Georgia is known for a lot of things, from peaches to pine trees and college football to southern hospitality. The state has a long and interesting history that extends far beyond the urban center of Atlanta. In this article, we’ll go over the 31 best songs about Georgia, with many of them coming from artists who originally came from the state in the first place.
1. Devil Went Down To Georgia – Charlie Daniels
I don’t care that our next entry is the state song of Georgia, Devil Went Down To Georgia is the most iconic and best track about the state to have ever been released. Charlie Daniels made people love fiddle solos with this song. The literal devil gets beat in a contest by some random hillbilly despite obviously cheating. Everything about it is epic, and it’s legitimately sad that I didn’t know there was a sequel to this track before sitting down to write this article.
2. Georgia On My Mind – Ray Charles
Now onto the state song. Georgia On My Mind was adopted by the state legislature as the official state anthem in 1979. It was originally written and performed by Hoagy Carmichael in 1930, but Ray Charles’ 1960 version of it became the most successful. Other notable artists to cover this one include Ella Fitzgerald and Willie Nelson. It’s all about the generally peaceful way of life in the peach state and has some endearing references to things like their famous pine forests.
3. The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia – Reba McEntire
Anything labeled a ‘murder ballad’ is something worth checking out on intrigue alone. But Reba McEntire’s The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia tells a gripping story of infidelity, misunderstandings, revenge, murder, and the hanging of an innocent man. It first became a hit for Vicki Lawrence in 1973, but McEntire would record it in 1991, becoming one of her most famous singles and more known as her song today.
4. Midnight Train to Georgia – Gladys Knight & The Pips
Midnight Train To Georgia started out as a song called Midnight Plane To Houston, but Cissy Houston would change the destination and recorded the track in 1973. Months later, Gladys Knight & The Pips covered the song and made the most powerful and emotionally known version of it. Her own experiences in the state led to her soulful performance and produced one of the best tracks about Georgia to ever be recorded.
5. The Moon Over Georgia – Shenandoah
The Moon Over Georgia was less about staying in Georgia and more about finding a more satisfying life outside of it. The singer and a woman are in love, and despite having the option to marry a very rich man who could literally give her the moon, she chooses to be with the singer—who is the man she loves—instead. The 1991 single was a crossover hit, making it into the top 10 of the Hot 100 and becoming one of the hottest country singles of the year.
6. Chattahoochee – Alan Jackson
Chattahoochee is one of Alan Jackson’s most beloved songs. The river in question runs along the border of Alabama and Georgia, crossing over into the northern regions of Georgia as the currents round a large bend. It’s a feel-good track about coming of age, spending time with friends, chasing women, and cooling off in the sweltering Georgia summertime. While he doesn’t mention a specific town, it appears as though the river was his true home growing up, the place he grew up as a person and felt most comfortable at.
7. (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay – Otis Redding
Interestingly, Georgia is home to quite a lot of interesting geological features called Carolina Bays, circular depressions in the earth from prehistory. But those aren’t the bays in Otis Redding’s most famous song. He’s singing about sitting on the bay in San Francisco, thinking back on his time at home in Georgia and wishing to go home again. Like in the track, he didn’t make it home, adding a sad twist to an overall wistful tune.
8. Love Shack – The B-52’s
You might not think of the state of Georgia when you hear the B-52’s Love Shack, but the song is undoubtedly about a place there. The inspiration for the track was a popular hangout spot near the University of Georgia called the Hawaiian Ha-Le. It was a very welcoming club that helped inspire this classic hit from the 80s.
9. Georgia On a Fast Train – Billy Joe Shaver
Georgia On A Fast Train is an autobiographical song by Billy Joe Shaver. It describes in detail the antics of his youth and the lessons he learned along the way. His 1973 recording wasn’t a huge success, but it would later be covered by the likes of Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson. It’s also a great example of country music’s use of train beats in their tracks.
10. Georgia Rain – Trisha Yearwood
Georgia Rain is an incredibly romantic song that features Trisha Yearwood’s husband, country legend Garth Brooks, in a backup vocal role. It describes a complex relationship that has weathered all kinds of storms and looks very different than it did when the two first got together. The weather and small towns in Georgia serve as the perfect metaphors for things that are always changing but still stay the same.
11. Meet in the Middle – Diamond Rio
Diamond Rio’s Meet In The Middle has some passing references to Georgia that make it about the state, but if it was more direct, I’d probably put it higher on this list. It’s a heartwarming love story about a pair of pre-teens sneaking out to meet each other, with their sentiment about meeting in the middle of their two houses becoming a running theme for their relationship as they grew into married adults.
It was a huge hit for Diamond Rio that saw the pair spending time together under the Georgia pine trees, plopping a house down on the middle fencepost between their homes as a way to remember to compromise with each other.
12. Oh, Atlanta – Allison Kraus
Bad Company was the first to record Oh, Atlanta in 1979, but Alison Krauss’ version from 1995 became the most popular one. It’s a love song, but instead of focusing on a person the singer is in love with, it focuses on her love for the city of Atlanta. It’s a unique take and beautifully crafted for the biggest city in the state of Georgia.
13. Sweet Georgia Brown – Ella Fitzgerald
Sweet Georgia Brown is about a girl named Georgia, though she was named after the actual state. It’s an incredibly catchy song, thanks in large part to its amazing melody. Ben Bernie was the original writer of the track, and a massive list of artists have recorded it over the years. Roberta Flack, Bing Crosby, Nancy Sinatra, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Brother Bones And His Shadows all put out versions of this song. But for us, it sounds with the wonderful voice of Ella Fitzgerald backing it.
14. Ol’ Red – Blake Shelton
Ol’ Red never explicitly mentions the state of Georgia in the lyrics, so you could technically argue about where the prison Blake Shelton finds himself in is located. He caught his wife cheating and presumably murdered her and the other man, landing himself a life sentence. He plots to escape, training the prison dog Red to go see a female dog when he takes him for walks, relying on the dog to go to her instead of chasing him after leaving. It ends up working, and he escapes to Tennessee.
15. Georgia Peaches – Lynyrd Skynyrd
There was no way that any Southern rock band worth their salt wouldn’t have a song about the juiciest peaches the state of Georgia has to offer. And of course, the preeminent Southern rock band has one. Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Georgia Peaches has just enough vagueness for people to argue over the subject of the track, it mainly just describes the band’s love of staring at women from the South.
16. Highway 20 Ride – Zac Brown Band
Highway 20 Ride is a bit of a heartbreaker. It describes an emotional journey of a father driving his young son back to his mother’s house after a nasty divorce. The drive takes them along Highway 20, a route directly to Augusta, Georgia. For the Zac Brown Band, it became a number-one hit on the country charts in 2010 and gave them their third number-one single on that chart.
17. Cedartown, Georgia – Waylon Jennings
You could call Cedartown, Georgia another murder ballad if you wanted to. Waylon Jennings spins the tale of jealousy, heartbreak, and murder as only classic country singers can. It was a major song in the Outlaw Country scene, seeing a narrator find his new wife cheating after taking her away from Georgia but murdering her and sending her body back to the state once he found out.
18. Rainy Night In Georgia – Brook Benton
One of the hardest things about being on the road is being away from the people you love. For rambling men, it can be even more painful. Rainy Night In Georgia is all about how a rambling man wishes he could be home to be with his lover. Brook Benton’s 1970 version of the song was a huge hit single, though other versions of the track never found the same level of success.
19. ATliens – Outkast
Outkast members are from Atlanta, Georgia, and they’re one of the most legendary duos to ever come from the state. Their song about their home city is the perfect ode to the place they came from and a wonderful track about the greatest things about the state out there.
20. She’s So Georgia – Jon Langston
Jon Langston breaks out just about every Georgia metaphor you can think of to describe a beautiful woman. From legs taller than the Georgia pines to her rooting for the University of Georgia football team every Saturday, she couldn’t be anymore from the state if you wrote her that way—because he did. It pays tribute to the state but also serves as a point of pride for people from the state.
21. Welcome to Atlanta – Jermaine Dupri
Welcome To Atlanta was a major rap hit for Jermaine Dupri. His original version saw Ludacris as a featured artist, though the popularity of the song caused him to produce remixed versions with heavy-hitting artists from across the country. Snoop Dogg, P. Diddy, and Murphy Lee all joined in for the official Coast 2 Coast remix of the track, which was even more popular than the original from Dupri.
22. Georgia Clay – Josh Kelley
Josh Kelley’s Georgia Clay served as the title track from his debut album and is another autobiographical song about growing up in Georgia. He spent time with his brother and made memories that are never going to fade away, comparing their staying power to how difficult cleaning Georgia clay out of your clothes can be.
23. Sweet Augusta Darlin’ – Vince Gill
Sweet Augusta Darlin’ appeared on Vince Gill’s 2006 box set These Days. It’s all about a woman from Georgia, specifically from Augusta, that was likely an ode to his wife. While she grew up in Nashville, which was the city of her birth, Gill does her a great honor by writing, singing, and playing the song incredibly well.
24. Ramblin’ Man – The Allman Brothers Band
The Allman Brothers Band’s Ramblin’ Man is another one of those tracks that would be higher on the list if it had more of the song set in the state of Georgia. The rambling and traveling man in the track begins his journey in Georgia, seeing the narrator born on a bus and constantly traveling around the south playing music as he grows older. While the ties to the state aren’t strong, it still makes it onto the list thanks to some loose connections.
25. Walkin’ Back to Georgia – Jim Croce
The narrator for Walkin’ Back To Georgia finds himself in quite a predicament. He’s penniless, homeless, and has few options thanks to some unfortunate decisions. As he begins his journey to his home state of Georgia by foot, he fondly remembers better times in his life in the City of Macon and prays that the girl he left behind there is still somehow waiting on him.
26. Why Georgia – John Mayer
Why Georgia is a rare instance of John Mayer singing in the first person rather than from the perspective of a character. It deals with the uncertainty of life in your 20s, waiting on adulthood to actually kick in. As he grows, he spends his time in Georgia and tries to figure out exactly what he should be doing with his life.
27. Watermelon Crawl – Tracy Byrd
Watermelon Crawl is one of the best examples of story-telling in country music that brings back themes of the genre from older decades. The narrator finds himself at a watermelon festival in a small town in Georgia, with a mayor making sure people don’t drive after drinking a lot of the watermelon wine served at the party. The Queen of the festival even teaches him to do the dance, making his pit stop a worthwhile endeavor.
28. Georgia Woods – Keith Urban
Keith Urban isn’t from Georgia and likely knows little about the pine forests covering the state but that didn’t stop him from writing a glorious song about the woods there. Georgia Woods sees a narrator falling in love with the woman he’s out in the woods with rather than the serene forests. So, even an Australian can appreciate Georgia’s beautiful backcountry.
29. Georgia Peaches – Lauren Alaina
Lauren Alaina is another artist from the state of Georgia with a song that serves as an ode to their home state. It’s a catchy track built around a line referring to the sweet nature of the women from Georgia that might be better suited for the dance club than the country charts. Regardless, it’s a fun take on the state that puts on the Southern charm for all to see.
30. Georgia – Elton John
Elton John’s Georgia might be the one song that captures the essence of the state the best. Life is easy there, it’s the deep South and people live life a bit slower than in other parts of the country. That easy feeling is captured in the track, with a narrator longing for the old times of peace and serenity while watching the world continue its constant slog toward ‘progress.’
31. Peaches – Justin Bieber Feat. Daniel Caesar And Giveon
Justin Bieber’s Peaches was a wildly successful pop hit that was essentially a song of the summer a few years ago. The singer has his peaches out in Georgia, presumably talking about the ladies he knows he can call up for a rendezvous. It debuted at the top of the Hot 100 and helped his new album land at the top of the Billboard 200 in 2020.
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.