Iconic Songs To Inspire You Before Kentucky Derby 150


When it comes to horse racing, the Kentucky Derby is definitely one of the most stand-out events every year, with millions of people watching the big race. But why is the Kentucky Derby so popular?

Well, apart from being the ultimate test of champions, where the best contenders from all around the world gather to see which horse is fastest, the Kentucky Derby is draped with history and tradition. In fact, this is one of the longest-running horse races in the world, and 2024 is a special year for the derby.

The Kentucky Derby has reached its 150th milestone, and organizers at Churchill Downs promise a lot of new things at the derby. Now, even though the derby is scheduled for May 2024, it is best if you prepare or at least set up the right mindset for this incredible event.

So, what do we need? Well, first of all, I need a good betting strategy and a lot of research throughout the upcoming months. It is a good idea to check the free horse racing picks by TwinSpires.com, as they are one of the official sponsors of the event.

Speaking of inspiration, music has always played an important role in sports. After all, for athletes to achieve great things, they need to be physically prepared and have a sharp mind. And music is here to help.

On the other hand, if you are a spectator, listening to music that reminds you of horse racing or the iconic Kentucky Derby is a great way to get into the spirit of the race.

Therefore, we decided to highlight some of the best songs you should include in your Kentucky Derby playlist.


Kentucky Derby Playlist

“Run For The Roses” – Dan Fogelberg

You didn’t think we’d have a collection of Kentucky songs without including one about the Kentucky Derby, did you? Don’t be a fool! This lovely track gradually gains velocity and provides a beautiful picture of the lives of our thoroughbreds. Although I may be prejudiced, “Run For The Roses” is my favorite Dan Fogelberg song.

“Old King Coal” – Sturgill Simpson

Sturgill Simpson is working hard to alter the spirit of Kentucky songs. Before becoming one of the world’s biggest country performers, Sturgill wrote Old King Coal. As a fellow Eastern Kentuckian can confirm, the song is as realistic a depiction of the place, the people, the hardship, and family traditions as you will ever find. It may not be a pretty picture, but its raw honesty is undeniable.

“My Old Kentucky Home” – Stephen Foster

Regarding the Kentucky Derby, no playlist is complete without the state song. Stephen Foster wrote this in 1852. My Old Kentucky Home is an anti-slavery phrase that all Kentuckians adore. Every year, the University of Louisville Marching Band performs it during the Kentucky Derby. For our money, former Governor, United States Senator, and Major League Baseball Commissioner A.B. “Happy” Chandler’s rendition will remain absolute perfection.

When Stephen Foster penned “My Old Kentucky Home, Good-Night!,” he was influenced by Harriet Beecher Stowe’s abolitionist classic Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

My Old Kentucky Home is widely acknowledged as one of the most influential songs in American history. According to African-American abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who commented on the song’s popularity during the period, My Old Kentucky Home “awaken(s) sympathies for the slave, in which anti-slavery principles take root, grow, and flourish.”

“The Gambler” by Kenny Rogers

Let’s be honest: the Kentucky Derby is all about gambling. Everyone wishes to wager on the winning horse and win a lot of money.

So, why not put that energy into a fantastic gambling song? “The Gambler” is a delightful song, with everyone singing along and feeling lucky.


“Paradise” – John Prine

It would be sacrilege not to add John Prine’s iconic folk tune Paradise. His homage to the village of Paradise (Yes, it exists) is a magnificent tribute to his childhood recollections, which were sadly all but wiped by “a progress of man.”

Paradise was originally located in Muhlenberg County, formerly known as Stom’s Landing. This Green River trading station was shuttered and abandoned owing to health concerns generated by the Paradise Fossil Plant, Kentucky’s largest coal-burning power plant.

“Blue Moon of Kentucky” – Bill Monroe

Bill Monroe was born in Rosine, Kentucky. As a result, it is also known as the origin of bluegrass music since Mr. Monroe was known as the “Father of Bluegrass.”

This iconic song has been performed several times, demonstrating the melodies and message’s strength. It is the perfect song that suits the Kentucky Derby well.

Final Words

Creating the ultimate Kentucky Derby playlist comes down to personal taste. If you want to get inspired for the derby, the song shouldn’t be only about horse racing or Kentucky. These are some of the songs that share a tight connection to the bluegrass state and horse racing.

For the rest, we leave it up to you to choose!


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