40 Songs about North Carolina (Rap/Hip-Hop, Country, Folk, & More)
Some of these songs are specifically about North Carolina, while others mention South Carolina as well. Still, others are about certain people, experiences, and events in the northern state.
I. Pop songs about North Carolina
Songs about North Carolina from the pop genre appear to be rather scarce. This makes sense given that the state is famous for its old-time music traditions.
1) Raised Up Family
In this nostalgic track, the young James Taylor appears to be reflecting on his childhood in Raleigh, North Carolina.
This is a song about a girl from Carolina.
II. Rap/Hip-hop songs about North Carolina
Given that rap and hip-hop are in stark contrast to the more traditional genres that characterize the music from North Carolina, it may come as a surprise that there are quite a few songs from these two genres that represent the state.
1) Raise Up
There are quite a few rap and hip-hop artists that hail from North Carolina. Petey Pablo is one of them, and this song pays homage to the state that he grew up in.
2) North Cack (feat. Joshua Gunn & Kane Smego)
“Cackalacky” is the name of a North Carolina sauce company, but, in the past, it was also used as a sometimes-derogatory nickname for the state. In this piece, however, the rapper uses it to refer to southern culture positively.
3) North Cack Grown
4) North Cack
5) North Cack
6) North Carolina
III. Country songs about North Carolina
Along with folk music, the country genre typifies the sound tradition of North Carolina. As such, the state is frequently represented in songs from this genre.
2) Gone To Carolina
4) Blue Bandana
The girl in this upbeat country track is a free-spirited gypsy, following her favorite music band across the country.
5) Carolina (feat. Lucius)
6) Charlotte’s In North Carolina
The gentleman in this song appears to be lamenting the fact that the woman he loves has left him to return to North Carolina. “Charlotte” is also the name of the largest city in North Carolina.
8) Heads Carolina, Tails California
9) Poor Ellen Smith
This song is based on the real-life murder of Ellen Smith, which took place in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in 1984. The song has been performed and recorded by many artists over the years.
10) Carolina Can
11) Oh My Sweet Carolina
12) Carolina In My Mind
Named the unofficial anthem of North Carolina, this song is about longing to return to the place you grew up in.
13) Red Eye To Raleigh
IV. North Carolina folk Songs
North Carolina is renowned for having a rich tradition of folk music. While some of the songs in this list are instrumental, there is no doubt that the melodies originate from that part of the country.
1) Greensboro Woman
The man in this song appears to be passing through the town of Greensboro in North Carolina. He comes across a woman who smiles at him coquettishly, but he quickly and politely declines any further advances, as he wants to remain faithful to the lady who waits for him at home.
2) Leaving Eden
3) Foggy Mountain Breakdown
Performed initially on a five-string banjo, “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” is the ultimate country car chase number.
4) Crop Comes In
5) Blue Ridge Mountains
The Blue Ridge Mountains is a mountain range that spans most of Western North Carolina. They were named for the bluish haze surrounding them, which can be seen from a distance.
6) Freight Train
“Freight Train” was composed by Elizabeth Cotten in the early 1900s. It is a perfect example of the old-world tunes that are associated with North Carolina.
7) Wilson Rag
8) Going Down the Road Feeling Bad
V. Songs with North Carolina in the lyrics
These songs are perfect for your North Carolina-themed playlist.
1) Wagon Wheel
2) East Virginia Blues
“East Virginia Blues” is a folksy tune that tells the story of a man who met “a fair young lady” when he traveled to North Carolina and how he tried to win her heart.
3) North Cackalacky Girl
4) North Carolina
This song must be what a long-distance relationship feels like.
5) Just a Little Bit South of North Carolina
This classic number by Dean Martin is a pleasant reminder of the music from a bygone era and will make you wish you had someone waiting for you “Just a little bit south of North Carolina.”
6) Night Train
“Night Train” was initially recorded as a 12-bar blues instrumental by Jimmy Forrest in 1951. Since then, several different lyrics have been set to their tune, including the ones in this version by James Brown. Brown lists the names of the cities he would play in on his East Coast tour.
7) Going North Carolina
8) Oh, I’d Like to Go Away
9) Roadie for the Band
10) All My Little Words
This song is about loving someone who never truly loved you back. In fact, there was nothing you could have done to make them stay: not “For all the tea in China” nor “For all North Carolina.”