9 Great Songs about New Orleans

Songs about New Orleans
Written by Corey Morgan

Songs about New Orleans

The people, the cuisine, and the culture of Louisiana make New Orleans a city full of life that has inspired numerous travelers. Literal and figurative art, as well as narrative and musical compositions, have all been inspired by it (being the birthplace of Jazz, after all).

As a result, countless songs have been written about the city of New Orleans, encompassing a wide range of topics and styles.

However, not all songs are made equal, and you clearly want the very best. This article is going to take a look at some of the best songs that include the Big Easy.

9 Songs About New Orleans

1.“House Of The Rising Sun” by The Animals

The Animals - House of the Rising Sun (1964) HQ/Widescreen ♫ 60th YEAR 🎶⭐ ❤

First on our list of songs about new orleans is “The folk ballad “House of the Rising Sun,” also known as “Rising Sun Blues,” has been around for a long time. Its authorship is unknown, although it was first recorded in the early 20th century, sung by miners.

The song’s words relate the tale of a person whose life went downhill in New Orleans and serve as a cautionary tale for listeners.

The British metal band The Animals released their version in 1964, and it quickly became a commercial success. Dolly Parton, Johnny Hallyday (of France) and Los Speakers (of Colombia) are just a few of the artists that have covered it.

2. Traditional – “St. James Infirmary Blues”


The folk song “The Unfortunate Rake,” written centuries ago, tells the story of a soldier who contracts venereal disease and dies, and this story is the inspiration for the song “St. James Infirmary Blues,”. However, after Louis Armstrong placed his own stamp on it in the 1920s, it quickly became a staple of New Orleans jazz.

The song’s more popular 20th-century rendition tells the story of a man who, after gazing at the body of his dead lover, proceeds to detail the plans for his own elaborate funeral. The song’s music, which incorporates elements of Latin American tango, even evokes the solemnity of a funeral march.

And rightfully so; 85 years later, Armstrong’s original recording is still a knockout, inspiring many cover versions.

3. “Born on the Bayou” Song by Creedence Revival

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Born On The Bayou

This track was originally included on the album titled “Bayou Country.” It was released in 1969, and the term “swamp rock” is used to describe its musical style. Despite the fact that the composer, John Fogerty, never lived in the South or anyplace else in the region, he dedicated this song to New Orleans.

After performing a gig in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 1969, Fogerty experienced a bayou for the first time and was profoundly moved by the landscape.

4. Dr John’s song Titled “Sweet Home New Orleans”

Dr. John - Goin' Back To New Orleans (Video)

Dr. John, or “The Night Tripper,” as he is more commonly known, has come to represent the unique musical gumbo that has been simmering in New Orleans for the better part of a century.

Dr. John’s jazzy R&B sound is unlike anything else, despite his obvious influence from local legends like Professor Longhair and his own special blend of musical spices.

‘Sweet Home New Orleans,’ which closes up his 1998 album Anutha Zone, is a perfect representation of his abilities and of a century’s worth of music. There’s a good dosage of Afro-Cuban music in there, as well as some jazz and R&B. You won’t find a more passionate and exciting ode to the metropolis than this one.

5. Lucinda Williams – “Crescent City”

Lucinda Williams, a troubadour born in Louisiana, paid a heartfelt tribute to her hometown of New Orleans on her breathtaking self-titled album from 1988. The song which brims  with references to the city’s landmarks and distinctive sounds.

Lake Pontchartrain and other local landmarks are mentioned in the song’s lyrical content, and the arrangement is replete with fiddle and accordion, two instruments central to the zydeco and Cajun musical traditions.

6. Allen Toussaint – “Southern Nights”

Allen Toussaint - Southern Nights

“Southern Nights,” written by the amazing New Orleans Rock and Blues legend Allen Toussaint, is considered by many to be the artist’s signature song. The tune was inspired by the time the artist ended up spending with his Creole household on the front porch of his home.

It’s a detailed and lovely description of a terrain in Louisiana, but it’s been given a touch of psychedelic flair thanks to some odd vocal effects. It may be one of Toussaint’s most well-known tracks, but what’s more significant is that it’s also one of his very best.

7. Randy Newman – “Louisiana, 1927”

Randy Newman "Louisiana 1927"

“Louisiana, 1927” is a ballad written by Randy Newman that was inspired by the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, which was a natural disaster that rendered 700,000 people homeless.

“Louisiana, 1927” is possibly the most heartbreakingly beautiful song that Newman has ever written. It depicts detailed images of its devastation in one stanza, and then sets up a parody of President Calvin Coolidge in the next lyric, who observes, “isn’t it a pity what the rivers has done to the poor cracker’s land?” in typical fashion, the song swings the gamut from tragedy to mockery.

The song experienced a renaissance after Hurricane Katrina, which caused widespread destruction in the city and occurred thirty years after its initial release.

At the time, the city was in a precarious situation. When Randy Newman sings the chorus “They’re trying to wash us away,” it’s difficult not to get a little choked up.

8. Professor Longhair song – “Go To The Mardi Gras”

Professor Longhair - Go To The Mardi Gras

As the title suggests, this upbeat tune celebrates the spirit of Mardi Gras. Professor Longhair who real name is Henry Roland Byrd, co-wrote the song with Theresa Terry in1949.

Simple lyrics encourage listeners to check out the New Orleans Carnival if they ever find themselves in the area.

These days, this R&B tune is a staple of the Carnival season. With its bouncy beat and Longhair’s infectious whistling, it perfectly portrays the spirit of New Orleans’ Mardi Gras celebrations.

When writing the song, he read up on them in an encyclopedia and tried to put himself in the shoes of a child who came across one.

9. Randy Newman’s song titled – “New Orleans Wins the War”

Randy Newman, 2008 "Down In New Orleans"

Last on our songs about New Orleans is “New Orleans Wins the War,” a beautiful song written and performed by Randy Newman, is quite engaging. This song gives the impression that the people living in New Orleans are unaware of what is going on in the wider world.

When the singer’s father returned from World War II, he reportedly told the people that they had won the war. To which the populace responded, “We whipped the Yankees!” (referring to the American Civil War).