State Musical Themes and Song Credits

Robin Richmond

This page describes the songs I considered for my Musical Migration Map, and other songs that relate, in some reasonable way, to the states I've lived in. I built this page in 1995 with MIDI files, since that's all that Internet connection bandwidths could handle in those days. I've added what I consider to be appropriate "fair use" MP3's, which are abbreviated to under a minute, and have low bit rates.


Well, what could be better than Oklahoma!? (33k Midi, plays for 52 seconds) (lyrics) unless it's Tulsa Time (25k midi, 2 minutes, 11 seconds) (lyrics).

I don't know who sequenced it or performed this rendition, but I can, of course, say that Oklahoma! was written by Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein for their musical, Oklahoma!.

Tulsa Time was written by Danny Flower, and Don Williams' recording of it was the 1978 Academy of Country Music Single of the Year. This rendition was sequenced by Robert Dupler on 3/24/96. I've seen the Tulsa Time lyrics on a now-defunct Eric Clapton site. I'm not familar with his recording at all, nor the one by !? Led Zeppelin !?.


There are, of course, a lot of great Texas songs, and I found several of them at a Songs of Texas site. The best songs on the site (for example, see The Orange Blossom Special) are those sequenced by Don Carroll, of Houston, who also has his own Web site (and who who gave me explicit permission to use his sequences!)  I picked The Yellow Rose of Texas (12k,1:22). I entered the lyrics as I remember them. I remember looking them up at the library years ago, but my memory may also be influenced by the 1955 Mitch Miller recording.

Other good candidates included The theme from Dallas (18k, 1:59), and several other songs from the Songs of Texas site, including

(The Songs of Texas site provides lyrics to most of these songs.)

FWIW, another verion of the lyrics to The Yellow Rose of Texas uses the phrase "Sweetest rose of color", alluding to the person who is reportedly the actual "Yellow Rose of Texas" - a mixed-race girl (yes, a teenager, as I understand it) whose name I can't remember but who was, by some accounts, the very person who was, um, keeping Generalissimo Santa Anna occupied in his tent the day that Sam Houston's Texican Army attacked and routed the Mexicans at San Jacinto (while yelling "Remember the Alamo"), effectively winning Texas's independence from Mexico.

And before we leave Texas, I'll note that the Songs of Texas site is trying to include Texas college songs. It claims to have SMU's fight song, Peruna (10k midi), but that's not Peruna, that's just Coming 'Round the Mountain. (Close, but no cigar. The Real Peruna is available as an MP3 from the SMU Band web site.)  Songs of Texas does have The Aggie War Hymn (15k midi), and even though I didn't go to A&M and this is not an especially sophisticated rendition, somehow it gave me a strong nostaligic feeling.  I think I was influenced by Judith's knowledge of (some of) the words. You see, the Texas A&M and University of Texas school fight songs refer to each other; something like this:

Texas: "Texas fight, Texas fight, and it's goodbye to A and M..." (see the lyrics of this and other UT songs)

A&M: "Goodbye to Texas Uni-versity. So long to the Orange and the Whi-i-ite..." (see the lyrics on an Aggie Moms site)

Finally, for those who enjoy classic school fight songs, I recommend The Notre Dame Fight Song, On, Wisconsin, Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia Tech, Yea Alabama, Anchors Aweigh, and The Army Song.


I have no idea who or what might be appropriate for San Diego (other than Herb Alpert songs like Tijuana Taxi), and I looked all over for California, Here I Come (which isn't the official state song, by the way), so I was left to choose between The Beverly Hillbillies (11k, 1:13) and California Dreamin' (39k, 2:50). Curiously enough, I found the Beverly Hillbillies theme on the Songs of Texas page. It was sequenced by Don Carroll, but I didn't see it on his Web site. I found California Dreamin' on a personal page that no longer exists. Neither the page nor the Midi sequence provided any attribution for it. It was written by John and Michelle Phillips and originally performed by The Mamas & the Papas.

New York

I noticed that all familar New York songs are about the city, not the state. But Seaford is a suburb of New York City (Dad worked in the city), so New York, New York (45k, 3:02) isn't a bad choice. According to the midi file, it was composed by Fred Ebb, arranged by Bob Lowde, and sequenced by

I certainly couldn't think of anything that related directly to Seaford, but several people suggested Billy Joel, who's from Levittown, just a few suburbs over in Nassau County. Here's Still Rock'n'Roll to Me (20k, 3:03), sequenced by D.W. Barnes.


I really didn't have any idea of where I might find a Minnesota song until I happened on one that works for Minneapolis, as well - the theme from "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" (13k, 59 seconds). It's not an impressive rendition, but does capture the "theme" I wanted. It was written (and sung) by Sonny Curtis. This MIDI file was sequenced by Robert Rothe.

Oh, and then, of course, if I follow theme of associating pop/rock stars with their home towns, I should link to something from Prince. Bleeeech.

New Jersey

Since Bruce Springsteen's New Jersey home is an important part of his music, Born in the U.S.A. (21k 3:54) seems doubly appropriate. I originally found it on a Finnish Bruce Springsteen site that no longer exists.

Unfortunately, Born in the USA - or at least this rendition - sounds awfully repetitious in MIDI.  Fire (14k, 3:18), (which the Pointer Sisters recorded, but Springsteen wrote) sounds a lot better (though the absence of lyrics is awkward).


Ian Hunter's Cleveland Rocks (the final Drew Carey Show theme song), or Neil Young's Ohio (about the Kent State tragedy) might be ideal, but I couldn't find them in Midi form. Or maybe Randy Newman's song about a fire burning on the Cuyahoga River, though it would annoy a lot of Clevelanders who are trying very hard to put that era behind them.

I wound up using Hang On Sloopy (22k MIDI; 3:15), which is Ohio's official state Rock song (really!). By the way, you really should read the joint resolution defining Hang on Sloopy as the state's official rock song. It's a hoot.

Other candidates included older Drew Carey Show theme songs, including 5 O'clock World (20k, 2:27) and Moon Over Parma (302k MP3, 0:19sung by Drew Carey himself.

There's also Ohio's official state song Beautiful Ohio (26k, 2:02; with lyrics), which I originally found on the Ohio State Library site.