40 Songs about Virginia (Pop, Folk, Rap/Hip Hop & More)

Foundations of Music

40 Songs about Virginia (Pop, Folk, Rap/Hip Hop & More)

Virginia is one of the best-known states in the US. It was one of the 13 original colonies, and it was named after England’s Virgin Queen, Queen Elizabeth I.

Today, Virginia is known for its many famous sites, such as the Shenandoah National Park, Arlington National Cemetery, and the Appalachian Trail. It’s no wonder that

I. Famous/pop songs about Virginia

There are plenty of famous or pop songs about the state of Virginia. Some songs have been used as the state’s song and tackle some historical issues.

1) Carry Me Back to Old Virginny

Artist: James A. Bland
Album: None
Year: 1878
Click to Open YouTube

This song was written by James A. Bland, a minstrel performer and an African-American. It was also used as Virginia’s state song from 1940 until 1997.

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2) Virginia

Artist: Tori Amos
Album: Scarlet’s Walk
Year: 2002
Click to Open YouTube

In this song, Tori Amos sings about the land of the US and the exploitation of the Native Americans under European colonization.

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3) Leave Virginia Alone

Artist: Rod Stewart
Album: A Spanner in the Works
Year: 1995
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4) Virginia is for Lovers

Artist: Jordin Sparks
Album: Jordin Sparks
Year: 2007
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The title of this song, “Virginia is for Lovers,” is also the tourism slogan for the state and was used by Jordin Sparks as a bonus track in her debut album.

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5) Night Train

Artist: James Brown & The Famous Flames
Album: James Browns Presents His Band & Five Other Great Artists
Year: 1961
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II. Virginia folk songs

There are plenty of folk songs about Virginia written by natives. These folk singers tell stories about Virginia and even some infamous people in the state’s history.

1) Our Great Virginia

Artist: Mike Greenly
Album: Our Great Virginia (feat. Rick Cowling)
Year: 2015
Click to Open YouTube

The folk song “Our Great Virginia” became the name state anthem for Virginia in 2015. In the first verse, the anthem refers to Virginia as the “birthplace of the nation.”

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2) Railroad Bill

Artist: Paul Clayton
Album: Folksongs and Ballads of Virginia
Year: 1956
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“Railroad Bill” is the first song on Paul Clayton’s album, “Folksongs and Ballads of Virginia.” The song is about an African-American outlaw named Morris Slater.

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3) Orange County

Artist: Daniel Bachman
Album: Orange County Serenade
Year: 2014
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4) James River Blues

Artist: Old Crow Medicine Show
Album: Big Iron World
Year: 2006
Click to Open YouTube

This song is written from the point of view of a boatman from the 19th century who used to ship goods along the James River. He tells the listener how he lost his job as a boatman cause of the Railroad development.

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5) East Virginia

Artist: Joan Baez
Album: Joan Baez
Year: 1960
Click to Open YouTube
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III. Rap/hip hop songs about Virginia

Rap or hip-hop songs about Virginia will often be about a particular place in Virginia or an event in Virginian history.

1) Virginia

Artist: Clipse
Album: Lord Willin’
Year: 2002
Click to Open YouTube

This song has been described as an “ode to the Virginia that was never made.”

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2) Virginia Gang

Artist: Katie Noel
Album: Rap the South
Year: 2019
Click to Open YouTube
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3) When They See US

Artist: Kahri 1K
Album: The Ghost of Pecan Acres
Year: 2020
Click to Open YouTube

This song was inspired by the “vibe” of Peterburg, Virginia.

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4) Virginia Tech

Artist: Lil Flip
Album: None
Year: 2007
Click to Open YouTube

Lil Flip wrote this song as a tribute to all those who died in the Virginia Tech massacre on April 16, 2007.

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5) Peace in the Water

Artist: Pilot Perc ft Al Feury
Album: Pip
Year: 2020
Click to Open YouTube
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IV. Country songs about Virginia

1) Country Road

Artist: John Denver
Album: Poems, Prayers & Promises
Year: 1971
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This is one of the most famous songs about Virginia. The narrator describes the natural landscape of West Virginia, and he is asking to be taken home where he belongs.

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2) Virginia

Artist: Whiskey Myers
Album: Firewater
Year: 2011
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3) Green Rolling Hills

Artist: Emmylou Harris ft Fayssoux Starling
Album: Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town
Year: 1978
Click to Open YouTube

In this song, the singer explains that he’s sad that he needs to leave the rural landscape of West Virginia and move to a city in the north to find work. He later says that he will come back to the “green rolling hills of West Virginia.”

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4) Longing for Old Virginia

Artist: The Carter Family
Album: Their Complete Victor Recordings
Year: 1998
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5) Sweet Virginia

Artist: Kip Moore
Album: Wild World
Year: 2020
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V. Rock songs about Virginia

Rock songs about Virginia will often talk about the romance of the natural landscape and sometimes the affairs in Virginia.

1) Virginia Moon

Artist: Foo Fighters ft Norah Jones
Album: n Your Honour
Year: 2005
Click to Open YouTube

This song was a collaboration between Norah Jones and Foo Fighters. It’s about the natural beauty and the romantic image of the moon and nighttime in Virginia.

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2) Summer’s End

Artist: Foo Fighters
Album: Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace
Year: 2007
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This song tells the story of two lovers in Virginia who decide to break up at the end of Summer and meet again next Summer.

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3) Virginia Plain

Artist: Roxy Music
Album: Roxy Music
Year: 1972
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4) Sweet Virginia

Artist: The Rolling Stones
Album: Exile on Main St.
Year: 1972
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5) Hills of West Virginia

Artist: Phil Ochs
Album: I Ain’t Marching Any More
Year: 1965
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In this song, the narrator tells the listener about his journey to the hills of West Virginia. He describes what up to in these hills and the winding roads and natural landscape.

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VI. Songs about life in Virginia

In these songs, the singers will often describe what it’s like living in Virginia. Sometimes they will often tell the story of a particular event in Virginia.

1) Virginia Avenue

Artist: Tom Waits
Album: Closing Time
Year: 1973
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In this song, the narrator explains that he is walking down Virginia Avenue and is trying to find someone he can talk to about his problems.

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2) Oh Virginia

Artist: Blessid Union of Souls
Album: Home
Year: 1995
Click to Open YouTube

In this song, the singer thanks Virginia for all the memories they made and for being the place where all their friends are.

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3) For My Lover

Artist: Tracy Chapman
Album: Tracy Chapman
Year: Tracy Chapman
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4) West Virginia Fantasies

Artist: Chicago
Album: Chicago
Year: 1970
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5) Down in Virginia

Artist: Boz Scaggs
Album: Out of the Blues
Year: 2018
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VII. Songs about Virginia Beach

In some cases, songs are written about Virginia Beach to promote it. In other cases, the musicians will talk about going to Virginia beach and spending time there.

1) The Virginia Beach Song

Artist: Luciano Illuminati
Album: Made in Virginia 5775
Year: 2015
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It’s believed that Luciano Illuminati wrote this song to promote Virginia Beach.

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2) Virginia Beach

Artist: Hamilton Leithauser, Kevin Morby
Album: Virginia Beach
Year: 2021
Click to Open YouTube

In this case, the narrator talks about going to Virginia Beach and waking the following day in a club car.

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3) Virginia Beach

Artist: Zane Wells
Album: Zane Wells
Year: 2018
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4) Virginia Beach

Artist: Odd Folks
Album: Broozer
Year: 2017
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Morby explained that he felt compelled to write about “bizarre yet beautiful corners of American.”

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5) Virginia Beach

Artist: Mykki Blanco
Album: Cosmic Angel: The Illuminati Prince/ss
Year: 2012
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VIII. Songs with Virginia in the title

Sometimes songs with “Virginia” in the title will be nostalgic and talk about the history of Virginia. The song can simply be about a girl named Virginia at other times.

1) Sweet Virginia Breeze

Artist: Robbin Thompson
Album: Two B’s Please
Year: 1980
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This song was voted as Virginia’s state popular song in 2015. It won in a Virginia state senate vote of 39-0 as the official popular song of Virginia.

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2) Ghost of Virginia

Artist: Justin Townes Earle
Album: Yuma
Year: 2007
Click to Open YouTube

In this song, the narrator describes a train his grandfather had seen back in the old days. He explains how the ground would shake and how the train’s “gears pound the steel.”

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3) I Went Down to Virginia

Artist: Frank Sinatra
Album: All Of Me
Year: 1948
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4) Meet Virginia

Artist: Train
Album: Train
Year: 1998
Click to Open YouTube

This song has been interpreted in different ways. Some people believe this song is about a girl who wants to be something she isn’t. Others think that this song is about a boy who loves a sad girl.

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5) I’m Coming Virginia

Artist: Donald Heywood
Album:
Year: 1926
Click to Open YouTube
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