A small state of inspiration is a dangerous thing.

Image source: David Monniaux/Wikimedia.
Music has as many meanings as there are emotions. It can be celebratory or mournful, spiritual or lascivious, angry or soothing. But when the subject is Rhode Island, the emotions involved seem to run to humor and sentimentality. Join us now as we explore the cheesy world of songs about Rhode Island. Did we miss one? Drop us a line at stuffie@quahog.org.

Rhode Island in the Limelight: Music, A-M
Rhode Island in the Limelight: Music, R
Rhode Island in the Limelight: Music, S-Z





Neoplan
by The Neo-'90s Dance Band

Danceable ode to the German-made buses utilized by RIPTA in the 1990s, with shout-outs for numerous Rhode Island stops.

From 1992 album Neoplan (or collected on the 1993 compilation 94 HJY Hometown Heroes).

Lyrics:
"Hey! Hey, does this bus go to Hope Street?

I ain't got nothing but time to choose!
I ain't got nothing but time to choose!

Fall River, woo-oo
Attleboro, woo-oo
Dighton-Rehoboth, woo-oo
Seekonk

Apple Valley, woo-oo
Woonsocket, woo-oo
North Smithfield, woo-oo
Manville

West Warwick, woo-oo
Crompton-Phenix, woo-oo
Harris-Lippitt, woo-oo
Clyde

Take a ride on the Neoplan
Can you give me a transfer, man?
I think I can, I think I can
Go like this...

"Attention passengers, busses departing for all South county destinations may now be boarded at gate number seven. Passengers are reminded that shoes and shirts are required at all times, and the consumption of food and beverages is strictly prohibited. And don't you even think about lighting a cigarette. Please watch your step when boarding the coach, and thank you for traveling with Turf to Surf Bus Lines. Your patronage keeps us rolling."

Scarborough, woo-oo
Narragansett, woo-oo
Point Judith, woo-oo
Galilee

Little Compton, woo-oo
Martha's Vineyard, woo-oo
Block Island, woo-oo
Moonstone

Downcity, woo-oo
Jewelry District, woo-oo
Olneyville, woo-oo
The Ring Road

Take a ride on the Neoplan
Can you give me a transfer, man?
I think I can, I think I can
Go like this...

Bah-da-bada-bada-ba
Wah-da-bada-bada-ba-da
Wa, wa, way!
I wanna, I wanna, I wanna

Take a ride on the Neoplan
Can you give me a transfer, man?
I think I can, I think I can


Newport Girls
by Jon Campbell

From the 2004 CD Catch and Release.


Newport, Rhode Island
by Benjamin Verdery

Guitar instrumental from the 1991 album Some Towns and Cities.


The Night It Rained Glass on Union Street
by Alex K. Redfearn and the Eyesores

Instrumental from the 2005 CD Quiet Room.


No School Today
by Bill Harley

Featuring the voice of WPRO's Salty Brine, from the 1988 album You're In Trouble.


Oh Listen Rhode Island
by Dana Spencer

From the 2000 CD compilation Christmas Across America: North.


One Clam Cake
by Jon Campbell

From the 2000 CD Keep On Fishin'.

Live version from 2012


One Providence
written by Anne Grant

Anti-Buddy Cianci/pro Jorge Elorza tune from the 2014 Providence mayoral election, as performed by the Gnomes on Youtube:


The Palatine
by Jon Campbell

From the 2000 CD Keep On Fishin'.

Covered by Pendragon on their 1993 album Passage to New England.


Pawtucket
by Purple Ivy Shadows

From the 1997 CD No Less The Trees Than The Stars.

Covered by The 'Mericans on their 2013 digital album A Tribute to Providence.


Pawtucket Pickup
by the Blackstone Valley Sinners

Instrumental from the 2002 CD It's a Sin.


Perryville Reel, Rhode Island Reel
by Mississippi John Hurt

Covered by Patrick Sky on his 1975 album Two Steps Forward, One Step Back.


Piracy
by Jon Campbell

From the 2000 CD Keep On Fishin'. The lyrics tell of the twenty-six pirates who were hung on Gravely Point in Newport in 1723.


Poor Little Rhode Island
Lyrics by Sammy Cahn; music by Jule Styne

"Poor Little Rhode Island" was featured in the 1944 movie, Carolina Blues, in which it was performed by Ann Miller. While that version doesn't seem to be available online, a number of cover versions are:

1945: Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians.

1960: Louisiana guitarist Dale Hawkins.

2002: The Gazetteers from the album Territory Songs.


Providence Home Town Song
by The Sensational Seven with Terry Lee

One-sided, radio-only 45 rpm record, from WICE 1290 AM, 1963.


Providence Nigga!
by Bigg-Du Ft Hollow Tip

Circa 2011.

Note: contains explicit lyrics.


The Providence Reel
traditional

Performed by Pendragon as part of a medley on their 1993 album Passage to New England. The liner notes state: "Legend has it that fiddler Michael Coleman was once on his way to play in Providence, RI, could not remember the name of this first tune, and simply called it "The Providence Reel."

Here's another version by the Czech band Asonance from their 2000 album Alison Gross.< br />


Providence, Rhode Island
by Cluster

Ambient track from the 1997 album First Encounter Tour 1996.


Providence Rhode Island
by Prov City Boyz

Circa 2010.

Note: contains explicit lyrics.


The Providence Waltz
by Jon Campbell

From the 2000 CD Keep On Fishin'.

Peter Breen covered the tune on the 2010 CD Yup, I Said That. A Compilation of Artists Performing the 'Classic' Hits of Jon Campbell.


Quonset Hut
by Jon Campbell

From the 2000 CD Keep On Fishin'.

Covered by Wesley "Geno" Leech on the 2010 CD Yup, I Said That. A Compilation of Artists Performing the 'Classic' Hits of Jon Campbell.


Rhode Island in the Limelight: Music, A-M
Rhode Island in the Limelight: Music, R
Rhode Island in the Limelight: Music, S-Z

What did we miss?

Can't find your favorite Rhode Islandy tune here? Drop us a line at stuffie@quahog.org and let us know what we overlooked!

This article last edited December 9, 2015

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