Delaware might be one of the smallest states, but its location in the Northeast has made it a junction of the region. It is known for its beautiful beaches, being the first official state of the United States of America, and the Dover Air Force Base located in the capital. Plenty of notable artists either hail from Delaware or have spent time there, eventually writing tracks about the state and their experiences there. In this article, we’ll take a look at the 21 best songs about Delaware to add to your First State playlist.
1. Delaware Slide – George Thorogood And The Destroyers
Sometimes, simplicity makes for the best song. Delaware Slide might have a runtime that almost reaches eight minutes, but there’s only one repeated verse throughout the track. It’s an awesome blues rock song that’s perfect for pondering lost loves or moving around on the dance floor.
George Thorogood is a Delaware native who hails from Wilmington, so the references to towns and cities throughout the state come from first-hand experience. It’s also pretty lively for seemingly describing the time following a harrowing breakup, but his gravelly voice and the strumming of a blues guitar will have you doing the Delaware slide nonetheless.
2. Delaware – Arbour Season
Arbour Season released Delaware on their album Odyssey, and it was inspired by the two songwriters meeting in a Delaware bar. The lyrics discuss finding and falling in love in the state, describing the state as the perfect place to get away and feel love the way it’s meant to be felt.
It’s a much more gentle track than our last entry, feeling more like a calming melody than anything you’d want to get up and dance around to. But few songs capture the natural beauty of Delaware the way this one does, making listeners want to explore the state and find their own magical moments.
3. Dover – John Flynn
Dover is yet another change of pace, as this one is a haunting ballad that honors the soldiers who have given their lives in service of their country. Specifically, it references the Air Force base in Dover, the capital of Delaware. Perhaps the most poignant point of the song is when it describes the planes returning home, carrying the fallen back to their families. John Flynn performed the track at the actual Dover Air Force Base, playing the song in front of the very men and women that the track was meant to honor.
4. Down Home – Jimmie Allen
Like most of our lists of songs about states, many artists are drawn to the place they grew up. Jimmie Allen is no different in that regard, penning Down Home as a tribute to both his late father and the state of Delaware as a whole. The track is a tender, touching tune that mainly discusses his time growing up in his childhood home in Milton, Delaware. The music video that comes with the song was filmed around that home, adding just a bit more emotion to an already heart-wrenching track.
5. Delaware – Perry Como
Perry Como’s Delaware is a classic 60s song that proves that meme music has always been around. Back then, it was all about puns and wordplay, and this track is no exception to that rule. You might think of it as corny, but his asking “What did Della wear, boy?” and responding with “She wore a brand New Jersey” is peak comedy. There are plenty of other states that get mentioned throughout the song, but the chorus is purely about Delaware, cementing this humorous 60s classic as one of the best tracks out there about the state.
6. Our Delaware – George Beswick Hynson
Our Delaware was made the official state song of Delaware in 1925, and it has held the title ever since. Based on a poem about its beauty and unique nature, it’s the only state that only consists of three counties, and each of the three verses in the track is dedicated to one of those counties. Newcastle’s green landscape and Sussex’s gold beaches form the main branches of the song, and a fourth verse was added in 1976 that talks about liberty and freedom, meant to be a celebration of the United States’ 200th birthday.
7. Hello, I’m in Delaware – City and Colour
Delaware is a junction of highways and a place where people often pass through on their way to other places. In Hello, I’m Delaware, the transient nature of the state is used as a metaphor for the way both life and emotions can be fleeting things.
In this song, City And Colour uses Delaware as a way to look inside themselves and examine the way life really works. The narrator might get lost and end up somewhere in the state in the lyrics, but they use that time to figure out their next step in life. It’s also potentially the rarest track on the list, with only 2,000 copies of the band’s first EP The Death Of Me ever being produced.
8. Hot Time In Delaware – Saves The Day
Hot Time In Delaware was released in 1998 on Saves The Day’s debut album Can’t Slow Down. True to form, it’s a fast-paced rocker, and it’s partially based on the novel A Streetcar Named Desire, with the song opening with a section of dialogue from the book.
They got their start only a couple of hours from Delaware, so in this track, they use it as a metaphor for something that’s a bit far off but they’ve had experience with. It mainly spends time dissecting a summer fling and pondering over where it’s something that should last beyond that hot time in the state.
9. Is This Thing On? – The Promise Ring
Let’s be honest, for people who don’t live next door or in Delaware, it’s a state that’s often forgotten. Many people probably can’t even name a city in the state. So it’s no surprise that The Promise Ring had to make sure Delaware was even there. Is This Thing On? asks that question quite a bit but also serves as a tribute to the band Air Supply and wants to make sure Delaware citizens are aware of their existence. It’s an upbeat, rock-emo bop that eventually became the track they are best known for today.
10. I’m From Delaware – Todd Chappelle
If you can’t make fun of yourself, your stories probably aren’t very good. Todd Chappelle is another Delaware native who knows how to pen a funny song. I’m From Delaware delves into the fun things about the state and is full of tongue-in-cheek nods about it. He references an abundance of landmarks throughout the state while poking fun at how small Delaware is, the people who live there, and the unique culture found in the state. It’s another lighthearted and funny track to add to your playlist about Delaware.
11. His Favorite Christmas Story – Capital Lights
Delaware sees its fair share of snow, which makes it the perfect setting for a story set in a winter wonderland during the holidays. His Favorite Christmas Story is a festive song about Christmastime in the state in 1937.
From streets blanketed in snow to a very positive encounter the narrator finds during the tale, the track is a nostalgic look at what life used to be like in Delaware despite being a relic of a bygone era. For many, it’s the perfect holiday song to reminisce about the old days, but for others, it’s a happy tune that gets broken out during the holiday season.
12. Stardust – Clifford Brown
Stardust is a beautiful song by Clifford Brown from 1955. Born in Wilmington, Delaware, he only recorded for four years before passing in a tragic car crash but left behind several jazz standards that are still around today. It in particular describes a night in the state as a man struggles to deal with the loss of a lover.
13. Hard Traveling – Cisco Houston
Cisco Houston’s Hard Traveling is one of those rambler songs that talk about all sorts of places across the country. Think of it in the same vein as I’ve Been Everywhere but more focused on working around the country and trying to make a living. Of course, Delaware and the surrounding areas make a few appearances in the track.
14. Washington Crosses The Delaware – Stan Freberg
When Washington crossed the icy Delaware River, it marked a turning point in the American Revolutionary War. It was on the other side that he secured the first major victory of the war for the Continental Army and without having taken the plunge, the US may have never come to be. This song is a retelling of that story and an important tool in understanding the history of the country.
15. Delaware – Wesley Jensen Feat. Christie Dupree
For Wesley Jensen, Delaware represents a fresh start. After some troubles in his relationship, he’s essentially begging to start again despite being away for some time. He’s willing to go anywhere to make things work, with the state serving as the prime place to move to and start something new.
16. School Days – Loudon Wainwright III
School Days first appeared on Loudon Wainwright III’s debut album, and it tells the story of his time at St. Andrew’s School in Delaware. This is the same school that served as the subject of the film Dead Poets Society. It’s a bit of a bitter song, not particularly including fond memories of the place but that’s mainly due to the staff more than the location.
17. I’m For Things You Do – The Enfields
I’m For Things You Do is classic 60s garage rock and likely one of the songs that helped the genre find its footing among listeners. It doesn’t directly discuss the state in the track, but The Enfields were formed in Wilmington, Delaware, and became one of the top groups in the city during that era. If you’re looking for a local Delaware band that didn’t find a massive mainstream audience, you should look no further than them.
18. Rocket Shipp – Matthew Shipp
Mathew Shipp is another artist born in Wilmington who even attended the University of Delaware for a time. An incredible pianist dabbling in improvisational music and jazz, he has produced quite a few beautiful compositions. Chief among them may be Rocket Shipp, an ode to his home state of Delaware.
19. Out Delaware – Bobby Dime$
Bobby Dime$ spends all of this one rapping about living in East Wilmington. From drug abuse to police harassment, the song is a sobering and honest look at what life can be like for people living in small Delaware communities. An anthem of the state, it also features a sample of a Meek Mill hook and a guest verse from Peedi Crakk.
20. That Chester County Song – The Sin City Band
That Chester County Song is an old fan favorite in the state of Delaware. Hailing from Chester County and native of the state, The Sin City Band is one of the most popular groups for big gatherings. This one specifically talks about Bucktoe Hill and the mushroom-rich soil of the state.
21. Night Shift – Bob Marley
Bob Marley definitely isn’t the first name you think of when it comes to Delaware musicians, but he did live in Wilmington for a time. Trying to save up money to start his record label in Jamaica, he worked as a forklift operator at the Chrysler Assembly Plant in nearby Newark, inspiring the song Night Shift in the process.
As a contributing writer for Music Grotto, Dakotah writes and produces professional music/media content. He works closely with editorial staff to meet editorial standards and create
quality content for the Music Grotto website. Dakotah is passionate about music in a wide variety of genres, from hip-hop to country and lo-fi to metal, and he enjoys creating music pieces for Music Grotto.