There are several musicians who have written about Colorado over the years, and we thought we’d tell you some of the greatest ones that you may want to listen to. Keep reading as we dive into the 20 best songs about Colorado: The Centennial State below!
1. Rocky Mountain High – John Denver
The first song on our list is Rocky Mountain High by John Denver, which was released in 1972 on the album of the same name. This is one of his most popular tracks out of his catalog. This song made it to number three on the Adult Contemporary chart and nine on the Billboard Hot 100.
It’s a track that talks about the Rocky Mountains and uses them to teach us all to accept all of the good things with the bad. While they might be beautiful, they can also be quite dangerous, but he sings about the mountains and their magic with such love and affection you can tell he loves Colorado and everything about the state.
2. A Mile High In Denver – Jimmy Buffett
Next on our list is Jimmy Buffett with his hit song A Mile High In Denver from his 1970 album Down To Earth. Everyone loves him, and this track is all about his love of the state after he visited it. He talks about going through Denver, Colorado, and how lovely the mountains are as well as the natural landscape that provides him calmness and peace.
3. Rocky Mountain Way – Joe Walsh
In 1973, Joe Walsh paid homage to Colorado with the song Rocky Mountain Way, which was released on The Smoker You Drink, The Player You Get. This is a track he wrote right after moving to Boulder from the Midwest, and you can tell he’s happy with his new home in this song. There are many references to the state in the track, and he also talks about the Colorado Rockies since he’s a huge baseball fan.
4. Denver – Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson released the song Denver in 1975 on the album Red Headed Stranger. This is a track all about that city in Colorado and how it’s freeing to live there because no one judges you for anything. What’s great about this song is that instead of focusing on the beauty of the land, he’s more talking about the people and how welcoming they are when you arrive in Denver, so it’s a nice change from a lot of the other tracks about Colorado out there.
5. You Wild Colorado – Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash makes the list next with You Wild Colorado, which was on his 1965 album Orange Blossom Special. This track is all about a man who has a love interest, and he’s comparing this woman to both the beauty and terrain you’d find in the state. He talks about staying with someone that you love even when it’s rough, although that’s a difficult choice that we have to make. Sometimes, it can be hard to know when to stay with someone and when to walk away, just like when you’re hiking in the Rockies.
6. Get Out Of Denver – Bob Seger
In 1974, Bob Seger released the song Get Out Of Denver, which was on his album Seven. This track is about a journey that a couple went on while they were running from the police. They were in Denver trying to make it out without the police catching up to them, so it’s an exciting song to listen to. However, right before they got out of Colorado, a State Highway Patrol pulled them over, and they were arrested.
7. Colder Weather – Zac Brown Band
Next on our list is the country group Zac Brown Band who released the song Colder Weather in 2010. There is a girl who lives in Colorado, and she thinks it’s the cold that is keeping him from coming to visit her. This track is great at using the cold Colorado winter to try to explain away the fact this guy won’t visit his girl, and it’s all a metaphor. It hit number one on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and made it to 29 on the Billboard Hot 100.
8. Lucky Denver Mint – Jimmy Eat World
In 1998, rock group Jimmy Eat World released Lucky Denver Mint from the album Clarity. You might know this song from the movie Never Been Kissed. This track is all about the coins that are made at the Denver Mint and how they had wished for something on a coin, although they claim they don’t know what they really want their wish to be.
9. Lucky Old Colorado – Merle Haggard
Next on the list is country singer Merle Haggard with the song Lucky Old Colorado, which comes from his 1990 album Blue Jungle. The lyrics of this track talk about the mountains and hills found in Colorado, and it’s a song paying homage to the state. You can hear his emotions when he sings, and he’s very appreciative and amazed at how beautiful the state is when you see everything in the open space.
There is love for Colorado and a sense of freedom felt when he’s there that you can hear in the track. If you love old-school country music, then this song is one you should check out even if you’re not a fan of his.
10. Telluride – Tim McGraw
Next is Tim McGraw with the 2001 song Telluride from Set This Circus Down. It’s all about how he moved to that town in Colorado, where he made a new life for himself. He worked at a local bar and made all kinds of friends, and then he saw a woman walking in town that happened to be the one. You can hear in the track how much he loves Telluride as he expresses his gratitude for the people there because they are so warm and friendly.
11. Colorado – The Flying Burrito Brothers
In 1971, The Flying Burrito Brothers released the song Colorado on their self-titled album. This track is all about someone who tried to live in other states, but they didn’t like the hustle and bustle of city life. They leave the woman behind that they love to return home to Colorado where they feel most comfortable and at peace.
12. Colorado Girl – Townes Van Zandt
On our list next is a song from 1969 called Colorado Girl by Townes Van Zandt, and this is a track all about going to the state in search of his lost love. The girl he wants is in Denver, Colorado, and he’s coming back to the city to try to find her. This is one of those songs that you’ll find endearing and lovely because it’s such a hopeful track.
13. Colorado – Lotus
Lotus makes the list with their song Colorado, which comes from their album Nomad (Remastered) in 2004. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to them, they are a great band, and this track is done in almost an EDM style.
It’s very high-energy and going to make you want to get up and dance. The sound seems layered because of the instruments and beats used in the song, and you can hear the name of the state being repeated in this track several times, even though there aren’t many other lyrics in the song. It’s adventurous and a track that matches the vibe of Colorado, which is freedom and creativity.
14. I’m Leavin’ Colorado – Hillbilly Hellcats
In 1998, Hillbilly Hellcats released the song I’m Leavin’ Colorado from their album Our Brand. The track is all about the cold that you’ll endure if you are in the state, so it’s not like an uplifting song talking about the beauty of the state. One thing about The Centennial State is that it’s known for having very cold winters with a lot of snow, so that’s what this track is primarily talking about, and it mentioned how a trip to Hawaii where it’s warm would be nice.
15. 40 Miles From Denver – Yonder Mountain String Band
A country song from 1999 called 40 Miles From Denver makes our list, and this is by the Yonder Mountain String Band. This is actually a sad track about waking up early in the morning to leave their significant other without them knowing about it. They leave and don’t even say goodbye to them, and they talk about how unhappy they’ve been in their relationship and how they don’t care that the person is going to wake up with them long gone.
16. Colorado – Milky Chance
An indie dance song on our list is Colorado by Milky Chance, which comes from their 2021 album Trip Tape. This track made it to number four on the Billboard Rock Airplay chart and 26 on the Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart. The track is very upbeat, and the lyrics mention smoking a lot of weed so they don’t feel anything because they have just gone through a breakup. Even though this song is about breaking up with someone, it’s fun and very catchy, so you’ll still find yourself dancing to it non-stop.
17. Colorado – Chuck Pyle
Chuck Pyle released Camel Rock in 1995, and one of the songs on this album is called Colorado. This is a folk and country track that’s all about the wonder and beauty found in the state. The lyrics talk about the sky, which is a vibrant blue, and the mountains, which are nothing short of glorious. There is an amazing guitar riff in the song, and it has a great beat. This is one of those tracks where you can hear the sincerity and warmness throughout the vocals and really feel the love and appreciation he has for Colorado.
18. Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead – Warren Zevon
Coming in next is Warren Zevon’s hit song Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead, which is from his 1991 album Mr. Bad Example. This track is not a happy song; instead, it is really dark and goes into living your life without finding a purpose and then dying. It talks about the homeless population found in Denver and compares the city to life in general, where there are both good and bad aspects that we have to deal with.
19. Colorado – Florida Georgia Line
Next is Florida Georgia Line with Colorado, which was released in 2019 on the album Can’t Say I Ain’t Country. This is a somber song that deals with being left standing there at the altar and then moving away to the state. They talk about the Rocky Mountains and getting hammered drunk to try to dull the pain of their experience.
Sadly, this was where the couple would have had their honeymoon had his woman not left him hanging at the altar. If you like country music, then this is one track to check out because it’s reminiscent of the old country with its instruments and theme.
20. I Guess He’d Rather Be In Colorado – John Denver
Last on our list is I Guess He’d Rather Be In Colorado by John Denver, which was released in 1971 on Poems, Prayers, And Promises. This is a song where you’ll notice the melancholy feel right away. It’s about a guy who is in New York City but would rather spend his time in Colorado to the point that he’s humming a tune that is about the Boulder Canyon.
While the track uses a third-person point of view, you can clearly hear his love of the state in the lyrics, and he doesn’t shy away from mentioning the things he loves about Colorado himself.
From the time she was little, Florence loved listening to music and quickly learned how music can make you happy and feel fulfilled. One of her favorite memories is being in the garage with her dad working on classic cars with the local rock station blaring in the background. Ever since Florence was 3, she loved grunge music and spent hours listening to bands such as Alice in Chains, Mad Season, Soul Asylum, and Soundgarden.
She also enjoys classic rock, modern rock, nu metal, alternative rock, and old 90’s R&B. Her love of music grew as she got older, and used music to help her get through tough times in her life. More often than not, you’ll see Florence with earbuds in while she’s writing, cooking, cleaning, and doing other tasks. She also loves to debate music with her friends such as which lead singer is the best vocalist, the most iconic guitar solos in music, and what songs are really the best of the decade.