Alaska is one of the states that most people remember. After all, it isn’t a part of the Contiguous United States. Furthermore, Alaska has unusual conditions because of its northern location. As such, it shouldn’t be surprising to learn that people have penned a fair number of songs about the state.
Here are ten of the best songs about Alaska ever released:
10. “There’s No Penguins in Alaska” – Chiodos
Penguins are associated with Antarctica. However, they have a wider range than interested individuals might expect, as shown by how they live on every other continent in the Southern Hemisphere.
Still, that means this song’s title is true because penguins live roughly on the other end of the planet from Alaska. Funny enough, this song’s title doesn’t have much to do with this song’s lyrics, which paint a vivid picture of a not-so-harmonious romantic relationship.
9. “North to Alaska” – Johnny Horton
“North to Alaska” was a tie-in song for the 1960 movie of the same name. It proved to be a huge hit, so much so that it is considered one of the greatest western songs ever released.
Sadly, Johnny Horton never lived to see it because he died in a car accident just two days before the movie opened. Chances are good that interested individuals can guess the song’s lyrics are connected to the movie. Specifically, it gives some background to the story, set during the Nome Gold Rush.
8. “From Alaska to L.A.” – Wanda Jackson
Wanda Jackson is a contemporary of Elvis. Generally speaking, she is best remembered because of “Fujiyama Mama,” which was strangely popular in Japan for reasons too complicated to be detailed in a single paragraph.
However, Jackson released plenty of other songs. For instance, “From Alaska to L.A.” is more or less what it sounds like, which is to say, a song that uses contrast to excellent effect while playing with an often-used theme.
7. “Fairbanks, Alaska” – The Front Bottoms
Traveling by sea can be much easier than traveling by land. As such, it isn’t a coincidence that Anchorage is the most populous city in Alaska. Fairbanks is situated deep inland in one of the most remote regions of the United States.
Despite this, it was the second most populous city in the state for a long time, though it has now slipped to the number three position. Regardless, this song has more of a swing than most of its counterparts.
It opens with a celebration of Fairbanks’s location by making particular mention of the aurora borealis. Even so, it isn’t too long before it slips into a much more depressing sort of mood.
6. “Alaska” – Maggie Rogers
Alaska is consistently praised for its remarkable scenery. Maggie Rogers didn’t grow up in the state, but it seems safe to say that she found it memorable after visiting it as a teenager.
Most people familiar with the singer-songwriter should be at least somewhat familiar with this song. After all, “Alaska” is what got her music career started, seeing as how it went viral when it was played for Pharrell Williams at a master class at NYU.
5. “Alaska and Me” – John Denver
John Denver is one of the all-time greats. “Alaska and Me” is the first of two of his songs to make it onto this list. Its lyrics describe a couple. One grew up elsewhere before moving to Alaska, while the other grew up in the state itself.
The curious thing is that this song isn’t quite as simple as it seems on initial consideration. Instead, the lyrics make it clear it is addressed to the state at least as much as to the couple, thus making it another celebration of the Alaskan landscape.
4. “Alaska” – Dr. Dog
If people are in a more somber mood, “Alaska” could be the song for them. The lyrics don’t go into too much detail about the exact relationship of the people featured in them. However, “Alaska” does a wonderful job of capturing a sense of deep longing. Something that should be familiar to anyone who has ever been separated from their loved ones by vast geographical distances.
3. “Road to Alaska” – Bee Gees
“Road to Alaska” came out on To Whom It May Concern in 1972. It isn’t one of the Bee Gees’ best-known songs. However, it has seen a fair amount of speculation because it leaves so much unanswered.
The narrator is intent on asking a question of a woman who has captured his interest. Unfortunately, the song says nothing about what he wants to know, which can be immensely frustrating to people who prefer clarity when it comes to their entertainment.
2. “American Child” – John Denver
“American Child” would be the other John Denver song on this list. The frontier has played an important role in the American imagination since the start. The fascination has faded to some extent in modern times.
Even so, it retains some of its power, as shown by the public fascination with reality shows set in Alaska. In any case, this song paints a beautiful picture of the Alaskan landscape, which stirs up the listener’s desire for the adventure, excitement, and freedom promised by the natural world.
1. “When It’s Springtime In Alaska (It’s Forty Below)” – Johnny Horton
This song is another classic from the late 1950s and early 1960s. One could see it as a forerunner to “North to Alaska,” seeing as how it touches upon some of the same themes. For example, there is a focus on prospectors hoping to strike it rich in the state. Similarly, there is conflict over matters of the heart. This song is freer than its successor because it isn’t bound to a movie’s story. Thanks to that, it manages to be the better of the pair.
You can also read:
- 10 Awesome Songs about Arizona
- 20 Awesome Songs About Getting Older
- 10 Awesome Songs about Chickens
- The 20 Most Covered Songs of All-Time
- 20 Awesome Campfire Songs For Kids
- The 10 Best Tears for Fears Songs of All-Time