PENNSYLVANIA (WHTM) – Pennsylvania has served as an artistic inspiration to musical artists for decades. From artists singing about Pennsylvania’s luscious countryside to paying homage to the keystone state cities they are from, Pennsylvania has made its mark in music.

Seven – Taylor Swift

  • Album: Folklore
  • Release Date: July 24, 2020
  • PA connection: Swift is from Pennsylvania and in her song “Seven” she recounts her childhood. In the lyrics Swift sings: “Feet in the swing over the creek I was too scared to jump in But I, I was high in the sky with Pennsylvania under me . . .”

Allentown – Billy Joel

  • Album: The Nylon Curtain
  • Release Date: 1982
  • PA connection: The song is titled after the name of the Pennsylvania city in Lehigh County. The song references Allentown straight from the beginning with the lyric that repeats throughout the song “we’re living here in Allentown” and it mentions some aspects of Pennsylvania culture such as the coal mines.

Philadelphia Freedom – Elton John

  • Release Date: Feb. 24, 1975
  • PA connection: Elton John requested this song be written for him in honor of tennis player Billie Jean King who was coaching the Philadelphia Freedoms. King was one of the first women to ever coach men.

Pennsylvania Polka – Frankie Yankovic

  • Release Date: 1942
  • PA Connection: This song pays homage to the dance, the Pennsylvania Polka, which as the lyrics state, “It started in Scranton”.

Streets of Philadelphia – Bruce Springsteen

  • Album: Philadelphia: Music From the Motion Picture
  • Release Date: 1993
  • PA Connection: This song was written for the movie Philadelphia that was released in 1993 that dealt with the HIV/AIDS. The lyrics go “Oh, brother, are you gonna leave me wastin’ away on the streets of Philadelphia?”

Motownphilly – Boyz II Men

  • Album: Cooleyhighharmony
  • Release Date: 1991
  • PA Connection: This song references the famous delicacy of the City of Brotherly Love Philly steaks: “And all the Philly steaks you can eat”

Fall in Philadelphia – Hall & Oates

  • Album: Whole Oats
  • Release Date: 1972
  • PA Connection: The song references Philly with the lyrics “I’m gonna spend another Fall In Philadelphia”

Philly, Philly – Eve

  • Release Date: Sept. 14, 1999
  • PA Connection: The chorus of the song is “Oh, Philly, Philly, Mm, Philly where I am from”
  • Note: This song is explicit

Camptown Races – Stephen Foster

  • Release Date: February 1850
  • PA Connection: According to guide to Philly, Foster, who was born in Pittsburgh, wrote this about the horse races in Camptown.

30,000 Pounds of Bananas – Harry Chapin

  • Album: Verities & Balderdash
  • Release Date: 1974
  • PA Connection: According to guide to Philly, this song is based on an actual car accident that happened in Scranton where 30,000 pounds of bananas were spilled and a truck driver died. The lyrics include: “It was just after dark when the truck started down the hill that leads into Scranton, Pennsylvania”

South Street – The Orlons

  • Album: The Orlons
  • Release Date: 1963
  • PA Connection: This song is about the action on the popular Philadelphia street, South Street. It calls the street “the hippest street in town.”

Pittsburgh Town – Pete Seeger

  • Album: American Industrial Ballads
  • Release Date: 1992
  • PA Connection: This song does not glorify Pittsburgh, but instead points out the issues that industrialization caused in the city. Lyrics: “Pittsburgh town is a smoky ol’ town, Pittsburgh” and “All I do is cough and choke in Pittsburgh.”

Pennsylvania – Cabinet

  • Release Date: 2012
  • PA Connection: This song talks about a visit to Pennsylvania and leaving with a piece of the state still connected to the narrator. Lyrics: “We spent some time in Pennsylvania doing things we never done before and I can still feel that warm wind blow Pennsylvania hold me strong, never let me go!”

I-76 – G-Love and Special Sauce

  • Album: Yeah, It’s That Easy
  • Release Date: Jan. 1, 1994
  • PA Connection: This song is all about Philadelphia and how I-76 is the quickest way to get to downtown, but if you want to take in the sites east or west river is the best way to go. The lyrics reference the 76ers as well. Lyrics: “‘Cause if you gotta get downtown real quick then the only way to go is I-76 unless of course you wanna take that scenic view then the east or west river drive is right for you. . .Our parents would take us to a 76ers game.”

Clampdown – The Clash

  • Album: London Calling
  • Release Date: 1980
  • PA Connection: This song talks about the issues with capitalism and the end of the song has a lyric that references Pennsylvania’s capital with “Yeah, I’m working hard in Harrisburg.”

A Philly kind of mood – Daryl Hall

  • Album: Soul Alone
  • Release Date: Aug. 17, 1993
  • PA Connection: This song likens a “Philly Mood” to having a good time and being happy.

Philadelphia – Neil Young

  • Album: Philadelphia: Music From The Motion Picture
  • Release Date: 1993
  • PA Connection: From the movie “Philadelphia” this sad tune is a letter to the city begging it to accept the narrator. Lyrics: “City of brotherly love place I call home don’t turn your back on me.”

Punk Rock Girl – Dead Milkmen

  • Album: Beelzebubba
  • Release Date: December 1988
  • PA Connection: This song mentions a bunch of places in Philadelphia as it tells the story of a man and a punk rock girl adventuring in the city together. Some of the places name dropped in the lyrics include Zipperhead, a punk clothes store, and Philly Pizza Company.

New Sensations – Lou Reed

  • Album: New Sensations
  • Release Date: Jan. 1, 1984
  • PA Connection: The lyrics mention the Delaware Gap. Lyrics: “The air felt cool, it was forty degrees outside I rode to Pennsylvania near the Delaware Gap sometimes I got lost and had to check the map I stopped at a roadside diner for a burger and a Coke.”

Pittsburgh Sound – Wiz Khalifa

  • Album: Show and Prove
  • Release Date: Aug. 7, 2007
  • PA Connection: Khalifa began his music career after moving to Pittsburgh and this song honors the city. It shouts out the area code, references it as the “steel city” and more. Lyrics: “It’s that 412 ****! I got that Pittsburgh Sound . . . The place, that steel city **** I got that Pittsburgh sound and I’mma always hold Pittsburgh down.”
  • Note: This is an explicit song

Summertime – Will Smith

  • Album: Homebase
  • Release Date: May 1991
  • PA Connection: This song is about what summers are like in Philadelphia where Will Smith is from. Lyrics: “Back in Philly we be out in the park a place called the plateau is where everybody goes” The plateau is a place where people can take in views of the city.