Best Songs About Pennsylvania

If you’re looking for the best songs about Pennsylvania, you’ve come to the right place.

It’s home to historic monuments, the city of Philadelphia, and over 12 million people. If you’re one of those people, or know someone who is, this playlist is for you.

1. Pennsylvania 6-50000 by Glenn Miller

Song Year: 1944

This swing jazz and pop tune is among the best-known songs about Pennsylvania. The song’s title suggests that it is about someone placing a call from New York to Pennsylvania.

The song’s lyrics address a woman the protagonist is in love with—who happens to live in Pennsylvania.

Glenn Miller was an American big band founder, composer, and instrumentalist. During World War II, he joined the U.S. Army as an Air Force pilot. Glenn Miller went missing over the English Channel during the war in 1944, soon after releasing this song.

2. Philadelphia Freedom by Elton John

Song Year: 1975

Philadelphia Freedom is a hit song by the renowned singer and band leader Elton John. The song peaked at number one on the Billboard charts in the 1970s and was shockingly popular in Canada.

This song touches on the freedom that the protagonist feels living in Pennsylvania. He discusses his decision to live alone in the city he loves.

Elton John wrote the song as an homage to his friend, Billie Jean King; today, it remains among his most famous songs.

3. Streets of Philadelphia by Bruce Springsteen

Song Year: 1993

This song is truly one of the best songs about Philadelphia. Its upbeat sound and powerful rhythm make it the perfect addition to any playlist.

Bruce Springsteen is one of the best-known, Academy-award-winning artists to date. Springsteen has released over 21 albums over the last six decades, including tracks for the movie Philadelphia (1993).

His song, Streets of Philadelphia, is about a young man who has encountered some hard times in the gritty city. He walks along the street, searching for someone to help him—but no one does.

The song reflects the plight of people experiencing poverty in big cities like Philadelphia, and it is just one among Springsteen’s many social justice-oriented songs.

4. Pennsylvania by Heart

Song Year: 2012

Pennsylvania is the sixth track on the popular band Heart’s fifteenth studio album. Heart is a rock band formed in 1973. The band comprises Debbie Shair, Dan Rothchild, Craig Bartock, Ann Wilson, and Nancy Wilson.

Their song, Pennsylvania, is about a couple who fell in love in Pennsylvania. The protagonist watches for her love from her balcony, but she doesn’t see him. The song references the town of St. Michael, located in Cambria County, Pennsylvania, and features a mournful melody that makes it the perfect addition to any nostalgic playlist.

5. Harrisburg by Josh Ritter

Song Year: 2002

Josh Ritter is a singer and songwriter known for his performances with the Royal City Band. Ritter’s classic Americana sound is easily recognizable, and he’s received several awards for his music.

This song blends soft folk guitar and an upbeat tune for a sound all its own. Harrisburg is about the Pennsylvania town of the same name. It touches on a young man’s experiences of leaving his family behind to hop trains and live a vagabond existence.

It’s a beautiful song that touches on the sad nature of post-industrialist small-town America.

6. Motown Philly by Boyz II Men

Song Year: 1991

Motown Philly is a hit song by vocalist duo Boyz II Men. The song is about dancing on South Street and eating Philly cheese steaks—the perfect Philadelphia song. The narrator describes spending time with his friends on the streets of Philly, rapping and creating harmonies that would one day become legendary.

Boyz II Men, consisting of baritone Nathan Morris and tenors Wanya Morris and Shawn Stockman, was founded in Philadelphia. They are known for their cappella harmonies and their quintessential blend of music genres.

7. Pittsburg Sound by Wiz Khalifa

Song Year: 2006

This song from hip-hop artist WIz Khalifa describes the protagonist’s upbringing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The narrator boasts about being the youngest in charge of his friend group and describes the shenanigans the boys get into in their home city.

The song is upbeat and offers a compelling rhythm that will get you off your feet.

Wiz Khalifa, also known as Cameron Jibril Thomaz, is a rapper, singer, and songwriter originally from Pittsburgh. He graduated from Pittsburgh’s Taylor Allderdice High School in 2012 and has been popular ever since. His song is an homage to his hometown, which he continues to support in many ways.

Notably, Wiz Khalifa also wrote a song called Black and Yellow, a tribute to the sports teams in Pennsylvania- the NFL football team The Steelers in particular. As a native Pennsylvanian, it’s clear this rapper has a lot of hometown and state pride!

8. Amish Paradise by Weird Al Yankovic

Song Year: 1996

Amish Paradise is a hit song by renowned musical parodist Weird Al Yankovic. It is a satire of the original song Gangsta’s Paradise, by Coolio featuring L.V.

The song’s lyrics describe the quintessential Amish lifestyle. He describes milking cows, reading the Bible, and harvesting the land.

Pennsylvania is known for its prosperous Amish communities and cultural heritage, so this is the perfect song to add to any Pennsylvania playlist.

Weird Al Yankovic is a famous singer and musician known for making parodies of pop culture tunes.

9. New Sensation by Lou Reed

Song Year: 1984

This song is truly one of the best songs of 1984.

This song is about a young man who is arrested on Christmas Eve. He decides to chase new experiences by traveling across the country. He heads first to Pennsylvania, where he crosses the Delaware Gap and describes the country folks who live in the area.

This song features some exciting bass words by Fernando Saunders, adding to its originality. Lou Reed was known for his experimental music with the band The Velvet Underground. He was also an American musician and guitarist with a five-decade solo career. Although Reed was from New York, he’s written several songs about Pennsylvania.

10. Mastermind by Mindless Self Indulgence

Song Year: 2008

In this song, a young man describes leading his friend group in Pennsylvania and describes himself as a mastermind of revenge. He seeks to punish someone who has wronged him. The song is a lament of the cruelty of this world.

The band Mindless Self Indulgence is a techno, hip-hop, and industrial experimental group featuring members Jimmy Urine, Kitty, Steven Montaro, and Vanessa Y.T. Still; the band has had many additional members since then.

11. Midnight in Philadelphia by Lighthouse

Song year: 1974

Lighthouse is a Canadian rock band formed in 1968 and consisting of members Skip Prokop, Paul Hoffert, Ralph Cole, and many others. The band had nearly one hundred members at different times before disbanding in 1976.

Their song, Midnight in Philadelphia, is about a man who experiences the loss of someone he loves. He watches the Philadelphia full moon and longs for the return of his loved one.

This song is gentle, sad, and mournful—the perfect song to play while you observe the night sky in Pennsylvania.

12. Pennsylvania Is… by Everclear

Song Year: 2004

This song is about a series of characters from Pennsylvania, all of whom have come through hard times.

The first half of the song covers the experiences of a young man who leaves his wife and ends up in prison, while the second half discusses a girl who lives alone in Philadelphia but ends up having to move out of loneliness.

The song is an homage to the rough quality of city living—particularly in Philadelphia—and is one of Everclear’s best.

Everclear is an American alternative band consisting of Art Alexakis, Craig Montoya, and Greg Eklund.

13. Clampdown by The Clash

Clampdown by The Clash

Song Year: 1979

This song is about a hard-working man in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, who resents his boss for ordering him around and forcing him to comply with the trappings of capitalism.

The song is, in exemplary fashion for the band, a reference to repression and freedom in industrial towns.

The Clash was an English rock band known for its punk rock sound and alternative lyrics challenging the status quo. The band consists of Mich Jones, Terry Chimes, Joe Strummer, and others.

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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