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Thread: Planning Songs (Directly Or Indirectly)

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Planning Songs (Directly Or Indirectly)

    Second-to-last chemo treatment today, laying in bed, unable to sleep, listening to an old-old-oldies station. "Downtown" by Petula Clark comes on. I ask myself, "Is that a planning song?"

    Don't know if you have had this thread before, thought I'd run it by the assembled planners, because it is, after all, "less than cosmic".

    Downtown - Pet Clark - About 1965
    First line says, "When you are lonely and life is getting you down you can always go, downtown."
    Obviously, she is talking about a downtown with life, unlike the vast majority of America's cities. Small towns often have a vibrant "four corners", but we tend to call them "Uptown".
    (Uptown Girl.....??.....Billy Joel.)

    Ferry Cross The Mersey - Gerry & The Pacemakers - 1965?
    Kind of fits, indirectly, with urban transportation.

    Kansas City - Wilbert Harrison (& Others) Mid-60's
    "Crazy kind of women there...." or some such line. Obviously talking about a PLANNED red light district, AKA Boston, others.

    Speaking of Boston.....Dirty Water - The Standells - 1966
    "I love that dirty water, oh, Boston you're my home." Environmental planners, get busy.

    The Boss, Sprinsteen - City In Ruins (Title correct?) -= Couple years ago. I believe written as an ode to a Jersey city falling apart, but the message became intertwined with the NYC 911 story and tributes.

    Another from Petula Clark, mid-1960's - Don't Sleep In The Subway, Darling. Obvious message about much of America's rapid transit, no doubt the fault of planners.....heh heh.....

    Pleasant Valley Sunday - The Monkees - 1967? This one anybody who is or thinks they are (me) a planner can actually visualize the map with the curvy streets and cul-de-sacs.

    Can't right now recall any Radiohead, Wilco, or hip-hop planning songs.....I'm old and need your young help.....

    Certain that there are lots more.

    Bear, Not Sleeping In Subway Or At Home

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Aug 2001
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    Bear - best wishes to you. We've covered this one before, but you've added several new ones. I don't think we ever mentioned these, either:

    "Lake Shore Drive," by Aliotta, Haynes and Jeremiah about Chicago's favorite street.

    There’s a road I’d like to tell you about, lives in my home town
    Lake Shore Drive the road is called and it’ll take you up or down
    From rags on up to riches fifteen minutes you can fly
    Pretty blue lights along the way, help you right on by
    And the blue lights shining with a heavenly grace, help you right on by


    "My Little Town," by Paul Simon

    And after it rains
    There's a rainbow
    And all of the colors are black
    It's not that the colors aren't there
    It's just imagin-ation they lack
    Everything's the same
    Back in my little town
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  3. #3
    The Weakerthans, "One Great City!"

    Late afternoon, another day is nearly done. A darker gray is breaking through a lighter one. A thousand sharpened elbows in the underground. That hollow hurried sound of feet on polished floor, and in the Dollar Store the clerk is closing up, and counting Loonies, trying not to say, "I hate Winnipeg." The driver checks the mirror, seven minutes late. The crowded riders' restlessness enunciates that the Guess Who suck, the Jets were lousy anyway. The same route every day. And in the turning lane, someone's stalled again. He's talking to himself, and hears the price of gas repeat his phrase: "I hate Winnipeg." And up above us all, leaning into sky, our Golden Business Boy will watch the North End die, and sing "I love this town," then let his arcing wrecking ball proclaim, "I hate Winnipeg."


    The Honor System, "Muffled By Concrete"

    One night I think you said to me that we’re broken
    Well I’m still breaking
    But I realize my skin’s not bulletproof either
    Mazes in the cornfields died
    And on their grave a new hotel lies
    Only crumbling dirt and crumbling lives survive
    That tune you’re humming never sounded so bleak to me

    Father, have you done right?
    “I broke my back, son, sold my time”
    Fingers shredded even more than your spirit
    They’ll break you in and work you down
    until you pledge allegiance
    To a system that brings you up just to knock you down
    “I’d like to see you turn this world upside down”

    Screaming voice of reason
    Muffled by concrete
    Beauty covered with parking lots
    Seems these yellow lines are all we’ve got

    Born as free men, tied hands
    Eyes left bleeding, Goddamn
    The one’s who’ve seen it, blinded
    Here’s to those one’s who die trying



    Desaparecidos, "Greater Omaha"

    Well traffic is kind of bad. They’re widening Easy St. to fit more S.U.V.s. They’re planting baby trees to grow to shady peaks. A little shelter from the sun or the upper tax bracket. Here on the cul-de-sac, we are not giving back until the community repents. Cause we can’t afford to be generous. There are closing costs and a narrow margin. So go earn your degree and we’ll take you out to lunch. You can work for us but you have eat 'em all up. One more mouthful and we will be happy then. Out west they are moving dirt to make a greater Omaha. Another franchise sold so there are even more restaurants per capita. And they all have got a drive-thru, I mean who’s got time to dine. Although the floors are clean and the color scheme, it compliments me every time. So no one starves in this cattle town. The semis pass making squealing sounds. And it's ALL U CAN EAT and they will never get enough. They’ll be feeding us. They’ll be feeding on us. One more mouthful and they will be happy then. All those golden fields, lovely empty space, they’re building drug stores now until none remains. I have been driving now for 100 blocks, saw 50 Kum and Go’s, 60 parking lots. One more mouthful and I’m sure they will be happy then. Just one more. Just one more.

  4. #4
    Did someone say Radiohead?

    The Tourist-

    It barks at no-one else but me,
    like it's seen a ghost.
    I guess it's seen the sparks a-flowin,
    no-one else would know.
    Hey man, slow down, slow down,
    idiot, slow down, slow down.

    Sometimes I get overcharged,
    that's when you see sparks.
    They ask me where the hell I'm going?
    At a 1000 feet per second,

    hey man, slow down, slow down,
    idiot, slow down, slow down.

    Hey man, slow down, slow down,
    idiot, slow down, slow down.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    Cross Town Traffic - by Jimi Hendrix

    Here's my personal favorite. Open Letter to a Landlord by Living Colour. A Ballad of Gentrification.

    LYRICS

    Living Colour Open Letter (To a Landlord) lyrics
    (V. Reid, Addition lyrics by T. Morris)

    Now you can tear a building down
    But you can't erase a memory
    These houses may look all run down
    But they have a value you can't see...

    This is my neighborhood
    This is where I come from
    I call this place my home
    You call this place a slum
    You wanna run all the people out
    This what you're all about
    Treat poor people just like trash
    Turn around and make big cash

    CHORUS: Now you can tear a building down
    But you can't erase a memory
    These houses may look all run down
    But they have a value you can't see

    Last month there was a fire
    I saw seven children die
    You sent flowers to their family
    But your sympathy's a lie
    Cause every building that you burn
    Is more blood money that you earn
    We are forced to relocate
    >From the pain that you create

    CHORUS

    We lived here for so many years
    Now this house is full of fear
    For a profit you will take control
    Where will all the older people go?
    There used to be when kids could play
    Without the scourge of drug's decay
    Now our kids are living dead
    They crack and blow their lives away

    CHORUS

    You've got to fight
    You've got a right
    To fight for your neighborhood!

  6. #6
    Cyburbian DecaturHawk's avatar
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    Originally posted by passdoubt
    I have been driving now for 100 blocks, saw 50 Kum and Go’s, 60 parking lots.
    OT: Wow, I never thought it possible to put "Kum and Go" in the lyrics of a popular song. Better known around my home state as "__________ and Evacuate" (first word rhymes with the last).

  7. #7
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    "Little Boxes" by Pete Seger. An ode to the monotiny of suburbs and the midle class, early 60s.

  8. #8
    From Paul Simon's You Can Call Me Al:

    A man walks down the street
    It's a street in a strange world
    Maybe it's the Third World
    Maybe it's his first time around
    He doesn't speak the language
    He holds no currency
    He is a foreign man
    He is surrounded by the sound
    The sound
    Cattle in the marketplace
    Scatterlings and orphanages
    He looks around, around
    He sees angels in the architecture
    Spinning in infinity
    He says Amen! and Hallelujah!

    The video with Chevy Chase is a hoot.
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
    "Once he timed your fastball, your infielders were in jeopardy."
    Warren Spahn

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