20 Songs About Illinois

Illinois has been the subject of numerous songs over the years, from country to rock to hip-hop. Whether it’s about the state’s natural beauty, its history or its people, these songs all capture something special about the Land of Lincoln. Here are just a few of the many great songs about Illinois.

1. “Chicago (That Toddlin’ Town)” by Frank Sinatra

Starting off the list is one of the most famous songs about chicago, and Illinois as a whole. Written in 1922 by Fred Fisher, “Chicago (That Toddlin’ Town)” has been covered by many artists over the years, including Frank Sinatra, who recorded one of the most well-known versions in 1957. It’s about the city’s hustle and bustle, and how there’s always something to do in the Windy City.

2. “Tonight, Tonight” by The Smashing Pumpkins

The next song on the list is “Tonight, Tonight” by The Smashing Pumpkins. This 1996 single is from the band’s fourth album, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, and it reached number 36 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song is about a young couple in love, and how they’re going to make the most of their time together.

3. “Lookin’ Out My Back Door” by Creedence Clearwater Revival

“Lookin’ Out My Back Door” is a song by Creedence Clearwater Revival, written by the band’s lead singer, John Fogerty.

It was released in 1970 as a single from the album Cosmo’s Factory, reaching number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. You can stream it on all music platforms out there.

4. “Ballad of the Illinois Opry” by REO Speedwagon

From their Building the Bridge album, this song is a tribute to the band’s time spent growing up in Illinois and playing at the Opry. It will also teach you a little about the state’s history and what life was like back in the day. It was released in 1996 as part of their Building the Bridge album.

5. “Johnsburg, Illinois” by Tom Waits

The next song is about a small town in Illinois called Johnsburg. It was written by Tom Waits and released in 1985 on his album Swordfishtrombones. The song is a tribute to the town and its residents, specifically a woman that the singer admires.

6. “Paris Illinois” by Brett Eldredge

Brett Eldredge is a country singer from Paris, Illinois. This song is about his hometown and how much he loves coming back to visit. It was released in 2020 as part of the Sunday Drive album. It now has over 42k views on Youtube and can also be streamed on other music platforms out there.

7. “100 Chicagos” by Lupe Fiasco

The next song is “100 Chicagos” by Lupe Fiasco. It was released just this year 2022 and is about the different aspects of the city. If you’re not from Chicago, you might not get all the references but it’s still a great song. You can stream it on all music platforms out there.

8. “Made in the USA” by Lupe Fiasco

Here’s another track from the famous Chicago rapper Lupe Fiasco. “Made in the USA” is a rap song about Fiasco’s hometown, and how he’s met a lot of people from different places, but they all have something in common – they’re all American citizens despite the differences in where they’re from. You can find this track on his Drogas Light album released in 2017.

9. “My Kind Of Town” by Frank Sinatra

Frank Sinatra’s “My Kind of Town” is a classic tune that celebrates the city of Chicago. Sinatra croons about all the things he loves about the Windy City, from the friendly people to the tall buildings. This track has been covered by various artists over the years and is truly a Chicago anthem.

10. “Moline” by Pearl Jam

Pearl Jam is a rock band from Seattle, but they have a close connection to the city of Moline in Illinois.

“Moline” is a song off of Pearl Jam’s 2014 album 2014-10-17: iWireless Center, Moline, IL, USA and it pays tribute to Ament’s hometown. The track is a mellow, acoustic tune that celebrates the simple things in life like family and friends.

11. “Illinois” by The Everly Brothers

Next on the list is “Illinois” by The Everly Brothers. This track is a folk song that paints a picture of life in the rural Midwest.

The Everly Brothers sing about the simple pleasures of living in the country, like fishing and swimming in the creek. You can find this tune on their 1968 album Roots.

12. “Lake Shore Drive” by Aliotta, Haynes, and Jeremiah

Up next is a song about one of the most beautiful drives in the world: Lake Shore Drive. This song was written and released in 1971. It is an ode to the beauty of the city and its people, as well as a love letter to the state of Illinois. This would make a great road trip song!

13. “The Giant of Illinois” by The Handsome Family

“The Giant of Illinois” is a song about the state’s most famous resident: Abraham Lincoln. The Handsome Family is a country and folk duo from New Mexico, and this song is from their 1998 album, Through the Trees. This can be streamed on all music platforms out there.

14. “Cairo, Illinois” by Pokey LaFarge

Next on the list is a song about the city of Cairo, Illinois. Cairo is located in the southernmost tip of the state, and it is known as the “Gateway to the South”.

Pokey LaFarge is a singer and songwriter from Missouri, and this song is from his 2008 album, Beat, Move & Shake. You can listen to it on all major music platforms out there.

15. “Illinois” by Dan Fogelberg

Dan Fogelberg is a singer and songwriter from Illinois, and this song is from his 1974 album, Souvenirs. This is a beautiful and reflective song about the state of Illinois, its people, and its history. This now has over 100k views on Youtube so go check it out!

16. “Effington” by Ben Folds

The next song on the list is “Effington” by Ben Folds. This song is about the fictional town of Effington, Illinois. The town was created by the band for their 2008 album, Way to Normal. It’s a catchy song that you can listen to on all major music platforms.

17. “Illinois Blues” by Skip James

Skip James’ “Illinois Blues” is a classic blues song about the state of Illinois. It was originally recorded in 1931 and has been covered by various artists over the years.

It’s about the hard times that people have faced in the state, but also about the resilience of its people. This is a must-listen for any blues fan out there.

18. “Via Chicago” by Wilco

“Via Chicago” is a song by the band Wilco. It’s about the city of Chicago, and it’s one of the most beautiful and poetic songs about the city. It’s from their 1999 album, summerteeth. You can listen to it on all major music platforms out there.

19. “Come on! Feel the Ilinoise!” by Sufjan Stevens

The next song is by Sufjan Stevens and is called “Come on! Feel the Ilinoise!”. This song is about having a good time and enjoying life in the state of Illinois.

The song talks about all the different places you can go and things you can do in the state, from Chicago to Springfield. It’s a fun and upbeat song that will make you want to get up and dance.

20. “Illinois Loyalty” by Marching Illini

Wrapping up our list of songs about Illinois is “Illinois Loyalty” by the Marching Illini. This song is all about being proud to be from Illinois and showing your support for the state.

It’s a great song to sing along to when you’re feeling proud of your home state. It was released in 1999 as part of the Game Day! With the Marching Illini album.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to songs about Illinois, there are a few that stand out above the rest. These songs capture the essence of what it means to be from Illinois, and they perfectly describe all that this state has to offer.

From the city lights of Chicago to the small-town charm of downstate IL, these songs show off everything that the state has to offer. Thanks for reading!