West Virginia is a state that is often overlooked when it comes to music. However, the state has a rich history in traditional Appalachian music that has influenced many genres. From bluegrass to country, West Virginia has produced some of the most iconic musicians and songs of all time. In this article, we will explore some of the best song lyrics that have come out of West Virginia.
The History of Appalachian Music
Appalachian music is a genre that has its roots in the Appalachian Mountains, which stretches from Alabama to Maine. The music is a blend of European, African, and Native American traditions that were brought over by settlers in the 18th and 19th centuries. The first recorded Appalachian music was in the mid-1920s, with the emergence of radio and phonographs. The music gained popularity during the Great Depression when people were looking for an escape from their struggles.
The Influences of West Virginia
West Virginia has played a crucial role in the development of Appalachian music. The state is home to the famous Carter Family, who were pioneers of country music. They are best known for their hit song, “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” which has become a staple in the genre. Other influential musicians from West Virginia include Hazel Dickens, who was a pioneer in bluegrass music, and Bill Withers, who was a soul singer.
The Best Song Lyrics from West Virginia
Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver
“Almost heaven, West Virginia, Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River. Life is old there, older than the trees, younger than the mountains, blowing like a breeze.” This song is perhaps the most iconic song about West Virginia. John Denver’s 1971 hit captures the beauty and simplicity of the state perfectly. The song has become an anthem for West Virginians and is played at every major sporting event in the state.
The Devil Went Down to Georgia by The Charlie Daniels Band
“The devil went down to Georgia, he was looking for a soul to steal. He was in a bind ’cause he was way behind, and he was willing to make a deal.” While this song isn’t about West Virginia specifically, it is a staple in Appalachian music. The song tells the story of a fiddling contest between the devil and a young boy named Johnny. The song has become a classic and is played at many events throughout the region.
Coal Miner’s Daughter by Loretta Lynn
“Well, I was born a coal miner’s daughter, in a cabin on a hill in Butcher Holler. We were poor but we had love, that’s the one thing that daddy made sure of.” Loretta Lynn is a country music legend from Butcher Hollow, Kentucky, which is just across the border from West Virginia. This song tells the story of her upbringing in a coal mining family and the struggles that came with it. The song has become an anthem for working-class families throughout the region.
Tips for Exploring West Virginia’s Music Scene
If you are interested in exploring West Virginia’s music scene, there are a few tips to keep in mind. First, attend a bluegrass festival. West Virginia is home to many bluegrass festivals throughout the year, and they are a great way to experience the music firsthand. Second, visit the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. While not in West Virginia, the museum has an extensive collection of artifacts and exhibits about the state’s music history. Finally, check out local bars and music venues. Many up-and-coming musicians perform in small venues throughout the state, and you never know who you might discover.
West Virginia has a rich history in traditional Appalachian music, and it has influenced many genres throughout the years. From bluegrass to country, the state has produced some of the most iconic musicians and songs of all time. Whether you are a fan of the classics or are looking for new music to discover, West Virginia’s music scene is worth exploring.