The Most Popular Kentucky Derby Songs

Johnny Cash

Falling around Spring time each year, the Kentucky Derby is the most famous equestrian event in US sports, with people rallying from across the world to watch the event. While its only 2 minutes, it is some of the most anticipated and exciting 2 minutes that goes down in history, in which the likes of the British royal family, famous chefs, TV personalities and NFL stars have all been seen attending throughout the years.

The event itself could be compared to the Golden Globe awards in the television world, with extensive galas being held across the weekend of the Kentucky Derby. These galas are attended by the rich and famous, in which no expense is spared for glamorous outfits, stylish vehicles to arrive in and michelin star food being served.

For those not lucky enough to be on the gala invite list, it’s still easy to get involved in the riches on the event by placing Kentucky Derby odds online. Why not throw a Kentucky Derby party this May to celebrate the weekend with friends and family. It may not be as glamorous as the galas or the event in Louisville itself, however there’s nothing stopping you pulling out all the stops to host the most glamorous Kentucky Derby party at home.

If you are planning a party, it’s time to begin putting together your playlist ahead of time. Below, we’ve got you covered with the most popular Kentucky Derby songs to go on your party playlist this year.

My Old Kentucky Home – Johnny Cash

Originally composed by Steven Foster, My Old Kentucky Home is a Kentucky Derby classic that is involved in many people’s celebrations each year. Believed by historians to be an anti-slavery song, My Old Kentucky Home was written based on the novel ‘Uncle Sam’s Cabin’ which told the story of a black american who was sold as a slave in the deep South and had to leave behind his home and family.

While the history of the song is rooted in the harsh reality that black Americans faced as slaves in the south around the 1800’s, today the song is seen by many as patriotism for the state of Kentucky, in which those from the state take deep pride in singing and playing the song.

While it is argued by some that the song is no longer appropriate in modern times and causes offense to some, it is still considered a classic for the Kentucky Derby celebrations and is held close to many Americans’ hearts.

The Gambler – Kenny Rogers

Gambling and horse racing go hand in hand and each year, thousands of people across the country get involved in bets on which horse will win the race. It’s one of the biggest sports betting events of the year, in which there was a record breaking betting handle of $179 million on a pari-mutuel pool. The song ‘The Gambler’ by Kenny Rogers is all about celebrating taking risks and making the most of life, and the Kentucky Derby certainly signifies that.

As such, it is tradition for The Gambler to be played at the event each year and to also be played by Americans across the country to get in the spirit of such festivities.

Horse with No Name – America

While it’s great to have a pumping and patriotic Kentucky Derby party playlist, every playlist needs a song to wind down and evoke everyone’s emotions. Perhaps a great one for once the race is over, Horse with No Name is a folk song that plucks at the heart strings of even the most stone faced people at the party.

Telling the tale of a man who rides a horse with no name through the desert, the man looks forward to the isolation and space for society, yet as he reaches the ocean he gets a sense of loneliness and solitude as he yearns for love and company again.

It may not be for the steaming parties where the beer is on tap and the speakers are out and proud but it’s a great one for winding down a family friendly barbeque after a long day of celebrations.

Run for the Roses – Dan Fogelberg

Run for the Roses is a Kentucky Derby classic that never fails to get the crowds pumped up for the main event. With lyrics like “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance in a lifetime of chances” and “Now it’s past time for you to participate in the fun.”, it signifies the possibilities and excitement of the Kentucky Derby and celebrates everything the event has to offer.

This song should be at the beginning of every great Kentucky Derby playlist and is a sure fire way to get your guests in the mood to party and have a great time.

Overall, the Kentucky Derby is an exciting event that millions of Americans get involved in every year. In fact, people from all over the world travel to the US to attend the event too, in which music plays a huge part in getting everyone in the mood to celebrate and signifies patriotism, history and the deep roots of the event.

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