50 Greatest City, State, And Town Songs – #20: “Heads Carolina, Tails California” by Jo Dee Messina
“Heads Carolina, Tails California” by Jo Dee Messina
Album: “Jo Dee Messina”
Chart Peak: #2
City, State, or Town: California and the Carolinas
Jo Dee burst onto the scene in a big way in 1996 with what would become one of the most popular pop/country songs of the century. Taking into consideration one of the most popular uses of these types of songs, vacationing and escaping reality, Jo Dee by far takes it to its peak. Although there are many other areas, including Boston and Des Moines, mentioned in the lyrics, this song is primarily about getting away from the chaotic world of today with that one special person in the warmer states of California or the Carolinas or possibly anywhere in between.
The song is sung from the perspective of a woman to her man basically telling him lets get away and leave this all behind for a while. She throws out several options but in the end just decides lets just flip a coin and see where we should go, California or the Carolinas. She just wants to go somewhere greener and warmer and escape all the chaos of reality for some quality time with her man. The song does not limit the trip to either Carolina or California, in fact it shows that the woman doesn’t care at all long as it’s warm, green and enjoyable.
This is a pioneer in modern road songs. Jo Dee’s hit could be considered the “On The Road Again” of her days. What has become a popular summer hit has made the states of California and the Carolinas popular summer vacation spots for those who had yet to understand what was so special about them. It also inspired the popularizing of love getaways and leaving reality behind once in a while to explore other cities and towns or even states just to get a feel for what it’s like outside of your own chaotic every day program.
It is impressive that Jo Dee scored a top 5 hit and a classic road song for her debut single. This tune has not only become one of her signature hits, but a classic country city, state, and town song especially for those special escapes that everyone seems to enjoy so much. Spring break, summer vacation, or even just an unscheduled week away have all become popular enjoyments that incorporate this song and with the help of Jo Dee, the Carolinas and California are even more popular these days for the image that she expressed in her first hit.