Table of Contents
- 1. “Colorado Girl” By Townes Van Zandt
- 2. “Forty Miles From Denver” By Yonder Mountain Spring Band
- 3. “You Wild Colorado” By Johnny Cash
- 4. “Rocky Mountain High” By John Denver
- 5. “Boulder To Birmingham” By Emmylou Harris
- 6. “I Guess He’d Rather Be In Colorado” By John Denver
- 7. “Colorado” By Florida Georgia Line
- 8. “I-70 Westbound” By The Railbenders
- 9. “Lucky Old Colorado” By Merle Haggard
- 10. “Lucky Denver Mint” By Jimmy Eat World
Colorado, the Centennial State, is known for its majestic Rocky Mountains, stunning national parks, and vibrant music scene. The state has inspired countless artists and musicians over the years, resulting in a rich and diverse musical legacy. From classic rock anthems to modern indie gems, Colorado has been the muse for some of the greatest songs of all time.
In this article, we will be exploring the top 10 best songs about Colorado, celebrating the musicians who have been inspired by the state’s natural beauty, rich history, and unique culture. From John Denver’s iconic tribute to the state’s natural splendor to contemporary indie rockers paying homage to the city of Denver, this list covers a wide range of styles and genres.
Whether you’re a native Coloradan or a music lover looking to explore the state’s musical landscape, this list is sure to have something for everyone. Join us as we delve into the top 10 best songs about Colorado, and discover the diverse and inspiring musical heritage of this incredible state.
1. “Colorado Girl” By Townes Van Zandt
“Colorado Girl” is a classic country-folk song written by the legendary singer-songwriter, Townes Van Zandt. The song tells the story of a man who falls in love with a girl from Colorado and decides to follow her to the state. The lyrics are beautifully written and paint a vivid picture of the Rocky Mountains and the natural beauty of Colorado. The song features Van Zandt’s signature fingerpicking style on the guitar and his soulful voice. It has been covered by many artists over the years, including Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, and Lyle Lovett, among others. “Colorado Girl” has become a beloved anthem of the state, capturing the essence of the Colorado lifestyle and the spirit of the people who call it home.
2. “Forty Miles From Denver” By Yonder Mountain Spring Band
“Forty Miles from Denver” is a bluegrass-inspired song by the Yonder Mountain String Band. The song is a reflection on life on the road and the longing to return home. With its upbeat tempo, intricate banjo picking, and soaring harmonies, the song captures the beauty of Colorado’s landscapes and the feeling of being far away from home. The lyrics tell the story of a musician who has been touring for weeks, dreaming of the day he can return to his lover in Denver. The song’s catchy chorus and high-energy instrumentals make it a favorite among fans of the Yonder Mountain String Band and the bluegrass genre. Overall, “Forty Miles from Denver” is a testament to the power of music to bring people together and the beauty of the Colorado landscape.
3. “You Wild Colorado” By Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash’s “You Wild Colorado” is a tribute to the state’s natural beauty and rugged landscapes. The song is a classic example of Cash’s storytelling abilities, as he vividly describes the beauty of Colorado through his lyrics. Cash’s love for the state is evident as he sings about the wildflowers, the mountain ranges, and the clear blue sky. The song is a perfect representation of the state’s outdoorsy lifestyle, and Cash’s admiration for it is apparent. The song has a mellow and upbeat melody that complements the lyrics and adds to its appeal. Cash’s love for the state can also be seen in his many concerts and performances in Colorado over the years. This song is a timeless ode to the state and its majestic natural beauty, and it remains one of Cash’s most beloved songs.
4. “Rocky Mountain High” By John Denver
John Denver’s iconic song, “Rocky Mountain High,” is an ode to the beautiful state of Colorado. The song, which was released in 1972, became an instant classic and is still beloved by many today. The lyrics speak to the natural beauty of the state, with lines like “He was born in the summer of his 27th year / Coming home to a place he’d never been before” referencing Denver’s own move to Colorado and his love for the state. The song’s catchy melody and Denver’s smooth vocals make it an easy favorite, and it has become something of an anthem for Colorado residents and visitors alike. From the soaring chorus to the vivid imagery in the verses, “Rocky Mountain High” is a celebration of the rugged landscape, clear blue skies, and adventurous spirit of Colorado.
5. “Boulder To Birmingham” By Emmylou Harris
“Boulder to Birmingham” is a hauntingly beautiful ballad that pays homage to the Rocky Mountain state of Colorado. Written by Emmylou Harris and Bill Danoff, the song is a tribute to the late Gram Parsons, a close friend and collaborator of both songwriters. The lyrics capture the grief and longing of losing someone dear, as Harris sings of a journey from Boulder to Birmingham, searching for a way to heal her heart.
The song features delicate acoustic guitar and Harris’s soaring vocals, with a mournful steel guitar that adds to the melancholy atmosphere. Harris’s lyrics evoke the rugged beauty of the Colorado landscape, with lines such as “I would walk all the way / From Boulder to Birmingham / If I thought I could see, I could see your face”. The song has become a classic in country music, and its poignant lyrics and heartfelt delivery continue to resonate with audiences to this day.
6. “I Guess He’d Rather Be In Colorado” By John Denver
“I Guess He’d Rather Be in Colorado” is a melancholic and reflective song about longing for the beauty of Colorado. The song, written and performed by John Denver, features his signature folk-country sound with acoustic guitar and harmonica. The lyrics capture the yearning for the peacefulness and serenity of the Rocky Mountains, referencing the clear blue skies, aspen trees, and snow-capped peaks. The song also touches on the idea of escaping the hustle and bustle of city life in favor of a simpler way of living. Denver’s soft and gentle vocals evoke a sense of nostalgia, making the listener feel as though they are also yearning for the tranquility of Colorado. The song has become a classic among Denver’s discography and a tribute to his love for the state of Colorado.
7. “Colorado” By Florida Georgia Line
“Colorado” is a country song by Florida Georgia Line, released in 2020. The song is a tribute to the natural beauty and allure of the state, with lyrics describing the mountain scenery, outdoor adventures, and laid-back lifestyle that draws people to Colorado. The chorus includes the line “If heaven ain’t a lot like Colorado, I don’t wanna go,” capturing the sentiment that many Coloradans and visitors share about the state. The song also touches on the state’s music scene, with references to the famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre and the state’s connection to country music. The upbeat melody and catchy lyrics make this song a fun, feel-good anthem for anyone who loves Colorado or dreams of visiting. It’s a modern addition to the canon of songs about Colorado, bringing the state’s unique spirit to a new generation of listeners.
8. “I-70 Westbound” By The Railbenders
“I-70 Westbound” by The Railbenders is a classic country-rock song that pays homage to the beauty and excitement of driving through Colorado on the famous I-70 highway. With catchy guitar riffs and upbeat lyrics, the song captures the joy of hitting the open road and exploring the mountains, rivers, and towns of Colorado. The lead singer’s twangy vocals evoke a sense of freedom and adventure, as he sings about cruising through Glenwood Canyon, skiing in Vail, and enjoying the laid-back vibe of Denver. The chorus is particularly memorable, with its catchy refrain of “I-70 Westbound, taking me higher, where the air is thin and the mountains are on fire.” The song celebrates the rugged beauty and independent spirit of Colorado, and it’s easy to imagine blasting this tune on a road trip through the state’s scenic highways and byways. Overall, “I-70 Westbound” is a feel-good anthem that captures the essence of Colorado’s wild and wonderful landscape.
9. “Lucky Old Colorado” By Merle Haggard
“Lucky Old Colorado” is a country song by Merle Haggard that pays tribute to the beauty and allure of the Rocky Mountain State. The song starts with a soft and slow melody that gradually picks up the pace and transforms into a lively and upbeat tune. The lyrics describe the majestic mountains, winding rivers, and blue skies of Colorado, and the narrator expresses his gratitude for the blessings of nature and his good fortune to live in such a wonderful place. The chorus is catchy and easy to sing along with, making it a favorite among Haggard’s fans. The song showcases Haggard’s smooth and soulful vocals, backed by a lively guitar and fiddle that add a touch of western swing to the music. “Lucky Old Colorado” is a heartfelt tribute to the state that has captured the hearts and souls of so many people who have been fortunate enough to call it home or to experience its natural wonders.
10. “Lucky Denver Mint” By Jimmy Eat World
“Lucky Denver Mint” by Jimmy Eat World is an energetic pop-punk song that captures the youthful spirit and adventurous nature of the state of Colorado. The upbeat tempo and catchy guitar riffs are a perfect backdrop for the lyrics, which are filled with references to Denver and the Rocky Mountains. The song speaks to the idea of taking risks and chasing your dreams, which is a fitting theme for the adventurous state that inspired it. The chorus, with its repeated refrain of “I’m on my feet, I’m on the floor, I’m good to go,” is an anthemic call to action that is sure to get listeners pumped up and ready to tackle whatever challenges lie ahead. Whether you’re a native of Colorado or just passing through, “Lucky Denver Mint” is a fun and uplifting ode to the spirit of adventure that makes the state such a special place.