50 States of Song Part 2: Hawaii to Maryland
When I was in third grade I learned all 50 states in alphabetical order thanks to a catchy tune. Now I'm hoping to stick that bit of trivia just in time for the new school year by celebrating each state with an appropriate song all this week.
Hawaii: A Classic Education, "We Can Always Run to Hawaii"
I really wanted to avoid the typical surf stuff that people always associate with Hawaii. Not that there's anything wrong with surfing or surf music, but to me it's always selling the idea of Hawaii as some sort of very specific cloud in Heaven. That's why I like this Classic Education song so much. It's not about Hawaii, but the assumption of the place as a kind of endless paradise in the minds of those who have never seen it.
Idaho: Rednex, "Nowhere in Idaho"
I love Rednex. There, I said it. I will sit around and listen to their electronic hee-haw all the dingalong day because it's cheesy, infectious, and all around fun stuff. This is actually one of their almost completely traditional country outings with no dancey-dance to be found, but it's a good bit all the same.
Illinois: The Handsome Family, "The Giant of Illinois"
You've got to love a band that can spin a wonderful murder ballad like The Handsome Family can. Here they tell the tale of Robert Wadlow, the world's tallest man who hailed from Illinois, just as Handsome Family does. He died suddenly at the age of 22 when an infected blister turned septic. He was just shy of nine feet tall at his death, and no one could have asked for a better tribute song than this one.
The geographical fun continues on the next page.