If you’re from the Sunshine State, your ears will prick up whenever you hear songs about Florida.
It’s where you always feel like you’re on vacation, and listening to Florida songs emphasizes that lazy summer holiday feeling.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane, pick out some favorite songs about Florida and dig a little deeper.
You may discover little-known or surprising details about the artists and the deeper meanings of the lyrics while you sing along with the best Florida songs.
You can celebrate the Sunshine State with a host of songs about Florida, ranging in genre from rock to country to pop and more.
If you want to add some sunshine to your day and learn more about some popular Florida songs, you’ve come to the right place.
Best Songs About Florida
Looking for a list of songs for your Florida playlist? Read on!
Most Famous Songs About Florida
1. The Everglades
Harlan Howard wrote The Everglades, and Waylon Jennings was one of several country singers to record it.
This country song is a story about a nice young man who makes one bad choice and stabs someone in a fit of jealousy.
He flees into the Everglades (a fantastic place to visit in Florida), leaving his girlfriend and family behind.
He has to keep running from the police, the “skeeters,” and the gators, but he can live in the Everglades and evade the police.
His girlfriend eventually gets married, and his family believes he is dead. One poor choice caused him a lifetime of trouble.
Read next: National Parks in Florida
2. Old Folks At Home
Stephen Foster wrote Old Folks At Home as a minstrel song for E.P. Christy in 1851.
This melancholy song, also known as Suwannee River, became the Florida state song in 1935, but thankfully, some of the lyrics have been revised.
Foster wrote the song in the first person, supposedly as an African slave, but some terminology was quite offensive.
Based on Foster’s letters to Christy, he hoped to inspire compassion and pity for the slaves of that era, but most minstrel shows resulted in much ridicule of the black folk performing them.
In 2008 Florida held a contest to find a new state song, and the winning composition was Florida (Where the Sawgrass Meets the Sky).
This became the state anthem, but Florida retained the revised Old Folks at Home as the state song.
3. Ocean Avenue
Ocean Avenue was a massive success for the pop-punk band Yellow Card.
The band members are Florida natives, and the song finds them remembering their younger days hanging out on Ocean Boulevard at Atlantic Beach, Jacksonville.
The writer, Ryan Key, changed the word “Boulevard” to “Avenue” for better rhyming.
This popular song represents the band members wanting to return to that era when they hung out and spent time writing songs.
The music video showed Ryan Key stuck in a time loop, and it went on to win awards and was used in an episode of the reality series Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County.
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4. The Florida Song
Ricky Sylvia wrote and performed the Florida Song, which sounds more like an advertising jingle for drawing tourists to Florida than gig material.
The Florida Song goes into detail about the holiday lifestyle and tourist attractions of the Sunshine State.
However, it went down very well with the governor at the time, Charlie Crist, who invited Ricky and his band, the Buzzcats, to sing at his wedding.
He was thrilled that the band performed the Florida Song. Ricky is (clearly) a Florida native, and Florida had (clearly) won the Pennsylvania-born governor’s heart.
5. Swimming In Miami
Adam R. Young, the lead vocalist of Owl City, wrote this somewhat strange but fun song about Miami.
It sounds like a dream or fantasy, but some people believe it’s about drugs and depression, with the cargo airplane and oil tanker representing syringes.
It’s not likely that Swimming in Miami represents drugs, as Adam Young has a solid Christian faith, which he says is the only thing more important than his music.
He plays multiple instruments and is the only constant member of Owl City.
Old Songs About Florida
The name of the Jimmy Buffet song (and album), Floridays, came from Don Blanding’s 1941 poetry collection.
This title track was one of the last of Buffet’s country-type songs that he wrote and recorded before changing his style back to what he calls his “Gulf and Western” or tropical rock. His fans call themselves Parrotheads.
Floridays is a nostalgic song, with the writer (Buffet) looking back at his days in Florida as the happiest and most fulfilling.
After a time of being away, he returns to the Sunshine State and is looking for better days. Floridays are better days.
7. Mainline Florida
George Terry wrote this Florida song, Mainline Florida, but it only gained popularity when Eric Clapton included it on his studio-recorded album, 461 Ocean Boulevard.
This pop-rock tune did well on four national charts, including the Billboards Hot 100.
Singer Eric Clapton took three years off to deal with addiction issues.
By the time he released Mainline Florida, he had conquered his heroin addiction, so many fans believe that the “mainline” relates to that.
But the Florida Turnpike is also called the Florida Mainline, so we will just have to carry on wondering which one it’s referring to.
8. Key Largo
Florida native Bertie Higgins had a one-hit wonder with Key Largo. The track lasted 17 weeks on the Top 40 and reached its peak at number 8 on the Billboards Hot 100.
The song’s storyline seemed to run parallel to what was happening in Higgins’ life at the time.
After a broken relationship, he tried to win his lover, reminding her how they used to watch and reenact all the old romantic movies.
The song references Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart in the 1948 movies Key Largo and Casablanca. In the music video, and apparently in real life, Higgins seemed to reconcile with his ladylove.
9. Florida Blues
Florida Blues is one of the old bluegrass Florida songs played by Ricky Skaggs. Fiddlin’ Arthur Smith composed the uptempo instrumental melody in 1937, and Skaggs only covered it years later.
Ricky Skaggs has been playing music since he was five years old and appeared on stage for the first time at six.
So far, his career has spanned six decades, and he is still active! Skaggs has collaborated with many country legends and also got involved with producing albums.
Skaggs plays numerous musical instruments, including his primary one, the mandolin, fiddle, banjo, guitar, and mandocaster.
Surprise, surprise! Another Florida country song, but this one was written by Greg Keelor and Jim Cuddy, two of the original band members of Blue Rodeo.
Keelor and Cuddy started the band in 1984 and are still active, while others have come and gone.
This Florida song is a true story about a guy taking a trip to Florida with his girlfriend and best friend. It wasn’t long before the two were making out in the back of the car.
He tried to be strong but felt very blue about the situation. He remembered that it was supposed to be a vacation, but he couldn’t really remember it being fun.
The Beach Boys had the world tapping its feet and bobbing around since they released what must be one of the catchiest Florida songs ever decades ago.
The song was written by John Phillips, Mike Love, Scott McKenzie, and Terry Melcher and is part of the soundtrack for the movie Cocktail. It reached number one in the Top 20.
The song is about two lovers going to Kokomo, an imaginary island close to the Florida Keys.
Although Kokomo is fictional, the chorus refers to several genuine Caribbean islands. It has an authentic island vibe, with the entire song describing a relaxing vacation in a beach town in Florida.
12. Florida Time
Bob Seger wrote and performed the song Florida Time. This song almost has a Beach Boys vibe to it. It tells the story of a group of friends heading to Florida, looking for a good time.
They’re looking forward to meeting girls and spending time at the beach. They’re excited about their “Florida time.”
Bob Seger’s career has spanned more than fifty years, and he is a household name to several generations.
He never considered his music career work! His last tour was in 2019, and he has yet to retire from the music industry officially.
Newer Songs About Florida
13. If I Could Do It Again
Singer-songwriter Corey Smith wrote and recorded If I Could Do it Again. This is another of those nostalgic Florida songs, with the singer reminiscing on his road trip with his best friend.
As they head for Panama City on the back of someone’s pick-up truck, their only goal is to have some wild fun to celebrate finishing their senior year.
Drinking played a big part in their plans because they had a beer-filled suitcase.
The friends enjoyed wild parties and one-night stands, despite the singer having a girlfriend back home. He regrets nothing and insists he would do it again if he could!
As it turns out, there are numerous Florida songs called (surprisingly) Florida! One of those is Patty Griffin’s version, which she wrote and performed.
This song was released in 2004 in the album Impossible Dream.
This Florida country song seems to convey the thoughts of a slightly cynical woman who has been disappointed by love and life.
She watches the young girls that stream into Florida to have the time of their lives, probably reflecting that she was once like that.
She is stuck in a rut, doing the same meaningless job every day and getting paid by some unknown boss.
Now her dreams have dissolved, but she still sticks around, although she’s unsure why. She’s sad and lonely.
15. Florida Rain
Singer-songwriter Matt Bauer plays a lot of banjo in his music, which you can categorize as bluegrass, early country, and traditional mountain music.
Matt Bauer’s entire album, The Island Moved in the Storm, revolves around a mysterious young woman discovered dead on a dirt road in Kentucky in 1968.
Bauer grew up where “Tent Girl” was last seen alive. The media called her Tent Girl because she was found wrapped in a piece of canvas.
It was decades before authorities learned her name was Barbara Anne Hackman Taylor.
Florida Rain seems to acknowledge the terrible trauma that Barbara Anne went through. It’s definitely one of the saddest Florida songs.
16. The Perfect Florida Song
Don Grooms was born in Cherokee, North Carolina, and taught Journalism at the University of Florida in Gainesville.
He was a singer-songwriter who wrote about Florida, Native Americans, and being a good person.
Don Grooms wrote and performed The Perfect Florida Song, a folk song about loving Florida, even though he wasn’t born there.
The Perfect Florida Song is a fun song incorporating some of Groom’s own story of his place of birth and heritage.
He had Cherokee and Appalachian heritage but loved Florida as if it was his home state. We’re not too sure why it was called The Perfect Florida Song, though.
17. Alligator Stroll
Sandra Boynton wrote this playful Florida country song that Josh Turner performed. It’s a fun song for children and adults about an alligator living beside the Kissimmee River.
The gator strolls through the Everglades, to the beat of his own drum, with a 75-tooth grin.
The music video has Turner and a few other adults leading a bunch of kids in the dance of the Alligator Stroll.
Josh Turner is a legendary country and gospel singer with a deep baritone voice that has received many award nominations.
Doctors discovered that he had a lesion on one vocal cord, and he had to give his voice a rest for a year, learning to sing and talk again through vocal rehabilitation.
18. Florida Man
Blue Oyster Cult’s Buck Dharma Roeser and John Shirley wrote this bizarre song about the proverbial Florida man.
Floridians often find themselves in the news, having committed some horrible crime or act of madness.
Many attribute this to the steamy climate or the large population, but Blue Oyster has another theory on why Florida people seem so notoriously crazy.
The band suggests that centuries ago, a Seminole medicine man cursed a conquistador that claimed Florida and mistreated the Native American population that had been there since time immemorial.
He also cursed all the conquistador’s future descendants with madness.
More Florida Songs You Want to Listen
- Florida Georgia Line by Brian Kelley (from Ormond Beach)
- Key West (Philosopher Pirate) by Bob Dylan
- Miami 2017 by Billy Joel
- Deep Down in Florida by Muddy Waters (one of the best blues songs about Florida)
We know there are hundreds of songs about Florida, but bear with us. We will update this article often. Did we miss your favorite Florida song? Then let us know in the comments! We’d love to hear from you!
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