For blog friends in the US, please all join me in a celebration of the United States of America and give thanks in particular for the music it has shared with the world, starting with a little number by Ray Charles, which is appropriate on this day.
I don’t know why I do it. Maybe because dropping down from three football games per day – every day – to having only three that matter remaining is proving to be more traumatic than I imagined, and the absence of ten thousand soothing vuvuzelas ringing in my ears requires deliberate distraction (or a vuvuzela of my own, if anyone’s wondering what I’d like for Christmas…). For whatever the reason, I’ve been trying to recall songs with a US town, city or state in the title this weekend; or songs which, if not identifying a town, city or state in the title, reference one during the course of the song.
Perhaps, let’s say for example, you thought of a place where the flowers grow so very high (San Francisco, of course), or where you might go to get a mojo hand (Louisiana). Possibly somewhere that can boast a place to stay for the night where, oddly, you are able to check-out any time you like but never actually leave (California). You might have at one time believed yourself to be the only living boy in this place (New York), which may or may not have provided good grounds for finding yourself an angel there (Harlem).
Once you start to think about it, you realise that the song itself doesn’t even mention the place you’d assume has been robbed of its name (‘Dakota’ by Stereophonics, for example). That’s OK, because the song doesn’t have to have any words at all to count (such as Jan Hammer’s ‘Theme from Miami Vice’).
Bonus points if there’s a connection to David, however tenuous it may be.
Here are a few to identify. You’ll need to fill in the blanks. Think of it as a warm-up for the main event. How many do you recognise?
01. “Mass production in Saigon while all the workers laid off in _____”
02. “Oh _____, banjos playing through the broken glass”
03. “‘Though your brother’s bound and gagged
And they’ve chained him to a chair
Won’t you please come to _____ just to sing?”
04. “(Get up!) Everybody’s gonna move their feet
(Get down!) Everybody’s gonna leave their seat
You gotta lose your mind in _____ Rock City”
05. “Yeah, there’s thirteen hundred and fifty-two guitar cases in _____
And anyone that unpacks his guitar could play twice as better than I will”
06. “Down in _____, the guys and I dig a city called _____
It’s got the grooviest kids, that’s why we never get tired of _____”
07. “Bring back the _____ rag, tell all your buddies that it ain’t no drag”
08. “Tin soldiers and Nixon coming, we’re finally on our own
This summer I hear the drumming, four dead in _____”
09. “Well, I’m a standing on a corner in _____, _____”
10. “A boy is born in hard-time _____
Surrounded by four walls that ain’t so pretty”
11. “_____, somewhere in middle America
Get right to the heart of matters
It’s the heart that matters more”
12. “Take the last train to _____ and I’ll meet you at the station”
13. “When morning comes to _____
The merchants roll their awnings down
The milk trucks make their morning rounds”
14. “Hate _____, it’s cold and it’s damp and all the people dressed like monkeys”
15. “I’m goin’ to _____, behind the sun”
16. “‘Cause I live and breathe this _____ freedom
From the day that I was born, I’ve waved the flag”
17. “Help me, Information, get in touch with my Marie
She’s the only one who’d phone me here from _____, _____”
18. “So I’m walking in the rain, thumbing for a ride
On this lonely _____ back road”
19. “I’m going back to _____, I do believe I’ve had enough”
20. “Bet your bottom dollar you’ll lose the blues in _____
_____, the town that Billy Sunday couldn’t shut down”
Can we, I wonder, find a song for each US state? That’s right, Alabama right through to Wyoming? Apparently, they did here. (No, please don’t look until you’ve had a good think, that’s cheating and cheating is wrong… Uruguay).
Troublesome states (Vermont?) can be represented by a town or city, thus teaching us all about US geography in the process. You all know that Tulsa is in Oklahoma, I presume? It is, in fact, Oklahoma’s second largest city and the 47th-largest in the whole of the United States in terms of population.
See? Never let it be said that David Gilmour’s blog, if not particularly relevant 97 per cent of the time, is not entirely wholesome and educational.
Some of your own blanks to fill in would be good, too. And trivia. I like trivia.
Acts with names that double as US towns, cities or states may also be used, but only if you’re really, really struggling.
If you haven’t noticed yet, there’s a new video of David at his Astoria houseboat recording studio over on the homepage that you’ll want to see. This time he’s working on ‘This Heaven’. Hope you like it.