Quantcast

Songs about Duluth Places/Neighborhoods

Expanding on the post that lists “songs with ‘Duluth’ in the lyrics or title,” it seems appropriate to also list songs that might not mention Duluth directly, but reference Duluth neighborhoods, businesses, historical occurances or icons.

Here’s a running list from songs mentioned in the comments:

The Black-eyed Snakes – “Hillside Stomp”
The Boomchucks – “Hillside”
The Branditos – “Broken Hearts & Oxygen”
Crew Jones – “Memory of Me”
Bob Dylan – “Desolation Row”
Equal Xchange – “Superior Crimes”
The Fractals – “Woodland Boys”
Giljunko – “Gangsta Spur”
Giljunko – “Misbent Life”
Giljunko – “R.T. Quinlan’s Nine”
Giljunko – “Raised in the Ruins”
Giljunko – “St. Paul Caves”
Ingeborg von Agassiz – “William A. Irvin
The Keep Aways – “Hillside”
The Little Black Books – “East Hillside Freeze Out”
Charlie Parr – “Jefferson Street Express”
Charlie Parr – “Adrift in Lake Superior at Sunrise”
Matt Ray and Those Damn Horses – “Locust Street”
Leon Rohrbaugh – “Michigan Street”
Al Sparkhawk – “How the Weather Comes Over the Central Hillside”
Swimming with Nancy – “Fourth Street
Tangier 57 – “Moorish Room”
The Tisdales – “On a Swim”
Ryan Van Slooten – “Lakeside”
Yester – “Hunters Park”

43 Comments

Barrett Chase

about 8 years ago

I'll submit Giljunko's song, "St. Paul Caves" with its line, "We fought the punks from Duluth East."

Hot Shot

about 8 years ago

How about every Giljunko song ever? "Gangsta Spur," "Misbent Life," "Quinlan's Nine," "Raised in the Ruins" (now a Little Black Books song). However, I think local bands should be exempt.

"Lake of Fire" by the Meat Puppets is a good national band to reference.

edgeways

about 8 years ago

I've got down Yester's "Hunters Park", Black-eyed Snakes' "Hillside Stomp," the Little Black Books' "East Hillside Freeze Out," Al Sparkhawk's "How the Weather Comes Over the Central Hillside" and Leon Raba's "Michigan Street." 

"St Paul Caves" is good, I missed that one.

edgeways

about 8 years ago

I'm all right with local bands ... just not everything from one or two bands.

Barrett Chase

about 8 years ago

Hot Shot: I think we'd be hard-pressed to find many references to specific Duluth places/neighborhoods if we didn't count local bands. The Meat Puppets song you mentioned doesn't reference any specific part of Duluth, only Duluth in general. In that sense, it's perfect for the previous 2009 post, but not this one.

digit3

about 8 years ago

"Lake of Fire" by Nirvana.

Dave Sorenen

about 8 years ago

"Fourth Street" by Swimming With Nancy

Meghann

about 8 years ago

Vinnie and the Stardusters' "Come to Duluth."

Paul Lundgren

about 8 years ago

"Broken Hearts & Oxygen" by the Branditos is an awesome song that references Pizza Lucé and Last Chance Liquor.

The only recording I've heard of this song is the live version on Beaner's Central: One Week Live 9. After the song, frontman Brandon Swanson mentions the Rustic Bar, which I guess counts as a third local reference, even though it's not actually part of the song.

blind

about 8 years ago

Charlie Parr, "Jefferson Street Express"
Bob Dylan, "Something There Is About You" ('walkin' the hills of old duluth'), perhaps  a stretch
Ryan van Slooten, "Lakeside"
Father Hennepin, "I Like It in Duluth," ('let's head down to the norshor')
ATF / Jamie Ness, "The Duluth Song"
Portrait of  a Drowned Man, "The Marina is Too Shallow"
Black-Eyed Snakes, "Hillside Stomp"
Charlie Parr, "Adrift in Lake Superior at Sunrise"
Haley Bonar, "The Water" (okay, so this one doesn't exactly reference duluth, but it just feels so much like looking outside a downtown window in winter at icy water on the lake)
Fred Tyson, "Under the Boardwalk" (sort of)
Crew Jones, "Memory of Me" (Highway 35 from Duluth to the cities, ice-fishing near something that I can't pronounce),  "Chapter 13" (Leif Erikson Park?), "Swimming Hole" (Lester River?), "Who's Beach" (actual place up the shore, references many places up there, including Beaver Bay, a Finnish restaurant with a crying waitress, also possibly Leif Erikson Park though maybe a different ship, Windigo Lodge, the River Brule, also "the cobblestones and the seagulls" - obviously duluth),
 Charlie Parr, "Mahtowa Stomp" (Mahtowa)
Boomchucks, "Hillsiders"
Gil Junko, "My Soul's in the Mail" ('Highway 35, it's cold at night')
Jim Hall, i think there's a song about Canal Park, don't remember which
Jamie Ness has a song about $20 in your pocket and a million dollar view
Pert Near Sandstone (uh, Sandstone, no?)

but as mentioned, all hail vinnie & the stardusters, "duluth"

blind

about 8 years ago

bob dylan, "desolation row." duluth & down highway 61 / mississippi river = desolation row.

FlippyD

about 8 years ago

Matt Ray and Those Damn Horses - Locust Street

Bill

about 8 years ago

I got one called "Chester Bowl Strut." Recorded at Sacred Heart but not released to the general public as of yet.

blind

about 8 years ago

My point about "Desolation Row" is that I interpret desolation row as being the path from Duluth itself down south.  "Lady and I look out tonight on desolation row" I imagine Abe Zimmerman + his dog looking out on Lake Avenue as the crowds gather.  Obviously this is interpretation and a stretch.

brian

about 8 years ago

Dylan - Hwy 61 Revisited
Tangier 57 - Moorish Room

Barrett Chase

about 8 years ago

Related side note: I wonder if Dylan ever has fun and sings it, "walkin' the hills of New Duluth."

c-freak

about 8 years ago

"Blue Lite Special" - Fattypants. It's about the confusion of West End / West Duluth. God forbid you fuck those up.

mevans

about 8 years ago

moe. - Bring you Down ... first line of the song

edgeways

about 8 years ago

Roads are always tricky, specially highways as they stretch on for so long. I always got the impression that HWY 61 was more about the rural areas, could well be wrong mind you, but it's more regional then Duluth imo.

Moorish room yeah, absolutely ++

c-freak, absolutely, man I dread the day serious men and women show up at my door to "explain" something.

Need

about 8 years ago

Equal Xchange has a song mentioning Lee's Pizza.

Theinone

about 8 years ago

I believe someone at the Duluth Library took it upon themselves to publish a book of Duluth songs. This was in the mid seventies when the John Berquist of the Moose Wallow Ramblers wrote and recorded the song "I like it in Duluth."
 
There was also a song called the "Fireproof Carp" that my first string band the Heelstring Nation used to play ... a song about the asbestos from Silver Bay mining that used to flow into Lake Superior. I'd check with the Library - it was something like Duluth Ditty songbook?

John

about 8 years ago

I always prefer to think that "Seven Bridges Road" by the Eagles is about ours rather than the one in Montgomery, Alabama.

Paul Lundgren

about 8 years ago

The book Theinone is referring to is The Duluth Ditty Bag: Songs About the Zenith City, published by the Duluth Public Library in 1976 and edited by Biz White. I've had a copy checked out for about a month now. It must be time to bring it back.

brian

about 8 years ago

Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

Hot Shot

about 8 years ago

I missed the specifications. 
"Hillside" by the Boomchucks is another great tune.
"Superior Crimes" by Equal Xchange references the other side of the bridge.

mindy

about 8 years ago

The Keep Aways - "Hillside"

It's about basement shows in Duluth.

adam

about 8 years ago

"It starts with an 'A' and ends with an 'R,' and I did it to your sister behind the Shish Ka Bar."

ms dean

about 8 years ago

The Fractals have a song called "Woodland Boys" on their latest album.

Sue s

about 8 years ago

Christmas City of the North! There is another one from the 60s that I will have to look up.

Paul

about 8 years ago

Not a song, but I got a kick out of Larry David mentioning Duluth in an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm (the one where he becomes a car salesman). I guess television/movie references to Duluth could be a whole other thread.

moosetracks

about 8 years ago

As of about a month ago, the Duluth Public Library had copies of The Duluth Ditty Bag book for sale.  I bought one then, and I believe they still had more copies available.

Paul Lundgren

about 8 years ago

Whenever the subject of Duluth references in movies comes up we have to remind people this exists:


Scottyboomblatty

about 8 years ago

What about Merv Griffin and the "Christmas City" song.

Scott Anderson

about 8 years ago

"Duluth, Minnesnowta" by hip hop artist Good Knight. Local artist, now living in the Twin Cities.  His CD can be found at Electric Fetus. several tracks mention neighborhoods and places in Duluth.

Barrett Chase

about 8 years ago

"Christmas City" shouldn't count. The only specific place mentioned is "Midtown" which isn't even an actual Duluth neighborhood.

TimK

about 8 years ago

The last word in the song Christmas City IS Duluth! You need to go get your 45rpm out Barrett and give it a listen!

Barrett Chase

about 8 years ago

You need to read the rules of this thread, Tim! The word Duluth isn't good enough!

Paul Lundgren

about 8 years ago

It seems pretty simple to me:

There is an older list of "Songs with 'Duluth' in the lyrics or title," and there is this list of "Songs about Duluth Places/Neighborhoods."

If a song mentions Duluth it belongs on the former list. If a song mentions something like Morgan Park or Curly's Bar it belongs on the latter list.

TimK

about 8 years ago

On my new album, Numbers Station, I was thinking about Duluth. Does that count?

Spy1

about 8 years ago

TimK has struck it. Next we'll have songs "inspired" by Duluth, like Kottke's "The Ice Field." But let's finish up here first.

Randel H

about 8 years ago

In the early 1900s Duluth was trying to bolster its manufacturing and consumer goods, one part of which was to vigorously encourage Duluthians to purchase Duluth-based products. On Oct. 31, 1912, the 'city fathers' staged a big 'Duluth Home Products Dinner' at the Auditorium. With speakers like Congdon, Washburn, Denfeld, Craig and others, the Duluth bigwigs were out in full force, surely feeling their wealth and oats.  

One part of the dinner included 12 'spasms' (their term) -- popular songs with words changed to Duluth oriented references -- as a way to apparently have participatory fun in boostering Duluth made goods.  

Check out the whole program, retrieved from the Northeast Minnesota Historical Center at the UMD Library. It is full of Duluth references in the remade songs of the day.

BUT, I can't resist the following example, Spasm 3, sung to the tune of "My Bonnie":

Queen of the Cities Duluth is the Queen of the Cities Duluth is the Queen of the West Duluth is the best place to trade in Just try her and she'll do the rest Try dear, to buy here, Break off the habit to roam, to roam, Plz try before you die, To leave part of your money at home.

No Good Zombie Bum

about 8 years ago

The Tisdales song "On A Swim" references the Cascade apartments.

Leave a Comment

Only registered members can post a comment , Login / Register Here

Read previous post:
Global Goes Local

After 32 years, the founders of Global Village (from Minneapolis) have passed the torch to a long time employee and...

Close