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Duluth Songs Posts

The Decemberists – “Traveling On”

Portland, Ore.-based indie rock band the Decemberists refer to Duluth in the song “Traveling On,” released in November on an EP of the same name.

Will Branch – “Duluth”

Milwaukee-based American roots musician Will Branch released a song called “Duluth” on his 2004 album Press On.

And the harsh wind is blowing up steep streets of old Duluth
Around the house you were born in, middle of World War II

The Feelin’ – “Bob Dylan Loves Duluth”

Before Nicholas David was a finalist on NBC’s The Voice, he was known as Nick “The Feelin'” Mrozinski, a singer-songwriter based in St. Paul whose band frequently backed up Duluth music-scene staple Teague Alexy.

The song “Bob Dylan Loves Duluth” first appeared on the Feelin’ Band’s 2008 album The Sacred Play of Life and was released again the same year on Mrozinski’s solo piano album, Oak Chase Way. The version above is from the 2010 compilation album Midwest Jam Season 1, on which Mrozinski is credited simply as the Feelin’.

Jonathan Richman – “They’re Not Tryin’ on the Dance Floor”

Jonathan Richman, founder of famed proto-punk band the Modern Lovers, dropped a Duluth reference on his third solo album, 1991’s Having a Party with Jonathan Richman.

“Cincinnati Dancing Pig”

The song “Cincinnati Dancing Pig” was released by everybody and their brother in 1950, and in this post several versions are gathered. The words were written by Al Lewis and the music by Guy Wood. The internet purports the first recording was by Dick Jurgens and His Orchestra in May 1950, but the first release was by Red Foley in August 1950.

The Duluth-related lyric:

From Duluth to Birmingham
He’s the pork chop Dapper Dan,
He’s the keenest ham what am,
Cincinnati dancing pig

Josh Musikantow – “Duluth 99”

Chicago-born composer Joshua Musikantow references Duluth on three tracks of his 2006 new-classical album Etched in Twilight and Other Works. Above is “Duluth 99: In the Garden with Mary.” Below are “Duluth 99: Rope” and “Duluth 99: Haiku.”

Musikantow notes “Duluth 99” is “a duet for flute and percussion consisting of three movements, each inspired by a different personal experience in Duluth.”

Jim Snidero – “Duluth at Noon”

Saxophone virtuoso Jim Snidero for some reason titled an instrumental piece “Duluth at Noon.” Whether the tune sounds like a midday stroll on the Lakewalk is up for interpretation.

Perhaps coincidentally, the song is on Snidero’s 2015 album Main Street, which is the same title as Sinclair Lewis’ famous satiric novel from 1920. Lewis had visited Duluth while in the early stages of crafting Main Street, and moved to Duluth 23 years after it was published.

They Might be Giants – “Rabid Child”

The alternative rock band They Might be Giants dropped a reference to Duluth on its self-titled debut album in 1986. Whether “the Big Duluth” mentioned in the lyrics to “Rabid Child” is supposed to be a clothing store or the nickname of a person or what, well, that’s up to the listener.

Jeb Loy Nichols – “Say Goodbye to Christopher”

When it was that Wyoming-born and Wales-based musician Jeb Loy Nichols was in Duluth, and why he’s never coming back, are anyone’s guesses, but it’s apparently related to someone named Christopher.

Jay Leonhart – “The Couple from Duluth”

As near as can be determined through web searches, “The Couple from Duluth” was composed by acclaimed bassist Jay Leonhart and was originally released on his 1984 album with Joe Beck titled There’s Gonna Be Trouble. The version above is a live recording from Leonhart’s 2015 album The Bass Lesson.

Ingeborg von Agassiz – “William A. Irvin”

Hot new hit 41-second single by Ingeborg Von Agassiz.

Complete lyrics:

The William A. Irvin ship has been removed to fix the slip.

Meat Puppets – “Lake of Fire”

The punk rock band Meat Puppets released “Lake of Fire” on the 1984 album Meat Puppets II. It also appears as a hidden track on the 1994 album Too High to Die.

The Duluth reference goes a little something like this:

I knew a lady who came from Duluth
She got bit by a dog with a rabid tooth

Swimming with Nancy – “Fourth Street”

This Duluth song doesn’t actually have the word “Duluth” in its lyrics, but is loaded with Duluth references. It’s from the self-titled 2005 album by Duluth band Swimming with Nancy.

Matt Wahl – “Just Look at the Lake”

Perfect Duluth Day’s series of posts featuring Duluth-related songs takes a turn for the corny this week.

Eau Claire native Matt Wahl moved to Duluth in 2010 and by summer 2011 released this song on YouTube. He spent seven years in Duluth before moving to Knoxville, Tenn.

Alice Cooper – “Remarkably Insincere”

Alice Cooper drops a reference to Duluth on this song from his 1982 album Zipper Catches Skin.