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Duluth Songs Posts

Trampled by Turtles – “Duluth”

The fourth studio album from Duluth band Trampled by Turtles featured this title track. Duluth was released on Oct. 30, 2008.

TBT plays Bayfront Park in Duluth on July 6.

The Magnolias – “Playing to Win”

Twin Cities punk band the Magnolias advise hiding away in Duluth on the song “Playing to Win” from the 1992 album Off the Hook.

Goats in Trees – “Midnight Road to Duluth”

East Coast band Goats in Trees took the “Midnight Road to Duluth” on track five of the 2002 album Smoke and Mirrors.

The Stonemans – “Two Kids from Duluth Minnesota”

“Two Kids From Duluth Minnesota” by the Stonemans first appeared as a 45rpm single on RCA Records in 1969. The following year it was included on the band’s album Dawn of the Stonemans’ Age, which was later remastered and combined with the 1970 album In All Honesty and released under the title of the latter.

Frankie Yankovic and His Yanks – “Duluth Polka”

Frankie Yankovic and His Yanks released “Duluth Polka” in 1954 as a 7-inch 45-RPM single and as a 10-inch 78-RPM “promotion record” on the Columbia label (as seen in the video above).

Six Versions of “I Like it in Duluth”

The original version of the local anthem “I Like it in Duluth” appears on the 1976 self-titled album by the Moose Wallow Ramblers. The late John Berquist penned the song. Joining him in the band were Greg and Charlotte Ham. Numerous versions of the song have been recorded by other acts over the years; a few are presented below.

Jenny Lewis – “Heads Gonna Roll”

Singer-songwriter Jenny Lewis mentions Duluth in the song “Heads Gonna Roll” from the new album On the Line, scheduled for release on March 22.

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.