Florida has always been well-known for its prosperous tourist industry, and music has aided in communicating this idea. Beginning in the late 1800s and hitting its peak in the 1930s, composition of musical pieces specific to the state of Florida showed Florida as a seat of fun and relaxation. The front covers of sheet music even convey this feeling, being brightly colored and filled with palm trees.
The titles of many works contained such words as “sunny,” ”palms,” and the famous “Swanee” or “Suwanee” River--providing hints as to how those residing in the Sunshine State wished this place to be viewed by outsiders.
The state song of Florida, “Old Folks at Home,” by Stephen Foster, recounts feelings of being at home in the southern air of Florida. However, other less-acknowledged songs contain lyrics written specifically for Florida. For example, “In Florida Among the Palms,” by Irving Berlin shows typical Floridian descriptions: “If I had my way, I'd always stay/In Florida among the palms/With its peaceful air of 'I don't care'/And lazy atmosphere that calms…. There's something in the climate that charms/Heaven's corridor is sunny Florida/Home of the shelt'ring palms.”