Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Song for a city

Where have all the flowers gone?
  [vote for,

The reticulation systems of most "modern" cities date back to the the industrial revolution. and have been merely patched up ever since. "Something must be done', we cry, and that's as far as we get pending another disaster.

Starting again seems to be the only way out of the mess, but if all the others cities are like my city, God help us because we can't agree on anything major, or even minor. Chaos seems to rule.

Then I recall the chaos of the 60s - Vietnam, Cuba, CND - what was it that got us into step?

It was the songs of the 60s, especially the haunting "Where have all the flowers gone?"

I'm too old to shout my city's song now and we haven't got one anyway - but I can dream of a National City-songs Contest can't ?

rayfo, Jul 12 2001

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       Many (most?) American cities have songs written in their honor, though not in any offical capacity. For me, off the top of my head:   

       Grandmaster Flash's "New York, New York (Big City of Dreams)"   

       Fear's "New York's All Right if you Like Saxophones"   

       Rolling Stones' "Shattered"   

       Sinatra, of course, but I don't like him.
snarfyguy, Jul 12 2001

       "City of New Orleans" is the name of the train; I think the only cities mentioned are Memphis and Kankakee, Illinois.   

       Also on the city song list: "All the Way to Memphis" by Mott the Hoople, "Okie from Muskogie" by Merle Haggard, "Asshole from El Paso" and "Rapid City, South Dakota" by Kinky Friedman, "L.A. Woman" by the Doors, "Miami" by Bob Seeger and "Gary, Indiana" from the world of musicals. Then there's "Dirty Water" by the Standells for Boston and "My City Was Gone" by the Pretenders for most of Ohio. Thousands more could follow.   

       Thing is, very few of these songs really work that well as civic pride anthems- assuming that's what Rayfo wants, rather than a municipal version of the Eurovision Song Contest. "New York, New York" and "Viva Las Vegas" are fine, and "Kansas City," "I Left My Heart in San Francisco," "St. Louis Blues," "Hurray for Hollywood," "Chattanooga Choo-Choo" and "Okie from Muskogie" might all work for their respective cities as well. But do you really think Saginaw wants to be known as a place that's hard to hitchhike from, Boston for dirty water, Rapid City for teenage pregnancy, Lubbock for being a place that's best left, or El Paso for murderous rednecks and labor law violations?   

       The general idea- instilling civic pride by means of a catchy song- is a good idea historically, though it seems to have gone the way of civic pride.
Uncle Nutsy, Jul 13 2001

       'Viva Las Vegas' by 'The Dead Kennedys' on 'Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables' BTW.
thumbwax, Jul 13 2001

       you all forgot the most important song - the theme from beverly hills 90210! :o)
mihali, Jul 13 2001

Beverly Hillbillies
thumbwax, Jul 13 2001

       Since we're on a Southern California subtheme here, I'd like to mention a few L.A. songs that didn't make the list: Randy Newman's misunderstood "I Love L.A.", and the X mosh-pit classic, "Los Angeles". There was also "Walking in L.A.", which was popular when I was in high school, but I don't remember the name of the 80's band that performed it.   

       I wouldn't say that any of the above instilled civic pride ... though the irony in the Randy Newman song was subtle enough that the city celebrated hosting the 1984 Olympics by running that song in TV commercials. In the main, contemporary songs about Los Angeles tell the truth: it's not a great place to visit, it's a terrible place to live, and the only thing thicker than the smog is the attitude.   

       You can get a damn fine taco there, though ...
1percent, Jul 14 2001

       aah, memories... I was hoping you'd toss that out there Rods - after all, I left the door wide open for you.
Missing Persons did "Walking in 'a Lake' (Ok I lied) L.A."

       I am Governor Jerry Brown, My aura smiles and never frowns, Soon I will be President... Carter power will soon go away, I will be Fuhrer one day, I will command all of you, Your kids will meditate in school, California Uber alles, California Uber alles, Uber alles California, Uber alles California
Zen fascists will control you, Hundred percent natural, You will jog for the master race, And always wear the happy face, Close your eyes, can't happen here, Big Bro' on white horse is near, The hippies won't come back you say, Mellow out or you will pay, California Uber alles, California Uber alles, Uber alles California ,Uber alles California
Now It Is 1984 Knock knock at your front door, It's the suede denim secret police, They have come for your uncool niece, Come quietly to the camp, You'd look nice as a drawstring lamp, Don't you worry, it's only a shower, For your clothes here's a pretty flower, Die on organic poison gas, Serpent's egg's already hatched, You will croak, you little clown, When you mess with President Brown, California Uber alles, Uber alles California
thumbwax, Jul 14 2001

       I'll pass on the latte, but I will take a Diet Coke, a bottle of coconut-oil tanning accelerator and a cyanide tablet, thanks ...
1percent, Jul 16 2001

       Oh, I don't know; "Do You Know the Way to Giggleswick" is kind of catchy.   

       And for the record, I do.
1percent, Jul 16 2001

       PS: Other than London, Liverpool and Bron-y-Aur, I can't think of many U.K. cities that have had rock songs written for them, but there are some songs that mention them:   

       "Four thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire..."
"Far away places like Wigan and Birmingham..."
"She was a girl from Birmingham, she just had an abortion..."
"No need for the Black Maria, goodbye to the Brixton sun..."

       When you consider that Blackburn gets the most positive spin, perhaps its better that we 'Murricans don't know more songs about U.K. cities.
Uncle Nutsy, Jul 16 2001

       Of course, there's always the classic Weegee (Glaswegian) drunkard's song:   

       I belong to Glasgow
Dear old Glasgow Town
But there's something the matter with Glasgow
'Cause it's going round and round...
Guy Fox, Jul 16 2001

       Of course, there's always the classic Weegee (Glaswegian) drunkard's song:   

       I belong to Glasgow
Dear old Glasgow Town
But there's something the matter with Glasgow
'Cause it's going round and round...

       Can't seem to remember the rest...
Guy Fox, Jul 16 2001

       How about some of John Betjeman's Poetry?
(1st stanza of 10)

       Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough!
It isn't fit for humans now,
There isn't grass to graze a cow.
Swarm over, Death!
st3f, Jul 17 2001


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