party atmosphere of nearby Nevada.
“Utah Gateway to Nevada” is a raw, rebellious tune that captures the band's punk ethos and their disdain for social conventions.
16. Utah Girl by Fawcette
Song Year: 2023
“Utah Girl ” is as country as any song about Utah gets. The track features a classic country sound with Fawcette's smooth vocals and twangy guitar riffs, while the lyrics are about a romantic encounter with a Utah girl who captures the narrator's heart with her charm and beauty.
The track is a sweet, romantic tune that celebrates the state's people and its culture and has become a favorite among Fawcette's fans.
17. Utah Rattlesnake Speedway Boogie by Cosmic Graffiti
Song Year: 2021
With one of the hardest names to remember, you want to make sure you save this one on your playlist. The track features a driving, upbeat sound with distorted guitar riffs and gritty vocals. This is a fun, high-energy tune that captures the band's rock and roll spirit and their love of classic American cars.
18. My Name is George by Oat Soda
Song Year: 2001
“My Name Is George” is a heartfelt song by Oat Soda, a folk-pop band from Portland. The song features intricate guitar work, soulful vocals, and introspective lyrics about self-discovery and overcoming obstacles. It's a poignant and uplifting tune that resonates with listeners who are on their journey of self-discovery.
19. Utah by Kyle Blankenship
Song Year: 2019
While most songs about the crossroads of the West tend to get creative about it, this one is plain and simple. The self-titled song about the State is a nostalgic and introspective song by Kyle Blankenship, an indie folk singer-songwriter from Oregon.
The song features acoustic guitar, soulful vocals, and heartfelt lyrics about reminiscing on memories and past relationships in the beautiful landscapes of Utah. It's a poignant and relatable tune that captures the bittersweet feelings of looking back on the past.
20. Utah by The Osmonds
Song Year: 1972
Another straightforward track about mountainous land, “Utah” is a pop song by American family group The Osmonds. The song came out what feels like ages ago on their album “Crazy Horses”. The track is a catchy, upbeat tune that showcases the Osmonds' signature pop sound and their pride in their roots.
21. Utah by Go Go Berlin
Song Year: 2019
What makes this entry so intriguing is that the band who wrote it isn't even from the USA. Go Go Berlin, a Denmark-native band created this upbeat song with catchy guitar riffs, and energetic vocals, about Utah. The lyrics are an ode to the American state of Utah, with references to its iconic landscapes and a desire to explore and have fun.
Top Songs About Utah, Final Thoughts
Utah has been a muse for countless musicians over the years, resulting in an eclectic collection of songs that capture the essence of the state in their unique ways. These songs showcase Utah's beauty, culture, and history. Whether you're a native or a visitor, these tunes are a perfect accompaniment to any Utah adventure.