“States and Capitals”


A catalog of the capital cities of various states, starting perhaps in the northeast: "Maine, the capital is Augusta...."


This seems to have been at one time a widespread song to help children learn geography (in which it failed, since neither of Randolph's informants could remember much).

Whether this is actually a single song is perhaps open to question; the texts in Randolph are very different, and this is perhaps a topic that several schoolmarm/songwriters might have tackled.

The information is also sorely out of date. Since the song was sung in the 1880s, of course, it lacks at least half a dozen states. Even for the states that are listed, the data is inaccurate (e.g. the capital of Maryland is Annapolis, not Baltimore, and Rhode Island and Connecticut have only one capital city each, though Randolph's "A" text lists Providence and Newport for Rhode Island, while "B" gives New Haven and Hartford as capital of Connecticut). - RBW


  1. Randolph 878, "States and Capitals" (2 texts, 1 tune)
  2. Roud #7543
  3. BI, R878


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1930 (Randolph)
Keywords: nonballad
Found in: US(MW,So)