10 Of The Best Songs About New Hampshire: Granite State Playlist

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Written by Laura Macmillan
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The world outside our home is a vast place. We can only hope we have the time and resources to be able to go whenever we please. But that doesn’t mean we can’t discover things about a certain place.

Today, we’re on to New Hampshire. With a population of nearly 1.4 million, it 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 this state, we’re here to help. Read on as we look at 10 of the best songs about New Hampshire. 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.” Is there a more commanding title than this one?

The title is more than just a strong statement though. “Live free or die” is also the official state motto of New Hampshire. It was adopted in 1945 and is considered one of the most well-known state mottos in the U.S.

In the song, 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 song “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 instruments, 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

American rock band Sonic Youth’s “New Hampshire” came out in 2004. It 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 their 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 to the title comes clear as it mentions two boys from New Hampshire: Steve and Joe.

Turns out these boys are Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith. They met in Sunapee, New Hampshire, as they started the band.

4. “Okay Alright” By Moe

Sticking with rock, Moe’s “Okay Alright” is an easy relaxation into 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 UNH (University of New Hampshire). He wants to travel to Los Angeles and feels 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

Up next is a song with “New Hampshire” in the title. This one by Andy Leftwich is titled “Leaving New Hampshire” and is instrumental. Once you heard it, you might remember hearing it from somewhere else.

In this song, 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

We’ve got another instrumental track, this time by Below the Sea. “New Hampshire’s Coast” will leave one wondering if the glory of New Hampshire is possibly too intricate to capture by 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 songs, “New Hampshire’s Coast” is still a haunting testament to the state.

7. “New Hampshire You’re My Home” By Beverly Rush

Our next song mentions New Hampshire as one’s home. Beverly Rush’s “New Hampshire You’re My Home,” says it flawlessly. The cover of this song shows off some of the many sights you’ll find in the naturally-beautiful Granite State.

This song focuses lyrically on these many sights and praises the gorgeous state at all times of the year. It’s a touching dedication to New Hampshire as it highlights local culture, music, and the deep history of the state.

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

Up next is the only comedic track on this list. The Super Secret Project‘s “Granite State of Mind” is certainly worth remembering. While 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 a strong tribute to New Hampshire.

With hilarious lyrics and references only New Hampshire locals could understand, the song is quite memorable. Maybe because it’s a parody of Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’ “Empire State of Mind.”

A song with New Hampshire in the lyrics goes like this: “New Hampshire, land where there’s no income or sales tax/There’s nothing much to do.” The references to other places in the state were clever and the duo nailed the song.

9. “New Hampshire” By John Linnell

Coming from John Linnell’s album State Songs which is made up entirely of songs named after and inspired by 15 different states, “New Hampshire” focuses on an ostracized man.

This song has a somewhat-comedic tone to it as well, though a sickly one. It revolves around a New Hampshire man whom everyone wants to avoid. He longs to be invited into a house. Though he scares the inhabitants, he’s eventually welcomed in but people back away from him.

No one wants to be friends with him. In fact, as the song says, “No one likes New Hampshire man.”

10. “Escape From New Hampshire” By Boscoden

Finally, we have Boscoden’s 2007 single, “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 play on 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? Rest assured that we’ll update this from time to time, in case new songs about the state come up. In the meantime, we hope you liked the list we have compiled for you.

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Laura has over 12 years experience teaching both classical and jazz saxophone and clarinet. She now resides in California where she works as a session and live performer.