With a population of nearly 1.4 million, New Hampshire is a bustling state with plenty of passionate people. But when you turn to the world of art, it’s a little harder to find songs about the Granite State!
If you’ve been looking for some songs about New Hampshire, we’re here to help. Read on as we look at our ten favorite songs about the state. Let’s get started.
1. “Live Free or Die” by Bill Morrissey
First on our list is the Bill Morrissey track “Live Free or Die,” and is there such thing as a more commanding title?
The title is more than just a strong statement, as “Live free or die” is also the official state motto of New Hampshire, adopted in 1945 and considered one of the most well-known state mottos in the U.S.
In the song, Bill Morrissey turns the statement into a slight perversion. The 1984 track is told from the point of view of someone doing up to two decades in prison in the Granite State. It’s a swanky country tune that’s as well-known as the motto itself.
2. “Emperor of New Hampshire” by James Parkington
As relaxing as the scenery of the state is the acoustic tune “Emperor of New Hampshire” by James Parkington. There isn’t anything to speak of lyrically, as the song is fully instrumental. Still, with only the instrumentation, the serene nature of life in New Hampshire is evoked.
Throughout the song, the track slowly builds up its instrumentation. Beginning with only an acoustic guitar, the song blossoms into banjo, piano, drums, and more through its runtime.
If you have a taste for bluegrass, this will likely be your favorite song on our list. It’s a lovely instrumental track to remind you of the Granite State.
3. “New Hampshire” by Sonic Youth
Sonic Youth’s “New Hampshire” came out in 2004 but pulls from classic rock enough that one might think the song is from a decade or so earlier.
Considered to be one of Sonic Youth’s more experimental albums, “New Hampshire” found a home in the hearts of plenty of Youth fans.
It takes a moment for the vocals to kick in, but the first minute is an entrancing growth of instrumentals. In the third voice, the reference for the title comes clear as it mentions two boys from New Hampshire, Steve, and Joe.
The two boys referenced are Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, who met in Sunapee, New Hampshire, as they started the band.
Sonic Youth has several references to Aerosmith, with a 7” single released in 2002 that has two instrumental tracks named after Aerosmith songs.
4. “Okay Alright” by Moe
Sticking with rock, Moe’s “Okay Alright” is an easy relaxation into a 1980s nostalgia. The song mentions this nostalgia directly, discussing the summer of 1988.
In the opening verse, the narrator talks about leaving someone named Suzie and the University of New Hampshire.
Through the song, the narrator talks about traveling to Los Angeles and feeling better now that their previous life is in the rearview mirror. Ruminating on old friends and substance use, the song holds a heavy thread of lost innocence.
The instrumentation is bright and groovy, while the lyrics leave a tone of sorrow. It’s a mix-match of emotions, but it’s all about New Hampshire through and through.
5. “Leaving New Hampshire” by Andy Leftwich
Speaking of leaving New Hampshire, we have Andy Leftwich’s “Leaving New Hampshire.” Leftwich comes through with a bluegrass track that brings a hint of Appalachia to the Granite State.
Lyricless, this song primarily features banjo, fiddle, and a few other sparse instruments. It’s the perfect theme song for driving out of the state and onto your next lovely destination.
6. “New Hampshire’s Coast” by Below the Sea
Below the Sea’s “New Hampshire’s Coast” is another instrumental track, leaving one wondering if the glory of New Hampshire is possibly too intricate to capture into words.
Whatever the case, Below the Sea does an astounding job of capturing the state’s beauty in its quiet instrumental.
Somewhat somber, the effect-heavy track primarily features a lone electric guitar humming away. It’s a perfect nighttime track to pass time as an ambient soundscape with its ethereal hums.
While not the most well-known of tracks, Below the Sea’s “New Hampshire’s Coast” is still a haunting testament to the state.
7. “New Hampshire You’re My Home” by Beverly Rush
The seventh song is Beverly Rush’s “New Hampshire You’re my Home,” and the title says it flawlessly. The cover of this song shows off some of the many sights you’ll find in the naturally-beautiful Granite State.
“New Hampshire You’re My Home” focuses lyrically on these many sights as well, praising the gorgeous state at all times of the year. Highlighting local culture, music, and the deep history of the state, it’s a touching dedication to New Hampshire.
Whether you’re a lifelong local or a visitor, it’s an unforgettable testament to the gripping beauty of the Granite State.
8. “Granite State of Mind” by The Super Secret Project
The Super Secret Project has the only comedic track on this list, and it’s certainly one worth remembering.
While relatively more recent than most of the songs on this list, it’s also one of the more popular tracks! With millions of views and listens, this parody track is as strong a tribute to New Hampshire as you can ask for.
With hilarious lyrics and references only New Hampshire locals could understand, the song sticks in your head deeper than you’d ever expect.
Maybe that’s because of its parodical covering of Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’ “Empire State of Mind,” with an addictive chorus and laughably similar performances.
9. “New Hampshire” by John Linnell
John Linnell’s “New Hampshire” has a somewhat-comedic tone to it as well, though a sickly one.
Coming from Linnell’s album State Songs, made up entirely of songs named after and inspired by 15 different states, “New Hampshire” focuses on an ostracized man.
New Hampshire Man sits by a window, looking inside and hoping to be invited in. Though he scares the inhabitants, he’s eventually welcomed in while people back away from him.
10. “Escape From New Hampshire” by Boscoden
Finally, we have Boscoden’s “Escape From New Hampshire,” the perfect list-ender. Inspired by thrash metal and some more classic genres, this is certainly one of the more underground tracks.
The vocals lean on the quiet side, but the instrumentation is the perfect mix of rock and classic metal.
It’s the best song you can put onto your radio for when you’re driving out of New Hampshire, especially if you never intend to return.
Summing Up Our List Of New Hampshire Songs
The Granite State is one of the most gorgeous places you can find in the United States in countless ways.
From its rich history to the fantastic art culture, you’ll never run out of things to praise.
That said, compared to some of the more romanticized states, there are fewer songs than you’d expect penned about New Hampshire!
Did we miss your favorite New Hampshire track? Feel free to let us know what we missed and we’ll add them in.