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Florida is one of the most famous vacation destinations in the United States because of its many fantastic beaches and waterways. But did you know that the national symbol of Florida is the alligator? Or that Florida is the biggest orange producer in the U.S.?
There are many interesting facts about Florida that not many tourists and even locals know. However, one of the best ways to learn more about a state is through music and songs. In this article, we’ve collected a list of 11 songs about Florida to help you get ready for your next vacation.
What You Will Learn
- 11 Songs About Florida
- 1. “Florida (Where the Sawgrass Meets the Sky),” by Jan Hilton
- 2. “Old Folks at Home (Suwannee River),” by Stephen Foster
- 3. “Floridays,” by Jimmy Buffett
- 4. “The Florida Song,” by Ricky Sylvia
- 5. “Florida,” by Modest Mouse
- 6. “Mainline Florida,” by Eric Clapton
- 7. “State of Florida,” by Less Than Jake
- 8. “Florida,” by Patty Griffin
- 9. “Florida Rain,” by Matt Bauer
- 10. “Florida,” by Blue Rodeo
- 11. “Florida Time,” by Bob Seger
- Final Thoughts on Songs About Florida
11 Songs About Florida
1. “Florida (Where the Sawgrass Meets the Sky),” by Jan Hilton
“Florida, where the sawgrass meets the sky,
Florida, where our hearts will ever lie,
Sitting proudly in the ocean, like a sentinel true,
Always shielding your own yet giving welcome.”
This song is Florida’s state anthem. Another fun fact is that Florida has state song and a state anthem due to a compromise made when attempting to find a new state song in 2008. This was the perfect solution because it wasn’t possible to agree on whether the old state song should be replaced.
The song talks about the geographical characteristics of Florida. It mentions the animals and plants that can be found, including the alligators and oranges. The song highlights that Florida is a great place for tourists because of all the things you can see and its welcoming nature.
2. “Old Folks at Home (Suwannee River),” by Stephen Foster
“Way down upon the Swanee River,
Far, far away
That’s where my heart is yearning ever,
Home where the old folks stay.”
This one is Florida’s State Song. It was somewhat controversial since the original version used African-American slang and was criticized for romanticizing slavery. The lyrics were adapted over time to have a more neutral tone.
The song is about a young African-American who misses his state and family and feels homesick.
3. “Floridays,” by Jimmy Buffett
“I’m back to livin’ Floridays
Blue skies and ultra-violet rays
Lookin’ for better days, lookin’ for better days
Lookin’ for Floridays”
The song captures the lifestyle in Florida. The narrator was born in Florida and described the beauty and freedom it offers. It can be said that the narrator misses the old days in Florida and that things have changed since his childhood. However, he still manages to be in the same relaxed state of mind and fully enjoy Florida’s beauties.
This tune is very open to individual interpretation, but just listening and enjoying the song can give you a feel of Florida and the wild lifestyle.
4. “The Florida Song,” by Ricky Sylvia
“Down in Florida.
We welcome you to the sunshine state.
We’re kicking back and soaking up the rays, every day in Florida.
It’s like a Caribbean holiday.
Every day in Florida.”
This song can be said to be a literal love letter to Florida. A fun fact is that it was played at the governor’s wedding.
The song manages to cover all the most essential attractions in Florida. From the beaches, sunny weather, alligators, and the positive attitude. It even states how hurricanes can’t disrupt Florida’s unique atmosphere and talks about Florida as the perfect vacation spot for the whole family.
5. “Florida,” by Modest Mouse
“Couldn’t quite seem to escape myself
Far enough, far enough
Far from Florida
We were all drowsing in cruise control
Far enough, far enough
Wasn’t far enough”
This song about Florida offers a darker and more introspective view. The narrator decided to move out of his home state, looking for a change. However, he realized that the state wasn’t the problem but something within himself. It didn’t help to go away from Florida because the issues he had would follow him.
6. “Mainline Florida,” by Eric Clapton
“Her arms were open, open wide
Her invitation’s a changing tide
I could remember not long ago?
We took a cruise down on Hotel Row.
Mainline Florida, oh say
Mainline Florida, OK”
The song talks about the feeling of driving down the Mainline, Ocean Boulevard in Miami, Florida. It captures the sense of freedom and wildness while cruising down this beautiful road. The catchy rhythm is perfect for road trips.
7. “State of Florida,” by Less Than Jake
“And the city skyline hasn’t looked the same
Since the boom in south Florida’s real estate
It’s turning into more than I can take
Too much, too soon, too little, too late.”
This song also gives us a rather negative perspective in a more punk style. It highlights the parts of Florida that can be improved and should be changed. It also mentions that Florida is “sinking,” which can be interpreted as the ocean levels slowly rising due to climate change.
The lyrics make people more aware of the city architecture and lack of green surfaces, implying that things should be changed to be more eco-friendly and preserve the beautiful nature of Florida.
8. “Florida,” by Patty Griffin
“Couple of young girls
Went sailing down on A1A
To the arms of Florida
Sailing down the highway
Singing their heads off
Protected by the holy ghost
Flying in from the ocean
Driving with their eyes closed.”
The song talks about two girls driving down the highway next to the ocean in Florida. Its singer expresses her emotions in this song about her personal freedom. Even though the lyrics might seem negative in some parts, the message behind them is very positive.
The song is essentially about losing hope. And even though this might seem bad at first glance, the author portrays it as liberating, not yearning for anything in particular. The singer finally realizes she has to find fulfillment in herself and not in romantic relationships, mentioning that it gets lonely sometimes but is entirely worth it in the end.
9. “Florida Rain,” by Matt Bauer
“Oh, you’ve been through some hell in your time,
And more to come.
But right now, it’s just a Florida rain,
drawin’ down your back, in the mornin’,
and it’s gone, just as fast as it came.
The sun burns it off, like it never was.”
This song uses the typical Florida rains as a metaphor for hard times. The Florida rains are sudden and heavy, but they don’t last long. The singer says that the person going through this hardship has to be strong while the trouble or “rain” lasts, but it will be over in no time. After the person forgets the hard times in the same way, the sun in Florida erases any evidence that it was raining heavily.
10. “Florida,” by Blue Rodeo
“And I remember Florida
The land of endless malls
Images of Elvis flicks
Convertibles and blondes
And I remember crying
As you walked away along the shore
The last words I heard you say were what a bore.”
In this song about Florida, the singer remembers his heartbreak in the state. He mentions many specific things you can see in Florida to emphasize how well he remembers it all. And even though it was a heartbreak, he clarifies that the time in Florida was fun and just like a vacation, meaning that he doesn’t hold resentment but remembers Florida quite fondly despite the heartbreak.
11. “Florida Time,” by Bob Seger
“The Florida border just round the bend
There’s Cindy and Terry and the rest of our friends
The GTO has ten people inside
And the road is lined with guys hitchin’ rides
It’s Florida time and it’s really all right
Grab a good girl and just hold her tight.”
This song is about a group of friends going to Florida for vacation. They are really looking forward to arriving in Florida and are expecting to have the time of their life. They also hope to be lucky in love during their time in the state. The song captures the excitement you’d feel before a vacation.
Final Thoughts on Songs About Florida
This collection of songs about Florida will not only introduce you to the fun time you can have in this state, but it will also give you an insight into the overall atmosphere. It enables you to learn more about the diverse culture in the state, preparing you for your next Florida vacation or bringing a piece of Florida to your home.
Don’t forget to check out the links to hear these songs firsthand.