Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Songs That Travel: 10 More Themes for Great Cities

Here's the thing about lists. Just when you think you've completed one, and you've sent it out into the world, you start to remember all of the things you left off of it. Here are 10 more songs I love about places I love or would love to visit one day.

"On a Bus to St. Cloud" Trisha Yearwood She's actually referring to St. Cloud, Minnesota, but I like to pretend she's singing about the one in Florida, where I graduated from high school.

"Crescent City" Emmylou Harris There are actually several places called Crescent City in the U.S., but Lucinda Williams, the song's author, was writing about New Orleans, my favorite U.S. town below the Mason-Dixon Line.

"I'm in a Philly Mood" Daryl Hall Someone recently compared Philadelphia to my beloved Melbourne (the one in Australia, not Florida). I didn't get it, but Philly is appealing in its own way for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with the Liberty Bell.

"I Love New York" Madonna More props for the city that will always be home to me.

"Woodstock" Joni Mitchell The perfect, ultimate merger of town and song.

"Fire in Cairo" The Cure I've still never visited, but Egypt is right up there on my bucket list of places to go before I die.

"Tel Aviv" Duran Duran Another tribute to a city on my bucket list, from one of the best albums of the '80s (Duran Duran's 1981 debut).

"Stranger in Moscow" Michael Jackson An ode to the Russian capital, which is bubbling under my bucket list.

"Warsaw" Joy Division I have no idea what to expect from Poland's contribution to my bubbling-under list, but I like to think that this would be the perfect soundtrack.

"Galveston" Glen Campbell I've only once stepped foot onto Texan terrain (and even then, just the floor of the airport in Houston, to catch a connecting flight between New York City and Buenos Aires), yet Galveston will always hold a special place in my heart for inspiring my all-time favorite city song. And speaking of Texas, have the cities of any other U.S. state inspired so much great music?: Marty Robbins' "El Paso," George Strait's "Amarillo by Morning," Larry Gatlin's "Houston," Bob Willis's "San Antonio Rose," the Doobie Brothers' "China Grove," and, of course, the theme from the TV series Dallas!

Honorable Mention: "Miami" The Golden Girls How could I not include it?

5 Songs I Love About Cities I Don't

"Rio" Duran Duran

"Atlanta Blue" The Statler Brothers

"Free Man in Paris" Joni Mitchell

"Detroit City (I Wanna Go Home)" Bobby Bare

"Cincinatti, Ohio" Connie Smith
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