North Dakota is known as The Peace Garden State, and there are several tracks written about this lovely place in America. We’ve compiled a list of the 15 best songs about North Dakota, so keep reading to find out what artists made the cut!
1. North Dakota Hymn – James W. Foley
First up on our list is the state song of North Dakota, the North Dakota Hymn by James W. Foley. This track is all about the state and its beauty, landscapes, and the people that you can connect with by being in the small towns that exist within the state. There’s a guitar in the song, and it’s very soothing and smooth to listen to, learning what North Dakota can provide. It’s all about prairies that stretch out for miles, the intimate yet magical landscape that surrounds you, and how comforting all of that can be.
2. North Dakota – Tigirlily Gold
Tigirlily Gold is on the list with North Dakota, which is from their 2013 album of the same name. This country group consists of two sisters, and the track is one of their most famous songs where they talk about how much they love the state and call it home because it’s where their hearts are. While they mention boys from other states and include the surfer guys from California, they say that it’ll never measure up to the boys found in North Dakota.
3. North Dakota – Mako
Mako is next with the song North Dakota, which was released in 2016 on the album Hourglass. While this track doesn’t get into a lot of detail about the state, he mentions it at the start of the song and then the track is used as a symbol for both peace and calmness. He talks about how you can get away from everything by going to North Dakota because it’s freeing and there is a lot of isolation and wide-open prairie land there.
4. My North Dakota Home – Lawrence Welk & His Orchestra
Next is Lawrence Welk & His Orchestra with My North Dakota Home. If you know music then you know he’s really from the state so this is a song he wrote as a tribute to North Dakota. He talks about how beautiful it is and all of the good things you’ll find there, and you can tell when you listen to it that he really does admire the state and is proud of where he came from.
5. I Gotta Gal I Love (In North and South Dakota) – Frank Sinatra
The legendary crooner Frank Sinatra makes our list with I Gotta Gal I Love (In North and South Dakota). In this song, he sings about having a woman in both North Dakota and another in South Dakota, and it’s a track about being a typical ladies’ man where his good looks and charm can get him anyone he wants. The funny part is that towards the end of the song, he figures out he doesn’t really want either one of them and chooses a different woman.
6. Nellie Kane – Phish
Next is Phish with Nellie Kane, which comes from the 1999 album Hampton Comes Alive. You’ve probably heard a Phish song before as they have been around for decades, and they have a very dedicated and tough fan base. While the original version of this track is bluegrass, they covered it and added their own flare to it, including some improvisation.
Nellie is a female character in the song, and she steals this man’s heart with her charm and good looks. The guy wants to follow her around wherever she goes and doesn’t care if she’s one of those on-the-move women, traveling through North Dakota and elsewhere, he wants to be with her through it all.
7. You’ve Never Been To North Dakota – Brennen Leigh
In 2020, Brennen Leigh released the album Prarie Love Letter, which included the song You’ve Never Been To North Dakota. This track is an anthem of sorts for the state, and she talks about the sounds, smells, and sights that surrounded her living in it, such as the prairies that seemed to go on forever.
She also talks about the animals and the plants and then goes into the not-so-good aspects including how the oil conglomerates have tried to ruin the natural beauty of it. She sings about living there for years and how it’s changed since there are more people in North Dakota now, and she longs for the good old days.
8. North Dakota Boy – Doc Walker
Doc Walker makes the list with North Dakota Boy, which is from his 2003 album Everyone Aboard. This song is all about how the narrator feels a lot of pride in being born and raised in the state, and how the values that he was taught as a child are important to him. This country track includes a solo using a fiddle and it’s going to make you feel energetic and upbeat.
You can tell when you listen to this song that he’s proud to be from North Dakota and realizes all of the things he was taught as a young boy were done with a purpose and have helped him in his journey as an adult.
9. North Dakota – Chris Knight
In 2001, Chris Knight released North Dakota on the album A Pretty Good Guy. This song is not as happy as a lot of other tracks on this list, but it’s worth a listen if you can relate to the more somber tone set in this tune. There is a fiddle in the song that helps set the mood while you hear him talk about how the winters can be long and very cold and how depressing those winters can be.
He goes into how you’re going to need a lot of wood for the fire to keep yourself warm, and while it’s a bit depressing, it’s so pretty and emotional that you’re going to feel this track deep within.
10. My Home In North Dakota – Adam Taylor
Adam Taylor is next up with My Home In North Dakota, which is all about his love for his home state. He expresses his gratitude and love for not only the state but the people he’s met within it including his own friends and family. You can watch the music video and see some of the most beautiful shots of North Dakota and get a feel for the landscape and the natural beauty that exists there.
11. North Dakota – Lyle Lovett
Next up is North Dakota, which is a song by Lyle Lovett on his 1992 album Joshua Judges Ruth. This track is a country tune, and it’s all about how he traveled around and landed in North Dakota, which is where he found peace and loved the prairie, providing some much-needed alone time for him.
His vocals express the admiration and fondness of the isolation it provides, and he talks about all of the natural landscapes around him such as the prairies and badlands. You can tell from this song he is having fun and enjoying his time away from the hustle and bustle of city life and it’ll make you want to visit North Dakota if that’s what you’re into.
12. Summer Hands – Chuck Suchy
Next is Chuck Suchy with the song Summer Hands from his 1987 album Dakota Breezes. That’s right, he devoted an album worth of tracks about North Dakota and definitely deserves a spot on this list. It is all about the sights and sounds of summer within the state and the beauty that exists all around. If you enjoy sitting under the stars in the summer just taking in the view and the smells, then you’re going to appreciate what he is singing about.
13. Highway Headin’ South – Dolly Parton
In 1974, Dolly Parton released Highway Headin’ South from her album, Love Is Like A Butterfly. This song is talking about how she’s leaving North Dakota behind, which is her home, and she’s on the road traveling south. She’s talking about a love that was lost and she’s on a journey to find something new and exciting.
While she loves her North Dakota life and revisits the memories and sights from there, she’s ready to begin anew and wonders what else is out there for her. Her vocals are emotional in this track as she conveys that love but yet desires to move on and look for more. You’ll feel the sadness, excitement, and nostalgia when you listen to her strum the guitar as she talks about it.
14. North Dakota – Hodera
Next is Hodera with the song North Dakota, which was released on the album First Things First in 2017. This song can very easily make you cry when you hear it because it’s about feeling isolated and alone and not wanting to be that way anymore. The state is being used as a metaphor in the track to describe this world where everything is perfect and it brings about these feelings of just how we often feel things have gone wrong in our lives and how much we wish we were with that someone special.
If there’s someone that you wish you could be with but can’t, because of distance and not living within the same state, then you’re going to understand and relate to this song since that’s part of what makes the narrator feel isolated and alone.
15. Winds of North Dakota – Mike Piper
Last on our list is Mike Piper with Winds Of North Dakota, which is the perfect song to listen to when you’re outside on the prairie in North Dakota and just want a track that’ll provide you with peace and comfort. There is lovely guitar playing in this song, and while it’s a lesser-known track and artist, he definitely deserves to be recognized for his skills in this captivating song.
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.