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Songs about obscure places.

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Re: Songs about obscure places.

Postby SeanReedy » Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:34 am

Understandably, given its mythological significance, Valhalla is a popular place name. Many obscure towns go by that name. Just checking SP, there is a range in British Columbia along with peaks in Washington and Colorado named Valhalla. The Valhalla I'm familiar with is a gem of the Sierra along Sequoia's High Sierra Trail.

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Musically speaking, the name reminds me of a well known song from my favorite musical. Admittedly, while that particular classic is probably an obscure reference to that film, it is far from an obscure reference to other well known films and operas.

This song is also far from obscure, but mentions Valhalla and really rocks:

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Re: Songs about obscure places.

Postby SeanReedy » Sat Dec 15, 2012 8:57 am

About a year and a half ago, I traveled scenic New Mexico State Highway 456, paralleling the Dry Cimmaron River between Folsom, New Mexico (near Capulin Volcano National Monument) and the highpoint of Oklahoma, Black Mesa (near Kenton). Seventeen miles of that highway consists of red dirt, which is the main thing that sparsely populated and lightly traveled area is known for. If it weren't for all the attention Cimmaron County, Oklahoma gets for being the epicenter of the Dust Bowl, it would be just about as obscure an area as can be. There are lots of other songs about the region's dusty past, some by famous songwriters, but most don't get very specific about place names beyond listing well known cities, or states that folks fled to, through, or from. Of course, highpointers are fond of the far northwestern portion of the panhandle, and the obscure part of New Mexico just across the border has some nice red rock and scenic volcanic mesa terrain, but that doesn't mean many songs focus on more than dust and its results.
Last edited by SeanReedy on Sat Dec 15, 2012 9:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Songs about obscure places.

Postby SeanReedy » Sat Dec 15, 2012 9:42 am

^^^^^Cool song; it led me to a Johnny Cash cover of it I hadn't heard before. I bet the Man in Black sang some more tunes about obscure places.

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Re: Songs about obscure places.

Postby dadndave » Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:36 pm

The original version of "I've been everywhere" is Australian. Written by Geoff Mack back in 1959.



'Orrible song, but then again,I hate both kinds of music.
The strawman is evil and must be punished,
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Re: Songs about obscure places.

Postby lcarreau » Sun Dec 16, 2012 1:18 am

Solsbury Hill ... Peter Gabriel ... 8)



"Climbing up on Solsbury Hill ..
I could see the city light.
Wind was blowing, time stood still ..
Eagle flew out of the night ..."
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Re: Songs about obscure places.

Postby Ammon Hatch » Sun Dec 16, 2012 4:35 am



That's obscure, right?
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Re: Songs about obscure places.

Postby butitsadryheat » Sun Dec 16, 2012 5:44 am

Some would call us obscure...well, we used to be, when Buck wrote this song

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Re: Songs about obscure places.

Postby MarkDidier » Sun Dec 16, 2012 5:56 am

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Re: Songs about obscure places.

Postby Andrew Rankine » Sun Dec 16, 2012 4:09 pm

Here are a few from the Aussie band Midnight Oil:
Mountains of Burma (about Burma):


Kosciuszko (about the area around the highest peak in Oz):


Stars of Warburton (about Warburton, Oz):


And I couldn't forget one from Rush...
A Passage to Bangkok:


Plus one from Paul McCartney (this one is about Paul and amigos getting arrested while recording in Lagos, Nigeria).
Band on the Run:
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Re: Songs about obscure places.

Postby jdzaharia » Sun Dec 16, 2012 5:02 pm

Fascinating thread. I've got some music-listening to do.

McCannster wrote:Also, pretty much any song by CW McCall.

A song that describes the route between Wiggins and Pagosa Springs via Wolf Creek Pass.
One about the route between Ouray and Telluride via the Black Bear Road.
Another describing some travels east of Council Bluffs, crossing the Nishnabotna River.
Some more I can't think of off the top of my head.
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Re: Songs about obscure places.

Postby MoapaPk » Sun Dec 16, 2012 5:40 pm

Not too obscure, but...

I loved this song in youth:

...but I grew up in the east, so the most I could relate to was "Virginia City" from Bonanza.

But I didn't realize it was about real places till I was driving down from Reno to a scientific drill site near Mammoth Lakes. The geography is a bit screwed up, but it's a great song.
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Re: Songs about obscure places.

Postby Marmaduke » Sun Dec 16, 2012 5:57 pm

Winslow, Arizona- An Eagles classic:
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Re: Songs about obscure places.

Postby boyblue » Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:36 pm

The Guess Who, Running Back to Saskatoon (1972):

"Moose Jaw, Broadview, Moosomin too
Runnin' back to Saskatoon
Red Deer, Terrace, Hanna, Medicine Hat
Sing another prairie tune, sing another prairie tune..."

Also The Beatles, Back In the USSR (1968)- a place so obscure that it doesn't even exist anymore... :)
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