Songs about Durham

Music is the soul of life. Not a day goes by where I’m not singing along to the radio or have headphones in my ears as I’m walking to class. It’s one of life’s paradoxes-I’m obsessed with music yet I have absolutely no musical talent and am tone deft most of the time. Some say my enthusiasm negates the poor quality to my voice. Lies.

Songs of love, joy, sadness, broken hearts, pain, etc… they all reach in a special place in me. And Durham has a special place in my heart, too. So I was struck with a thought- are there any songs about Durham?!

I did a little research and the result: there aren’t many songs specifically about Durham, but I did find a few songs that I really like. Durham is by no means a perfect city-it has its problems- but it is still a crazy cool place. I also think these songs do a good job with getting across a realness to the city.

1. Welcome to Durham by: Little Brother ft. Big Daddy Kane

WARNING: EXPLICIT. This is a reflection of the rough side of town, from the words of Durhamites themselves. These rappers are from Durham and have been working hard to break into the industry since the mid 2000s. This song is from 2005.

2. Carolina on my Mind by: J Cole

WARNING EXPLICIT. Even though the state in genenal, J Cole gives a direct shout out to Bull City when he’s referencing some of the towns. I really like this song because 1. The back music is awesome and 2. J Cole is talking about overcoming the issues to do what he wants- that’s the Carolina Way. And that is something I’m proud to be a part of.

3. Live and Die by: Avett Brothers

I included this song in the list because, as a senior, I’ve been feeling terribly nostalgic about everything and have a deep connection to Chapel Hill and Durham. And I really do feel that me and this area of N.C. are same… that we have a bond. Plus, the Avett Brothers are from N.C. so that’s even more love. This song was just released in 2012 from their new C.D.

4. Carolina Sunset by: The Marshall Tucker band

It’s true, what he says. “I love a Carolina sunset. That’s one thing a man will never forget. It brings heaven a little big closer to Earth.” From the mountains to Durham to the coast, this song hits home about the greatness. The good and the bad, Durham is one of those Carolina sunset towns. And it’s beautiful. This came out in the mid 1980s,

5. Durham Town (The Leavin’) by: Roger Whittaker

Sooooo this song may or may not be about Durham, NC… Since this is a British artist, it probably refers to the Durham in England. BUT I still think it counts because it’s a upbeat song and it talks about the sadness of leaving Durham, something that one can relate to no matter where Durham is. I like old songs in general, so it’s not a surprise that I like this song, which was first released in 1969.

I’d love to hear your feedback! Do you know of any songs about Durham?

By: Allie Barnes


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