“Rocky Top” is a classic country song that’s been recorded by a lot of artists. Furthermore, it has been used by the University of Tennessee as their fight song during college football games.

“Rocky Top” Story

Why do you think many people are fond of this song? Well, let’s find out. “Rocky Top” was penned by husband and wife songwriters Felice and Boudleaux Bryant. In the song, the narrator reminisces his time when he was at Rocky Top. He dreams of the place where there is no distraction of telephone bills and smoky smogs. In Rocky Top, he also fell in love.

Wish that I was on ol’ Rocky Top
Down in the Tennessee hills
Ain’t no smoggy smoke on Rocky Top
Ain’t no telephone bills

Basically “Rocky Top” speaks of one’s love of their homeland and dreaming of returning there.

The Writing Process

The couple checked in at the Gatlinburg Inn. It was here when the song came to life. Felice and Boudleaux Bryant were taking a break while working on a project making songs with a slow tempo. Since they think it’s depressing, they tried to write an up-tempo song. So, they came up with “Rocky Top.”

osborne brothers lynn anderson rocky top

Photo Credit: Felice and Boudleaux Bryant/ americansongwriter.com

The room that the couple checked in is now preserved by the inn. Although there were some minor changes to it.

Osborne Brothers’ and Lynn Anderson’s Versions

It was the Osborne Brothers who first recorded the song in 1967. However, Lynn Anderson was the one who made it popular. She made her version reach number seventeen on the country chart. This marks the highest charting version of “Rocky Top.”

Osborne Brothers’ Version

Lynn Anderson’s Version

Other Versions

Aside from these artists, there are also other versions. Some artists known to cover the song were Conway Twitty, Dolly Parton, John Denver, and many more.

Where is Rocky Top?

The place mentioned in the song is only fictional. There is no such thing as Rocky Top, Tennessee. However, some suggested that the songwriters are referring to the Great Smoky Mountains.