Looking for an all-encompassing list of songs about the great city of Austin, Texas?
Well, you got it!
Austin is home to some super-talented songwriters across the pop, country and rock genres (both in the form of acclaimed stars and up-and-coming artists).
Throughout their respective careers, it’s inevitable that their affinity for the city has crept into their work.
Similarly, there’s no doubt the city has left its impact on a number of non-Austinite musicians, who have also turned to the city for lyrical inspiration.
In this article, our expert team of musos-slash-writers have compiled a mega list of 50+ songs about Austin, Texas. Feel free to jump around the list and check out the songs that peak your interest!
Sangria Wine (Jerry Jeff Walker)
It’s tough to not get into the mood of drinking and eating your way through the city in Jerry Jeff Walker’s evocative 1973 country hit. “In Austin on a Saturday night/ Everclear is dumped into the wine sometimes/ Then you add nachos and tacos, burritos you know/ Here is how it usually goes.” We’re there.
Horseshoe Lounge (Slaid Cleaves)
If you’ve spent any considerable amount of time in Austin, you’ll know about The Horseshoe. We’re guessing they’re huge fans of Cleaves’ 2000 country-folk anthem that celebrates the landmark bar and its shuffleboard, cigarettes, whiskey, and neon lights.
Austin Rocks (Patricia Vonne, Rosie Flores)
Vonne, a well-known local performer who happens to also be a real estate agent, crafted this unabashedly proud promotional tune that fits in as much about Austin as one can in 3 minutes, 14 seconds.
Alleys of Austin (Michael Martin Murphey)
Murphey’s 2018 album Austinology: Alleys of Austin honors 1970s Austin songwriting, and its titular track sets the tone. “Alleys of Austin” is detailed storytelling complimented by soft-rock piano and weeping acoustic guitar. It would fit in at any Austin music venue today.
Travis County (Gary Clark Jr.)
This rollicking track guided by the spirit of Chuck Berry helped to establish Clark as a modern-day blues-rock master. Clark frequently evokes his hometown in his lyrics and the general spirit of his soul-R;B-blues/country fusion.
Texas Flood (Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble)
Vaughan’s 1983 debut album showcased this titular blues gem, originally recorded in 1958 by Larry Davis. Vaughan’s version features multiple transcendent guitar solos (it’s on Rolling Stone’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time”). It became even more powerful after Vaughan’s untimely death in a helicopter crash just seven years after its release.
Who Says (John Mayer)
It may not be just about Austin, but Mayer’s easy-going vibe fits in well, especially the lyric “It’s been a long night in New York City/ It’s been a long night in Austin, too.” Yes, it often is.
Sixth Street (Choszen)
Much of the rapper’s 2008 album Welcome to the Greene Party is more politically conscious than the banger “Sixth Street,” a party anthem honoring Austin’s famous block full of music venues, restaurants, and bars. Not that there’s anything wrong with partying.
What Would Willie Do (Gary Allan)
Written by Bruce Robison, an Austin-based singer-songwriter, “WWWD” idolizes the country legend who never turned his back on Austin despite his superstardom. We guess that is what Willie would do.
Right About Now I’d Like to Move Back to Austin and Buy a Purple House (Drew Blackard)
A plaintive alt-country ballad, Blackard’s deceptively simple tune showcases his talent for striking, soulful lyrics. “I’d like to move on down to Austin town/ Buy a purple house let the weeds grow out / Livin’ on my own with my garden gnomes,” he sings.
Devil Town (Daniel Johnston)
It doesn’t get more Austin than this one from cult Austin musician Daniel Johnston, which has been covered by everyone from The National to Bright Eyes.
Christmas in Austin (Shelley King)
Turns out Christmas in Austin is pretty much like anytime in Austin — King highlights margaritas and dancing — but the difference is that it’s cold enough to wear a sweater.
Our Town (East Cameron Folkcore)
East Cameron Folkcore loves Austin, but isn’t afraid to be brutally honest about it. “Our Town” covers stark stuff — gentrification, ignoring the city’s poor and working-class, and how it feels to not recognize the city that once was.
Sweet Tequila Blues (Chip Taylor and Carrie Rodriguez)
Acclaimed singer-songwriter Chip Taylor pairs perfectly with Texas singer and fiddle player Carrie Rodriguez. Here, Taylor and Rodriguez yearn to leave wherever they are and head back to Austin. “Damn, I miss that town,” they both lament.
Austin Night (Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash)
Perfect Americana, the Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash hits it out of the park with “Austin Night,” full of neon lights, stardust, and southwest winds leading the band to a honky-tonk where they feel at home.
Midnight in Austin Texas (Renee Olstead)
Olstead’s super-sultry jazz song urges a possible new friend to join her at a bar “just around the corner.” “It would be a shame to waste a Saturday night,” Olstead sings.
Keep Austin Weird (P!nn@cle featuring Mac-Midas and Y.P.)
P!nn@cle’s explicit lyrics keep pulse with jangling piano, reflecting Austin’s iconic slogan. “Keep Austin weird,” he raps, “weird Austin keeps.” Time to put that on bumper stickers, too.
Austin Prison (Johnny Cash)
“Austin Prison” is a classic Cash story song, about a jailer helping a prisoner escape. Said-prisoner was sentenced to die for murdering a woman, which he may be not guilty of. Spoiler alert: He gets away.
Designs on You (Old 97’s)
“Designs on You” gets right to the Austin point with its first line: “Standing on the corner of 6th and How to Forget.” Frontman Rhett Miller was born in Austin and his birthplace obviously made a strong impression on him.
South of Round Rock Texas (Dale Watson)
You guessed it — Austin is the “town south of Round Rock Texas.” This fun country/rockabilly confection extols the virtues of “something going down in the little town” of Austin.
11 Months and 29 Days (Johnny Paycheck)
When you’re “bustin’ in Austin and walkin’ around in a daze” like Johnny Paycheck, biding your time in jail, what’s left to do? Eagerly wait for the titular 11 months and 29 days to get back out on the hot dance floor.
Texas on a Saturday Night (Willie Nelson)
Nelson doesn’t specifically mention his adopted town of Austin here, but it’s hard to imagine that it didn’t influence the song in some way. San Antonio is mentioned. So are Dallas and Del Rio and Amarillo. Maybe he just didn’t want everyone to flock to Austin so there’s more fun for the locals?
A-Town Blues (Wayne Hancock)
Wayne Hancock can’t handle staying away from Austin long in this 2001 track. The sentiment is bolstered by a modern rockabilly flair and playful lyrics: “But no matter how hard I jump in the honky-tonks I’m playin’/ Them A-Town blues still come around at night.”
Amy’s Back in Austin (Little Texas)
Little Texas’ 1994 ode to love is a country-pop toe-tapper about missing a lost love and replete with Austin-specific shout-outs like the La Zona Rosa.
Lost in Austin (Mystery Jets)
You don’t have to be American to appreciate Austin. English indie rockers Mystery Jets released this ethereal-turned hard rock song in 2012, inspired by time spent writing and recording in a house by the Colorado River.
Christmas in Hollis, Austin Version (Tee Double)
Tee Double is an Austin hip-hop legend. This quirky cover is an Austin twist on Run-DMC’s “Christmas in Hollis,” released 25 years prior.
Barton Springs (Michael Tomlinson)
Barton Springs, a group of natural springs in Austin’s Zilker Park, is mentioned in several Austin songs. Tomlinson’s song is basically a relaxed Waze-directions-as-a-song from Seattle to the swimming holes at Barton Springs. It’s worth the drive.
Austin (Blake Shelton)
“Austin” was Shelton’s first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, about a woman who moves to Austin post-breakup. She reaches out to her boyfriend a year later, who keeps an answering machine message that refers to her as “Austin.” Hey, the city becomes part of you.
London Homesick Blues (Jerry Jeff Walker)
Austin was never far from Walker’s mind. In 1973’s “London Homesick Blues,” Walker talks about — what else — missing Austin. It’s frequently cited as launching the sound later known as “Texas Country,” according to The Dallas Morning News.
Dublin Blues (Guy Clark)
“Dublin Blues” is a touching tribute to Austin, in which Clark sings that he’s been around the world, to Spain, to Ireland. But what really sticks with his Austin: “Well I wished I was in Austin, hmm, in the Chili Parlor Bar/ Drinking Mad Dog margaritas and not caring where you are.”
I Can’t Go Back to Austin (Doug Sahm)
Sahm was actually born in San Antonio, but we’ll forgive him since there’s a lovely mix of rock, country, blues, and Latin American beat in his songs, especially “I Can’t Go Back to Austin.” Why can’t he go back? Because of a broken heart of course.
Austin (Pat Green)
On 2012’s “Austin,” the Texas native with a silky twang yearns to ditch “mediocrity” and get down to Austin or “I swear I’m gonna fade away.” Austin > Nashville, apparently.
East of Austin (The Vandal Band)
Americana favorites The Vandal Band tug at the heartstrings with this track about “being somewhere east of Austin,” but ultimately heading back down to Austin “to find where I belong.”
Pflugerville (Austin Lounge Lizards)
Pflugerville, a suburb in Austin, is also in Travis County and makes for a hilariously dark subject in the local legends’ song repertoire (“I strangled my girl in Pflugerville” is one notable lyric.) There’s a reason the band’s been entertaining all ages since 1980.
Dime Store Cowgirl (Kacey Musgraves)
Musgraves has always been wicked-smart and ridiculously talented. “Dime Store Cowgirl,” the second single from her second major studio album, 2015’s Pageant Material, the Texas native references Willie Nelson and Austin city limits — and we’re there for her journey.
Margaritaville (Jimmy Buffett)
Ever wonder just exactly where Buffett was wasting away again in the tune that will forever be connected to him? According to michaelcorcoran.net, Buffett wrote it after several sips at the city’s Lung’s Cocina del Sur restaurant at a strip mall on Anderson Lane.
Feels Like Rain (Shinyribs)
The party band fronted by Texas native Kevin Russell is fantastic country-soul-funk. One of their other sides is demonstrated in the touching ballad “Feels Like Rain,” with lyrics that hit you from the first line: “Austin is the only place / I’ve ever seen an angel’s face.”
Bob Willis is Still the King (Waylon Jennings)
Austin singers come and go and keep on coming, but Jennings makes it clear that the one and the only king is Western swing legend Willis. “It doesn’t matter who’s in Austin,” Jennings croons. “Bob Willis is till the king.”
Austin (Eskimo Brothers)
Eskimo Brothers are honky-tonkers based in Nashville, but they have a love for Austin still, as demonstrated in this song which begins with a reflection about Austin-based memories still creeping through their brain.
Dry Creek Café (Douglas Greer)
Dry Creek Café is a popular Austin waterfront bar and Greer memorably summarizes it — and the Austin spirit — by reflecting on the barflies as “hippies and businessmen having a time,” and “a Sunday school teacher who wore no brassiere.”
Love at the Five and Dime (Nanci Griffith)
Raised in Austin, Griffith once said during a live performance that this 1986 song is based on her memories of an Austin Woolworth Store where she used to change buses. It’s been covered by Kathy Mattea and Darius Rucker, among others.
Comal County Blue (Jason Boland and the Stragglers)
More Austin nostalgia, of course, as 2008’s Comal County Blue namechecks Austin, San Marcos, and Congress. By the way, Boland is from Oklahoma, but we won’t hold it against him.
Austin in my Sights (the Bluescasters)
Upbeat blues, “Austin in my Sights” is a simple, toe-tapping song about the band excited to be close to Austin — finally! — after some rougher road gigs.
Austin City Limits Sign (The Bart Walker Band)
Try not to get up on your feet to groove to this nugget about seeing the titular sign, with Bart Walker’s uniquely gravelly voice digging as deep as the guitar licks are fierce.
Talkin’ Keep Austin Weird (Sankarshan Das)
The origin song of Austin’s unofficial motto, Das reflects on hitchhiking all the way from Texas to San Francisco and urges fellow hippies in Austin to block development. Still relevant!
East 11th Street (Jon Dee Graham)
The Austin native brings us “home” to Austin’s East 11th Street, with its blue skies welcoming “all lost.” It’s a good place to be found. East 11th Street is right smack in the middle of the Red River Cultural District.
South Congress Blues (Omar and the Howlers)
Heavy Texas blues taking the name of one of Austin’s most famous downtown neighborhoods, full of the bars and restaurants where many of Austin’s blues musicians set up shop.
Austin (Don Potthast)
From Potthast’s Around the World album, with each track representing a different city, “Austin” distills the Texas spirit in just 1 minute, 36 seconds. Best lyric: “If you live in Texas and don’t fit in/ Well, you pack your bags and go to Austin.”
Austin, Texas (Big Sky)
“Going to head down to Austin/ Let the blues take me away.” Enough said.
Austin Texas (Jimmie Lunsford)
Acoustic singer-songwriter Lunsford’s pop track from his 2009 debut proclaims, “Austin, Texas just got one more fan.” We’re right there with you, Jimmie.
We hope this article has spoiled you for choice when it comes to songs about Austin (and introduced you to a few awesome under-the-radar artists).
If you’d like to dive a little deeper into Austin’s rich music history, we’d thoroughly recommend checking out Michael Corcoran’s book All Over the Map: True Heroes of Texas Music. It’s a beautifully-illustrated guide that covers the state’s most-acclaimed and interesting songwriters.
If you enjoyed this article, why not check out our list of songs about Michigan next?