Dallas, Texas is a vibrant and diverse city that has captured the hearts and imaginations of musicians for generations. From country and blues to rock and hip-hop, artists from a wide range of genres have written songs about this iconic city, each one offering a unique perspective on the culture, history, and people of Dallas. In this article, we will explore the top 20 songs about Dallas and examine the themes and emotions that are captured in each of these iconic tracks.
The songs on this list cover a wide range of genres and styles, from Laurel Aitken’s ska-infused “Dallas Texas Tiger” to Erykah Badu’s soulful and introspective “Me.” Some of the tracks celebrate the city’s iconic landmarks and institutions, such as “The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders” by Phil Coley, while others explore the darker and more challenging aspects of life in Dallas, like Jeannie C. Riley’s haunting “The Back Side of Dallas.”
These songs offer a unique window into the history and culture of Dallas and provide a glimpse into the many ways that this city has inspired and influenced some of the greatest musicians of our time. Whether you’re a lifelong Dallas resident, a fan of country music, or simply interested in exploring the rich tapestry of American music, this list of top 20 songs about Dallas is sure to have something for everyone.
1. “Dallas” by Silver Jews
The song “Dallas” by Silver Jews is a folk-rock track from their 1996 album “The Natural Bridge”. The lyrics tell a story of a man who is feeling lost and disconnected from the world, and he decides to take a trip to Dallas in search of something new. The song features David Berman’s signature poetic and sometimes cryptic lyrics, as well as a twangy guitar riff that perfectly captures the melancholy mood of the song. The instrumentation is relatively simple, with acoustic guitar, bass, drums, and a few other elements adding texture to the track. Berman’s vocal delivery is also notable, as his unique voice carries a sense of weariness and longing that perfectly matches the lyrical content. “Dallas” is a standout track on an album full of standout tracks, and it’s a great example of Silver Jews’ ability to create evocative an
2. “Dallas After Midnight” by Ray Wylie Hubbard
The song “Dallas After Midnight” by Ray Wylie Hubbard is a blues-rock track from his 1994 album “Loco Gringo’s Lament”. The song features Hubbard’s signature gritty vocals and slide guitar playing, as well as a driving rhythm section that gives the track a sense of urgency and intensity. The lyrics paint a vivid picture of the city of Dallas at night, with its neon lights and rough edges, and the narrator’s experiences in the city add to the overall mood of the song. Hubbard’s songwriting is both clever and insightful, as he uses his observations of the city and its inhabitants to create a compelling narrative. The track also features some impressive guitar work, including a fiery solo towards the end of the song. “Dallas After Midnight” is a standout track on an album full of great songs, and it showcases Hubbard’s talents as a storyteller and musician.
3. “Dallas” by Joe Ely
The song “Dallas” by Joe Ely is a roots rock track from his 1978 self-titled album. The song has a driving beat and features Ely’s signature raw and emotive vocal style. The lyrics describe the narrator’s journey from his hometown to Dallas, where he hopes to find success and escape his troubles. The song also touches on themes of disillusionment and the struggle to make it in the music industry. The instrumentation is relatively sparse, with guitar, bass, drums, and some keyboards adding texture to the track. Ely’s vocal performance is particularly noteworthy, as he imbues the song with a sense of urgency and desperation that perfectly matches the lyrical content. “Dallas” is a classic example of Ely’s ability to blend country, rock, and folk influences into a powerful and authentic sound, and it remains a beloved track among his fans.
4. “Dallas Texas Tiger” by Laurel Aitken
“Dallas Texas Tiger” by Laurel Aitken, a Jamaican singer known as the “Godfather of Ska”. The song is a lively and upbeat ska tune that tells the story of a young man who leaves his home in Jamaica to seek his fortune in Dallas, Texas. He describes himself as a “tiger” who is confident and determined to succeed in his new surroundings, despite the challenges he may face.
The song features Aitken’s signature upbeat and energetic vocals, backed by a tight rhythm section and bright horns. The lyrics are full of colorful imagery and playful rhymes, showcasing Aitken’s talent for crafting catchy and memorable songs.
Overall, “Dallas Texas Tiger” is a fun and catchy ska tune that captures the spirit of adventure and optimism that comes with setting out to explore new horizons.
5. “Dallas” by The Felice Brothers
“Dallas” by The Felice Brothers, a folk rock band from New York. The song is a moody and introspective ballad that tells the story of a man who is struggling to make sense of his life while wandering the streets of Dallas.
The song features lead singer Ian Felice’s distinctive vocals, which are at times haunting and emotional, and at other times gritty and raw. The instrumentation is sparse and atmospheric, with acoustic guitar and harmonica providing a haunting backdrop to the lyrics.
The lyrics are full of evocative imagery and introspective reflections on life and the challenges of finding one’s place in the world. The song’s melancholy tone and poignant lyrics make it a powerful and introspective piece that invites listeners to reflect on their own struggles and experiences.
Overall, “Dallas” is a powerful and emotional ballad that showcases The Felice Brothers’ talent for crafting raw and honest songs that connect with listeners on a deep level.
6. “Me” by Erykah Badu
“Me” by Erykah Badu, an American singer, songwriter, and actress known for her soulful and eclectic sound. The song is a mellow and introspective R&B ballad that explores themes of self-reflection, personal growth, and self-love.
The song features Badu’s signature smooth and sultry vocals, backed by a laid-back rhythm section and jazzy instrumentation. The lyrics are introspective and contemplative, with Badu exploring the depths of her own psyche and sharing her journey of self-discovery with the listener.
The song’s mellow and laid-back vibe, combined with Badu’s soulful vocals and poetic lyrics, make it a powerful and meditative piece that encourages listeners to embrace their own personal journey of self-discovery and growth.
Overall, “Me” is a beautiful and introspective R&B ballad that showcases Badu’s talent for crafting deeply personal and emotional songs that connect with listeners on a profound level.
7. “Broke Down South of Dallas” by Junior Brown
“Broke Down South of Dallas” by Junior Brown, an American country musician known for his unique blend of country, rock, and blues. The song is an upbeat and catchy country tune that tells the story of a man who is stranded and broke down on the side of the road south of Dallas, Texas.
The song features Brown’s twangy and expressive vocals, backed by a tight and energetic rhythm section and bright guitar licks. The lyrics are full of playful rhymes and witty wordplay, showcasing Brown’s talent for crafting clever and entertaining songs.
The song’s upbeat and lively tempo, combined with Brown’s playful lyrics and infectious guitar work, make it a fun and catchy country tune that is sure to get listeners tapping their toes and singing along.
Overall, “Broke Down South of Dallas” is a fun and entertaining country song that showcases Junior Brown’s unique style and talent for crafting catchy and memorable tunes.
8. “I’m in Dallas Trick” by LMFAO
“I’m in Dallas Trick” by LMFAO, an American electronic dance music duo known for their high-energy beats and infectious party anthems. The song is a lively and upbeat dance track that features LMFAO’s trademark mix of electronic and hip-hop elements.
The song features the duo’s lively and energetic vocals, backed by a driving beat and catchy synth hooks. The lyrics are playful and braggadocious, with LMFAO boasting about their wild party lifestyle and their love of the Dallas club scene.
The song’s fast-paced tempo, infectious beats, and catchy lyrics make it a perfect party anthem, sure to get listeners up and dancing. Overall, “I’m in Dallas Trick” is a fun and high-energy dance track that showcases LMFAO’s unique style and talent for crafting catchy and memorable party tunes.
9. “The Back Side Of Dallas” by Jeannie C. Riley
“The Back Side of Dallas” by Jeannie C. Riley, an American country singer and songwriter. The song is a somber and poignant ballad that tells the story of a woman who has lost everything and finds herself alone and destitute in Dallas.
The song features Riley’s emotive and expressive vocals, backed by a simple and understated country arrangement. The lyrics are full of vivid and evocative imagery, painting a picture of a woman who is struggling to survive on the back side of Dallas.
Despite its melancholic tone, “The Back Side of Dallas” is a powerful and moving song that showcases Riley’s talent for storytelling and emotional depth. The song’s haunting melody and heartfelt lyrics make it a classic of the country genre, and a testament to the enduring power of storytelling in music.
10. “This Ain’t Dallas” by Hank Williams Jr.
“This Ain’t Dallas” by Hank Williams Jr., an American country singer, and songwriter. The song is a rollicking and upbeat country-rock track that showcases Williams’ signature blend of traditional country and rock music.
The song features Williams’ twangy and charismatic vocals, backed by a lively and energetic band that includes electric guitars, drums, and fiddles. The lyrics are full of playful wordplay and catchy hooks, with Williams singing about a wild and crazy night in a small town that isn’t quite as glamorous as Dallas.
Despite its tongue-in-cheek lyrics, “This Ain’t Dallas” is a fun and infectious song that captures the excitement and energy of a wild night out. The song’s catchy melody and upbeat tempo make it a classic of the country-rock genre, and a testament to Williams’ enduring talent as a singer and songwriter.
11. “Raining In Dallas” by Burning Candles
“Raining In Dallas” by Burning Candles, an American indie rock band. The song is a moody and atmospheric ballad that blends dreamy, ethereal guitar melodies with haunting vocals and introspective lyrics.
The song features a slow, steady tempo and sparse instrumentation, with the focus on the interplay between the intricate guitar lines and the singer’s haunting vocals. The lyrics are full of evocative imagery, painting a picture of a city drenched in rain and the emotional turmoil of a person grappling with inner demons.
“Raining In Dallas” is a haunting and introspective song that captures the melancholic beauty of rainy nights in the city. The song’s ethereal sound and poignant lyrics make it a standout track in Burning Candles’ repertoire, and a testament to the power of indie rock as a vehicle for emotional expression.
12. “Murder Most Foul” by Bob Dylan
“Murder Most Foul” by Bob Dylan, an American singer-songwriter and Nobel Prize laureate. The song is a sprawling, 17-minute epic that weaves together historical and cultural references to create a meditation on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
The song features Dylan’s characteristic raspy vocals and simple, piano-driven instrumentation, with occasional interjections of haunting sound effects and snippets of old recordings. The lyrics are dense and complex, referencing everything from Shakespeare to The Beatles to the counterculture movement of the 1960s.
“Murder Most Foul” is a powerful and evocative song that showcases Dylan’s ability to craft intricate and thought-provoking narratives. The song’s length and scope make it a unique entry in Dylan’s vast discography, and a testament to his ongoing artistic vision and relevance.
13. “Sweet City Song” by Nancy Parrish
“Sweet City Song” by Nancy Parrish, an American country singer. The song is an upbeat, toe-tapping tune that celebrates the joys of small-town life.
The song features a bouncy, twangy guitar melody and Parrish’s bright, lively vocals. The lyrics paint a vivid picture of a close-knit community where everyone knows each other’s names and there’s always something to do.
“Sweet City Song” is a fun and catchy tune that celebrates the simple pleasures of everyday life. The song’s upbeat sound and positive message make it a great addition to any playlist, and a testament to the enduring appeal of country music as a reflection of American culture and values.
14. “Big D” by Chet Atkins feat. Eddy Arnold
“Big D” by Chet Atkins featuring Eddy Arnold, two legendary American country musicians. The song is an upbeat instrumental piece that features Atkins’ virtuosic fingerpicking guitar style and Arnold’s smooth, crooning vocals.
The song’s melody is catchy and memorable, with a bright and lively sound that captures the spirit of the city of Dallas, Texas. Atkins’ guitar work is particularly impressive, with intricate fingerpicking patterns that showcase his technical prowess and melodic sensibility.
“Big D” is a fun and upbeat song that highlights the talents of two of country music’s most celebrated performers. The song’s instrumental flair and infectious energy make it a great addition to any country or guitar music playlist, and a testament to the enduring legacy of Atkins and Arnold as influential figures in the genre.
15. “Dallas” by Melvins
“Dallas” by the Melvins, an American rock band. The song is a dark and brooding meditation on the city of Dallas, with heavy, distorted guitars and menacing vocals that create a mood of tension and unease.
The song’s melody is slow and deliberate, with a hypnotic quality that draws the listener into the song’s ominous atmosphere. The lyrics are cryptic and foreboding, with lines like “I dreamt I was a cowboy, the cowboys were dead” adding to the sense of unease.
“Dallas” is a powerful and intense song that showcases the Melvins’ ability to create a haunting and immersive musical experience. The song’s dark and brooding sound makes it a great choice for fans of heavy, atmospheric rock music, and a testament to the enduring influence of the Melvins on the genre.
16. “Pepper” by Butthole Surfers
“Pepper” by Butthole Surfers, an American alternative rock band. The song is a psychedelic and experimental track with a catchy melody, surreal lyrics, and a trippy sound that incorporates elements of punk, rock, and electronic music.
The song’s rhythm is infectious, with a driving beat and groovy bassline that get the listener moving. The lyrics are stream-of-consciousness and full of strange imagery and off-kilter humor, with lines like “Marky got with Sharon, Sharon got Cherise” adding to the song’s surreal vibe.
“Pepper” is a fun and adventurous song that showcases the Butthole Surfers’ eclectic and boundary-pushing musical style. The song’s experimental sound and playful lyrics make it a great choice for fans of alternative and punk rock music, and a testament to the band’s enduring influence on the genre.
17. “King of Dallas” by Krazy
“King of Dallas” by Krazy, a rapper from Houston, Texas. The song is a classic gangsta rap track that features Krazy rhyming over a hard-hitting beat with gritty and vivid lyrics about his rise to power in the drug game.
“King of Dallas” is a dark and intense song that portrays the harsh reality of the streets and the challenges of surviving in a world where violence and crime are a way of life. Krazy’s flow is tight and aggressive, and his delivery is full of menace and conviction, making him a standout voice in the Texas hip-hop scene.
Overall, “King of Dallas” is a raw and uncompromising track that captures the essence of gangsta rap and showcases Krazy’s talent as a rapper and storyteller. The song is a must-listen for fans of hardcore hip-hop and those interested in the history and evolution of southern rap.
18. “Sitting on Top of the World” by Grateful Dead
“Sitting on Top of the World” by the Grateful Dead, a legendary band known for their eclectic mix of rock, folk, blues, and psychedelic sounds. The song is a classic blues tune that features Jerry Garcia’s signature guitar playing and soulful vocals from the band’s lead singer, Pigpen.
“Sitting on Top of the World” is a lively and upbeat track that showcases the Grateful Dead’s skill at blending different musical genres and styles. The song has a catchy rhythm and infectious melody that will have you tapping your feet and singing along in no time.
The Grateful Dead’s version of “Sitting on Top of the World” is a tribute to the blues tradition and a testament to the band’s musical prowess and improvisational skills. The song is a highlight of their live performances and a classic example of their unique sound and style.
19. “If You’re Ever Down in Dallas” by Lee Ann Womack
“If You’re Ever Down in Dallas” by Lee Ann Womack, a country music singer known for her powerful vocals and heartfelt lyrics. The song is a slow and melancholic ballad that tells the story of a lost love and the pain of separation.
With its twangy guitar chords and Womack’s emotive voice, “If You’re Ever Down in Dallas” is a classic country song that captures the genre’s themes of heartbreak and longing. The lyrics are poignant and poetic, painting a vivid picture of the lonely streets of Dallas and the memories of a past romance.
Womack’s performance is both soulful and restrained, conveying the sadness and resignation of the song’s protagonist. “If You’re Ever Down in Dallas” is a timeless classic that showcases Womack’s talent as a singer and songwriter and her ability to connect with her audience on an emotional level.
20. “The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders” by Phil Coley
“The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders” by Phil Coley, a song that pays tribute to the iconic cheerleading squad of the Dallas Cowboys football team. The track is an upbeat and catchy tune with a driving rhythm and a memorable chorus that celebrates the athleticism and beauty of the cheerleaders.
Coley’s vocals are energetic and enthusiastic, conveying his admiration for the cheerleaders and the excitement of the game. The song features a dynamic arrangement with a mix of horns, keyboards, and electric guitar, creating a lively and infectious sound that captures the spirit of the Dallas Cowboys and their legendary cheerleaders.
“The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders” is a fun and spirited song that celebrates one of the most recognizable and beloved cheerleading squads in the world. It’s a perfect anthem for any fan of the Dallas Cowboys and a reminder of the excitement and passion of football season.