From ivy league universities and lush farmland to a stunning coast on the Atlantic Ocean’s Long Island Sound, Connecticut has a bit of everything. And this is a state smaller than California, Texas, or Florida, making its regional diversity even more impressive.
Of course, a state with history like this one would have inspired some music over the years. From patriotic concert-band stylings to hip-hop to crooning, the Constitution State has inspired a little bit of everything!
In this post of the best songs about Connecticut, we’ve put together a list that showcases the eclectic influences that have inspired countless songwriters.
1. “Yankee Doodle” (Connecticut State Song)
Up first, we have Yankee Doodle which is a patriotic song throughout the US, but only Connecticut gets to call it their state song.
It’s an all-American piece of music that is simultaneously patriotic, a little goofy, and proud. All of these aspects make sense when considering the song’s history.
It is believed to have been penned in the 1700s amidst tensions between indigenous populations, patriots, and New Englanders. Some say the lyrics poke fun at the outfits New England soldiers wore.
Still, this region is proud of its history, and the majority of Connecticut residents call themselves New Englanders.
2. “Connecticut” by Judy Garland and Bing Crosby
Judy Garland and Bing Crosby are both well-known and respected individually, so it’s no wonder good things happen when the two vocalists pair up for a number!
The song “Connecticut” appears on Crosby’s 1948 Decca Records release “Bing Crosby Sings with Judy Garland, Mary Martin, Johnny Mercer”, which features Garland amongst the other guests.
“Connecticut” is all about singing the state’s praises, mentioning Yale University and the citizens of the state.
The song discusses other towns and regions worldwide and eventually concludes that we’d be better off staying in Connecticut.
3. “Boola Boola” by Allan M. Hirsh
Connecticut is known for its colleges and universities, the most famous of which is the Ivy League Yale University in New Haven. The school has a storied reputation and is one of the oldest schools in the country, founded in 1701.
“Boola Boola” is the university’s official football song and has become more widely associated with the university in general and its home state, Connecticut.
The song was composed in 1901, based on an earlier composition, and immediately received great feedback. It was even played by legendary composer and musician John Philip Sousa, and sheet music for the song was the most widely sold in the United States for a period.
4. “Connecticut Snow” by David Stephens
“Connecticut Snow” is a folky and melancholy song about brutal New England winters. It has a simple sensibility that harkens back to the Americana folk songs of the past but is recorded and performed in a modern manner. This gives David Stephens’ piece a timeless quality.
The composer describes staying in to write a song while many other folks are stuck walking and driving through a blizzard.
Stephens notes the natural beauty but is quick to point out how harsh and deadly it can be.
5. “The Wives Are In Connecticut” by Carly Simon
Carly Simon’s 1985 R&B/pop hit “The Wives are in Connecticut” is a timepiece for popular music from this era. 1980s drum sounds, catchy lyrics, and a moderate but energetic tempo contrast the song’s lyrics about infidelity and relationship woes.
Despite the name focusing on the wives of Connecticut, the emphasis of this story is really on the husbands who are nowhere to be found.
This song is both a quirky look at the nature of nuclear family relationships and a frivolous tale of what people become drawn to when neglected.
As the man explains his infidelity away to his date, he ponders whether his wife at home is doing the same with a laundry list of men who may have caught her eye.
6. “Connecticut Fun” by Punkestra
“Connecticut Fun” isn’t the most popular song out there, but it does have a cult following. It’s big in Connecticut, as a kind of punk-anthem for the state.
In a traditional punk style, the song features simplistic lyrics that are easy to rally around. There are handclaps, distorted guitars, and singing that sometimes come close to the spoken word.
While “Connecticut Fun” is punk at heart, its lyrics and candor remain more wholesome than certain other songs from the genre, a fact that pairs well with a state that’s often considered one of the most tranquil and upstanding in the nation.
7. “Connecticut” by Superchunk
While it makes sense that most of these songs have Connecticut in their titles, it’s incredible how many musical numbers have been titled just “Connecticut” without any extra description.
Amongst them is this piece by rock group Superchunk from North Carolina, who recorded this song in 1995.
“Connecticut” features heavy rhythms and sparse yet connected lyrics about returning to “home,” which is presumably Connecticut. There aren’t as many other lyrics that confirm this, except for references to being “by the water.”
What does the catchy yet enigmatic tune mean? Take a listen and try to solve the mystery!
8. “Connecticut” by Artie Shaw
Early clarinetist and celebrity of swing Artie Shaw was a bandleader who toured extensively. His popular tunes walked a fine line between the big band era and the jazz traditions that followed this.
This take on “Connecticut” is the same classic tune that Bing Crosby and Judy Garland so eloquently covered. Don’t skip out on either version, though!
Since this take is recorded by the influential clarinetist, it features more instrumental music than any of the other songs on this list.
The lyrics and catchy melody reemerge halfway through the song, after a beautiful instrumental interlude by Shaw and his band.
9. “Connecticut Oberek” by Jimmy Sturr
“Connecticut Oberek” is another large ensemble tribute to the state of Connecticut, but it’s not the kind of jazz big band heard on Artie Shaw’s classic.
Jimmy Sturr is a grammy-winning cross-genre artist. This particular song comes from his 1998 album Let the Whole World Singwhich produced several geography-influenced hits highlighting locations around the globe.
While it’s an instrumental piece, you might want to sing along after your first listen or 2!
10. “Connecticut Breakdown” by Lodeck
This 2003 piece is another lesser-known number, but I’m happy to showcase it on this list since it differs from many others. Lodeck is a hip-hop producer with a 90s aesthetic while approaching modern concepts and styles.
“Connecticut Breakdown” features a deep groove, with samples and intriguing reverse-sounding accompaniment to its vocals.
Lodeck is now based out of New York City, but this song talks about locations a few hours north across the state border of Connecticut.
Summing Up Our List of Connecticut Songs
From the hallowed halls of Yale and Connecticut College to the beautiful vistas of Long Island Sound, Connecticut is a place that inspires with its natural beauty, but not without a youthful and edgy undercurrent.
These sentiments and more are summed up in the ten songs we just described.
Whether you’re nostalgic for the state or just curious about its overall character from afar, have a listen to learn more! You won’t regret it.