Forget, for a moment, about “Rocky Mountain High.”
Colorado has long inspired iconic singers and songwriters, from Merle Haggard to Johnny Cash to John Denver. But it doesn’t end there.
In more recent years, plenty of songs have added to the catalog of Colorado- themed tunes. Our home has been name-dropped by Neil Young, who called his 2019 album “Colorado,” and rapper Tech N9Ne.
Here are eight newer songs to add to your Colorado proud playlist.
“She’d trade Colorado if he’d take her with him,” opens the Zac Brown Band ballad. That’s the first of only two times that Colorado is mentioned in “Colder Weather.” But that’s all it takes for this to be a super memorable Colorado song.
Florida Georgia Line singers Brian Kelly and Tyler Hubbard thank their “friends from Tennessee” for a supply of Jack Daniel’s whiskey. It only makes sense that they thank their “friends from Colorado” for a supply of something else. More details here: “Since you said you didn’t love me, since you hung me out to dry,” the song goes. “I’ve been drunk up in the Smokies on a Rocky Mountain high.”
I know I’m not alone in saying this hit by the Chainsmokers and Halsey was stuck in my head for an entire summer. I didn’t even have to look up the lyrics to remember about that “roommate back in Boulder.”
Colorado’s own folk singer Gregory Alan Isakov wrote this one while on a camping trip near the Great Sand Dunes. An accompanying music video shows footage from that trip, too.
“Left for Denver”
Here’s a heartbreaker from The Lumineers. On the latest album from the Colorado natives, “Left for Denver” continues story of the fictional Junior Sparks, who was born into a cycle of domestic and substance abuse. On this emotional track, he questions his mother, saying, “What made you leave?”
”Colorado” by Paper Bird
Paper Bird is no longer a band, but this catchy and bluegrass-leaning song remains as a shout-out to the group’s home state. On “Colorado,” they sing, “Escape the city in the Rocky Mountain way.”
This song is about memories that stick out and you’d maybe rather forget. But it doesn’t sound like Dan + Shay would ever regret being “sky high in Colorado.” There’s something about how the duo sings that line that’s so beautiful and satisfying to sing along to.
The Cerny Brothers hail from the Midwest, but there’s something about Colorado that has a hold on them.
At least that’s what it sounds like. “When I come back to Denver,” the song goes. “will you treat me the same?”