When you think about Idaho, you might have an image of potatoes growing in a field or snow on the ground during the cold winters. Well, there is a lot going on in The Gem State, and several tracks have been written about it over the years. Keep reading as we explore the 25 best songs about Idaho: The Gem State below!
1. Idaho – Josh Ritter
First on our list is Idaho by John Ritter, which came out in 2006 on his record The Animal Years. This song is a tribute to the state and how he will always love Idaho. If you’re from Idaho then you’ll relate to the special bond he feels with it and have those same feelings of nostalgia he does when he looks back on the fond memories he created in the state. Even if you don’t have a bond with Idaho, when you listen to this track, it’ll remind you of that special place you call home.
2. Idaho State Fair – Johnny Granger
Next is Johnny Granger with the song Idaho State Fair, which came out in 2009 on the album American Yodeling. When you listen to this track, you’ll hear his comforting and lively vocals, which capture the joy and warmth that exists at the fair.
He sings about all of the special things about the state, such as going to the fair and feeling like you’re part of a community to the beautiful landscape surrounding him. There is a lot of tradition at the state fair, and he perfectly sums up how wonderful this yearly event is to the people who live there.
3. Here We Have Idaho – Sallie Hume-Douglas
Sallie Hume-Douglas is on our list with Here We Have Idaho, which was written by her in 1915, although it wasn’t adopted as the state’s anthem until 1931. Naturally, this song is all about everything wonderful and beautiful about the state. It’s no wonder that it became the state anthem because, in the track, she talks about how you can achieve all your hopes and dreams there and how it’s the perfect spot to raise a family.
4. Idaho – BoDeans
BoDeans released Idaho, which came out in 1993 on the album Go Slow Down. This rock band sings about how a guy is dreaming of how great his life would be in the state because he could get away from all of the problems going on in the world and how the open skies would give him peace and tranquility. The lyrics also talk about how gorgeous the scenery and landscape are in Idaho and how it’ll help you find the purpose or meaning of your life. It is one of their most famous and beloved songs to this day.
5. Idaho – Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
Up next is Idaho by Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, which came out in 1967, so it’s one of the older songs on our list. In the track, there is a guy who is trying his best to get to the state to reach his lover, and there is a lot of talk about the rugged yet charming landscape all around him while he’s on his journey to reach this woman.
There is an orchestra in the song that builds as the track progresses, and it’s one of those songs that captures the spirit of the 60s music scene. When it was released, it peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at number 17 and remains one of their most recognized and popular tunes.
6. Idaho – Train
Train makes the list with Idaho, which was released in 1998 on their self-titled debut album. The song details the struggles of a guy trying to move on with his life after breaking up with his girlfriend, and he chooses the state to start his new life.
When you listen to the track, you will feel that yearning and anxiety through the guitar riffs, and the vocals will give you that feeling of trying to heal open wounds. This song is almost like an anthem because there is hope and desire that Idaho is going to help him find happiness once again.
7. Idaho – Gorillaz
The hip hop group Gorillaz released Idaho, which came out in 2018 on the album The Now Now. The lyrics detail someone who is trying to find a way out of their own mind and how it sucks when you’re inside your head. You’ll feel the sense of confusion and dizziness through the beat of the song and how you’re trying to escape your own mind by looking at the beauty of nature around you in the state.
8. Private Idaho – The B-52’s
Next is the B-52’s with Private Idaho, which was released in 1980 on the album Wild Planet. It hit five on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart and 74 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In this song, each band member contributes lyrics that relate to what the state means to them, and for each person, it holds a specific memory or significance.
9. Idaho – Gene Krupa And Buddy Rich
Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich make our list with the song Idaho, which was covered by them in 1952. What’s interesting about this tune is that there aren’t any lyrics, so it’s a purely instrumental track that features an arrangement that’s very upbeat. Rich is a percussionist and he’s legendary, and you get to hear his skills in this song. The melody is catchy, and it’s thought of as one of the tribute tracks to the state and has become known as one of the best jazz standards of that era.
10. Idaho Cowboy – Reckless Kelly
Idaho Cowboy by Reckless Kelly is next, and this country song that was released in 2010 on the album Somewhere In Time. It is all about how a cowboy just left his home state as he looks to make a living traveling on the road. There is a lot of guitar riffing in the track, which captures the country vibe of a cowboy out on the road and the adventures he may have along the way.
11. Nowhere In Idaho – Rednex
Rednex makes the list with Nowhere In Idaho, which came out in 1994 on the album Sex & Violins. When you listen to this song, you’ll find it’s a very old-school country that has amazing harmonies and a melody that’s very upbeat and energetic. It’s all about having difficulty finding a new place that they can call home in the state, feeling like they don’t belong, and the struggles that come with not fitting in anywhere.
12. Idaho – Yonder Mountain String Band
The next song on the list is also called Idaho from the 2001 album Town By Town, and it’s by the Yonder Mountain String Band. This track is a tribute to the state and all of the good found within, such as the natural beauty of the land, the animals, and the towns that exist within. If you’ve lived in Idaho before, you’ll relate to the lyrics that talk about its charm and gorgeous scenery and feel a sense of pride listening to it.
13. Twin Falls – Built To Spill
Built To Spill makes the list with the song Twin Falls from their 1994 album There’s Nothing Wrong With Love. The title is named after a city in Idaho, which is where the narrator in the track is from, and the memories that he has of his hometown. The lyrics talk about how our identities are shaped by the people and places we’ve been in the past, and it’s a tribute to this special town that he feels a strong emotional connection to.
14. The Boise Song – Jewel
Next up is Jewel with The Boise Song, which is a tribute to a city in Idaho, with there being talk of what there is to see and do in the town. She also uses humor in the track and talks about how Boise is often mispronounced and that the people within the city want you to say “Boy-see” instead.
15. Idaho – Bryan Lanning
Bryan Lanning is next with Idaho, which was released on Us in 2017. This song is all about his hometown in the state and all of the memories he has involving the person he loves. He sings about how living in a small town is simple and he misses that, and he mentions how much he loves Idaho in general.
16. Idaho – Delta Spirit
Delta Spirit is on the list with their song called Idaho, which came out in 2012 on their self-titled album. There is talk of how the rural part of the state is and the way of life when you live in those communities, which offers a simpler option than the hustle-and-bustle of the big cities. You also get the feeling in the track that Idaho is welcoming and warm and there is mention of how you’ll fit in regardless of where in the state you stay.
17. Idaho – Feeder
Next is Feeder with the song Idaho, which came out in 2012 on Generation Freakshow. In the music video, there is a person who is riding a mechanical bull, and they are going to win a trip to the state as the prize. This takes place in a bar so you can see everyone drinking and having a good time, and it’s one of those tracks that just makes you feel good and full of energy when you hear it.
18. Lady Idaho – Brenn Hill
Brenn Hill makes our list with the song Lady Idaho, which came out in 2018 on the album ReRides. This track has a chorus that’s super catchy, and the melody is very uplifting and energetic. It’s a country tune that is all about how wonderful and beautiful the state is and how the people are charming and very persistent. In the song, appreciation is given to the farmers who work hard and the ranchers while there is also mention of the gorgeous Snake River.
19. Idaho – Ray Anthony
If you enjoy big bands then you’ll love Ray Anthony with the song Idaho from 1952. The orchestra in this track is amazing, and when you listen to all of the instruments, it’s going to make you feel like you’ve been taken back in time. What we love about this song is that it’s upbeat, and the tempo is going to get you on your feet ready to dance.
20. Idaho Sucks (Tell All Your Friends) – Todd Corsetti
Todd Corsetti makes the list with the tune Idaho Sucks (Tell All Your Friends), which was released in 2004. It’s a highly energetic tune that features raw vocals that help capture the spirit of the punk rock scene.
What’s different about this track is that it’s not a positive tribute to the state, instead, it’s all about how there aren’t opportunities there and the weather sucks just as much as the people. There is a lot of sarcastic humor as well as tongue-in-cheek references, and it’s one of the most punk rock songs about Idaho you’ll hear.
21. Idaho-Ho – Ken Curtis
Next is the country artist Ken Curtis with Idaho-Ho, and it’s featured in the 1945 movie Song Of The Prairie. In this song, there is a guy who is feeling homesick because he left his woman and home behind in the state, and he is yearning to go back home.
22. Idaho – Nerina Pallot
Nerina Pallot had a hit song with Idaho, which was released in 2005 on the album Fires. This track is all about starting over and pursuing your dreams and how nothing is impossible if you set your mind to it. This pop song celebrates the joy and freedom you’ll find by visiting new places, such as this state.
23. Idaho (Where I’m From) – Equaleyes
Next is Equaleyes with Idaho (Where I’m From), which was released in 2011. This song is a tribute to the state and talks about how regardless of where you go, your home will always be in Idaho if you’re from there.
24. Idaho Pines – Hot Buttered Rum
Hot Buttered Rum makes the list with Idaho Pines found on the album Well-Oiled Machine from 2006. This song mentions the snow that is covering the Idaho pine trees as a guy is traveling and on the road, knowing his woman isn’t going to stay and wait for him to return.
25. My Little Idaho Potato – Mike Bryant
Last is Mike Bryant with My Little Idaho Potato, which was released in 2012 on the album I Need You Strong For Me. This song is all about Idaho potatoes and showing appreciation for the crops that are produced in the state.
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.