Every state across the country has its own type of music that makes it what it is. In a multi-part series, American Songwriter will take a look at each of the 50 states and the music that emanates from each of the various and unique landscapes.
Next stop: Connecticut
A place where the towns are quaint, the history is rich, and the culture is distinctly American, Connecticut is a breeding ground for art, invention, discovery, and, above all, music. The state has no one identifiable sound but is home to and nurturer of various acts and genres.
Making up America’s Songbook, here is a playlist of songs for Connecticut about the state and by the statesmen.
1. “Yankee Doodle”
“Yankee Doodle” feels like America’s song, but only one state has claimed it as its very own. Connecticut’s official anthem, the now patriotic tune predates the American Revolution and was originally sung by British militia as a way of mocking the colonials, or “Yankees.”
Early colonials adopted the tune as their own once it became associated with America’s victory against the British in the Revolutionary War.
2. “Gravity” – John Mayer
Rock heartthrob John Mayer is Connecticut-bred. He spent his formative years in the state, learning to play to guitar at a young age, and performing in local bars and venues while still in high school.
In a 2019 social media post, he shared a memory from his Fairfield days, writing, “June 1995, Fairfield, CT. That’s me in my high school band playing our graduation ceremony. I didn’t actually get my diploma that day, as I was a terrible student who was only interested in playing the guitar and writing songs. So let this be a lesson to all young people everywhere – if you follow your dreams and stay focused, one day you too can go to summer school.”
3. “The Wives Are In Connecticut” – Carly Simon
New York native Carly Simon paints an odd portrait of outer-city suburban life in “The Wives Are In Connecticut.” She details a cheating husband, galavanting around the Big Apple, who is still wondering if his wife back at home in Connecticut is with another man—the carpenter, the mechanic, the gardener, their son’s teacher.
Playlist for Connecticut
“We’ve Only Just Begun” – The Carpenters
“The Wives Are In Connecticut” – Carly Simon
“Gravity” – John Mayer
“How Am I Supposed to Love Without You” – Michael Bolton
“Connecticut Fun” – Punkestra
“I Was Made For Lovin’ You” – KISS (by way of Vinnie Vincent)
“Connie’s Got Connections in Connecticut” – Hoosier Hot Shots
“Why Can’t I?”Liz Phair
“Connecticut” – Judy Garland and Bing Crosby
“Rosanna” – Toto (by way of Jeff Porcaro)
“Señor Blues” – Horace Silver
“Connecticut Snow” – David Stephens
“Fly” – Sugar Ray
“Kylie From Connecticut” – Ben Folds
“My Heart Stood Still” – Judy Collins