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Listen to the Music

By Richard Ramella

(The Department of Arts, Culture and History does not maintain these sites, nor is it responsible for their content. The links below will open in a new browser window.)

If your computer supports iTunes, the Windows Media player or the RealOne player, you should be able to open some of the following Internet links and hear West Virginia-themed music. Even on computers without such capabilities, MIDI files should play. Some files require QuickTime, which has a free, downloadable version.

Given the differences among computers and their software, we can guarantee nothing. But do experiment, be happy with what works and try not to be frustrated by what doesn't. At very least, many of the links will take you to more information about West Virginia music and the artists who produce it.

If you are reading this, you have come here via an Internet site, so you're all set to access music.

* To hear an excerpt of Louis Jordan's "Salt Pork West Virginia," open this site by clicking on the address just ahead:
and scroll down to the Number 4 listing. Click on the word "Listen" for either Windows Media or RealOne.

If your computer does not allow you to access a site by clicking on the address in this file, you may be successful if you highlight the address, copy it, and paste it into the address area of your Internet page.

* To hear a two-minute version of "Salt Pork West Virginia" by Ron Sunshine and Full Swing, open the Web site:
and click on the song title, listed at left as No. 3. Requires RealOne.


If you have iTunes, open the iTunes Music Store, type "West Virginia" in the Search Music Store area and open. This offers (as this is written) half-minute samples of 13 songs with the state name in their titles.
"West Virginia" -- Big Wreck, "The Pleasure and the Greed"
"West Virginia" -- John Linnell, "State Songs"
"West Virginia Summer Child" -- Bob Lind, "The Best of Bob Lind -- You
Might Have Heard My Footsteps"
"West Virginia, My Home" -- Hazel Dickens, "Hard Hitting Music for
Hard Hit People"
"West Virginia Polka" -- Jimmy Sturr and His Orchestra, "Polkapalooza"
"West Virginia Serenade" -- Johnny & The Bootleggers, "Tailgaters"
"Leaving West Virginia" -- Kathy Mattea, "Walk the Way the Wind Blows"
"Salt Pork, West Virginia" -- Louis Jordan, "No Moe! Louis Jordan's
Greatest Hits"
"My West Virginia Home" -- Paul Reece, "Mexican Beer"
"When I Go to West Virginia" -- Atwater/Donnelly, "Where the Wild
Birds Do Whistle"
"The Green Rolling Hills of West Virginia" -- Hazel Dickens & Alice
Gerrard, "Hazel & Alice"
"Up in the West Virginia Hills" -- Todd Burge, "Dreams
"West Virginia Mining Disaster/Which Side Are You On?" -- John McCutcheon,
"Barefoot Boy with Boots On"


On Internet Explorer, open
type "West Virginia" in the "Go Fetch!" box, click the Audio choice above it and on the words "Go Fetch" box. Some but not all items on the resulting list can be downloaded in various formats.


* To hear an excerpt from Hazel Dickens' "West Virginia My Home" and other songs from her Rounder album, "Hard Hitting Songs for Hard Hit People," open this site:
Then scroll down to the song title and select the player you will use: Win. Media on the left or RealAudio on the right. Each has "Low" and "High" choices.

* To hear a sample of Hazel Dickens' "West Virginia My Home" by the Harpweavers, a Pennsylvania group, open this link:

* To hear West Virginia University's "Hail West Virginia," open this site:
Then scroll down to the sentence:
Play school fight song
and click on it. This is an MP3 file.

* To hear brief marching band versions of West Virginia University songs "Hail West Virginia," "Fight Mountaineers" and "Alma Mater," open this Web site:
Then scroll down to the WVU songs near the bottom of the left column. Click on song to load and listen.

* To hear a sample of Spike Jones' "I Wanna Go Back to West Virginia," open this site:
scroll down to get song list and click on player name right of song title.
Requires Windows Media or RealOne

* To hear Quicktime sound samples of "Songs From Home," including several West Virginia-themed songs, open this site:
Then scroll to bottom and click on specific titles.
The two CDs on this site were part of a West Virginia Lottery offer that expired at the end of 2002.

* To hear a sample of the Cowslingers' "West Virginia Dog Track Boogie" from the album of the same name, open the following Web site, scroll down and click on the sound player you use, at right of song title: ef=sr_1_3/103-9776732-3183855?v=glance&s=music

* To hear a different version of the song "West Virginia Dog Track Boogie," open this site and click on song title:


* To hear MIDI versions "The West Virginia Hills" and "West Virginia My Home (Sweet Home)," open this site:
and scroll down to click on either "Hills" or "Home" within brackets of the folowing listing:
West Virginia (Hills) (My Home)
The second song appears to be the work Julian G. Hearne Jr., who wrote one of three official state songs.

* To hear a MIDI banjo version of "Hail West Virginia" from "Shuless Hillbilli," open this site:


* To read the lyrics of "Take Me Home, Country Roads," open:

* To read lyrics of some West Virginia songs, open this site:

* To read lyrics of Big Wreck's "West Virginia," open:

* To read lyrics to a song called "West Virginia," writer and performer
unidentified, open:

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(You can also hear some samples of West Virginia music right here on the division's web site. RealOne Player is required. - webmaster)