11 songs about fairs

11 Songs About Fairs: The Ultimate Fair Experience

11 Songs About Fairs: The Ultimate Fair Experience

Hey there, music lovers and fellow DJs! It’s TBone here, from Level Tunes, bringing you another curated selection that’s close to my heart.

Today, I’m diving into the whimsical world of fairs – those magical places where music, lights, and laughter blend into unforgettable memories.

I’ve handpicked 11 songs that capture the essence of fairs, from the excitement of the rides to the sweet scent of cotton candy in the air.

These tracks span genres and eras, showcasing how fairs have inspired artists to create sounds that transport us right to the midway. Whether you’re reminiscing about your fairground adventures or dreaming about your next visit, this playlist is your ticket to a musical carousel.

Let’s explore the melodies that echo the joy, nostalgia, and enchantment of fairs. Ready to take a ride through soundscapes as vibrant as the Ferris wheel lights? Let’s dive in!

Here are the Songs About Fairs that you can check out:

List Of Songs About Fairs

Songs About Fairs in a list format:

“Palisades Park” by Freddy Cannon

Album: Palisades Park
Year: 1962
Label: Swan Records
“Palisades Park,” performed by Freddy Cannon, is a rock and roll anthem that takes listeners on a thrilling ride through the iconic amusement park. Released in 1962, this song, with its catchy melody and vivid storytelling, encapsulates the excitement of a day spent at the fair. Freddy’s energetic vocals, combined with the song’s use of fairground organ and sound effects, create a lively and immersive experience. The track became one of Cannon’s biggest hits, and it’s not hard to see why. Its ability to transport listeners straight to the rollercoaster and cotton candy stands of Palisades Park makes it a timeless tribute to the joy of amusement parks.

“Fairground” by Simply Red

Album: Life
Year: 1995
Label: EastWest Records
Simply Red’s “Fairground” is a smooth, soulful track that stands out for its unique blend of pop and dance elements. Featured on their 1995 album “Life,” this song became a hit for its captivating rhythm and Mick Hucknall’s distinctive vocals. “Fairground” is inspired by the whirlwind of emotions one feels at a fair – from exhilaration to romance. The song samples the classic “Goodmen’s Give It Up,” adding a layer of energetic beats that mimic the pulse of a bustling fairground. Its success across the charts is a testament to how well it captures the spirit of freedom and joy associated with fairs.

“Lost in the Supermarket” by The Clash

Album: London Calling
Year: 1979
Label: CBS
Although not directly about fairs, The Clash’s “Lost in the Supermarket” from their groundbreaking album “London Calling” (1979), captures a sense of wandering and introspection that one might liken to meandering through a crowded fair. This punk rock classic delves into themes of consumerism and alienation, reflective of the overwhelming sensations one can experience amidst the hustle and bustle of a fair. Strummer’s poignant lyrics, combined with the band’s dynamic sound, offer a deeper, more introspective take on the disorientation and discovery that can come from being in a place as vibrant and chaotic as a fairground.

“Carnival” by Natalie Merchant

Album: Tigerlily
Year: 1995
Label: Elektra
Natalie Merchant’s “Carnival” captures the mystical allure of a nighttime fair. From her solo debut album “Tigerlily” (1995), this song showcases Merchant’s rich vocals and storytelling prowess. “Carnival” explores the complexities of human nature and the search for connection in the midst of chaos, much like the diverse crowds one finds at a fair. The song’s introspective lyrics, combined with its melodic rhythm, evoke the feeling of wandering through a carnival’s lights and shadows, reflecting on life’s fleeting moments. It’s a beautiful, thought-provoking piece that resonates with anyone who’s found themselves lost in the spectacle of the fair.

“Carousels” by Doves

Album: The Universal Want
Year: 2020
Label: Virgin EMI
“Carousels” by Doves is a triumphant return for the band, featured on their 2020 album “The Universal Want.” This track stands out for its nostalgic reflection on youth and the simple joys of riding a carousel. The song combines Doves’ signature atmospheric sound with a driving beat that mimics the circular motion of the ride. “Carousels” is imbued with a sense of nostalgia, yet it feels utterly contemporary. It’s chosen for this list for its ability to capture the innocence and wonder of childhood fair visits, making it a perfect ode to the timeless attraction of the carousel.

“State Fair” by Doug Supernaw

Album: Red and Rio Grande
Year: 1993
Label: BNA Records
Country music has a special way of painting vivid pictures with lyrics, and Doug Supernaw’s “State Fair” from his debut album “Red and Rio Grande” is a prime example. Released in 1993, this song takes listeners on a journey through the sights and sounds of the state fair, highlighting the excitement and anticipation that build with each visit. Supernaw’s storytelling ability shines as he describes the rides, games, and the sense of community that fairs often bring. “State Fair” resonates with anyone who has ever experienced the magic of these local gatherings, making it a cherished addition to our fair-themed


“Tilt-A-Whirl” by Insane Clown Posse

Album: Riddle Box
Year: 1995
Label: Battery Records
The Insane Clown Posse (ICP) takes us on a darker, more eccentric ride with “Tilt-A-Whirl,” a track from their 1995 album “Riddle Box.” Known for their unique blend of horrorcore and hip hop, ICP uses the carnival ride to explore themes of life’s unpredictable nature and the inevitability of death. Despite its morbid undertones, the song is delivered with a level of energy and enthusiasm that captures the chaotic spirit of spinning around on the Tilt-A-Whirl. This selection might not be for everyone, but it’s included for its creative interpretation of the fair experience, showing how diverse artists can draw inspiration from the same source.

“Funfair” by Simply Red

Album: Blue
Year: 1998
Label: EastWest Records
Returning to Simply Red, “Funfair” from their 1998 album “Blue” offers a lighter, more upbeat reflection on the fair compared to their earlier mentioned track. This song delights in the playful aspects of the fairground, with Mick Hucknall’s smooth vocals gliding over a lively arrangement that feels like a sunny day out among the rides and stalls. “Funfair” is a testament to the band’s versatility and ability to evoke the carefree joy of a day spent at the fair. Its inclusion highlights the range of emotions and experiences that fairs can offer, from reflective moments to pure, unadulterated fun.

“Carnival Time” by Al Johnson

Album: Single
Year: 1960
Label: Ric Records
Al Johnson’s “Carnival Time” is a New Orleans R&B classic that captures the exuberant spirit of Mardi Gras, which, in its own right, is a fair of sorts. Released in 1960, this song is all about celebration, featuring Johnson’s lively vocals and a brass section that transports listeners straight to the heart of New Orleans’ festive streets. The song’s infectious rhythm and joyous energy make it impossible not to smile and tap your feet, embodying the essence of carnival time. It’s chosen for its ability to bring the vibrant atmosphere of a fair to life, celebrating the communal joy and excitement that come with these events.

“Midway” by Bad Bad Hats

Album: Psychic Reader
Year: 2015
Label: Afternoon Records
Indie rock band Bad Bad Hats offers a more modern take on the fair theme with “Midway,” a track from their 2015 album “Psychic Reader.” This song stands out for its sweet, melodic approach to describing a budding romance at the fair. The lyrics, coupled with the band’s charming indie sound, perfectly capture the mix of anticipation and excitement that comes with exploring the fair with someone special. “Midway” is a reminder of how fairs often serve as backdrops to personal milestones and memorable moments, making it a must-listen for those who’ve ever found or lost love among the carnival lights.

“Our Last Summer” by ABBA

Album: Super Trouper
Year: 1980
Label: Polar Music
ABBA’s “Our Last Summer” recounts a nostalgic story of a summer love, with mentions that evoke the carefree days of youth, including time spent at the fair. From their 1980 album “Super Trouper,” this song showcases ABBA’s talent for crafting poignant, evocative melodies that resonate with listeners across generations. The fair, in this context, is a backdrop to the memories of a romance, highlighting how such places are intertwined with our personal narratives. “Our Last Summer” is chosen for its ability to capture the bittersweetness of fleeting moments and the lasting impact of those youthful days spent wandering through the fair, making it a perfect conclusion to our musical journey.

Fun Facts: Songs About Fairs

“Palisades Park” by Freddy Cannon

  • Fact: “Palisades Park” was written by Chuck Barris, who would later become famous as the host and creator of game shows like “The Gong Show.” The song was inspired by the actual Palisades Amusement Park, which was located in New Jersey before closing in 1971. Barris’s connection to television and his early work in music showcases his versatile talents in entertainment.

“Fairground” by Simply Red

  • Fact: “Fairground” is Simply Red’s only UK number one single, reaching the top of the charts in 1995. The song’s success is partly attributed to its innovative use of a sample from “Give It Up” by The Goodmen, blending house music with Mick Hucknall’s soulful pop style. The song marked a distinct shift in the band’s sound, showcasing their ability to adapt and evolve with the times.

“Carnival” by Natalie Merchant

  • Fact: Natalie Merchant’s “Carnival” was the lead single from her debut solo album “Tigerlily,” released in 1995. The music video for “Carnival” features Merchant wandering through the busy streets of New York City, mirroring the song’s themes of observation and introspection amid chaos. The success of “Carnival” helped establish Merchant as a solo artist after her departure from 10,000 Maniacs.

“Tilt-A-Whirl” by Insane Clown Posse

  • Fact: The “Tilt-A-Whirl” is a reference not only to the popular amusement ride but also to Insane Clown Posse’s Dark Carnival mythology, which is a recurring theme in their music. The Dark Carnival concept serves as a metaphor for the judgment of souls, and “Tilt-A-Whirl” fits into this larger narrative, blending the band’s love for carnival imagery with their more philosophical musings on life and death.

“Carnival Time” by Al Johnson

  • Fact: Al Johnson’s “Carnival Time” has become an anthem for New Orleans’ Mardi Gras celebrations, capturing the infectious energy and spirit of the city’s famous festivities. Despite its popularity, Johnson faced legal battles and financial difficulties related to the rights and royalties of the song for many years. It wasn’t until the late 1990s that he finally received recognition and compensation for his contribution to the music of Mardi Gras.

“Our Last Summer” by ABBA

  • Fact: “Our Last Summer” reflects ABBA’s talent for storytelling through their music, with lyrics inspired by keyboardist Benny Andersson’s memories of a summer romance. The song stands out for its introspective lyrics, contrasting with the group’s more upbeat hits. “Our Last Summer” was later featured in the musical “Mamma Mia!” highlighting its enduring appeal and showcasing the timeless nature of ABBA’s songwriting.

And there you have it, folks—a rollercoaster ride through the melodies that capture the spirit of fairs. From nostalgic trips down memory lane to the thrills of the rides, these songs remind us of the joy and wonder fairs bring into our lives. Turn up the volume and let the fairground journey begin!

Thanks for reading.


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