Songs of California: 100 Songs About California

Picking the Best California Songs

So many songs have been written about California over the years, and many more are sure to come in the future. Even with 100 entries, this list is far from exhaustive, so please feel free leave a comment noting any overlooked favorites.

— List compiled by E. A. Wright

The Ultimate California Playlist

California sunset / E. A. Wright 2010
California sunset / E. A. Wright 2010

California in photos

Southern California sunset
Southern California sunset | Source
Huntington Beach, California
Huntington Beach, California | Source

100 Songs About California, From Classic to Quirky

  1. Malibu, Hole
  2. Pacific Coast Party, Smash Mouth
  3. California, Rufus Wainwright
  4. Big Sur, The Thrills
  5. Mendocino, The Sir Douglas Quintet
  6. Summer '79, The Ataris
  7. California, Eddi Reader
  8. California, Dan Zanes
  9. California, The Weekend
  10. California, Hawk Nelson
  11. Heads Carolina, Tails California, Jo Dee Messina
  12. Catalina, Seven Foot Wave
  13. California Nights, Lesley Gore
  14. The Lights and Buzz, Jack's Mannequin
  15. Miss California, Jack's Mannequin
  16. 101, Albert Hammond Jr.
  17. From California, The New Amsterdams
  18. California Day, Starland Vocal Band
  19. Go to California, Motorpsycho
  20. I Remember California, R.E.M.
  21. California Soul, Marlena Shaw
  22. California's Burning, Augustana
  23. California Sun, The Ramones
  24. Back to California, Carole King
  25. (More Bounce In) California, Soul Kid #1
  26. California Rain, Silvertide
  27. San Francisco Days, Chris Isaak
  28. California, The Simpletones
  29. California, Lenny Kravitz
  30. California, The Kooks
  31. California, Georgia Prophets
  32. California, Atherton
  33. California, The Beach Boys
  34. California, Bag of Toys
  35. California, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
  36. Los Angeles, I'm Yours, The Decemberists
  37. California One / Youth and Beauty Brigade, The Decemberists
  38. California Sky, Unwritten Law & Blink 182
  39. California, Weezer
  40. Going to California, Led Zeplin
  41. Back Home, Yellowcard
  42. California 2005, Phantom Planet
  43. San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers In Your Hair), Scott McKenzie
  44. California Girls, The Beach Boys
  45. California Calling, The Beach Boys
  46. Hotel California, Eagles
  47. California Deamin, Mammas and the Pappas
  48. Dani California, Red Hot Chili Peppers
  49. Santa Monica, Everclear
  50. Holiday from Real, Jack's Mannequin
  51. Beverly Hills, Weezer
  52. A Long December, Counting Crows
  53. California Love, 2Pac
  54. Meet Me In California, Plain White T's
  55. New York to California, Mat Kearney
  56. San Diego, Parmalee
  57. Siren On the 101, Over It
  58. San Simeon, Goldfinger
  59. California Soul, The 5th Dimension
  60. California, Joni Mitchell
  61. California Bound, Carolina Liar
  62. Do You Know the Way to San Jose, Dionne Warwick
  63. The Little Old Lady (from Pasadena), Jan & Dean
  64. Bakersfield Bound, Chris Hillman
  65. Orange County, Stefy
  66. Hollywood, Daniel Powter
  67. Goodbye Hollywood, JET
  68. All I Wanna Do, Sheryl Crow
  69. Los Angeles, Counting Crows
  70. Los Angeles, Sugarcult
  71. Los Angeles Is Burning, Bad Religion
  72. L.A. Freeway, Jerry Jeff Walker
  73. Lodi, Creedence Clearwater Revival
  74. Pasadena Girl, Nellie McKay
  75. Ukiah, The Doobie Brothers
  76. Sutter's Mill, Dan Fogelberg
  77. Monterey, Eric Burdon & The Animals
  78. Venice, USA, Red Elvises
  79. Santa Monica, Theory of a Deadman
  80. Folsom Prison Blues, Johnny Cash
  81. Palo Alto, Radiohead
  82. Sausalito Summernight, Diesel
  83. Ventura Highway, America
  84. Parallel Universe, Red Hot Chili Peppers
  85. House In California, Keb' Mo'
  86. Midnight Train to Georgia, Gladys Knight & The Pips
  87. California, Metro Station
  88. California Love, Tupac & Dr. Dre
  89. Sausalito, Conor Oberst
  90. Back to California, Sugarcult
  91. California Nights, Sweet
  92. Not California, Hem
  93. California, Low
  94. Late Great Golden State, Mike Stinson
  95. California Grace, Long Beach Shortbus
  96. It Never Rains In Southern California, Albert Hammond & M. Hazelwood
  97. Talk to Me of Mendocino, Kate & Anna McGarrigle
  98. Back to California, The Wallflowers
  99. California, Semisonic
  100. (Sittin' On) the Dock of the Bay, Otis Redding

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Comments 29 comments

PhotoShowMan4U profile image

PhotoShowMan4U 6 years ago from United States

Nice Hub, Great List! Some months back I was searching for some California related songs for a Photo Show I was making, but I couldn't get a list like yours.Lucky, I came across yours now.I am bookmarking this Hub.

pete 6 years ago

mi chota!

kachis profile image

kachis 6 years ago from Lagos, Nigeria.

You remind of the legendary 2paq. Thank you.

jeff in sydney 6 years ago

2 crucial omissions -

Linda Rondstadt's "Adios" with Brian Wilson's gorgeous backing vox, written by Jimmy Webb

"Ran away from home when I was just 17

To be with you

On the California Coast

Drinking margaritas all night in the old cantina"

"And I miss the blood red sunsets...Adios"

And Belinda Carlisle's "California"

"it took a lot for me say

To walk away, LA

From the shops and the chardonnay"

The Lanks 6 years ago

This is a great list! But I think that the song listed as 'California - Weezer' is actually by The Rentals. It's a really common mistake though, The Rentals not only sound a lot like Weezer, but they also have a former member of Weezer.

Again, I LOVE this list, lots of really great songs!

kel 6 years ago

going on vaca to ca and needed a good playlist...thanks!

Drew 6 years ago

One HUGE omission. Randy Newman's "I Love L.A." has been used in countless movies and CONSTANTLY makes me think of Southern Cal.

ashman 6 years ago

what about im going back to cali by biggie smalls

Da guy 6 years ago

California Flight Project song California Flight

might be the greatest of them all. It touches on Northern California the State of California. Including Southern California. A breezy smooth , laid back Cali style cut.

it only been out for a few years. And not many radio stations have heard of it but the underground mix DJ's world wide discovered a California gem of a song. By California Flight {Project} Song California Flight. What a classic.

oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

The song about California, by Paper Tongues is my new latest favorite song about California. If you haven't heard that one, you have to listen to it a couple of times, love it! Great hub of fun songs.

m.tariq your deer 6 years ago

Nice hub, I was thinking about starting guitar as a hobby since I don't really have any you know. :)...thnx for the info and great hub.

Brian Smith 6 years ago

California Man-Cheap Trick, Come To California-Matthew Sweet, California Here I Come-Al Jolson, California Uber Alles-The Dead Kennedys, Estimated Prophet-Grateful Dead, Californication-Red Hot Chili Peppers, Big Sur-Jay Farrar & Benjamin Gibbard, Barstow-Jay Farrar, Santa Cruz(You're Not That Far)-The Thrills, I Left My Heart In San Francisco-Tony Bennett & California Stars-Wilco.

asleeemdsfdsf 5 years ago

500 miles by the proclaimers! Amazing roadtrip song!

bwreed66 5 years ago

"Petaluma" or "California Earthquake" from Norman Greenbaum

Shadowblack profile image

Shadowblack 5 years ago from England

"Flower Punk" - The Mothers of Invention

cali 5 years ago

California Dreamin' by The Mama's and Papa's! i can't believe this isn't on the list!

WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 5 years ago from Templeton, CA

I'll have to come back when I really have some time to listen -- after I finish my taxes. I missed "26 Miles across the Sea, Santa Catalina is Waitin' for Me" (unless I just don't know the title.) I also missed, as someone else did, "California, Here I Come." Maybe they are on some of your other California song lists.

manthy profile image

manthy 5 years ago from Alabama,USA

Nice Hub - I love Hotel California by the eagles it took me a month to learn the guitar solo on it.

leeroper profile image

leeroper 5 years ago from UK

It's amazing how many people have named a song California, I just did a Spotify search and found 27 tracks all named after the sunny Cali.

Hildamari 5 years ago

"California Gurls" by Katy Perry

henge 5 years ago

aren't 88 and 53 the same thing?

Music lover 5 years ago

Hi ! Nice site mate. But I really have to

say California Girls and Hotel Californie should

really been higher... MUCH higher ;)

cheapestinsurance profile image

cheapestinsurance 5 years ago from California, USA

What a list! I'll have to plug them into Spotify and give a listen.

hmki 4 years ago

ur missing Tony! Toni! Toné! - It Never Rains (In Southern California)

Missing the Bay 4 years ago

Where's "15 songs about being hella homesick"? ;P

Tony C 3 years ago

Surfin' USA - The Beach Boys -- my vote for the greatest rock n roll song written about California

LA Woman - The Doors

Freefallin' - Tom Petty

hally smith 3 years ago

you missed an oldie, but classic California song, and some others:

Mission Bells by Donnie Brooks, (LA born and bred)

Santa Monica by Savage Garden

Going Hollywood by Super Tramp

Hollywood Nights by Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band

Rory Murray 3 years ago

Pico & Sepulveda-Felix Figueroa

San Fernando Valley-Bing Crosby

Los Angeles, Los Angeles-The Zanies

San Berdino-Frank Zappa

San Bernardino-Christie

San Bernardino-Los Hobbies

kalinin1158 profile image

kalinin1158 2 years ago from California

Great hub! I never knew there were so many California songs :-)

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