Man, oh man, South Dakota has some songs written about it. Unfortunately, none of them are anything to write home about. The Mount Rushmore State (that is, actually for real, the state’s official moniker). Anyways, here’s a list of South Dakota-related songs:
Deadwood Mountain: Yes, John Rich is bigoted trash. Not sure about Big. And, yeah, their cowboy/gospel/rap/rock infusion was long in the tooth by the fifth track of their smash album, Horse of a Different Color, but this song mentions Deadwood and at one point in my shameful youth (long before Rich decided he needed to run commentary on Colin Kapernick) I used to really rock out to this. Also, they apparently don’t know much about Western history with the hamfisted lines that refer to Wild Bill and Calamity Jane as kin, when in reality, Bill didn’t have much use for Jane and she was buried next to him as a jape. Anyway, here is a song.
Badlands: I don’t like Bruce Springsteen. I don’t know why, but he usually just grates on my nerves. Thunder Road is a good tune, I suppose. But all of the Born in the USA stuff is just… ugh. One note. Uninspired. Anyway, here’s a song about South Dakota from the guy who stole Conan O’Brien’s drummer away.
Big Foot: I guess this South Dakota list is going to be populated by the not-so-great. Johnny Cash is a powerhouse and I love 95% of his work. This is not part of that 95%. Maybe it’s the spoke word aspect of it (which works in Boy Named Sue, but sounds flat and corny in a song such as this). Anyway, here’s a song where Johnny Cash talks about South Dakota history.
Ballad of Hollis Brown: If you were hoping I would find a Dylan song to save the day, think again. This lesser-known (but often played) Dylan song is about a poor farmer whose family is starving to death and they all die. Anyway…