Some musicians write songs about specific locations. It can be a street, an avenue, a boulevard, a road, a park, a mountainous area, a beach, a town, a city or a country. Most of the times the musician wants to pay Homage to a place that is dear to him. Maybe he grew up there, maybe he still lives there, perhaps he visited the place and was so overwhelmed by it that he wants to pay tribute to it. Or maybe it's the opposite. He wants to criticize the place because he associates it with a certain bad memory, a political system he despises or the mentality of the community who lives there.
In either way, Location Songs will attract attention from people who actually inhabit the place and those who might get curious enough to actually find out more about it and visit it. So it's no surprise that a lot of these songs will actually be used in tourist videos or films and series that take place in the location described in the song.
To many people across the world, it may even be the only thing they know about them. Some people may even be surprised this location actually exists in real life! "Route 66", for instance, a highway between Chicago and L.A. would probaly never have become such an iconic road if it weren't for the fact that Bobby Troup wrote a much Covered Up song about it in 1946, made famous by Nat King Cole.
Note for those who want to add examples: We put everything according to country and alphabetically. Locations that no longer exist are also allowed, as well as instrumentals.
For national anthems, which aren't always about locations, but sometimes more about the nation's founder or the people, see National Anthem.
MOD NOTE: Say no to Zero Context Examples. Do not just list the song name and the name of the band. Explain what the song is about and how it talks about the place.
- The continent in general is reflected in "Africa" by Toto, about a social worker who becomes obsessed with the continent and has a somewhat romanticized view of it.
- Algiers: Mentioned in "Broken Flag" by Patti Smith from her album Wave.
For we're marching towards Algiers
Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Zaire - A 1974 song, In Zaïre by Johnny Wakelin, from the time the country was still called Zaïre and the boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, later immortalized in the documentary When We Were Kings, was organized there. It was written specifically for and about the event.
- Abyssinia - Patti Smith's song "Abyssinia", from her album Radio Ethiopia addresses the people of this country:
There will be no famine in my existence
I merge with the people of the hills
Oh people of Ethiopia
Your opiate is the air that you breathe
All those mint bushes around you
Are the perfect thing for your system
Aww clean clean it out
You must rid yourself from these, these animal fixations
You must release yourself
From the thickening blackmail of elephantiasis
You must divide the wheat from the rats
You must turn around (and look oh God)
- Marrakesh - "Marrakesh Express" by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, inspired by Graham Nash's journey on that train and what he saw there.
- Mozambique - Bob Dylan's song "Mozambique" elaborates on the uniqueness of the country. Here's the initial stanza:
I like to spend some time in Mozambique
The sunny sky is aqua blue
And all the couples dancing cheek to cheek
It's very nice to stay a week or two
And maybe fall in love just me and you
- Mafia Island - The song "Mafia Island" by Alphaville was inspired by a vacation lead singer Marian Gold took to Zanzibar in the early 90s. According to him, he got drunk at a bar and started to imagine what it would be like if the people on Mafia Island were the only people left living on the planet.
- Sun City - An anti-apartheid song by the Artists United Against Apartheid, where they all sang that they wouldn't perform in Sun City, unless apartheid was abolished.
- Transvaal - The song "My Sarie Marais" is a song in Afrikaans (Dutch language in South Africa), about a lover living in the Transvaal, a region in South Africa and the protagonist wanting to go back there. The line "o bring my terug na die ou Transvaal" ("Oh, bring me back to the old Transvaal") is so well known that many people assume that is the original title.
- Zimbabwe - Bob Marley wrote an eponymous song about the country, available on Survival to advocate and celebrate its independence.
- "It's a Long Way to Mukumbura" - A Rhodesian marching song based on "It's a Long Way to Tipperary"
- "Holiday in Cambodia" by Dead Kennedys is a song mocking college-age "armchair liberals" who pretend to care about the poor and marginalized, suggesting they be sent to work like slaves in the "killing fields" of the Khmer Rouge and see the suffering of the Third World up close.
- Kim Wilde's "Cambodia" is about a Vietnam War pilot who goes missing, and his fiancee waiting for his return.
- Beijing: The song "(There Are) Nine Million Bicyles (In Beijing)" by Katie Melua is based on the fact that traffic jams with bicycles used to occur in the streets (it's still probably one of the few cities on Earth were the bike lane can take up half the street). The bikes have been replaced by myriads of cars these days, along with lots of air pollution and thick smog.
- "Chinatown", a Ska track by Don Drummond with The Skatalites. It could, of course, also be about chinatowns around the world.
- "China My China" is a song by Brian Eno taking an ambivalent stance towards Chinese politics. It comes from Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy, an album generally inspired by Eno's fascination with the pageantry of Maoist opera.
- India in general: "Song Of India" from the opera "Sadko" by Nikolai Rimsky Korsakov is a dreamy piece about the mystery of the orient. It has been covered by many big band musicians too.
- Kolkata (Calcutta):
- "Calcutta (Taxi, Taxi, Taxi)" by Dr. Bombay tells story-wise that a guy goes to Calcutta to work as a taxi driver and isn't particularly successful. Memorable things are vocals with a thick accent and repeated "Cali cali cutta cutta cutta eyoh eyoh" line. The music video adds some criminally irresponsible action (such as hitting pedestrians or stealing a food plate in broad daylight) by the protagonist on the streets of fictional Calcutta, Played for Laughs.
- The whole "Rice and Curry" album is silly Eurodance songs about India, all from the perspective of Doctor Bombay. It includes tigers eating people, Lethal Chef levels of cooking, snake charming and much more.
- Lawrence Welk had a No. 1 instrumental hit called "Calcutta" in 1961.
- New Delhi: The song "New Delhi" by Madness from The Rise & Fall features a man visiting the city and getting lost there in the wilderness when his car breaks down. Then it turns out to have been All Just a Dream.
- Punjab: "Land of Five Rivers" by Panjabi MC, a British artist of Punjabi origin, was WWE's entrance music for The Great Khali, a Punjab native. The lyrics are basically an ode to the region, whose name literally means "five rivers".
- Bethlehem: "O Little Town of Bethlehem" is a traditional Christmas carol about the place where Jesus Christ, according to the New Testament, would have been born. It has been covered by, among others, Bob Dylan on his album Christmas in the Heart.
- Jerusalem: The hymn "Jerusalem" (a setting by Hubert Parry of words by William Blake) is only incidentally about the city. The song is more about the people of England building a "new Jerusalem".
- Japan: The song "Big in Japan" by Alphaville and the similarly titled, but completely different song by Tom Waits from Mule Variations. Both have the same message: Celebrity Is Overrated when you're famous in that country.
- Ganryu Island: The John Zorn album "Ganryu Island" (1985) is named after a small Japanese island of the same name, where samurai warriors Miyamoto Musashi and Sasaki Kojiro engaged in battle. They are also featured on the cover.
- Nagasaki: Crass' song "Nagasaki Nightmare" is a Protest Song against nuclear warfare.
- "J Pop (Welcome to Tokyo)" from Phineas and Ferb.
- "Tokyo" by Canadian singer/songwriter Bruce Cockburn.
- The first half of "Tokyo" by Thundercat starts off as an enthusiastic song about visiting the city, but takes a turn for the depressing in the second half to the point of even alluding to Aokigahara Forest.
- One Piece: The Nippon Judan 47 album of Image Songs is themed around the 47 prefectures of Japan (except One World, which we'll get to later), but how much the songs mention the prefectures they are associated with vary.
- Meanwhile, Todoufuken Gen Ima Cruise, sung by Luffy, Ace and Sabo's younger selves, is a List Song about all the prefectures, with nods to the other songs on the album.
- Scatman John's "Lebanon", a slow and darker tone piece, features Scatman half-talking about a number of general historical and other apparently strong points Lebanon has. The other half is questioning whether they still persist, "or has their song been silenced". Trademark scatting is scarce.
- The Human League's "The Lebanon" is about the civil war which was going on there at the time, which was unusually serious subject matter for the group.
- "Mesopotamia" by The B-52s plays on the Mainstream Obscurity of the region, with the narrator wanting to go there while admitting that he knows nothing about it except that its history goes back a long way, and it has pyramids.
- Manila - Hotdog, a 1970s OPM band, wrote a love letter to the eponymous city.
- Singapore - Tom Waits wrote an eponymous song about it on his album Rain Dogs, which is a pirate song.
- "Satoori Rap/Paldongangsan" by BTS is a song about the different regional dialects of Korean. "Ma City" is also a song where they each boast about their hometowns (Ilsannote - Busan note - Gwangjunote - Daegu note ).
- Gangnam - A district in Seoul, made world famous by the dance hit "Gangnam Style" by Psy.
- "One Night in Bangkok" from the musical Chess is about the nightlife in the city.
- "A Passage to Bangkok" by Rush, from their album 2112, is a Wanderlust Song about drug tourists travelling to Bangkok via North Africa and the Middle East while sampling the "wares" of various countries.
- Istanbul - The comedic song "Istanbul Not Constantinople" by The Four Lads, later covered by They Might Be Giants on Flood. It describes how the city changed its name in the course of centuries.
- "Goodnight Saigon", from Billy Joel's 1982 album The Nylon Curtain, doesn't mention the city or even the country in its lyrics, but is clearly about the experiences of American soldiers in The Vietnam War.
- "Blame Canada", from South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut is a song the citizens of "South Park" sing when caught up in a media frenzy about the country, because they made a film that upset the parents with its vulgar language. It was even nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Song.
- "O Canada", with music by Calixa Lavallée and lyrics by Adophe-Basile Routhier (French) and Robert Stanley Weir (English), is the Canadian national anthem and a patriotic ode to the country praising its natural beauty. (Though the allusions to natural beauty are found in verses that aren't normally sung.)
- Halifax, Nova Scotia: "Hello City" by Barenaked Ladies is a Take That! aimed at this seaside town.
- "Canada Haunts Me" by They Might Be Giants is a short, surreal song that loosely references James Polk and the 19th century dispute over the Oregon Territory ("Fifty-four forty or fight").
- "First Rate Town" by Good Kid. While the place isn't named, the band members have stated that it was based on Toronto, where they came from, and Montreal is mentioned. In the song, the singer lives in a town that's very cold. Someone he loves ends up leaving, which he didn't think they would do, and he blames them for not seeing all the good things about the town. Since his praises merely say that "some of us are still left here" and "they keep the death rates down", it's probably not that good of a place.
- North Pole: The North Pole is usually treated as Eskimo Land, a romanticized version that treats the location to be almost like a separate country, instead of merely being part of Canada and/or Alaska. Songs that depict the place like this are Frank Zappa's "Nanook Rubs It" and "Don't Eat The Yellow Snow" from Apostrophe (') and The Residents' Concept Album Eskimo, both comedic takes on all the clichés associated with the Inuit people there.
- The USA in general:
- "America" by Simon & Garfunkel is about people traveling across the USA with high expectations.
- "Livin' in America" by James Brown is a Pep-Talk Song on how great it is to live there.
- "America" from West Side Story, where the women sing how they like the USA better than Puerto Rico and (in the movie version) the men naming all the bad things about the USA.
- "America" by Neil Diamond, from the soundtrack to the 1980 remake of The Jazz Singer, is a positive interpretation of immigration to the U.S.
- "This Land Is Your Land" by Woody Guthrie was originally a political song that invoked locations in the USA. However, its more often performed now as children's music and has been adapted for other countries.
- "Amerika" by Rammstein, which deals with the worldwide cultural and political imperialism of the USA.
- Animaniacs has "Wakko's America", a List Song of all states and their capitols.
- "Your State's Name Here" by Lou and Peter Berryman parodies the type of state-specific song represented by some of the examples below.
- This map by Dorothy has all the below examples and more.
- "Alabama" by Neil Young, a critical song about racism and slavery in the American South.
- "My Home's in Alabama", the 1980 breakout hit for Alabama, told the story of the band's early career, also paying extensive homage to the Alabama roots of its core members.
- The band's next single and first country #1, "Tennessee River", is a celebration of growing up near said river, which flows close to the core members' hometown of Fort Payne, Alabama.
- "Oh Susannah", better known as "I've Come From Alabama (With A Banjo On My Knee)" by Stephen Foster is about a cowboy who rode in from Alabama to meet his sweetheart.
- "Sweet Home Alabama" by Lynyrd Skynyrd is an Answer Song about what makes the South wonderful, in reaction to Neil Young's more pessimistic "Alabama".
- Eric Church's "Talladega," about fixing up an old car and road tripping with his friends as teenagers to watch NASCAR at the speedway.
- "Anchorage", the Signature Song of Michelle Shocked, relates a letter sent by a friend who has moved from New York to Anchorage and is trying to downplay her Small Town Boredom.
- "There Is No Arizona" by Australian country singer Jamie O'Neal is about a woman whose lover keeps stringing her along with lies of settling down with her in the titular state.
- "Arizona" by Mark Lindsay (1970) shares its title with the state, but the title is implied to be either the name or nickname of the hippie girl to whom the narrator is singing the song.
- "A Little Past Little Rock" by Lee Ann Womack, about a woman leaving a relationship she knows is bad for her but she wants to say in. She's driving east from Dallas, and is "a little past Little Rock, but a long way from over you."
- "Little Rock" by Collin Raye, about a man who leaves his wife because he is ashamed of his alcoholism. He tells her he's "on a roll here in Little Rock" and talks about the ways he's slowly rebuilding his life without drinking, like getting a job and attending church, but he misses her.
- Baton Rouge – "Callin' Baton Rouge", originally recorded in 1978 by The Oak Ridge Boys but most famously covered by Garth Brooks in 1993, is about a male narrator (presumably a trucker) trying to make contact with a woman he'd met the night before in Louisiana's capital.
- Prominently named in the chorus of the Standells' "Dirty Water", which is a mock paean to the city and its then-famously polluted Boston Harbor and Charles River.
- This list would not be complete without Dropkick Murphys' "I'm Shipping Up to Boston", setting their own original Celtic-punk melody to lyrics by Woody Guthrie that pay tribute to the great New England port.
- Not to mention "The Devil Came Up to Boston", Boston-area roots rockers Adam Ezra Group's affectionate parody of the Charlie Daniels classic "The Devil Went Down to Georgia". The lyrics are filled with references to Boston-area locations, play practically every urban Hollywood New England trope up to eleven, and are spoken/sung in a deliberately exaggerated Boston accent.
- Canajoharie - The song "Canajoharie" by They Might Be Giants uses the name of this town in New York to describe the place where terrestrial vertebrates first evolved.
- "Beverly Hills" by Weezer is about an average guy living in the suburbs, wishing he could catch his big break and move to Beverly Hills.
- "California Dreamin'" by The Mamas & the Papas was made when many hippies wanted to go to this location and reflects the desire to go there and start a new life.
- "California Über Alles" by Dead Kennedys, a satirical punk song about the center-left, Boomer-yuppie friendly policies of governor Jerry Brown juxtaposing images of Nazi tyranny with hippie/yuppie stereotypes ("You will jog for the master race / And always wear the happy face"). (The Dead Kennedys were of course far-left socialist/anarchist punks who found all this soulless and distasteful.)
- "California Sun" by The Rivieras (1964).
- Californication by Red Hot Chili Peppers is about how everything in the world is becoming more and more like California, aka Hollywood and thus fake and struggling for instant celebrity.
- Local H wrote a song called "California Songs" that mocks the fact that so many songs are written about California.
- "Weird Al" Yankovic: "I Hate California" by Jonathan Coulton is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
- Frank Zappa's song "Village Of The Sun" from Roxy & Elsewhere is a nostalgic song about his youth in Palmdale, California.
- "Sunset Boulevard" from the musical of the same name is inspired by a street in LA that leads towards Hollywood. The song is about Joe the screenwriter describing how hard it is to not only make it in the film industry, but to stay on top.
- The Blue Öyster Cult's songs about the Hells Angels do this. Shadow of California is about an Angels chapter driving from San Bernadino to Los Angeles along Highway 210, bent on dark deeds by night. Transmaniacon MC retells the story of the Altamont rock festival - from the point of view of the Hells Angels who infamously provided stage security.
- Tenderloin is about drug addiction in the eponymous district of San Francisco.
- Death Valley Nights is a wistful love ballad. Set in... yes, you've guessed it.note
- "California" by Lenny Kravitz, on how the singer grew up there from 10+ after moving from New York.
- "California Gurlz" by Katy Perry is a peppy ode to the state and especially the girls who live there. Perry stated that she wanted to do for the West Coast what the below-mentioned "Empire State of Mind" did for the East.
- Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has one about a specific city in California, "West Covina."
- "Go West" by the Village People, which was inspired by the rallying cry that led people to California... but given everything related to the group ended up resonating with gays, also fit the state's reputation as a hub for the budding gay rights movement.
- “California Girls” by the The Beach Boys extols the virtues of women from California, describing them as “best in the world.”
- "Ventura Highway" by America, inspired by the eponymous freeway.
- Tony Bennett's "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" is about a man pining for "my city by the Bay".
- Sharon Van Etten's "Malibu" is about a less glamorous but more equal relationship, signified by the visual of two lovers driving through Malibu, California.
- The Sir Douglas Quintet's "Mendocino" is about the narrator pleading for his girlfriend to stay with him in Mendocino instead of running off with a "fast-talkin' guy".
- "Wagon Wheel" by Bob Dylan and Ketch Secor is a song about someone journeying to Raleigh to meet his girlfriend in an attempt to turn over a new leaf ("If I die in Raleigh, at least I will die free").
- Bruce Springsteen's "Darlington County" (off "Born in the U.S.A.") is all about a couple of guys from the Northeast (maybe from New York City, maybe from New Jersey or the New York suburbs) coming down to Darlington County, South Carolina, spitting game and trying to have some fun with some pretty Southern belles.
- "Yankee Bayonet" by The Decemberists centers on a girl from Oconee County, SC whose sweetheart is killed in the Civil War at one of the Battles of Bull Runnote (referred to as "Manassas" because the characters are Southerners).
- James Taylor's "Carolina in My Mind," in which Taylor is nostalgic for the area and imagines going there. "Copperline" references the area of North Carolina where Taylor grew up and describes his childhood experiences growing up near Chapel Hill.
- The Boswell Sisters' "An Evening in Caroline" focuses on the scenery of South Carolina and the possibility of meeting "the sweetest sweetie".
- "Chicago That Toddlin' Town" by Fred Fisher, made famous by Frank Sinatra. It's about how Chicago is supposedly a wonderful and exciting place.
- "Chicago" from Tom Waits' Bad As Me is a song about someone who wants to move to Chicago in the hope that things will be "better there".
- "The Night Chicago Died" by Paper Lace is sung about a possibly historical and possibly fictional shoot-out between the police and Al Capone's gang. The song is also implied as being a sequel to Paper Lace's "Billy don't be a hero".
- "Something from Nothing" by Foo Fighters (both the city and some natives - "Wash them in the muddy water...").
- "My Kind of Town", also sung by Frank Sinatra, which is about its supposed friendliness and dependability.
- "The Windy City" from Calamity Jane lists various attractions and states that in Jane's opinion they don't compare to South Dakota.
- The song "Cleveland Rocks" by Ian Hunter, later covered by The Presidents of the United States of America is considered an anthem in the city and is often heard on opening days for every major sport in Cleveland. The Presidents version was also known as the theme song for The Drew Carey Show which was set in Cleveland.
- Colorado - John Denver's "Rocky Mountain High" was written three years after he moved to Aspen and is all about how peaceful Denver felt when he was in Colorado.
- Detroit - "Amityville" from Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP is a song about Detroit, where the rapper discusses the city's crowning as murder capital of the United States.
- El Paso - Marty Robbins' "El Paso" from Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs, about a cowboy who fled the town after shooting down a cowboy making advances at his girlfriend.
- El Segundo - The A Tribe Called Quest hit song "I Left My Wallet in El Segundo", where the band sings how they lost their wallet at that location and need to get it back.
- "Kokomo" by The Beach Boys is about a beach in Florida.
- In Vaughan Monroe's "Moon Over Miami" he asks the moon to provide some light for a romantic coastside walk with his girlfriend.
- The song "Georgia on My Mind", famously covered by Ray Charles, is a homage to this state and has in fact become its official anthem.note
- "Rainy Night in Georgia", written and first recorded by Tony Joe White, but better known for its 1970 cover by Brook Benton. Decades later, White recalled that the song was inspired by his experience as a young adult driving a dump truck in suburban Atlanta.
- Gladys Knight & the Pips recorded "Midnight Train to Georgia" about a couple that found Los Angeles too daunting, and were retreating to their origins in bucolic Georgia by train.
- The Charlie Daniels Band's "The Devil Went Down to Georgia", about the devil challenging a farmboy to a fiddle duel for his soul to meet his quota. The farmboy wins and it's basically five minutes of epic fiddling on the part of the band.
- Graceland - Paul Simon wrote a song about this location in Memphis, Tennessee (and included it on an album also called Graceland), which is nowadays most famous as the name of Elvis Presley's mansion. In the context of the Title Track he is driving to the place to visit it.
- Hollywood - An eponymous hit song by Madonna from her album American Life was written about this city and is about the hollowness of glitter and fame.
- Hawaii: Ted Fio Rito's "I Wanna Go Back to My Little Grass Shack in Kealakekua, Hawaii" is about a homesick Hawaiian boy longing for all the delights of his island home.
- Emo Philips, born in Chicago and raised in the western suburb of Downers Grove, wrote and performed an ode to his hometown, "I Like to Shop in Downtown Downers Grove". In the liner notes to the album on which it appeared, E=MO2, Philips claimed to have written the song for a (fictional) Chamber of Commerce contest, winning 5th prize, "honorable mention".
- Sufjan Stevens made a 2005 Concept Album about this state; his 2006 outtakes mixtape The Avalanche is also centered on Illinois locations like Springfield and Pittsfield.
- Peter, Paul and Mary composed the song "Waukegan" to sing on The Jack Benny Program. Benny was a native of Waukegan and took the opportunity to promote it as much as he could. However, the song turns out to be mostly insults about Benny.
- John Hartford, who was a licensed river pilot in addition to being a prolific bluegrass, folk, and country singer-songwriter, wrote "Long Hot Summer Day" from the perspective of a barge worker on the Illinois River. The song specifically references two towns on that river, Pekin and Beardstown, plus Alton, an Illinois town on the Mississippi.
- Kansas City - An eponymous song was written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller about this city, later covered by The Beatles on Beatles for Sale. The song is about someone going to this place to visit his girlfriend.
- "Kentucky Rain", a 1970 hit for Elvis Presley, is about a hitchhiker traveling through the state in search of his missing love. Before he became famous as a solo artist, Ronnie Milsap played piano on the recording.
- "Kentucky Woman" by Neil Diamond is more about the woman than the state.
- "My Old Kentucky Home", by 19th-century composer Stephen C. Foster, is the state's official song, though it's controversial in part because of its origins as a minstrel song. Interpretations vary widely, but all agree it's about a man longing for his former home in the state. See The Other Wiki for more details.
- "Nothin' But the Taillights", a 1998 #1 country hit for Clint Black, features a narrator who was left by his lover in Kentucky watching as she drives away from him.
- "Paradise" by John Prine is a 1971 message song about the impact of strip mining for coal. The title is the name of an actual town that was next to a strip mine. The town was eventually bought out and torn down due to health concerns over its proximity to a coal-fired power plant fed by the mine.
- "Run for the Roses", a 1982 hit for Dan Fogelberg, does name-drop the state, but it's about the journey of a horse from its birth to the Kentucky Derby.note
- "Baxter Avenue", from Jack Harlow's debut album Thats What They All Say, takes its title from a Louisville street known for its nightlife. While it has a Non-Appearing Title, it basically tells the story of Harlow's Louisville upbringing.
- Harlow's second album, Come Home the Kids Miss You, includes "Churchill Downs" (with Drake as a featured artist), about the iconic horse track.
- "Eight More Miles to Louisville", written and originally recorded by Grandpa Jones, is sung from the viewpoint of a man looking forward to meeting his girlfriend in Louisville.
- Las Vegas
- "Viva Las Vegas!" by Elvis Presley, a Pep-Talk Song which practically has become the Standard Snippet to play whenever this city is depicted in popular culture.
- Katy Perry's "Waking Up in Vegas," about waking up to all of the weird stuff she did after getting drunk the night before, including possibly getting married to a friend.
- Faith Hill's "Let's Go to Vegas", about running away to the city to impulsively get married. The song is full of puns about what Vegas is known for, including telling her lover they'll "take a gamble and say 'I do'", that he's her "ace in the hole" while she's his "lady luck", and they should "bet on love and let it ride."
- Los Angeles - L.A./Hollywood-related tropes are often in force for songs about California in general.
- "I Love L.A." by Randy Newman.
- "L.A., You Belong to Me" by Robert Jason, the theme song to the short-lived 1985 NBC detective series Half Nelson, is basically an ode to the city.
- "Maybe the People Would Be the Times or Between Clark and Hilldale" is named after two Los Angeles streets.
- "Observatory Crest" by Captain Beefheart from his album Bluejeans & Moonbeams is set at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, California, where Beefheart and his partner go and see a concert at this location and spent some time together afterwards.
- The lyrics of "Pico and Sepulveda", a 1947 song recorded by Freddy Martin (as Felix Figueroa) and his orchestra, are mostly a recitation of L.A. street names. The song went on to become the theme to Dr. Demento's radio program, and was also featured in the 1980 cult film Forbidden Zone.
- The Red Hot Chili Peppers not only sing about California, but also their hometown of LA as well ("Hollywood", "Under the Bridge").
- Foo Fighters have "Stacked Actors", describing a Horrible Hollywood, and "Outside", inspired by Los Angeles and in particular Joe Walsh's ranch.
- Van Halen's "Chinatown" is about the eponymous L.A. neighborhood.
- The Walkmen have a song about running away to this state (titled simply "Louisiana").
- "Louisiana Saturday Night" by Mel McDaniel.
- Donovan Woods: "Portland, Maine"
- The 1976 debut single and by far biggest hit from the Atlanta band Starbuck, "Moonlight Feels Right", is obviously set in that state, with the singer telling his (presumed) date, "I'll take you on a trip beside the ocean/And drop the top at Chesapeake Bay", and noting that she "came to Baltimore from Ole Miss".
- Massachusetts -
- Patti Page's "Old Cape Cod" mentions the local scenery and lobster stew.
- The James Taylor song "Sweet Baby James" describes the snowy drive from Stockbridge to Boston in its second verse, a reference to the drive Taylor made to meet his newborn nephew—named James, and for whom the song was written.
- Marc Cohn wrote "Walking in Memphis" to describe his experience in the city.
- Pam Tillis has "Maybe it Was Memphis", a Love Nostalgia Song for a fling she had there.
- Will Smith once wrote a hit song about the joy of partying in this city.
- Swedish House Mafia had an international hit and US dance #1 in 2010, "Miami 2 Ibiza", with English rapper Tinie Tempah on vocals. The song itself just mentions the two locations, but its music video shows a woman journeying between the two party hotspots.
- Michigan - Sufjan Stevens made a 2003 Concept Album about the state.
- "Saginaw, Michigan" by Lefty Frizzell.
- "All Summer Long" by Kid Rock is a nostalgic tale of summers spent in the northern part of the state.
- "Stuck Between Stations" by The Hold Steady mentions "Twin Cities kisses" and John Berryman committing suicide by jumping off the Washington Avenue Bridge in Minneapolis
- "Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis" by Tom Waits is a monologue from a prostitute serving time in prison in Minnesota.
- Bob Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited" is named for the highway connecting his native Duluth to major cities.
- Mississippi – "Mississippi" by Charlie Daniels, in which the singer thinks about his past in that state. Ironically, Daniels, who also wrote the song, never lived in the state; he was a North Carolina native who moved to Nashville to pursue his music career.
- Frank Zappa's "Montana", from his album Over-Nite Sensation, is a fantasy song where he imagines himself raising dental floss on a farm, while riding a pygmy pony.
- "Meet Me in Montana", a #1 country hit in 1985 for Dan Seals and Marie Osmond, about two lovers who pursue entertainment dreams but fail, deciding that their future is with one another in Montana.
- Bruce Springsteen wrote an album featuring a song about the state, although many of the songs on the album deal with other places (particularly Springsteen's native New Jersey).
- Richard Marx's "Hazard" is nominally set in Hazard, Nebraska, though the real-life Hazard is nothing like the one in the song. Marx simply chose it from a list of places in Nebraska because it sounds cool.
- "You and I" by Lady Gaga, sung about a lover from Nebraska. Some radio stations outside Nebraska played custom versions of the song in which the word "Nebraska" was replaced with the name of their local state.
- Nevada the Blue Öyster Cult's Death Valley Nights is a wistful love ballad. Set in... yes, you've guessed it.note
- Las Vegas has had numerous songs written about it, including "Waking Up in Vegas" by Katy Perry, "Viva Las Vegas" by Elvis Presley, "Pretty Vegas" by INXS, and "Let's Go to Vegas" by Faith Hill, to name just a few.
- New Jersey
- Bruce Springsteen, proudest son of the Garden State, has so many:
- "Born to Run" references Highway 9. U.S. Route 9 is the major local road running up the New Jersey coast, running parallel with the Garden State Parkway. It serves as a kind of regional Main Street for much of Monmouth County, in particular.
- "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out": The Tenth Avenue in question is not the one in New York, but rather the one in Belmar, N.J.
- "Atlantic City": About a man meeting his girlfriend in, well, Atlantic City, New Jersey, for some fun. Oddly, the implication is that the man is not from New Jersey, but rather from either New York or Philadelphia, and has been hired by one side or the other as a hit man in the war between pro- and anti-Five Families forces for control of the Philadelphia Mafia, and he is inviting his girlfriend to meet him in AC as a sort of possible last hurrah before he does something that might get him arrested or killed.
- The Monkees' "Pleasant Valley Sunday" takes its name from Pleasant Valley Way, a major road in West Orange, NJ, where the song's writers Gerry Goffin and Carole King lived at the time.
- Supercommuter wrote a song for Central Park, Season 2 "Central Dark", about Weehawken and it's performed by Daveed Diggs, who voices Helen, who's character is from the titular city, where she sings "Weehawkin" and explains why it's so great to her when Bitsy starts badmouthing it.
- Fountains of Wayne's "Hackensack" is about a friend of the narrator who became a big shot and the narrator's promise to stay right there in Hackensack waiting for their return.
- Origami Angel: "Thank You, New Jersey" is dedicated to New Jersey. The singer admires the sunny weather and the carefree way the people there live.
- Bruce Springsteen, proudest son of the Garden State, has so many:
- New Mexico
- "Point Me in the Direction of Albuquerque", a track from The Partridge Family Album (the group's debut) about a notional journey to the city.
- "Albuquerque" is a parody song describing "Weird Al" Yankovic's fictional life story in this city.
- New Orleans:
- A song from The Simpsons episode "A Streetcar Named Marge" from the fictional musical version of "A Streetcar Named Desire". The town is described as a "home of pirates, drunks and whores", which actually caused a bit of backdraft back when this episode was broadcast.
- The Foo Fighters wrote "In the Clear" after a week there.
- "Down in New Orleans" from The Princess and the Frog is one that establishes the setting for the film and stresses that dreams come true there.
- Jimmie Rodgers recorded a song called "My Little Old Home Down in New Orleans" where he claims his home in New Orleans is the grandest place on earth.
- Poco's "Heart of the Night" compares New Orleans to the singer's lover. The primary verse (opening the song, and repeated nearly verbatim near its end) directly name-drops Lake Pontchartrain and makes an obvious reference to the Mississippi River; the chorus and outro directly name-drop the city; and the second verse alludes to the city's nightlife.
- New York:
New York, New York, it's a hell of a town
- "No Sleep Til Brooklyn" by Beastie Boys from their album Licensed to Ill is an ode to Brooklyn, their home borough. In the song they sing that how exhausting their tours may be they will not rest until they are back in Brooklyn.
- Black 47 are quite fond of this trope. They wrote "Rocking the Bronx", "Five Points", "New York Town", "Banks of the Hudson", "New York, NY", "Sleep Tight in New York City", and "My Love Is in New York" among others all about the experience of being Irish immigrants in New York City.
- "Copacabana", a famous hit by Barry Manilow, is a Murder Ballad set in the now-defunct New York City nightclub of that name (which in turn was named after a Rio de Janeiro neighborhood).
- The song "New York, New York" from the musical On the Town is sang by three sailors to sing about the splendor of the city.
The Bronx is up, but the Battery's down
What's not to love, what's not to love, what's not to love about New York?
- "Theme From New York, New York", originally performed in that film by Liza Minnelli and later made famous by Frank Sinatra, is a homage to the city and has become the official city anthem. In it the narrator sings how the town is so great that "if I can make it there I can make it anywhere".
- The Sex Pistols also wrote a song called "New York", which appears on their album Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols.
- Bobby Womack's song "Across 110th Street" is about a street in Manhattan, which was known at the time for being a clear divide between the richer and the poorer part of the city. The song reflects the Big Rotten Apple description.
- The Ramones' song "Rockaway Beach" (Rocket to Russia) is about the beach side in Queens, New York City, where band member Dee Dee used to go to relax.
- Also referencing Queens is "Christmas in Hollis" by Run–D.M.C., which tells a Christmas story set in the neighborhood where they grew up.
- Jay-Z and Alicia Keys, "Empire State of Mind", on how the city's inspiring and a cultural landmark. Ditto for Keys' solo remake of that song, entitled "Empire State of Mind (Part II) Broken Down".
- The Pogues' and Kirsty Mac Coll's "Fairytale of New York", about a down-on-their couple reminiscing on their lost hopes on Christmas Eve.
- Total Drama World Tour had a song called What's Not to Love sung by the contestants about how wonderful New York is.
- Rodgers and Hart's "Manhattan" is about the fun the singer and their love interest can have at attractions such as Central Park and the Bronx Zoo.
- Natalie Merchant's "Carnival" is about the conflicting dichotomies and sensory experiences of the city and was inspired by her first visit there. The end fades out into the sounds of Central Park, including a horse-drawn carriage.
- Rob Thomas has "Sunday Morning New York Blue" about a fun Saturday night in the city fading into Sunday morning.
- "Ohio" by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young is a Protest Song about the 1970 Kent State massacre.
- The first Brak Presents The Brak Show, Starring Brak special ends with a musical number about Ohio.
- Big Red Machine's "The Ghosts of Cincinnati" reminisces about Over-the-Rhine, a neighborhood in the city.
- Oklahoma - The musical Oklahoma! has a Title Track about this state and the joys of living there.
- Sleater-Kinney's Light Rail Coyote is about the city of Portland, Oregon.
- Carrie & Lowell, a Concept Album by Sufjan Stevens, is set in Oregon and features locations like Spencer Butte, Roseburg, Eugene, Tillamook State Park, Sea Lion Caves, John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, and The Dalles. The outtakes from the album further namedrop Wallowa Lake and the Rogue River.
- "Lumberjack" by Johnny Cash is a tribute to Roseburg, Oregon.
- Billy Joel's "Allentown", on the city and its struggles in the late 1970s-early 1980s.
- Boyz II Men's first big hit, "Motownphilly', is at least partly about the group's Philadelphia origins, namedropping the city multiple times and also mentioning South Street, a major bar and entertainment street in the city, and "Philly steaks" (i.e., cheesesteaks).
- Bruce Springsteen's "Streets of Philadelphia", about a man dying of AIDS in the titular city.
- Rhode Island:
- "Exeter, Rhode Island" by Jennifer O'Connor was inspired by her road trips with her band, where she stayed on... well, Exeter, Rhode Island. The state is described as a reflection of her own loneliness as she goes to her loved one.
- "Rhode Island Is Famous for You" comes from the musical revue Inside USA, which was full of these. Blossom Dearie did a very memorable version.
- "Rhode Island" by The Front Bottoms is in part about a bike trip from Rhode Island to Florida, though it doesn't talk too much about the state.
- Santa Fe
- San Francisco
- "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" by Tony Bennett is a Break Up Song.
- "If You're Going to San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair)" by Scott McKenzie was written during The '60s when every hippie wanted to go to the city.
- "Let's Go to San Francisco" by the Flower Pot Men is another hippie era song to promote people going to this hippie city.
- "San Franciscan Nights" by The Animals is a bitter sweet song about the city, written as a protest song against US society at the time, addressing the fact that Native Americans have been neglected by the American Dream and Police Brutality is rampant.
- "San Francisco (You Got Me)", from the Village People's self-titled debut album in 1977, is a thinly veiled paean to the city's status as a gay mecca.
- Train's "Save Me San Francisco", about a man pining for the city.
- San José - The song "Do You Know The Way To San José?" by Burt Bacharach, made famous by Dionne Warwick, is about a native of San José who didn't make it in L.A. and thus returns to her hometown.
- South Dakota:
- The 1973 Protest Song "We Were All Wounded at Wounded Knee" by Redbone was inspired by the 1890 massacre of Native Americans in Wounded Knee by American soldiers and the American Indian Movement who, in 1973, occupied Wounded Knee for a couple of days, and brought international attention to this historic event.
- "The Black Hills of Dakota" from Calamity Jane.
- St. Louis - Made famous by "St. Louis Blues", a jazz instrumental standard recorded by many among which Louis Armstrong's rendition is the most famous.
- Sunset Boulevard - The musical Sunset Boulevard has a Title Track about this location.
- Tennessee: Dave Loggins recorded "Please Come to Boston" about a nomadic young man extolling the virtues of Boston / Denver / Los Angeles to his fiancee, who counters that he's not suited to busy cities, but rather to life with her in rural Tennessee.
- A purer example is "My Tennessee Mountain Home" by Dolly Parton.
- Gene Autry's "Way Out West in Texas" is about how much he misses the scenery and atmosphere of the titular state.
- "Abilene" by George Hamilton IV.
- "Houston" by Dean Martin.
- George Strait as several, including "Amarillo by Morning, "Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind," and "Run" (encouraging his love to "leave Dallas in the dust"). Probably his most infamous, however, is "All My Exes Live in Texas," which is exactly what it sounds like.
- "Deep in the Heart of Texas" is about the scenery in general.
- Vermont - The traditional "Moonlight in Vermont" and the Captain Beefheart song "Moonlight on Vermont" from Trout Mask Replica. The first song is a lovely ballad about the tranquility of the moon shining over the state, while the latter is a surreal Avantgarde Music track.
- Virginia - The Foo Fighters' "Arlandria", named after Dave Grohl's childhood home.
- West Virginia:
- John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads" is about driving home to West Virginia. It's been covered by a number of bands including a punk rock version by Me First And The Gimme Gimmes. Amusingly, the locations mentioned are on the very edge of West Virginia, and reportedly, Denver had only been to the state a handful of times.
- The Front Bottoms has a song called "West Virginia", but it's only tangentially about the state, with a line that goes "This one goes out to all my friends in West Virginia".
- Regional - songs more about regions of the U.S. than specific states:
- Alabama has several:
- "Christmas in Dixie", which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Also name-drops Fort Payne, Alabama, the hometown of core members Randy Owen, Teddy Gentry, and Jeff Cook.
- "Dixieland Delight" is something of an aversion, as it refers more to the singer's girlfriend.
- "Song of the South", their 1988 cover version of a song originally recorded by Bobby Bare about a poor Southern family during the Great Depression.
- "Weekend in New England" by Barry Manilow.
- "Whoever's in New England" by Reba McEntire, an Answer Song to Barry Manilow.
- "Southern Nights" by Allen Toussaint, most famous for its cover by Glen Campbell.
- "The South's Gonna Do It" by Charlie Daniels.
- Buddy Jewel's "Sweet Southern Comfort", which is just a nostalgia song for the close-knit small town culture of the US South. It name drops the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, Lousiana, and Arkansas in its lyrics.
- Al Jolson's "Is It True What They Say About Dixie?"
- Alabama has several:
- Havana - Rosemary Clooney's "My Trip to Havana" is about how she took a $49.50 cruise to the island and encountered an attractive and attentive Cuban gentleman who was eager to show her around.
- Kingston - "Kingston Kingston" by Lou & The Hollywood Bananas is a party song about the city.
- Montego Bay - Bobby Bloom's "Montego Bay" mentions floating in the sun and drinking rum while visiting there.
- A town immortalized in Bob Marley's "Trenchtown Rock" from Live and "Trench Town" from Confrontation. Both songs are a Crapsack World account of the poverty there, but at the same time a Pep-Talk Song about how music enlivens everybody's spirit. The streets he mentions in "Trenchtown Rock" also exist in real life.
- Acapulco - The Pep-Talk Song "Loco in Acapulco" by Four Tops describes "the magic down there".
- Mexico - The Les Humphries Singers had a 1972 hit Pep-Talk Song about the country. It's a historical account of British colonialists fighting Spanish colonialists in the 16th century. Talk about Lyrical Dissonance!
- Van Halen's "Cabo Wabo" is about the eponymous city where Sammy Hagar has a resort.
- Marty Stuart's "Old Mexico" is about him having friends, a girl and freedom there.
- George Strait's "The Seashores of Old Mexico" is about his adventures there while evading a jail term in Tucson.
- "Managua, Nicaragua" by Guy Lombardo is about the supposed exotic and laid-back nature of the town in question.
- Puerto Rico - Belgian band Vaya Con Dios had an eponymous hit song about two young lovers in this country. The man wants to make it in the USA and leaves her, while she waits for him.
- Carlos Gardel's "Mi Buenos Aires Querido".
- Brazil in general: The song "Aquarela do Brasil" by Ary Barroso, inspired by rainfall in Brasil, which, in his interpretation, made his colorful country look like a watercolor painting.
- Copacabana: As noted in the "New York" list in the North America folder, Barry Manilow's famous hit gets only its name from this Rio de Janeiro neighborhood.
- Ipanema: "The Girl From Ipanema" is a love song made famous by Antonio Carlos Jobim, later covered in duet with Frank Sinatra, and spawning its own trope. For those who doesn't know, Ipanema is another Rio de Janeiro neighborhood.
- Valparaíso: The song "La Joya del Pacífico" ("The Jewl of the Pacific") by Víctor Acosta and popularized in 1970 by Peruvian singer Lucho Barrios is an ode to the city.
- "Si Vas Para Chile" is about a former resident giving a person intending to visit Chile directions to and a message for the expatriate Chilean's girlfriend.
- Tirol (which is also part of German): The 2000 novelty song "Anton aus Tirol" by DJ Ötzi is a "I Am Great!" Song about a certain character hailing from this region.
- "Vienna", the B-side of Billy Joel's first US Top 10 single "Just the Way You Are" (from his breakthrough 1977 album The Stranger), was inspired by a trip Joel made to the city.
- Ultravox had a hit in 1981 with the melancholic Break-Up Song "Vienna".
- "Vienna Calling", essentially an ode to the city, was Vienna native Falco's follow-up to his 1985 mega-hit "Rock Me Amadeus" (which also name-dropped Vienna as its German name of Wien).
- Long before any of the above, Johann Strauss composed "Geschichte aus der Wienerwald" ("Tales from the Vienna Woods").
- Al Bowlly's "Goodnight Vienna" is about the charm and romance of the city.
- Belgium in general:
- The 1914 song "Belgium Put the Kibosh on the Kaiser" was written by the British singer Mark Sheridan to celebrate the fact that the Belgian army managed to delay the much larger German army during the then ongoing First World War.
- The 1998 hit song "Potverdekke, It's a Great to Be a Belgian" was a novelty hit by British singer Mr. John, on how marvelous the country is. He also references several things the nation is known for, such as French fries with mayonnaise, Duvel beer, the saxophone, Tintin, Hercule Poirot and mussels.
- Bruges - "Mon Père Disait": Brel sings how his father told him that London is actually a piece of the Belgian city Bruges that floated away.
- Brussels - "Bruxelles" by Jacques Brel is a Nostalgia Filter song about what the city once was and how it became the lifeless city it is today. Johan Verminnen's song "Rue des Bouchers" is about a real life street in Brussels.
- Liège (Luik) - Jacques Brel's "Il Neige Sur Liège" has him observing snow falling down on the city and reflects that his dreams have been covered in snow in a similar way.
- Waterloo - ABBA's first international hit only mentions the city incidentally as a metaphor for defeat, just how Napoleon was defeated there.
- "Wonderful Copenhagen" from Hans Christian Andersen refers to the titular city as the "salty old queen of the sea".
- Finland Song - A comedic song by Michael Palin, from the Monty Python album Monty Python's Contractual Obligation Album. When Palin went to the country in one of his travel shows he sang this song while kayakking.
- Säkkijärvi: see Kondratyevo in Russia.
- Avignon: The traditional "Sur le pont d'Avignon" about the bridge there which is apparently a nice place for dancing.
- Paris inspired many songs, of course:
- "April in Paris": A 1932 song by E.T. Harburg and Vernon Duke is a Break Up Song set in the city.
- "Paris sera toujours Paris" ("Paris will always be Paris"): Sung by Maurice Chevalier. It's about how the city remains true to itself and 'the most beautiful city in the world' even if it's 1939 and everything is changing because of the start of World War II.
- "Aux Champs-Elysées" by Joe Dassin is a song about the long street that leads from the Place de la Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe. Traditionally cyclists start singing it during the final "étappe" in the Tour de France, because they all cross the finish in that street.
- "Il Est Cinq Heures, Paris S' Éveille" ("It's five o' clock, Paris wakes up") is a 1968 song by Jacques Dutronc about the mornings in the city.
- "Orly" by Jacques Brel takes place at the airport in Orly, Paris where he observes a couple saying goodbye to each other.
- "Sous le Ciel de Paris" by Yves Montand is about the supposed charm and romance of the city.
- St. Tropez: The disco song "Twist à St. Tropez" by Belgian band Telex is situated here.
- Versailles: "The Palace of Versailles" by Al Stewart uses the famous palace as an arc location, alluding to events from the French Revolution to the rise of Napoleon, plus a more veiled allusion to the May 1968 protests in Paris.
- Vésoul: Jacques Brel wrote a comedic song about a nagging couple who drive to several different locations, but can never agree which place they actually want to see. Incidentally Vésoul is only one of many locations name-dropped in this song.
- "City of Love" from Phineas and Ferb as Phineas and Isabella explore Paris.
- Frank Zappa wrote the instrumental track "Holiday in Berlin", available on Burnt Weeny Sandwich about the city. Bootlegs prove that the song had lyrics which describe Zappa's 1968 performance in Berlin, when a crowd wanted him to lead them into a street riot. When Zappa refused to do this a riot broke out and they had to flee.
- Lou Reed devoted a dark and depressing Concept Album to the city, Berlin.
- David Bowie's song "'Heroes'" from the album of the same name, which was also recorded there. It mentions two lovers meeting at the Berlin Wall.
- "Holidays in the Sun" by Sex Pistols from Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols takes place near the Berlin Wall, though Johnny Rotten isn't sure why within the context of the song.
- "Berlin (City of Night)" by Peter Schilling is a dark haunting tune about the Berlin Wall from his album Things to Come.
- "Ich liebte ein Mädchen" by Insterburg & Co. describes the narrator's flings with countless girls in various places in two lines each. The first verse takes place entirely in Berlin, the second one in the rest of Germany (all of Germany in spite of it being divided in that time), the third one all over the world, and the song eventually ends with two lines on Mars.
- Bochum: One of Herbert Grönemeyer's better known works is "Bochum", an affectionate song about his home city Bochum.
- Dachau: Captain Beefheart's song "Dachau Blues" from Trout Mask Replica is about the Nazi concentration camp of the same name and describes the horrors there.
- Hans Albers has sung about Hamburg, especially in songs from his films. Some of the most famous examples have to be "Das Herz von St. Pauli" and "Auf der Reeperbahn nachts um halb eins". "Einmal noch nach Bombay" is about traveling the world as a sailor and eventually returning to Hamburg.
- "Alles klar auf der Andrea Doria" by Udo Lindenberg is even more specific than Hans Albers' songs: It's about a typical evening at the legendary music club Onkel Pö's Carnegie Hall which existed in Hamburg-Eppendorf from 1969 to 1986. Udo Lindenberg also made two songs about the world-famous Reeperbahn, both titled "Reeperbahn": The first one is a parody on "Penny Lane" and describes the Reeperbahn of The '70s when the Beat era was long-gone and the area had turned into an expensive but run-down Red Light District with nostalgic flashbacks to The '60s. The second one is an original composition and about the Reeperbahn of The '90s which has re-emerged as Hamburg's primary entertainment quarter.
- Lotto King Karl occasionally sings about his hometown of Hamburg, too, be it in his first big hit, "Mitten in Barmbek", or in "Hamburg, meine Perle" which has become an unofficial city anthem. There is even a soccer-themed version of the latter.
- Hesse: "Die Hesse komme" by the Rodgau Monotones is about Hessians "invading" and overrunning the rest of Germany with their culture.
- The Rhine:
- The patriotic song "Die Wacht am Rhein" is about defending the Rhine River against foreign invasions. It was very popular during the Franco-Prussian War, World Wars I and II, but nowadays not as much due to the militaristic connotations.
- "Fluß" by Rheingold views the Rhine River with its rich history and tradition in the light of Düsseldorf's then-young electronic music scene.
- There are countless songs based on Heinrich Heine's "Lore-Ley" which in turn is based on the Loreley legend of a beautiful woman sitting on top of the now-eponymous most famous rock formation along the whole river, combing her hair, distracting ship crews and making ships crash right below. Dschinghis Khan dedicated another song, titled "Loreley", to the legend and the Rhine.
- Westerland: In the song of the same name by DieÄrzte, the protagonist expresses his desire to revisit the eponymus town located on the island of Sylt. There's also an earlier demo version of the song titled "Helgoland", that replaces Westerland with the island of Helgioland.
- Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga: The song "Húsavík" is about Lars and Sigrit's hometown.
- "Ireland's Call" was written in 1995 to serve as a politically neutral anthem for the Ireland men's national rugby union team, which represents and draws players from the entire island. (It's since been picked up by a number of other all-Ireland national sports teams.) The first verse ends with the line "from the four proud provinces of Ireland", and the second deliberately name-drops locations in each province (listed in lyrical order):
- Ulster: "the mighty Glens of Antrim"
- Connacht: "the rugged hills of Galway"
- Munster: "the walls of Limerick"
- Leinster: "Dublin Bay"
- Belfast: Both Boney M. and Elton John have written a song with that title. Both a Protest Song against the conflict in Northern Ireland. Orbital have a track of that title too, named in honour of a particularly good gig they played there.
- Gort: Molly And The Tinker wrote the song "Gort" about the Irish town of same name after realising that people had written songs about every other city in Ireland save it. Possibly because of the name.
- Kerry: "The Cliffs of Dooneen" is about the beauty of this particular County Kerry landmark.
- Killarney: The traditional "Christmas In Killarney", covered by, among others, Bing Crosby on his album Merry Christmas. It paints an idyllic picture of celebrating the holidays in the green countryside of this little Irish town.
- Tipperary: The song "It's a Long Way to Tipperary" is a Pep-Talk Song to keep spirits going while walking to this Irish town.
- Bergamo: Pinguini Tattici Nucleari have a song named after the city, it's a touching love song that tells their love interest that they are as beautiful as their hometown.
- Rome: "Rom" by Dschinghis Khan is mostly about the city's millennia-spanning history and therefore one of the group's longest hit singles.
- The Netherlands in general:
- "Holland, 1945" from Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea alludes to the life of Anne Frank, who lived in Amsterdam until she and her family were arrested and deported by the Nazis in 1944.
- Jacques Brel wrote a song describing the sailors and prostitutes in this town. It was later covered by David Bowie as "Port Of Amsterdam" and made available as a bonus track on his album Pin Ups.
- Flemish singer Kris De Bruyne also wrote a very well known song, "Amsterdam", about the things you can do and see in the city and that his loved one is there, close yet so far.
- The song "Aan De Amsterdamse Grachten" by Pieter Goemans is a much covered 1949 song about the canals in the city. It's considered to be an evergreen in the Netherlands.
- Many of the musical examples in Freestate Amsterdam.
- Spanish singer Álex Ubago has "Ámsterdam", a song, and a love story, set in this city.
- Grândola: The song "Grândola, Vila Morena" by Zeca Afonso is a song about the people of this little Portuguese town fraternizing. It has a special resonance for the people of Portugal because it was played on national radio as a sign for the Carnation Revolution in 1974, which brought back democracy to the country.
- "Lisbon" by The Walkmen is set in the eponymous city.
- Transylvania: "Transylvania Boogie" by Frank Zappa is the instrumental opener of his album Chunga's Revenge.
- The Beatles' song "Back in the USSR" from The White Album is about the titular character arriving back in Russia after a long plane flight and being happy to be there. It's a joke on both Chuck Berry's "Back in the U.S." and Ray Charles' "Georgia on My Mind" (given the Soviet Union also featured a Georgia...). Since the fall of the Soviet Union the song has become quite surreal. Still, Paul McCartney still performs it, and the song inspired various headlines once he toured in Russia.
- Kondratyevo, formerly Finnish Säkkijärvi:
- The "Säkkijärven Polkka" is one of the most popular pieces of Finnish folk music. It is basically about the loss of Säkkijärvi to Russia but at least being able to keep the polka. It was popularized first by Viljo Vesterinen who made the famous accordion arrangement and then by the Leningrad Cowboys who both played it verbatim and turned it into a mambo in Leningrad Cowboys Go America.
- "Moskow Diskow" by Telex, about the Trans-Siberian Express.
- "Moskau", the Signature Song of Dschinghis Khan. It was written for the 1980 Moscow Olympics.
- "Moskau" by Rammstein, featuring Viktoria Fersh.
- Saint Petersburg:
- "Leningrad" by the Leningrad Cowboys is a lament on the city's renaming from Leningrad back to Saint Petersburg, as if it had turned into a wholly different place that way. After all, the band was named after the city.
- "Leningrad" by Billy Joel is about Viktor Razinov, a native and resident of the city who was a circus clown when the two met during Joel's tour of the USSR in 1987. The song specifically mentions the death of Razinov's father in the Siege of Leningrad, compares the lives of Razinov in the USSR and Joel in the US, and culminates by recounting the two men's actual meeting after Joel's Leningrad concert.
- The Volga River: Inspired the song "Song of the Volga Boatmen".
- Spain in general: "Eviva España", originally by Flemish singer Samantha, but Covered Up by other artists too, is a homage to Spain often played at parties.
- Barcelona: Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé sang a duet about this city on Mercury's solo album Barcelona. In the context of the song Freddie describes that he met his lover there and as a result he will love the location forever.
- Granada: Granada, by the Mexican composer Augustin Lara, is a popular song with numerous performances and covers that's about the beauty of the eponymous city.
- As mentioned in the North America folder, "Miami 2 Ibiza", by Swedish House Mafia and Tinie Tempah.
- The German Schlager singer Ibo had his first two hits with "Ibiza" and "Ibiza (Part 2)". The first one is about a guy living an easy life on the eponymous Mediterranean island but then realizing that the girl he left behind for this life has found a new guy. The second one is about him returning home from Ibiza and reclaiming his girlfriend.
- Tarifa: Sharon Van Etten's "Tarifa", named for a beachside town in Spain, where the singer and her new lover have jettisoned off to. The singer is enthralled by this new relationship but is ignoring the external problems that will make it hard for them to be together in the real world. Thus she romanticizes Tarifa as emblematic as the perfect honeymoon phase of their relationship.
- Valencia: A 1924 song by José Padilla praises the city.
- Taxi sings to Santiago de Compostela in "Medianoche en Santiago".
- Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy sings of Sweden and of, when he retires, how he would like to live there himself.
I would like to live in Sweden,
When my work is done;
Where the snow lies crisp and even,
'Neath the midnight sun.
Safe and clean and green and modern,
Bright and breezy, free and easy!
- "Merano" from Chess is all about the healthful wonders of Merano, Switzerland, where act I is set. The aforementioned "One Night in Bangkok" is the opening of Act II.
- The UK in general:
When Britain first, at heaven's command,
- "Rule Britannia" by Thomas Arne is a glorious song about the British Empire, most commonly associated with the Royal Navy.
Arose from out the azure mane,
This was the charter of the land,
And guardian angels sang this strain:
"Rule, Britannia! Britannia rule the waves!
Britons never, never, never will be slaves!"
And did those Feet/In ancient times/Walk upon England's mountains green? note
- England's unofficial national anthems both evoke an idealised land. William Blake's Jerusalem relocates God's kingdom yet to come to England and references the myth that Jesus found time out from His busy schedule for a holiday here.
- While Elgar's Land of Hope and Glory does much the same with a degree of imperial bombast which these days is taken with self-mocking ironynote
- Brighton: "Rumble in Brighton" from Stray Cats' self-titled 1981 debut album is about a fight between rockers and skinheads in the South Coast city.
There's a rumble in Brighton tonight
Ringside seats for the neighborhood fight
There ain't a damn thing that the cops can do
There's a rumble in Brighton tonight
- Dorset: "White Chalk" from PJ Harvey's White Chalk is about the white chalk cliffs on the beach side of South England. The song specifically mentions Dorset.
Dorset's cliffs meet at the sea
Where I walked
(our unborn child in me)
(Poor scattered land)
- Vera Lynn's "(There'll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover" was written in 1941, where fighting between the RAF and the Luftwaffe had taken place over the namesake cliffs not long before.
- "Penny Lane" by The Beatles, a Nostalgia Filter song from Magical Mystery Tour about a real life street there.
- "Strawberry Fields Forever", by the same band from the same album, is about a foster's home, "Strawberry Fields" there. John Lennon had fond memories of it.
- The traditionals "London Is Burning", "London Bridge Is Falling Down" and "Maybe It's Because I'm a Londoner". The first song is a canon song about the 1666 fire there.
- "The Streets of London" gives a few short descriptions of people not particularly needed, not really well-off in life. The chorus implies that seeing certain things in the streets of London could give anyone who complains about loneliness and gloom second thoughts.
- "No Place Like London" from Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is a Counterpoint Duet—Anthony is singing about how the world is marvellous and London is its crown jewel, while Sweeney is singing about how it's a Crapsack World and London is the worst place in it.
- The Clash have done both "London's Burning" and "London Calling". "London's Burning" is about riots in the city, while "London Calling" is about a flood post-nuclear war there. "Guns of Brixton", also from the album London Calling, takes place in Brixton, in the outskirts of London, where a revolution is about to take place.
- The Kinks' "Big Black Smoke" is named after a nickname for the city.
- “London Is the Place for Me” is a 1948 calypso song by Lord Kitchener about the singer’s love for the city. It was featured prominently in Paddington (2014).
- "Baker Street" - A street in London. Gerry Rafferty wrote an iconic and eponymous song about it, with an epic saxophone solo.
- "Electric Avenue" - A London street made famous by Eddy Grant's 1983 hit song. It refers to the 1981 race riots in Brixton.
- "Portobello Road" from Bedknobs and Broomsticks is about a London street. Cat Stevens also wrote a song about it. Both are nostalgic in nature.
- Noël Coward's "London Pride" is an unapologetic hymn to its humble folk and extensive history.
- “I Live in Trafalgar Square” is a Music Hall comic standard sung in the persona of a homeless man who brags about how toffs envy his prestigious address (though he admits that “the beds ain’t as soft as they might be”).
- Dire Straits’ “Wild West End” is a Slice of Life song in which Mark Knopfler spotlights the things that he sees as he wanders through Soho, Shaftesbury Avenue and Chinatown.
- Manchester: Herman's Hermits' "It's Nice to Be Out in the Morning" mentions a number of local areas, stating that "it's not the Taj Mahal but it's ours".
- Scarborough: A town near Yorkshire, which inspired a popular traditional, "Scarborough Fair", about a couple challenging each other to a series of Impossible Tasks before they'll take their lover back. It has been covered by Sergio Mendes and later Simon & Garfunkel in what are perhaps the most famous renditions.
- St. Ives: The traditional "As I Was Going to St. Ives" which is a riddle about a man going to St. Ives and, while on his way there, meeting seven wives, with each seven sacks with seven cats, which all had seven kits, asking the listener how many where going to St. Ives? The answer is one, because only the man was going to St. Ives. There are many places called St. Ives in England, but the rhyme is commonly thought to refer to St. Ives, Cornwall.
- Amanda Palmer's "Australia" is, predictably enough, about Australia. More accurately, it's about a woman dissatisfied with her boring domestic life, fantasizing about going to Australia and having adventures. The general structure of the song is verses describing the boring things she could do with her life, and then a chorus beginning "Or I could go to Australia" followed by the adventurous things she could do. The last chorus subverts this by going "Fuck it, I'm gonna go to Australia!"
- "Bound for South Australia" is a sea shanty about a group of sailors heading to this destination and naturally a Pep-Talk Song.
- "Australia All Over" has many songs dedicated to various Australian towns.
- "Great Southern Land" by Icehouse is a patriotic song also notable for its use in Young Einstein.
- "I Still Call Australia Home" by Peter Allen, an Aussie who was living and working in New York City when he released it in 1980, is also a patriotic song, specifically about an expat's longing for his birthplace.
- "Down Under" by Men at Work evokes all the clichés about the Land Down Under.
- Adelaide: Greg Champion's "Came From Adelaide" (set to the melody of "I've Been Everywhere") lists famous Australian Rules Football players from Adelaide.
- Balwyn: "Balwyn Calling" by Skyhooks is a song in which the protagonist wants to go to this location.
- Bow River: The song "Bow River" by Cold Chisel.
- Botany Bay: A traditional sea shanty about a group of convicts being shipped off to Australia. Botany Bay is mentioned in many songs.
- Carlton: A song by Skyhooks describes the shady nightlife there.
- Gundagai: "Along the Road to Gundagai" by Jack O'Hagan is a farewell song about someone heading to this location and saying goodbye to his loved ones.
- Gundagai has more songs about it than any other location in Australia, including "When a Boy from Alabama Meets a Girl from Gundagai", and the traditional songs "Five Miles From Gundagai" and "Nine Miles From Gundagai" (also known as "The Dog in the Tuckerbox"). Midway between Sydney and Melbourne, it was a common stopping point.
- Melbourne: "Mourningtown Ride" by TISM lists various Melbourne train stations you shouldn't get off at, who will mug you there, and what they'll take.
- Newcastle: The song "Star Hotel" by Cold Chisel concerns an incident where patrons at the titular hotel in Newcastle rioted to protest its closure.
- St. Kilda: "From St. Kilda to King's Cross" by Paul Kelly is a travel song.
- The 19th-century British folk song "Van Diemen's Land" was a cautionary tale about a man convicted of poaching and sentenced to transportation to Tasmania, then a British penal colony known as Van Diemen's Land.
- U2 recorded a different song with the same title that appeared on their 1988 album Rattle and Hum. The Edge wrote it about John Boyle O'Reilly, who led an unsuccessful Irish uprising in 1848, shortly after the Great Famine, and was banished to Van Diemen's Land.
- Marquesas Isles: Jacques Brel's "Les Marquises" is a song about the tranquillity and carefree attitude of the people on this island. Brel lived on this island during the last years of his life and was taken by the simple way people there regarded life, something he praised in this song which, by the way, was also his final recorded song before he died.
The Marshall Islands
- Bikini Atoll: "Bikini Atoll", a loud and chaotic track from John Zorn's Music for Children, which references the atoll of the same name in the Marshall Islands. It's best known for nuclear testing and inspiring the swimsuit the bikini, which fits the album's theme of violence and eroticism perfectly.
- Amanda Palmer's "New Zealand", supposedly written in 20 minutes in the dressing room of a club because a New Zealander fan heard "Map of Tasmania" and asked "Where's our fucking song", is an irreverent little ditty about Amanda being on a tour through New Zealand, admiring (and Twittering) the scenery, and worrying about why she hasn't gotten her period and her pubic hair is turning grey, "but I don't believe in the beauty standard and there's no way that I'm pregnant so it's technically okayyyyyy!" At the end, she lampshades the trope with the following Last Note Hilarity (the rhythm deliberately falls apart on the last line, delivered in a Motor Mouth style to cram it all in):
New Zealand, New Zealand, my song is coming to an end
I hope you have enjoyed it and I hope I get my period
I also hope I haven't grossed you out
But that's what you get when you ask me to write a song about your country in twenty minutes
- Auckland: "Dominion Road" by The Mutton Birds is named after a major road in the city, and tells the story of a man who lives "halfway down" the road.
- Kare Kare: "Kare Kare" from the album Together Alone by Crowded House is a homage to the town. The entire album was recorded there too.
- The song "I've Been Everywhere" is a 1959 song by singer Geoff Mack, which in the original context lists several Australian towns. It has since been covered by various artists all across the world who adapted the song to their own home country. So far, the most famous is probably Hank Snow's North American version (which hit the top of the country charts in 1962 and was famously covered by Johnny Cash), but there are dozens of other versions, ranging from the whole world on down to countries (Britain was an early one, as was New Zealand) and regions (Texas having a version should surprise nobody) to cities (both Singapore and New York have gotten the treatment).
- The theme song to Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? lists countries throughout the world where Carmen has been spotted.
- "Yakko's World" from Animaniacs is a List Song where Yakko sings the names of every country in the world. (However, since the song was written, several countries have changed their names due to unrest, Czechoslovakia has split into two countries, and Yugoslavia no longer exists.)
- "Alphabet of Nations" by They Might Be Giants list countries beginning with each letter of the alphabet. (For W and X, which don't have any corresponding real-life countries, they list "West Xylophone".)
- They also have an album called "Venue Songs", from a tour where they wrote a song for each location they performed at. The songs are titled based on the city each venue was in, but the songs' lyrics are actually about the venues themselves.
- One Piece: One World is the only song on the Nippon Judan 47 album to not have a connection to just Japan. Instead, it's Luffy singing about going on an adventure around the world.
Around the world!
Nanatsuno umi o koeto iko! (Let's go beyond the seven seas!)
Around the world!
Itutsu no tairiku mite mawaro! (Let's go around the five continents!)
- "All Is Found" from Frozen II is a lullaby that Iduna sings to her daughters- a song that was sang by the Northuldra characters. It is about a special river called Ahtohallan; the song's words begin by describing the magical glacier , later discovered to be the source of Elsa's ice powers, and its location: "Where the north wind meets the sea, there's a river, full of memory."
- "Atlantis" - Donovan wrote a song about it. The song first describes the origins of the island and then praises it.
- "Big Rock Candy Mountain" - Harry McClintock's song describes a wonderfully perfect dream land.
- "Bikini Bottom/Rock Bottom" from SpongeBob's album The Best Day Ever is about two city from the series. One slow verse talks about the relaxed nature of Bikini Bottom, the next yells about the wildness of Rock Bottom.
- "Capital City" - Fictional city in The Simpsons, first appeared in the episode "Dancin' Homer", where Tony Bennett sang an appropriate theme song about it, in itself a parody of the Pep-Talk Song "New York, New York".
- "Echo Beach" by Martha And The Muffins is an imaginary location "far away in time". There are various real-life locations with the name, several of which are claimed to be the one in the song, though Word of God says otherwise.
- "Octopus' Garden" by The Beatles from Abbey Road is a Ringo Starr song about an undersea wonderland.
- "Pompadour Swamp" - A song by Captain Beefheart from his album Bluejeans & Moonbeams describes the Pompadour Swamp as an "avenue where the silhouettes dance" and where Beefheart wants to be with his partner.
- "Song of Scatland" by Scatman John is a less upbeat Scatman song talking about an imaginary, "magic" place, its tenets and beliefs. People of Scatland are idealistic and pure, having had "complete childhoods", "developed imaginations", and Scatman speaks of how to get there. Furthermore, unlike album versions, children's imagery and vocals are used for chorus parts in the music video version.
There is only love and happiness in Scatland. Hatred and resentment?
Well, that's unheard of. It's unheard of.
- "(Can you tell me how to get to) Sesame Street?" - The theme song of Sesame Street, which essentially has children asking people how they can find this street.
- "Downtown" in Little Shop of Horrors describes how terrible life is in the setting of Skid Row.
- "St. Brendan's Fair Isle" by Jimmy Driftwood tells the tale of the Irish St. Brendan's legendary voyage. Depending on who you ask, this voyage might have been to the Canary Islands or somewhere in the Americas; in Driftwood's song it turns out to be a giant fish large enough to double as an island.
- "Home" is the name of a Frozen II outtake song in which Anna sang about her her home, the kingdom of Arendelle.
- "How Are Things in Glocca Morra?" from Finian's Rainbow is a nostalgic ballad about a fictional Irish town.
- "The Legend of Wooley Swamp" by the Charlie Daniels Band depicts a spooky location where otherworldly events regularly take place.
- "Fibber Island" by They Might Be Giants describes a fanciful land whose inhabitants do everything from strumming rubber guitars to building houses out of pie.
- "The Shades of Ankh-Morpork" from Dave Greenslade's album From the Discworld, sung by Tim Whitnall, describing The City Narrows of a Wretched Hive, and the "unwary traveller" who is about to lose his money and quite possibly his life.
- Phineas and Ferb has a few, like "Atlantis" and "Tatooine" in Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars.
- The Pokémon "2.B.A. Master" soundtrack includes a song called "Viridian City".
- The theme song to The Noddy Shop talks about the events the viewer will experience during their visit to the titular location.
- Shrek: "Welcome to Duloc", an informational song for visitors to Duloc and totally not a Take That! to another magical kingdom thronged by tourists.
- In Schmigadoon!, when Josh and Melissa enter the titular place, the residents serenade them with an ode to their Quirky Town and all its major movers and shakers.
- Hadestown has "Way Down Hadestown", which includes Hermes and the Fates giving contrasting descriptions of the place and the lives of those who go there.
- For songs that promise a better life elsewhere in a non-specific location, see "Somewhere" Song.
- "The Little House I Used to Live in" - Frank Zappa, from Burnt Weeny Sandwich and Fillmore East, June 1971 is a melancholic instrumental.
- "On the Street Where You Live", from the musical My Fair Lady, is a love song from the perspective of love interest Freddy. The song is about how wonderful the street seems due to Eliza living on it.
Are there lilac trees in the heart of town?
Can you hear a lark in any other part of town?
Does enchantment pour out of every door?
No, it's just on the street where you live.
- "Our House" by Madness from their album The Rise & Fall is a melancholic Nostalgia Filter song about childhood and living at their parents' house when they were young.
- "Under the Sea" from The Little Mermaid is a Pep-Talk Song by Sebastian the crab about why life in the ocean is better than above it.