Songs about obscure places.

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Bubba Suess

 
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Songs about obscure places.

by Bubba Suess » Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:12 am

Ok, maybe this is a bit odd, but I have always enjoyed (good) songs about obscure places, especially if they are west of the Mississippi. There are quite a few out there and referencing places is a complete sub-genre when it comes to Texas locales. However, as far as I can think, a song taking place in Jackpot, Nevada is about as obscure as one can get (and you get an Ely mention as a bonus!):



Of course, there is are Ely and Jackpot references in this song, but there is a certain family pedigree at play here.

Anyone else have any suggestions?

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Marmaduke

 
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Re: Songs about obscure places.

by Marmaduke » Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:51 am


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Re: Songs about obscure places.

by jfrishmanIII » Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:37 pm

I enjoy the same kind of stuff, Bubba. Though there are certainly plenty of others, I'd say Tom Russell is your man. Offhand, I can think of mentions of Tonopah, NV (in The Basque); Hachita, NM (Next Thing Smokin'); the San Carlos Apache res (Crosses of San Carlos); Jolon, CA (South Coast); The Banks of the Mussellshell. Ian Tyson is a rich vein too: the song M.C. Horses refers to Adel, OR, and I don't think it gets much more obscure in the U.S. than Adel. Bill Staines maybe? The Lost Mine of the Chisos comes to mind.

But one of the ultimate songs for mentions of obscure backcountry has to be Russell's Claude Dallas: "in the wild Owyhee Range.... in the Bloody Runs near Paradise, in the Monitors down south...."

Marmaduke, there's another Jimmy Buffett song in Rancho Deluxe that refers to the Crazy Mountains.

Somewhat apropos, here's a proportional map of North America based on frequency of mentions in country lyrics.

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Bubba Suess

 
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Re: Songs about obscure places.

by Bubba Suess » Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:13 pm

jfrishmanIII wrote:Marmaduke, there's another Jimmy Buffett song in Rancho Deluxe that refers to the Crazy Mountains.

I like that one a lot. I mentioned it a few years back, after I put two and two together.

Last edited by Bubba Suess on Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Songs about obscure places.

by surgent » Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:15 pm

Jack Benny had a long-running gag about a fictional train called the "Anaheim, Azusa and Cucamonga" line. The town names (all of which are real places in SoCal) were chosen presumably for their amusement factor, especially when Cucamonga was pronounced "Coo-ca-monnnnn-ga". I guess it's not a song but close enough.

So anyway, I was a kid in the mid 1970s, living in Azusa. The Warner-Brothers cartoons (Bugs Bunny et al) would occasionally use this line in its own cartoons. I was so impressed that my little hometown got mentioned in a Bugs Bunny cartoon. Back then, I had no idea who Jack Benny was, and that the cartoons had been made back in the 1940s and 1950s. I just assumed they drew them one week, then showed them the following week, and that the artist must live in Azusa.

The mountain angle? We lived at the base of the Sierra Madre. There was our housing tract, a municipal golf course, a fence, then bam, the hills started. Back then, I wasn't interested in the peaks, but moreso in finding lizards, frogs and the stray errant golf ball.

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Re: Songs about obscure places.

by McCannster » Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:30 pm



Also, pretty much any song by CW McCall.

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Bob Sihler
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Re: Songs about obscure places.

by Bob Sihler » Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:42 pm

Marmaduke wrote:Livingston, Montana?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLTNKnkYIvA


Do you know "Ringling, Ringling" from Living and Dying in 3/4 Time?

Ringling is a tiny Montana community. The song mentions the Musselshell River as well.

Great lines:

"And across from the bar there's a pile of beer cans
Been there twenty-seven years
Imagine all the heartaches and tears
In twenty-seven years of beer"
"Alcohol is like love. The first kiss is magic, the second is intimate, the third is routine. After that you take the girl's clothes off."

--Terry Lennox, The Long Goodbye (Raymond Chandler)

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Re: Songs about obscure places.

by dadndave » Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:59 pm

Gundagai is probably obscure enough for merkins, but this song contains place names that even Australians would find obscure..............................



The lyrics:

http://ntwebhost2.pacific.net.au/~lock-dsl/coves/SongPDF/Flash%20Jack%20From%20Gundagai.pdf
The strawman is evil and must be punished,

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Re: Songs about obscure places.

by mountainhare » Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:28 pm

I always liked the Alan Parsons Project song "Return to Tunguska." It is pretty out there, but so is Tunguska, in remote Siberia.

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Re: Songs about obscure places.

by lcarreau » Sat Dec 15, 2012 12:36 am

I always enjoy listening to Jethro Tull's "Cold Wind to Valhalla" and never get tired of it ..

"Turkey Vultures always vomit when they get nervous."

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Re: Songs about obscure places.

by Noondueler » Sat Dec 15, 2012 3:39 am

lcarreau wrote:I always enjoy listening to Jethro Tull's "Cold Wind to Valhalla" and never get tired of it ..

That's nice Larry. Tull really rocks but where exactly IS Valhalla on the map, huh?

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Bubba Suess

 
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Re: Songs about obscure places.

by Bubba Suess » Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:00 am

Noondueler wrote:That's nice Larry. Tull really rocks but where exactly IS Valhalla on the map, huh?

Good point.

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Re: Songs about obscure places.

by dadndave » Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:35 am

Image
The strawman is evil and must be punished,

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Marmaduke

 
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Re: Songs about obscure places.

by Marmaduke » Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:45 am

Marmaduke, there's another Jimmy Buffett song in Rancho Deluxe that refers to the Crazy Mountains

Hadn't heard that one, Rancho Deluxe was a rather obscure movie and album of his. Wait......obscure fits this thread :wink:

Do you know "Ringling, Ringling" from Living and Dying in 3/4 Time?

Absolutely, forgot about that one.

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