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Songs inspired by Charleston + South Carolina

Keep reading for some songs to cruise around the Holy City this summer.

The light from the sunset reflects off Shem Creek, while the sky fades from a fire orange to pale blue.

Shem Sunset could definitely inspire some flowy + relaxing tunes.

Photo by Chrissy F.

Living in the Lowcountry is special, and can be inspirational. There is so much to celebrate, from our beautiful beaches to the fine food and culture, which is why it’s not hard to believe that Charleston could inspire a song (or two or three).

City Editor Callie here. When I cross the IOP Connector, I can’t help but roll my windows down and blast some Darius Rucker or Niko Moon’s “Paradise to Me, IOP Version.”

We asked you to share your favorite Lowcountry-inspired songs, and you did not disappoint. Keep reading to see some songs that are sure to put Carolina on your mind.

  • “Beers and Sunshine” | Darius Rucker | It’s no secret – Darius Rucker is a Charleston gem + living legend (there’s even a street named after him). Listen to him paint the picture-perfect relaxing Lowcountry weekend. The songs don’t stop there, Rucker has countless songs about the Holy City and even an album titled “Charleston, SC 1966.”
  • “Carolina Girl” | Chairmen of the Board and General Johnson | This song is a classic and perfect for shag dancing, which is also the official state dance.
  • “Sink ‘Em Low” | Ranky Tanky | This Gullah music group from the Lowcountry seamlessly incorporates the Gullah culture + history in this song with the sound of jazz, rhythm and blues + more. The song is full of Charleston soul.
  • “Coast of Carolina” | Jimmy Buffett | The coastal city that we live in might have just inspired Jimmy Buffett to sing this song + some people may have been lucky enough to spot him surfing on Folly Beach in years past.
  • “Under the Boardwalk” | The Drifters | This song about having fun + admiring the boardwalk is known to go with the state’s dance. The song’s mention of admiring the boardwalk makes it a timeless beach tune.
  • “Carolina in the Morning” | Judy Garland | “Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina in the morning…” This song speaks of the appreciation of being in the Carolinas.
  • “Waltz for a Girl in South Carolina” | Brett Shady | This singer talks about the “sweet summer wind” in South Carolina + a girl from the Palmetto State he can’t stop thinking about.
  • “South Carolina Blues” | Junior League Band | This tune about the “South Carolina Blues” is upbeat and fun to hear + includes various instruments throughout the song.
  • “Carolina County Ball” | Elf | Imagine a “Carolina County Ball” on a “boogie woogie Friday night”. This song is just as the title describes, a party with friends in the good ol’ Carolina.
  • “Rising Water” | The High Divers | Ever just want to make a song about all the flooding that takes place in the Holy City? This local rock band did just that.
  • “The Twist” | Chubby Checker | How can you have a song list inspired by the Lowcountry without South Carolina native Chubby Checker? This song from the 1960s became a massive hit (and still is a classic dance song today). Come on, do The Twist.

Don’t see your song on the list? Let us know.