Take a Trip Through the States with Songs for Delaware—America’s Songbook

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.

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Next stop: Delaware

Delaware, also known as “The First State,” may have been the first of the original 13 states to ratify the Constitution, but it’s also the first in many other aspects. It’s also the first in beauty, beaches, chemical manufacturing, and music. Delaware has been the birthplace of and inspiration to several artists across rock, country, jazz, and classical. It’s hard to pinpoint Delaware’s signature sound, but whatever it is, that sound is good.

Making up America’s Songbook, here is a playlist of songs for Delaware about the state and by the statesmen.

1. “Delaware Slide” – George Thorogood & The Destroyers

A Delawarean, rock legend George Thorogood crafted the blues-boogie ditty “Delaware Slide,” alongside his band the Destroyers, also known as the Delaware Destroyer. In honor of, or perhaps in spite of, the state, the song was born from its native sons.

Well, I grew up with rock and roll but these blues wouldn’t leave me alone / I didn’t know what they meant ’til I ran far from home, plays the song’s closing lines before it explodes into five more minutes of high-energy, hot and syrupy rock riffs.

2. “Down Home” – Jimmie Allen

Another Delaware native, country star Jimmie Allen wrote “Down Home” as a tribute to his father who passed away in 2019. The hearts-strings-plucking tune takes Allen back to his root with an accompanying music video that was filmed around his childhood home of Milton, Delaware.

3. “Delaware” – Perry Como

Perry Como’s “Delaware” is one big tongue-in-cheek, play on words, set to a tune. Not just “The First State,” but fifteen different states are portrayed as puns throughout, like What did Della wear? and Why did Calla ‘phone ya? and Where has Ora gone?

Playlist for Delaware

“Stardust” – Clifford Brown

“Our Delaware” – George Beswick Hynson

“Delaware Slide” – George Thorogood and The Destroyers

“Hard Traveling” – Cisco Houston

“Is This Thing On?” – The Promise Ring

Dream and Variations for piano – Dorothy Rudd Moore

“School Day”s – Loudon Wainwright III

“Down Home” – Jimmie Allen

“I’m For Things You Do” – The Enfields

“Delaware” – Perry Como

“Dover” – John Flynn

“Delaware” – Arbour Season

“Rocket Shipp” – Matthew Shipp

“Hello, I’m in Delaware” – City And Colour

Photo by Gettyimages.com

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