Oregon is dubbed The Beaver State, and there have been several tracks over the years written about this lovely state. We’re going to tell you the 25 best songs about Oregon, The Beaver State below so keep reading to find out what makes the cut.
1. So Long, Astoria – The Ataris
First up on the list is So Long, Astoria by The Ataris, which was released in 2003 on the album of the same name. This song is basically a tribute track written about Astoria, Oregon, which is where The Goonies was filmed in 1985. They are very fond of this movie, so it’s no wonder they wrote a track about it. There are references to living in small towns and how family and friends mean so much to you, so there’s a charming nostalgic feel to this song.
2. Doom Town – Wipers
Next is Doom Town by Wipers, which was released on their 1983 album Over The Edge. This song features a melody that is very dark, and it’s a slow track that is all about a city where the people feel hopeless because they’re trapped in this dystopia. The lead singer for the band is from Portland, Oregon, and there was a lot of poverty and depression going on in the city at the time he was growing up.
3. I Must Be In Oregon – Greg Brown
Greg Brown had a hit with I Must Be In Oregon, which was released on the 1999 album Solid Heart. It’s all about Oregon and how much it rains there, saying it’s worse than Seattle, so it’s funny and goes into other things in the state such as the mountains and the people who live there. While it’s a funny song, there is also a sincere element to the track because you can tell he loves the people and his hometown of Oregon.
4. Rose Parade – Elliot Smith
Next up is Rose Parade by Elliot Smith, which came out in 1997 on the album Either/Or. People think this song is all about the Rose Parade that happens in Portland, Oregon, every year, but the lead singer said that isn’t so, although he doesn’t mind people thinking that.
The track is actually about how people parade around and act like they are one person when it’s all a fake persona and they are just pretending. The parading around of the fakeness is what he is making fun of here but there is fakery at the Rose Parade too, so it works.
5. Lumberjack – Johnny Cash
Country music legend Johnny Cash recorded Lumberjack in 1960 on the album Ride This Train. This is a cover of a song written and recorded by Leon Payne originally, with Willie Nelson releasing a cover in 1957 too.
The track is all about being a lumberjack or logger in Oregon, with Eugene and Rosenburg being the biggest places for this type of work. It peaked on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart at number 10. The vibe is very Western, so it’s a fun classic tune by an iconic singer that is still loved today.
6. Light Rail Coyote – Sleater-Kinney
Sleater-Kinney is on the list with Light Rail Coyote, which was released on the album One Beat in 2002. This song is a very fun and energetic track about a coyote who is riding around Portland, Oregon, on the light rail. The animal has a lot of fun touring the city, and there is talk of how the development within the city has harmed the animals in nature.
7. Everyone Knows Everyone – The Helio Sequence
Next is The Helio Sequence who released the song Everyone Knows Everyone in 2002 on the album Love And Distance. This track is all about small Oregon towns where everyone knows everyone and the sense of belonging in these communities. It’s a song that is all about what it’s like in small towns throughout America and how everyone is proud to call these places home because of how they all take care of and love one another.
8. Portland Water – Michael Hurley
Portland Water by Michael Hurley makes our list, which was released in 1995 on Wolfways. This song is a tribute to Portland, Oregon, and specifically, the water within the city. There is so much beauty in Oregon because of the city being close to the coast. Everyone who lives in Portland feels a connection to the water, so this track explores that and lets us know they are proud of being from the city.
9. Rose City – Todd Snider
Next up is Todd Snider with the song Rose City, which was released in 2002 on the album, New Connection. There is a lot of nostalgia in the track as he sings about Portland and how much he loves the culture of the city, the people, and how beautiful it is. While he does mention there are obviously some bad things about Portland, it doesn’t take away from all of its beauty.
10. Oregon Trail – Woody Gutherie
Next is folk and country singer Woody Guthrie with Oregon Trail. He isn’t from Oregon but did move to the state later on, so this song is kind of about starting over in life and trying to make a better future for yourself. While you don’t always have to leave your home state to start anew, a lot of people find it works out better, and this is what the theme of the track is about.
11. Portland, Oregon – Loretta Lynn and Jack White
County music star Loretta Lynn had a hit with Portland, Oregon, which features Jack White. It was released in 2004 on the album Van Lear Rose. While she is country, he is rock, so it’s a great blend of musical talents and genres. It was such a hit that in 2005, it won Best Song Collaboration at the Grammy Awards. It is all about a woman thinking back on a relationship she had with a guy in Portland. There is emotion in this track as she sings about the loss and then goes into being hopeful for the future.
12. Caldera, Oregon – Laura Gibson
Laura Gibson released the song Caldera, Oregon on an album from 2016 called Empire Builder. This track is all about Caldera, Oregon, and how around 7,000 years ago, a volcano known as Mount Mazama erupted there. While there is a lot of nostalgia in the song, the main theme is about loving this city and admiring the spirit of the entire town and its people.
13. Oregon Girl – Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin
Next is the group Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin with the song Oregon Girl. This track was released in 2005 on the album Broom. It is all about how a man admires the beauty of a woman and how she is just fun to be around because she loves nature and is adventurous.
14. Back To Oregon – Broadway Calls
Broadway Calls makes the list with Back To Oregon, which was on their self-titled album, which was released in 2007. The song is all about being in love with a girl back in Oregon and all of the fun the guys had back there. It’s a rock track that pays homage to the state and given how the guys traveled around, they’d gotten to see the good and bad in other parts of the country, and it made them even more thankful for their home state.
15. Twin Rocks, Oregon – Shawn Mullins
Shawn Mullins had a hit song with Twin Rocks, Oregon from his album Soul’s Core, which was released in 1998. This track is about the city named Twin Rocks and how a guy from out of town stops there and makes friends with people who live in the town. This song is just a reminder about how small towns are often full of great people and it’s a good getaway from city life.
16. Eugene Oregon – Dolly Parton
Next is Eugene Oregon by Dolly Parton, which comes from her 2009 self-titled album, although this song was written in 1982. This is a track that’s a tribute to Eugene, Oregon, where she had done a tour in the 70s and wanted to talk about how friendly everyone was and how welcoming the city was as a whole.
17. Portland – The Replacements
The Replacements had a hit with Portland, which was released in 1989 on the album Don’t Tell A Soul. This song is their apology track because they played a gig in Portland, and it went horribly wrong.
Basically, the story goes that they didn’t know how to play a lot of their songs because they were wasted drunk and started taking off their clothes and tossing them into the crowd. Little else is known, but this is their track saying they were sorry for the whole fiasco.
18. Coming Home (Oregon) – Matt Kearney
Matt Kearney is next with the song Coming Home (Oregon), which was released in 2015 on the album Just Kids. He is from Eugene, Oregon even though he is now living in Nashville, Tennessee. This track is a tribute to his home state, and it goes into detail about what he loves about Oregon, such as the forests and mountains. This song is very warm and heartfelt, and you can tell he loves everything about the state and is happy to return home for a minute.
19. Down By The Water – The Decemberists
The Decemberists are on the list with Down By The Water, which is from the 2011 album The King Is Dead. It reached 33 on the Billboard US Rock Songs chart and two on the Adult Album Alternative chart. This track is upbeat and folk-like with it being a little country, but it has a very somber tone. It’s all about Portland and how great the city used to be.
20. City of Roses – Esperanza Spalding
Next up is Esperanza Spalding with City Of Roses, which was released on Radio Music Society and came out in 2012. She talks about how even though she’s not in her hometown anymore, which is Portland, it’s always near to her heart. You can tell she loves the city and has fond memories of growing up there because she talks about it in the song.
21. Oregon (I Can’t Go Home) – Blackhawk County
Blackhawk County deserves a spot on the list for the tune Oregon (I Can’t Go Home). The song was released in 2011 from the album of the same name. This is a very important track about a woman named Joann McDaniel and how she was a university student wrongly imprisoned in Turkey for trying to smuggle hashish. She said she didn’t want people to forget about her, and while Blackhawk County didn’t try to say she was innocent, they wanted to tell her story.
22. Lost Our Soul – Illmaculate Feat. Ness Lee
Immaculate released Lost Our Soul in 2012 on the album Skrill Talk. This song features Ness Lee and is all about how Portland has changed, and it’s not a great place to be with crime happening all around. This track is also partly inspiring because the lyrics talk about hopes and dreams and not giving up on them just because of where you come from or how hard you had it as a child.
23. Don’t Take Me Alive – Steely Dan
Steely Dan had a hit with Don’t Take Me Alive, which was released in 1976 on the album The Royal Scam. This song is funny and is all about a guy who had a bad past in Oregon. He clearly was a bad dude because he told people they shouldn’t cross him and now he’s in a hotel with dynamite by him. While it may be dark, the melody is full of jazz vibes, and it’s just the Steely Dan we’ve come to know and love.
24. Leave Oregon – Tyler Stenson
Tyler Stenson makes the list with Leave Oregon, which was released in 2010 on the album Long Before The Wheel. When he moved to Nashville, Tennessee, this was the first song that he wrote, and it was dedicated to all of his friends and family back home in Oregon. It’s a loving track and heartwarming as he talks about how much he loves his family.
25. Portland Rain – Everclear
Last up on our list is Everclear with Portland Rain, which is from the Welcome To The Drama Club. For those who don’t know, they are from Portland, so it’s natural for them to write about the city. In this song, the guy knows his wife is going to leave him and he’s begging her to stay.
He wants things to work out between them and mentions how sad it was because their breaking up was making their daughter cry, and he was outside in the rain in Portland when his woman left him.
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.