Even so, audiences usually overlook the faux pas when the star on stage panders out to the audience, “Hello, Boy-zee!” Unless, of course, they happen to be on stage in Pocatello at the time.
In the summer of 2010, Jewel played at Outlaw Field in Boise and endeared herself to the audience, in spite of a couple of false starts, by singing a newly penned title, The Boise Song. The lyrics list letters you can find in the names of certain cities, i.e., an A in Atlanta, a Y in Kansas City, etc., but ending each verse with “But there is no Z in Boise.”
You can easily find it with Google, but if you missed that concert, you might never hear her perform it live, unless she comes back to Idaho. According to setlist.com, which covers concert statistics, Jewel has performed it just that one time in public.
If you do a search for Boise in the lyrics of songs you’ll come up with about 50 occurrences. Many are versions of the same song brought out on different albums. Most are obscure.
What’s Your Name by Lynyrd Skynyrd made a big splash with the opening line, “It’s 8 o’clock in Boy-zee, Idaho,” released in 1977. According to songfacts.com the original line to that song was “It’s 8 o’clock and boys it’s time to go.” Ronnie Van Zant’s brother, Don Van Zant was opening the national tour of his band .38 Special in Boise. Ronnie, who wrote the song, changed the line to fit the venue. Three days after the album containing the song was released, three members of Lynyrd Skynyrd, including Ronnie Van Zant, were killed in a plane crash. What’s Your Name, peaked on the Billboard chart at number 13 in March, 1978, probably making it the most popular song containing a reference to the state. It appeared on nine Lynyrd Skynyrd albums.
Boise popped up in the lyrics to a Harry Chapin song, WOLD.” Those were the call letters of the Boise radio station where the singer/DJ had hit rock bottom. As a former Boise DJ, I probably resent the implication. Chapin ignored the fact that all radio station call letters west of the Mississippi begin with a K. In the east, you’ll find W call letters, with the exception of KDKA in Pittsburgh. But I digress. Oh, the song made it to number 34 on the Hot One Hundred.
Drake (featuring Lil Wayne and Andre 3000) mentioned Boise, obliquely, in the 2011 song, The Real Her. It was a little hat-tip to the Blue Turf. The word was a little on the fence Z-S-wise but would probably make a native smile.