The State of Massachusetts

This article is about the Dropkick Murphys song. For the U.S. state, see Massachusetts.
"The State of Massachusetts"
Single by Dropkick Murphys
from the album The Meanest of Times
A-side "The State of Massachusetts"
"The Thick Skin of Defiance"
B-side "Breakdown"
Released February 4, 2008
Recorded April – June 2007 at The Outpost (Stoughton, Massachusetts)
Genre Celtic punk
Length 3:52
Writer(s) Dropkick Murphys
Producer(s) Dropkick Murphys
Dropkick Murphys singles chronology
"I'm Shipping Up to Boston"
"The State of Massachusetts"

"The State of Massachusetts" is a song by American rock band Dropkick Murphys. It was released on February 4, 2008 as the lead single from their sixth studio album, The Meanest of Times. The song is about the effects of drugs on individuals and their families. "The State of Massachusetts" was one of the 100-most-played songs on U.S. modern rock radio in October 2007. By January 2008, the song had become one of the 60-most-played alternative rock songs in the United States. The song was #83 on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 Best Songs of 2007.[1] It is the theme song to the MTV show Nitro Circus. The music video was filmed on location in the unused and abandoned Curley Auditorium on the Long Island Health Campus in Boston Harbor.[2] The auditorium is located right next to one of the City of Boston's largest emergency homeless shelters, the Long Island Shelter.[3]

In 2013, six years after its release, the song made its first chart appearance on a Billboard chart when it peaked at number 14 on the Billboard Rock Songs chart following the Boston Marathon bombings.

Track listing

7" vinyl

Side A
1."The State of Massachusetts"  3:52
2."The Thick Skin of Defiance"  2:47
Side B
1."Breakdown"  2:27
2."Forever"  3:47

Weekly charts

Chart (2013) Peak
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 (Billboard)[4] 1
US Hot Rock Songs (Billboard)[5] 14


  1. "The 100 Best Songs of 2007" Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2008-11-05
  2. Milliard, Mike, "The best of times: More than a decade into their career, Dropkick Murphys accept success — and pay tribute to the people and the city who helped them earn it", The Boston Phoenix, September 7, 2007.
    "On Boston Harbor’s Long Island, two miles out in Quincy Bay, the Curley Building stands hulking and decrepit. In the library, books tumble in piles, blanketed with dust and mold. The Art Deco auditorium is musty and rusted; holes in the roof illuminate a floor strewn with chunks of ceiling. It’s as if the place was evacuated in a hurry sometime in the 1930s and simply left to the raccoons, one of which decomposes unbothered in a corner. Standing on a weatherworn stage framed by faded crimson curtains, the seven members of Dropkick Murphys are arrayed in stark tableau, black clad and casting long shadows on the piles of junk behind them. They’re here to film the video for “The State of Massachusetts,” the single from their new album, The Meanest of Times (Born & Bred, released on September 18), and as tall Tim Brennan plucks a tricky Celtic melody on his banjo, they lurch into motion."
  3. "The Long Island Shelter" - City of Boston, Boston Public Health Commission, Homeless Services Bureau.
  5. "Dropkick Murphys – Chart history" Billboard Hot Rock Songs for Dropkick Murphys. Retrieved March 21, 2015.
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