Published on February 19th, 2016 | by Crystal Sykes
The Greatest Songs Ever Written About Montana
Montana is a great state and is deserving of a great song. Music has a way of connecting people, no matter their background. When you hear a song, you can put yourself in the singer’s shoes and imagine yourself in the song. Better yet, with our list, you can imagine yourself in Montana.
1. Wild Montana Skies – John Denver
John Denver was a singer, songwriter, environmentalist, and humanitarian. Before his death in 1997, he wrote unforgettable songs like “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” “Rocky Mountain High,” “Sunshine On My Shoulders,” and “Thank God I’m A Country Boy,” which you’ve definitely heard if you have ever been to a Griz football game.
“Wild Montana Skies” is perhaps the quintessential “Montana song.” It’s about a boy growing up in Montana who loses his mother and is taken in by his uncle. When he turns 21, he leaves Montana to see what else life has to offer. He returns as an adult and transforms into a tough farmer with a soft heart, shaped by the Montana landscape.
The sweeping beauty of the open valley contrasted with the tall mountains of the Bitterroot take your breath away. At sunset, light filters in like gold. It’s not hard to imagine why so many people choose this rural lifestyle.
Why It Rocks: This song sounds like Montana feels. It exemplifies the spirit of the Montanan way of life.
2. Montana Melody – LeGrand Harvey
“Montana Melody” was adopted by the state legislature as Montana’s official ballad in 1983. You can actually find the adoption in the Montana Code, which I think this is pretty cool, but it’s possible that is only because I have a legal background.
I saw LeGrande Harvey in concert when I was about 8 years old, and I fell in love with “Montana Melody.” He had run out of cassette tapes by the time my mom got to the merchandise table, so she bought his album for me on vinyl. I sat by the record player and listened to “Montana Melody” over and over again. When I heard Harvey sing “These things are a part of me,” I felt like he was speaking to me. He understood me – I WAS PROUD to be a Montanan.
Why It Rocks: There is so much passion and love for Montana in every second of this song. Every word is important. Not one is used as an unnecessary filler.
3. Meet Me in Montana – Dan Seals
“Meet Me in Montana,” written by Paul Davis and performed by Seals and Marie Osmond, is a country ballad about two people who decide to give up their dreams of becoming famous, and make a plan to meet each other in Montana. This one is a bit sentimental, but it’s a classic nonetheless. It was released in 1985, and climbed to number one on the charts. Seals had nine more songs that hit the top of the charts, including “Bop,” “I Will Be There,” “I’d Really Love to See you Tonight,” and “Big Wheels in the Moonlight.”
Why It Rocks: Who hasn’t dreamed of riding off into the sunset with a long lost love? Throw in snow-capped mountains, big sky country, and a log cabin with a crackling fire, and it’s a romantic adventure.
4. Montana Song – Hank Williams, Jr.
“Montana Song” is about unrequited love, and a man who wants to spend the winter in Montana to get over a heartbreak. He wishes that his ex-girlfriend were going with him. He fantasizes about what they would do if they were going to Montana together. It seems that Montana is the perfect place to mend a broken heart.
Why It Rocks: In this song, Montana is the only place to get over a broken heart. It’s like a blanket: comforting and freeing.
5. Montana is my Home – Bruce Anfinson
Bruce Anfinson is a singer, songwriter, and native Montanan. He began his musical career at 9 years old, when his father gave him his first guitar. He soon began performing with his father’s band. As a musician, he has traveled the world and played alongside many famous people, such as Mission Mountain Wood Band and Pure Prairie League. He keeps his Montana roots strong, performing summer concerts at his ranch outside of Helena.
This authentic cowboy has captured the peaceful quality of the countryside in his song. The beautiful melody showcases the nature of Montana, and shows a true appreciation for the state. He is grateful that Montana is his home and that he is able to live in such an amazing place.
Why It Rocks: This beautiful and haunting song was written by a true Montanan who lives an authentic life every day.
These honorable mentions either are about Montana or mention Montana.
Montana Rodeo – Chris LeDoux
Montana Matters – Shane Clouse
Listen to the song here.
Rocks in the Box – Decemberists
This song is about the mining community in Butte Montana in the early 1900’s.