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Songs about English place names

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Lootman
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Songs about English place names

#627300

Postby Lootman » November 14th, 2023, 12:14 am

Almost any American town works well as a place name in a song. Even places that are rubbish, like Chattanooga, Amarillo and Tulsa, all of which I have been to and which are utter crap.

But no British song would be called "24 hours from Totnes", "Do you know the way to Solihull" or "Last train to Clacton".

Nor could Simon and Garfunkel have written:

""Kathy", I said as we boarded a National Express bus in Plymouth
"Manchester seems like a dream to me now"
It took me four days to hitchhike from Salford Docks
I've gone to look for England"

Honourable exception for Stainsby Girls by Chris Rea. But any other exceptions?

servodude
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Re: Songs about English place names

#627304

Postby servodude » November 14th, 2023, 12:58 am

Seeing as Simon and Garfunkel have already been mentioned "Scarborough Fair" would appear an obvious choice?

Less twee would be "I don't want to got to Chelsea" , "Guns of Brixton" "London Calling" or Waterloo Sunset"

Getting outside the capital you can go to "Brighton Rock" or "Solsbury Hill"

if you want to go a bit leftfield you can turn to Half Man Half Biscuit ("I left my heat in Papworth General", "Trumpton Riots" ;) ) or the Fall ("Birmingham School of Business School") to probably cover a good portion of the country

I'm sure there are many more in folky circles - but strangely I can't seem to think of anything beyond "Cropredy Badger " (which aint a song) at the moment

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Re: Songs about English place names

#627305

Postby vandefrosty » November 14th, 2023, 1:08 am

Southampton Dock by Pink Floyd. Quite sombre, but I've always felt moved by the emotion in the lyrics.

It's a road, not a town so maybe doesn't count. Portobello Belle by Dire Straits.

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Re: Songs about English place names

#627308

Postby JohnB » November 14th, 2023, 5:15 am

The Slow Train. Flanders and Swann

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Re: Songs about English place names

#627322

Postby Urbandreamer » November 14th, 2023, 7:41 am


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Re: Songs about English place names

#627330

Postby james51 » November 14th, 2023, 8:26 am

How about a Welsh one: Marty Wilde ABERGAVENNY.

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Re: Songs about English place names

#627334

Postby Dicky99 » November 14th, 2023, 8:34 am

Lootman wrote:Almost any American town works well as a place name in a song. Even places that are rubbish, like Chattanooga, Amarillo and Tulsa, all of which I have been to and which are utter crap.

But no British song would be called "24 hours from Totnes", "Do you know the way to Solihull" or "Last train to Clacton".

Nor could Simon and Garfunkel have written:

""Kathy", I said as we boarded a National Express bus in Plymouth
"Manchester seems like a dream to me now"
It took me four days to hitchhike from Salford Docks
I've gone to look for England"

Honourable exception for Stainsby Girls by Chris Rea. But any other exceptions?



On Ilkley Moor Bar T'at...

mc2fool
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Re: Songs about English place names

#627338

Postby mc2fool » November 14th, 2023, 8:52 am


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Re: Songs about English place names

#627342

Postby Urbandreamer » November 14th, 2023, 9:01 am

Lootman wrote:Almost any American town works well as a place name in a song. Even places that are rubbish, like Chattanooga, Amarillo and Tulsa, all of which I have been to and which are utter crap.


You know that we can't just let that bald statement go don't you?
Let's face it there are some pretty strange names in all countries.

I'm not sure that a song about Placentia California, would ever catch on.
A song about Boring Oregon, or Dull Ohio, might not grab the attention either.

As for places that are rubbish, you do have to wonder what Satan's Kingdom Massachusetts, is like. or Foul Rift New Jersey.

The less said about Booger Hole West Virginia, probably the better. Look it up if you really are interested in places you might not want to visit.

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Re: Songs about English place names

#627355

Postby Charlottesquare » November 14th, 2023, 9:50 am

JohnB wrote:The Slow Train. Flanders and Swann


So good I will add a U Tube link.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6OHD2uCpfU

gvonge
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Re: Songs about English place names

#627356

Postby gvonge » November 14th, 2023, 10:01 am

Not actually a title, but Billy Bragg's "A13, Trunk Road to the Sea" manages to cram in a few.

https://youtu.be/T-avoh5Xj9s?si=KvzeiIhtwHvotDjr

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Re: Songs about English place names

#627376

Postby Imbiber » November 14th, 2023, 10:53 am


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Re: Songs about English place names

#627394

Postby Stompa » November 14th, 2023, 11:46 am


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Re: Songs about English place names

#627402

Postby BullDog » November 14th, 2023, 12:00 pm

Penny Lane.

Strawberry Fields.

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Re: Songs about English place names

#627410

Postby ReformedCharacter » November 14th, 2023, 12:27 pm

Clifton in the Rain - Al Stewart

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDBoOgkesPE

RC
(born in Clifton, probably in the rain but I don't remember).

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Re: Songs about English place names

#627435

Postby Lootman » November 14th, 2023, 1:30 pm


I have a map a bit like that on my wall. It is ostensibly a London street map (A to Z style). Although many of the street/song names are American e.g. Positively 4th Street, Bleeker Street, Route 66.

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Re: Songs about English place names

#627452

Postby Leothebear » November 14th, 2023, 1:53 pm

I think Lootman has a valid point. I think it's part of the massive Americana is cool phenomenon inadvertantly started by Holywood and others yonks ago. Their place names just sound more exciting. "Sweet home Bognor Regis" does not work. Nor does "24 hours from Luton". New Orleans sounds much cooler than Newcastle. Ditto Buffalo v Basingstoke.

Leo

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Re: Songs about English place names

#627491

Postby Charlottesquare » November 14th, 2023, 4:01 pm

Leothebear wrote:I think Lootman has a valid point. I think it's part of the massive Americana is cool phenomenon inadvertantly started by Holywood and others yonks ago. Their place names just sound more exciting. "Sweet home Bognor Regis" does not work. Nor does "24 hours from Luton". New Orleans sounds much cooler than Newcastle. Ditto Buffalo v Basingstoke.

Leo


Do the ones they stole from us then become cooler within the UK as the USA now has them, like Rochester?

What about our theft of their names, e.g. California in Scotland, has coolness been imparted near Falkirk?

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Re: Songs about English place names

#627492

Postby bungeejumper » November 14th, 2023, 4:08 pm

servodude wrote:I'm sure there are many more in folky circles - but strangely I can't seem to think of anything beyond "Cropredy Badger " (which aint a song) at the moment

Hundreds of them in folkie circles. "Going up Camborne Hill Coming Down" is one that comes to mind. (Good song, BTW.) Durham Town, a little less so, though I'm not sure which Durham that was. Bredon Hill, of course.

They tell me there's something called Dicky of Taunton Deane. Although I'd probably prefer to hear Billericay Dickie. :D

Not forgetting Finchley Central, Winchester Cathedral, the Lambeth Walk, Grantchester Meadows.....

Has anybody mentioned Luton Airport yet? They tell me that Stacey Dooley started her career there. Worse luck, she didn't stay. :(

BJ

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Re: Songs about English place names

#627504

Postby Lootman » November 14th, 2023, 5:03 pm

Charlottesquare wrote:
Leothebear wrote:I think Lootman has a valid point. I think it's part of the massive Americana is cool phenomenon inadvertantly started by Holywood and others yonks ago. Their place names just sound more exciting. "Sweet home Bognor Regis" does not work. Nor does "24 hours from Luton". New Orleans sounds much cooler than Newcastle. Ditto Buffalo v Basingstoke.

Do the ones they stole from us then become cooler within the UK as the USA now has them, like Rochester?

Ah, but which Rochester? There is probably a Rochester in many States. But the two main ones I know of are Rochester, Minnesota (home of the Mayo Clinic) and Rochester, NY, home of Eastman-Kodak and Susan B. Anthony.

I have not been to either, but the first is a nice place and the latter is not, I have heard.

The more romantic sounding places often have non-English roots such as American Indian (Weehawken, Ho-Ho-Kus), Spanish (Santa Fe, San Jose) or French (Baton Rouge, Fond-du-Lac).

Any songs about Milton Keynes? Bletchley on my mind? Midnight train to Bletchley?


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