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Good Anti-Sprawl songs

Super Amputee Cat

Cyburbian
Messages
2,191
Points
29
I'm sure everyone has heard the Joni Mitchell song "Big Yellow Taxi" which maybe one of the greatest anti-sprawl songs of all time.

But how about some of the lesser known Anti-Sprawl songs.

One of my personal favorites has to be My City Was Gone by the Pretenders in which Hinde returns to her native Ohio to find her hometown destroyed and the country-side "paved by the middle by a goverment that had no pride"

Although the song was written over twenty years ago (just when the evils of sprawl were again about to take root in America after a ten-year dormancy) the song is becoming more and more relavent every year.

Here are the complete lyrics:

I WENT BACK TO OHIO
BUT MY CITY WAS GONE
THERE WAS NO TRAIN STATION
THERE WAS NO DOWNTOWN
SOUTH HOWARD HAD DISAPPEARED
ALL MY FAVORITE PLACES
MY CITY HAD BEEN PULLED DOWN
REDUCED TO PARKING SPACES
A, O, WAY TO GO OHIO


WELL I WENT BACK TO OHIO
BUT MY FAMILY WAS GONE
I STOOD ON THE BACK PORCH
THERE WAS NOBODY HOME
I WAS STUNNED AND AMAZED
MY CHILDHOOD MEMORIES
SLOWLY SWIRLED PAST
LIKE THE WIND THROUGH THE TREES
A, O, OH WAY TO GO OHIO


I WENT BACK TO OHIO
BUT MY PRETTY COUNTRYSIDE
HAD BEEN PAVED DOWN THE MIDDLE
BY A GOVERNMENT THAT HAD NO PRIDE
THE FARMS OF OHIO
HAD BEEN REPLACED BY SHOPPING MALLS
AND MUZAK FILLED THE AIR
FROM SENECA TO CUYAHOGA FALLS
SAID, A, O, OH WAY TO GO OHIO

I would also submit the tractSubdivisions by Rush is anti-sprawl or at least anti-suburb. (And in this day and age, isn't that the same thing?) Can't get much more confomist by being a advocate of sprawl these days, with so many buying into that mindset.

What are some other good anti-sprawl songs out there? Or songs that have a line or two that seem to lament the loss of the traditional streetscape as the result of sprawl-related activity.
 

Mastiff

Gunfighter
Messages
7,181
Points
30
Super Amputee Cat said:
One of my personal favorites has to be My City Was Gone by the Pretenders in which Hinde returns to her native Ohio to find her hometown destroyed and the country-side "paved by the middle by a goverment that had no pride"
I was always dumbfounded that Rush Limbaugh used the first bars of this song as the opening intro to his radio show...
 

Bangorian

Member
Messages
198
Points
7
"Barstow" by Jay Farrar (former frontman of Son Volt) is a good one - talks about more than sprawl, but sprawl and "the suburban lifestlye" is kind of an underlying theme. Don't have all the lyrics at my fingertips right now, but some of the better lines are:

"The devil bought the keys to Branson, drives a backhoe and wears a gold chain"

"take no notice of the rising waters, take no notice where rivers run dry, they'll be digging through the landfills to find evidence of our great demise"

There are other poignant lyrics, but I can't recall them at this moment.
 

JNA

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
25,568
Points
59
Here you go:
Barstow by Jay Farrar

Anyone caught speaking Esperanto
Is thought crazy or headed for jail
There's peace in the wilds of West Texas
Where the sun and the sky prevail

Don't take notice of the rising waters
Don't take notice where rivers run dry
They'll be digging through the landfills
To find evidence of our great demise

CHORUS:
There's a changing pattern before us
And the past tells the story quite well
By the time we make it to Barstow
We'll be more than halfway to hell

Waves of adverts that promise revival
Trinketware that batters the brain
The Devil bought the key to Branson
Drives a backhoe and wears a gold chain

Now we're living in the ending time frame
Bets in Reno are all the human race
Woke up in another test market
With a new headache filter in place
 

japrovo

Member
Messages
103
Points
6
John Prine's Green River came to mind...not exactly anti-sprawl but anti-strip mining with the loss of communit y thrown in boot.


When I was a child, my family would travel
To western Kentucky, where my parents were born
And there's a backward old town that's often remembered
So many times that my memories are worn

CHORUS:
And daddy won't you take me back to Mulenberg county
Down by the Green River, where Paradise lay
Well I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in askin'
Mr. Peabody's coal train has hauled it away

Well sometimes we'd float right down the Green River
To an abandoned old prison down by Atry Hill
Where the air smelled like snakes and we'd shoot with our pistols
But empty pop bottles was all we would kill

CHORUS

Then the coal company came, with the world's largest shovel
And they tortured the timber and stripped all the land
Well they dug for their coal till the land was forsaken
Then they wrote it all down as the progress of man

CHORUS

When I die let my ashes float down the Green River
Let my soul roll on up to the Rochester dam
I'll be halfway to Heaven with Paradise waitin'
Just five miles away from wherever I am

CHORUS
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
I have posted this before on another thread, but it is so good I shall post it again.

Group: Modest Mouse
Song: This is a Long Drive for Someone With Nothing to Think About (1996)
Album: Novocaine Stain

“…Remember the towns
With fear and fascination
On what was here
And what's replacing them now
Interchange causes a mall
And crowded chain restaurants
More housing developments go up
Named after the things they replace
So welcome to Minnow Brook
And welcome to Shady Space
And it all seems a little abrupt
No I don't like this change of pace…”
 

AubieTurtle

Cyburbian
Messages
894
Points
21
Kids in America

It isn't anti-sprawl as its major message but there certainly is a certain undercurrent there. I think it is a good song for the back to the city movement:

Kids in America
Written by Ricky & Marty Wilde
Performed by Kim Wilde

Looking out a dirty old window
Down below the cars in the
City go rushing by
I sit here alone
And I wonder why

Friday night and everyone's moving
I can fell the heat
But it's shooting
Heading down
I search for the beat in this dirty town

Down town the young ones are going
Down town the young ones are growing

Chorus :

We're the kids in America (x 2)
Everybody live for the music-go-round

Bright lights the music gets faster
Look boy, don't check on your watch
Not another glance
I'm not leaving now, honey not a chance

Hot-shot, give me no problems
Much later baby you'll be saying never mind
You know life is cruel, life is never kind

Kind hearts don't make a new story
Kind hearts don't grab any glory

Ch.

Come closer, honey that's better
Got to get a brand new experience
Feeling right
Oh don't try to stop baby
Hold me tight

Outside a new day is dawning
Outside Sububia's sprawling everywhere
I don't want to go baby
New York to East California
There's a new wave coming I warn you

Ch.

We're the kids
We're the kids
We're the kids in America
 

freewaytincan

Cyburbian
Messages
125
Points
6
I like "statement" kinds of songs as much as I like political slogans and protest slogans. They repeat it over and over and over, and it usually sucks anyway. Stop sittin' around singin' about it and do something useful, that's my motto. Well, not my actual motto, but it's something I say.
 

AubieTurtle

Cyburbian
Messages
894
Points
21
freewaytincan said:
I like "statement" kinds of songs as much as I like political slogans and protest slogans. They repeat it over and over and over, and it usually sucks anyway. Stop sittin' around singin' about it and do something useful, that's my motto. Well, not my actual motto, but it's something I say.
I agree with you about 50%. People who sit around and moan about problems and do nothing about them are a pain (and I'm not just talking about singers). But music is a very powerful medium and it can raise awareness of an issue. I would hope that no one would rush off and start engaging in some rash course of action based solely on what they hear in a song but if it makes them aware of an issue so that they find out more and then decide to do something, then that's a good thing.
 

jordanb

Cyburbian
Messages
3,232
Points
25
Mental As Anything -- Garageland

I'm Sales Manager, Kitchenware, it's not as bad as it sounds
I wear a suit, the girls are cute, I push them all around
I got a nice house, I only go out to work-related functions
I got a new car, as neat as a pin, it goes when I get in

Help me Jesus

I'm never alone in my cosy home, got a radio and TV
I've got two kids, a boy and a girl, they both look just like me

Help me Jesus, help me

Hey there I'm a salary man, I live out west in garageland
Doin' alright I'm a family man, I'm sittin' out here in garageland

It's hot out here, I need a beer, it's a long way from the sea
There's no crime on my lawn, it's not too rough for me
There's a heat haze hanging in the dirty sky like a warm and hairy blanket
Give a beer, a whiskey or gin, I don't care, I'll drink it

Help me Jesus, help me

Hey there I'm a salary man, I live out west in garageland
Doin' alright I'm a family man, I'm sittin' out here in garageland

I'll retire with a lump sum payment, adequate pension, la la la la la la
Somewhere nice on the mid north coast, a holiday house a car and a boat

I'm Sales Manager, Kitchenware, it's not as bad as it sounds
I wear a suit, girls are cute, I push them all around
I'm getting so fat my wife doesn't mind we do it in the dark
Don't talk too much we've said enough, she still makes me laugh

Help me Jesus, help me
Help me Jesus

Hey there I'm a salary man, I live out west in garageland
Doin' alright I'm a family man, I'm sittin' out here in garageland

Hey there I'm a salary man, I live out west in garageland
Doin' alright I'm a family man, I'm sittin' out here in garageland
 

jordanb

Cyburbian
Messages
3,232
Points
25
Travis Tritt -- Country Ain't Country

He was raised on a tractor in overalls and boots
Been to college and then law school since leaving his roots
Came home in a Lexus, he left in a Ford
Country ain't country no more

He told his daddy catch up with the times
He said now a days people trade heifers online
Dad ain't selling deals with a handshake like before
Country ain't country no more
No, country ain't country no more

The back forty was sold to make up for hard times
Then sold by the half acre lot overnight
The houses went up and the trees were cut down
And there went the finest deer hunting around
Lord, everyone's locking their doors
'Cause country ain't country no more

Now his dad sits in traffic looking 'round at the change
Watching crews turn the county road into four lanes
The old Sunday drive has turned into a chore
Country ain't country no more
Lord, country ain't country no more

The back forty was sold to make up for hard times
Then sold by the half acre lot overnight
The houses went up and the trees were cut down
And there went the finest deer hunting around
Lord, everyone's locking their doors
'Cause country ain't country no more

There's no turning back
And you just can't ignore
That country ain't country no more
No, country ain't country no more
 

Rem

Cyburbian
Messages
1,524
Points
23
jordanb said:
Mental As Anything -- Garageland
Your knowledge of Australian bands, that I assume are pretty obcure in the US, never ceases to amaze. The Mentals are one of my favourite bands from my teenage years - they still occasionally perform around the traps though they tend to be more well known for their art these days - especially their designs for Mambo clothing. A number of Reg Mombassa's Mambo figures were used for the Sydney Olympics closing ceremony.
 

tsc

Cyburbian
Messages
1,905
Points
23
Dar Williams
What do you love more than love

Well the mountain was so beautiful
That this guy built a mall and a pizza shack
Yeah he built an ugly city because
He wanted the mountain to love him back


I love the Chrissy Hinds one...totally forgot about it. I have a file of running quotes that I keep for reports and presentations.
 

Tom R

Cyburbian
Messages
2,274
Points
25
tunes

Super Amputee Cat said:
I'm sure everyone has heard the Joni Mitchell song "Big Yellow Taxi" which maybe one of the greatest anti-sprawl songs of all time.

But how about some of the lesser known Anti-Sprawl songs.

One of my personal favorites has to be My City Was Gone by the Pretenders in which Hinde returns to her native Ohio to find her hometown destroyed and the country-side "paved by the middle by a goverment that had no pride".
A couple of notes. There has been at least one string on "Planning Songs." "Big Yellow Taxi" was written by Bob Dylan and, obviously Chrissie Hinde is big here in Akron among the populace but many of the politicians don't like her. Their problem is that it is easy to criticize the area when you live in London and they ask why she hasn't done anything to help. Great song though. Put Cuyahoga Falls (aka locally as Caucasian Falls) on the map.
 

tsc

Cyburbian
Messages
1,905
Points
23
Tom R said:
A couple of notes. There has been at least one string on "Planning Songs." "Big Yellow Taxi" was written by Bob Dylan and, .
Big Yellow Taxi was written by Joni Mitchell
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,550
Points
25
I have a new one. It is from the Probot CD, which is Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters) collaborating with a bunch of metal and hardcore legends.

Here is a sample of the lyrics:

"Silent Spring"

They ravaged the land
And polluted the seas
They burned all the forests
Or cut down the trees
They damned up the rivers
And paved all the shores
Built parking lots
And discount stores
Then they started to die
But not fast enough
So, they shot at each other
With bullets and stuff
Chalk it all up to human greed
As seen on your TV
 

SlaveToTheGrind

Cyburbian
Messages
1,386
Points
25
Rush - Subdivisions

Sprawling on the fringes of the city
In geometric order
An insulated border
In between the bright lights
and the far unlight unknown.

Growing up it all seems so one-sided
Opinions all provided
The future pre-decided
Detached and subdivided
in the mass-production zone.

Nowhere is the dreamer or the misfit
So alone

[chorus]
Subdivisions
In the high school halls
In the shopping malls
Conform or be cast out

Subdivisions
In the basement bars
In the backs of cars
Be cool or be cast out

Any escape might help to soothe
the unattractive truth
but the suburbs have no charms
to soothe the restless dreams of youth.

Drawn like moths we drift into the city
The timeless old attraction
Cruising for the action
Lit up like a firefly just to see the living night

Some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose their race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
And start to dream of somewhere
to relax their restless nights
Somewhere out of the memory
of lighted streets on quiet nights.

[chorus]
 

boilerplater

Cyburbian
Messages
916
Points
21
Celebration not for British socialists

Those anarchists of Chumbwumba ("Tubthumping") put out this song, possibly the first song mocking a "New Urbanist" town.


Celebration, Florida

The good folks pull together
It's July 4th forever
Down in Celebration, Florida
The neighbors bring you coffee
And everyone's always happy
Down in Celebration, Florida
There's a bake sell at the schoolhouse
And they're selling innocence
They're keeping out the deviants
To protect the residents
Of Celebration, Celebration, Florida
They're buying up nostalgia
For a time they can't remember
Down in Celebration, Florida
They're sharing homemade corn chips
Even the dogs get facelifts
Down in Celebration, Florida
There's a bake sell at the schoolhouse
And they're selling innocence
They're keeping out the deviants
To protect the residents
Of Celebration, Celebration, Florida
There's nation fighting nation
There's kids with malnutrition
But not in Celebration, Florida
Social engineering
It gives you that fuzzy feeling
Down in Celebration, Florida
There's a bake sell at the schoolhouse
And they're selling innocence
They're keeping out the deviants
To protect the residents
Of Celebration, Celebration, Florida
Celebration, Celebration, Celebration, Florida
Well, it's
It's very conventional, I don't know, and it's, it's, kind of just
relies on some kind of simplistic folk ideology.
That's true, actually I'd agree with that.
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,995
Points
31
Telegraph Road - Dire Straits

One of my Favorite Songs...from the album Love over Gold

A long time ago came a man on a track
walking thirty miles with a pack on his back
and he put down his load where he thought it was the best
made a home in the wilderness
he built a cabin and a winter store
and he ploughed up the ground by the cold lake shore
and the other travellers came riding down the track
and they never went further, no, they never went back

then came the churches then came the schools
then came the lawyers then came the rules
then came the trains and the trucks with their loads
and the dirty old track was the telegraph road

Then came the mines - then came the ore
then there was the hard times then there was a war
telegraph sang a song about the world outside
telegraph road got so deep and so wide
like a rolling river. . .

And my radio says tonight it's gonna freeze
people driving home from the factories
there's six lanes of traffic
three lanes moving slow. . .

I used to like to go to work but they shut it down
I got a right to go to work but there's no work here to be found
yes and they say we're gonna have to pay what's owed
we're gonna have to reap from some seed that's been sowed
and the birds up on the wires and the telegraph poles
they can always fly away from this rain and this cold
you can hear them singing out their telegraph code
all the way down the telegraph road

You know I'd sooner forget but I remember those nights
when life was just a bet on a race between the lights
you had your head on my shoulder you had your hand in my hair
now you act a little colder like you don't seem to care
but believe in me baby and I'll take you away
from out of this darkness and into the day
from these rivers of headlights these rivers of rain
from the anger that lives on the streets with these names
'cos I've run every red light on memory lane
I've seen desperation explode into flames
and I don't want to see it again. . .

From all of these signs saying sorry but we're closed
all the way down the telegraph road
 

boiker

Cyburbian
Messages
3,890
Points
26
Plannerbabs said:
"Fake Plastic Trees", by Radiohead. Or lots of Radiohead, for that matter.
I thought fake plastic trees was about other fake, plastic things.. wink wink nudge nudge.?
 

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
Messages
4,473
Points
25
Descendents: Suburban Home

:8: I want to be stereotyped
I want to be classified

I want to be a clone
I want a suburban home

Suburban home
Suburban home
Suburban home

I want to be a statistic
I want to be masochistic

I want to be a clone
I want a suburban home

Suburban home
Suburban home
Suburban home

I don't want no hippie pad
I want a house just like mom and dad

I want to be stereotyped
I want to be classified
I want to be a statistic
I want to be masochistic

I want to be a clone
I want a suburban home

Suburban home
Suburban home
Suburban home :8:
 

DecaturHawk

Cyburbian
Messages
880
Points
22
Originally by the 5 Man Electrical Band:

Signs, signs, everywhere a sign
Blockin' out the scenery, breakin' my mind
Do this, don't do that
Can't you read the sign?
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
13,689
Points
53
DecaturHawk said:
Originally by the 5 Man Electrical Band:

Signs, signs, everywhere a sign
Blockin' out the scenery, breakin' my mind
Do this, don't do that
Can't you read the sign?
that's the theme song for my position. I HATE DEALING WITH SIGNS! :-{
 

Tom R

Cyburbian
Messages
2,274
Points
25
ditto

mendelman said:
that's the theme song for my position. I HATE DEALING WITH SIGNS! :-{
Me too. I prefer dealing with sexually oriented businesses, especially the field work.
 

Tom R

Cyburbian
Messages
2,274
Points
25
tunes

Living for the City

A boy is born in hard time Mississippi
Surrounded by four walls that ain't so pretty
His parents give him love and affection
To keep him strong moving in the right direction
Living just enough, just enough for the city...ee ha!

His father works some days for fourteen hours
And you can bet he barely makes a dollar
His mother goes to scrub the floors for many
And you'd best believe she hardly gets a penny
Living just enough, just enough for the city... yeah!

His sister's black but she is sho'nuff pretty
Her skirt is short but Lord her legs are sturdy
To walk to school she's got to get up early
Her clothes are old but never are they dirty
Living just enough, just enough for the city...um hum

Her brother's smart he's got more sense than many
His patience's long but soon he won't have any
To find a job is like a haystack needle
Cause where he lives they don't use colored people
Living just enough, just enough for the city...

Living just enough...
For the city... ooh, ooh
(Repeat several times)

His hair is long, his feet are hard and gritty
He spends his life walking the streets of New York City
He's almost dead from breathing in air pollution
He tried to vote but to him there's no solution
Living just enough, just enough for the city...
yeah, yeah, yeah!

I hope you hear inside my voice of sorrow
And that it motivates you to make a better tomorrow
This place is cruel no where could be much colder
If we don't change the world will soon be over
Living just enough, stop giving just enough for the city!!!!
 

FueledByRamen

Cyburbian
Messages
449
Points
13
The Weakerthans, a band from Winnipeg, has alot of songs about urban life and allude to Catherine Hunter in half of their songs.

"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 arching wrecking ball proclaim:
i...hate...winnipeg"
--One Great City!

"They're tearing up streets again.
They're building a new hotel.
The Mayor's out killing kids to keep taxes down,
and me and my anger sit folding a paper bird,
letting the curtains turn to beating wings."
--My Favourite Chords

"My city's still breathing (but barely it's true)
through buildings gone missing like teeth.
The sidewalks are watching me think about you,
all sparkled with broken glass.
I'm back with scars to show.
Back with the streets I know.
They never take me anywhere but here."
--Left and Leaving
 

noj

Cyburbian
Messages
517
Points
16
Classic quote from Alan Partridge (Genius creation of British comic, Steve Coogan); “Paving paradise actually significantly alleviated parking problems and congestion in the town centre, a benefit Ms Mitchell singularly fails to mention in her song” ;-)
 

Margin Walker

Cyburbian
Messages
199
Points
9
The Tossers have a great song called "Chicago" that is more about gentrification than sprawl. Only song I have ever heard incorporating the word "gentrification". The lyrics are full of curse words, so don't read if you are easily offended.

Edit: I see the words are *** out now by the forum, works for me :)

Well we had a mouse right in our house and were afraid to move
But I'd never trade that time we spent huddled up in the front room
No chill or rats or poverty can quell my love for you
Or for this dump we're standing in 'cause this is my home too

Chicago, Chicago, well there's assholes everywhere
Chicago, Chicago, where you're 15 pints from all your cares
Where your wallet's like a sieve
And that's where all of the gangsters live
Chicago, Chicago, is where we can afford to live

Well I sit out on my front porch step, watch the gangsters selling crack
And I call the cops when a girl walks by and they give her a smack
Oh I like to get my beer and sit on my front step or by the store
Hanging out where white folks fear to tread, yeah this is my home for sure

No gangsters can deface it 'cause it's still the same to me
Sometimes the bullets frighten me but I speak up you see
Oh I can navigate the subway sect just like a weathered pro
And anywhere I want to you know that is where I go

Chicago, Chicago, assholes everywhere
Chicago, Chicago, we are 15 pints from all our cares
Where your wallet's like a sieve
And that's where all of the gangsters live
Chicago, Chicago, is where we can afford to live

I'm going out all by myself, no victims role for me
No I'm not transgressed by lovers or friends or owed something you see
Well the new condo's they're coming fast and the rents have gone sky high
Just because we're seen as pioneers they start to build for all the whites

They ****in' gentrified my home, they ****in' gentrified my home
Left affordable housing there to roam, they ****in' gentrified my home
They ****in' gentrified my home, they ****in' gentrified my home
Daley kicking ethnic vendors off the street, ordinanced nothing cheap to eat

No more vendors in front of restaurants
'cause Daley says they attract vermin to their haunts
But I don't think that's the targeted vermin that he wants

See the copper with his badge and his gun
He's not hiding from anyone
So you better collect your **** and run

New shopping fronts are popping up all around
Driving our affordability out of town
You'd think they no longer want us around

Public housing coming down by federal mandate
All of whom they promised to relocate
Rick Lazio's bill passed congress but they just segregated 'em back from where they came

Neighborhoods splits up by highways lined
Dividing different races by color lines
Old mayor Daley put 'em there in the ever old grand ol' time

Real world hype drives the rent sky high
Now MTV age yuppies want to buy
The city got the exorbitant tax
But in the real world in Chicago someone was shot outside the apartment and they died

So you better run, stand, fight
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
In the same vein, the band Floggy Molly, does a cover of a song written by Irish singer/songwrier Pete St. John called "The Rare Ould Times" on their Drunken Lullabies CD that is at least partly about sprawl and a changing city.

Raised on songs and stories, heroes of renown
The passing tales and glories that once was Dublin Town
The hallowed halls and houses, the haunting childrens rhymes
That once was Dublin City in the rare ould times

Ring a ring a rosey, as the light declines
I remember Dublin City in the rare ould times

My name it is Sean Dempsey, as Dublin as can be
Born hard and late in Pimlico, in a house that ceased to be
By trade I was a cooper, lost out to redundancy
Like my house that fell to progress, my trade's a memory

And I courted Peggy Dignam, as pretty as you please
A rogue and child of Mary, from the rebel Liberties
I lost her to a student chap, with skin as black as coal
When he took her off to Birmingham, she took away my soul

The years have made me bitter, the gargle dims me brain
Cause Dublin keeps on changing, and nothing seems the same
The Pillar and the Met have gone, the Royal long since pulled down
As the grey unyielding concrete, makes a city of my town

Fare thee well sweet Anna Liffey, I can no longer stay
And watch the new glass cages, that spring up along the quay
My mind's too full of memories, too old to hear new chimes
I'm part of what was Dublin, in the rare ould times

Ring a ring a rosey, as the light declines
I remember Dublin City in the rare ould times
 

Gedunker

Moderating
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
11,374
Points
38
There's Telegraph Road from Dire Straits:

A long time ago came a man on a track
Walking thirty miles with a pack on his back
And he put down his load where he thought it was the best
Made a home in the wilderness
He built a cabin and a winter store
And he ploughed up the ground by the cold lake shore
And the other travellers came riding down the track
And they never went further, no, they never went back
Then came the churches then came the schools
Then came the lawyers then came the rules
Then came the trains and the trucks with their loads
And the dirty old track was the telegraph road

Then came the mines - then came the ore
Then there was the hard times then there was a war
Telegraph sang a song about the world outside
Telegraph road got so deep and so wide
Like a rolling river. . .

And my radio says tonight it’s gonna freeze
People driving home from the factories
There’s six lanes of traffic
Three lanes moving slow. . .

I used to like to go to work but they shut it down
I got a right to go to work but there’s no work here to be found
Yes and they say we’re gonna have to pay what’s owed
We’re gonna have to reap from some seed that’s been sowed
And the birds up on the wires and the telegraph poles
They can always fly away from this rain and this cold
You can hear them singing out their telegraph code
All the way down the telegraph road

You know I’d sooner forget but I remember those nights
When life was just a bet on a race between the lights
You had your head on my shoulder you had your hand in my hair
Now you act a little colder like you don’t seem to care
But believe in me baby and I’ll take you away
From out of this darkness and into the day
From these rivers of headlights these rivers of rain
From the anger that lives on the streets with these names
’cos I’ve run every red light on memory lane
I’ve seen desperation explode into flames
And I don’t want to see it again. . .

from all of these signs saying sorry but we’re closed
All the way down the telegraph road
 

Maister

Chairman of the bored
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Gedunker said:
There's Telegraph Road from Dire Straits:
I've heard it said that we sing those things we would feel too stupid saying. But those lyrics are pretty righteous poetry. That's really Dire Straights? If so, I may have misjudged this band....
 
Messages
13
Points
1
anti-sprawl songs

a good one liner by Missing Persons (is this a clue?)
Nobody walks in L.A. . . . . only a nobody walks in LA.
 

nuovorecord

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Messages
444
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13
Maister said:
I've heard it said that we sing those things we would feel too stupid saying. But those lyrics are pretty righteous poetry. That's really Dire Straights? If so, I may have misjudged this band....
This song is one of my all-time favorite rock songs - El Guapo's too, evidently. It's 14 minutes long and really shows off Mark Knopfler's genius..as beautiful and haunting melodically as well as lyrically. It's on "Love Over Gold" if you're interested in picking up the CD.

Thinking about it further...I guess, at 14 minutes long, this song could be termed "sprawling..." 8-!
 
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pete-rock

Cyburbian
Messages
1,550
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24
I had no idea there were any "anti-sprawl" songs.

Guess I should check these songs out so I have music to reduce sprawl by.
 

SkeLeton

Cyburbian
Messages
4,853
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26
Hmmm can't think of any, probably none of the bands I like has songs that cound be considered anti-sprawl, and I don't know many of the bands already mentioned. :-( Specially since I'm more into instrumental rock bands lately.

Radiohead? Plannerbabs WTH? I don't see the anti-sprawl message in Fake plastic trees... :p :-$
 

AubieTurtle

Cyburbian
Messages
894
Points
21
Green Day's "Jesus of Suburbia":

I'm the son of rage and love
The Jesus of suburbia
From the bible of none of the above
On a steady diet of soda pop and Ritalin
No one ever died for my sins in hell
As far as I can tell
At least the ones I got away with

And there's nothing wrong with me
This is how I'm supposed to be
In a land of make believe
That don't believe in me

Get my television fix sitting on my crucifix
The living room or my private womb
While the moms and brads are away
To fall in love and fall in debt
To alcohol and cigarettes and Mary Jane
To keep me insane and doing someone else's cocaine

rest of the lyrics

Of course when you have an album named "American Idiot", you've got to expect some negativity towards the dominate lifestyle choices.
 
Messages
146
Points
6
It's about more than sprawl, but thsi is the song I thought of:

She came from Providence, the one in Rhode Island
where the old world shadows hang heavy in the air.
She packed her hopes and dreams like a refugee,
just as her father came across the sea.

She heard about a place people were smilin',
they spoke about the red man's way, how they loved the land.
And they came from everywhere to the Great Divide
seeking a place to stand or a place to hide.

Down in the crowded bars out for a good time,
can't wait to tell you all what it's like up there.
And they called it paradise, I don't know why.
Somebody laid the mountains low while the town got high.

Then the chilly winds blew down across the desert,
through the canyons of the coast to the Malibu
where the pretty people play hungry for power
to light their neon way and give them things to do.

Some rich man came and raped the land, nobody caught 'em,
put up a bunch of ugly boxes and, Jesus, people bought 'em.
And they called it paradise, the place to be,
they watched the hazy sun sinking in the sea.

You can leave it all behind and sail to Lahaina
just like the missionaries did so many years ago.
They even brought a neon sign 'Jesus is Coming',
brought the white man's burden down, brought the white man's reign.

Who will provide the grand design, what is yours and what is mine?
'Cause there is no more new frontier, we have got to make it here.
We satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds
in the name of destiny and in the name of God.

And you can see them there on Sunday morning
stand up and sing about what it's like up there.
They called it paradise, I don't know why.
You call some place paradise - kiss it goodbye.

The Last Resort, The Eagles
 
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