Songs About Arkansas
There are a lot of songs about the South, in contrast to the number of songs about New York and California, which are popular subjects. Even though there are a lot of songs about Georgia and Tennessee, it might come as a surprise to hear that there are also a lot of songs about Arkansas.
The Natural State can claim many innovative musical talents as its own because of the fact that Johnny Cash, Beth Ditto, and Pharoah Sanders were all born there. Additionally, Arkansas is also recognised for its many great legends.
The Crater of Diamonds State Park, which is situated in Pike County, Arkansas, is the very last area in the United States where diamond mining is still permitted.
One could argue that Arkansas’s moniker of “The Natural State” refers to more than simply the abundance of unexplored natural areas that can be found there. One other interpretation is that it is a reference to the enormous range of natural resources that may be found in the state. Therefore in this article, we’ll review several songs about Arkansas; songs that tell great tales of the Natural State.
1. “The Lord God Bird” by Sufjan Stevens
This is one of the most significant songs written in more recent times concerning the state of Arkansas. Sufjan Stevens is a talented musician, singer, and songwriter. He also plays the piano and guitar.
It is possible that you are familiar with the tale of the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker. It has one of the largest white bills of any woodpecker in the world and was one of the largest woodpeckers in the world. Old-growth forests in the southern United States, especially those in Arkansas, served as its natural habitat.
It was sometimes referred to as the “Lord God bird” or the “Great God bird”as a result of the reaction of people who saw it swooping in the treetops.
Because of the destruction of its environment, its population had decreased to the point where it was assumed to be extinct.
In 2004, there was a report of what may have been a sighting of an Ivory-Billed Woodpecker in the area of Brinkley, Arkansas. The news caused excitement not just in Arkansas, but also all throughout the world.
Unfortunately, the bird has not been seen or heard from since it disappeared. The song is mostly concerned with the annihilation of the land and all of the creatures that used to inhabit there. This song can also be thought of as a profound reminder of the dangers of deforestation.
2. “Mary, Queen Of Arkansas” by Bruce Springsteen
The song “Mary Queen of Arkansas” is what ultimately led to Bruce Springsteen getting a record deal, even though he is famously renowned for his ties to New Jersey.
Bob Dylan’s beat poet approach is evident in Springsteen’s song, which is a character study of a drag queen from Arkansas. So, this song is about a girl who the narrator is interested in but cannot have since they belong to different social classes.
The song talks about two dreamers who wish to be somewhere else, perhaps somewhere where weirdos are welcome (circus iconography is featured.)
In the end, their aspirations are not compatible with one another. Near the end of the song, Springsteen delivers a fantastic lyric, perhaps the best in the entire song, that marvellously depicts a certain kind of need that is not fulfilled.
The harmonica work that Springsteen does on the song is just gorgeous. He plays almost only pure, single notes that are placed well above the melody. These contribute to an atmosphere of melancholy and seclusion at the opening and ending of the song. This is a truly remarkable song!
3. “Arkansas” by Chris Stapleton
Chris Stapleton’s travels through the state of Arkansas, in particular, “through the Ozark Mountains,” served as the inspiration for the composition of this song. According to Stapleton’s own account, the song was inspired by those trips. In a nutshell, he is honouring the state of Arkansas with this action.
The singer paints a picture of the entire state as one giant party town during the chorus. However, the verses each have him focusing more on the natural beauty of the area as well as the generally fascinating culture, such as the people’s enthusiasm for the sport of football and the cuisine that is centred around the barbeque.
And when everything is taken into account, the one thing that can be said with absolute certainty is that Chris had a great time during his stay in Arkansas.
4. “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
This song is perhaps one of the most well-known and popular melodies that makes reference to Arkansas.
Without a doubt, this is one of the songs about Arkansas. This song has a lot more than merely a reference to the location of the state. There is a sense of yearning for the narrator.
Glen Campbell was born and raised in the little town of Delight in the state of Arkansas. He possessed one of the cleanest, clear, and easy-to-listen-to voices in the history of the world and was always quite proud of the state in which he was born.
5. “Little Rock” by Hayes Carll
In his barn-burning country classic “Little Rock,” Hayes Carll revisits the time-honored subject of going back to one’s roots in Arkansas.
The song’s rapid-fire lyrics are written in a travelogue-like fashion, and they are set over a driving riff that is reminiscent of Bachman-Turner Overdrive.
The listener follows Carll as he drives through the rain in Seattle and the tears in New York City, only to discover that where he truly wants to be is in Little Rock.
There are a number of songs that are about Arkansas, but few of them are as frenzied or rip as hard as “Little Rock.” The central topic of many of these songs is the idea of going back to Arkansas. Arkansas holds so many great tales and tourist sites; so, it’s only natural to feel the need to live in those memories once more.