Songs That Mention California

With Comments and Lyrics

(Alphabetically Listed by Band Name / Artist Last Name)

 
Full List of California Songs
with Comments and Lyrics
Short List of Califoria Songs
Listed by Song Title
Short List of Califoria Songs
Listed by Artist Name
This list has become much too long to scroll through. Instead of trying to browse here, it's easier to go the Title List or the Artist List, look up the song there, then click on the "Artist" link which will take you to back here for comments and lyrics.

California is the main subject of some of these songs, but others simply refer to either a place in the state, such as a city or a highway, or to anything else about the state such as the weather, a "California Girl," or an attitude or lifestyle that the state embodies for the singer.

A lot of songs have been written about California. Some songs use California as a metaphor for the American Dream, others use it as a metaphor for the American nightmare. Many of them describe a journey to or a longing to return to a coastal paradise with constant sun, abundant opportunities, where everyone is eternally young and beautiful - basically a fictional place that bears little resemblance to the real Golden State now or in the past. (The Spanish named the territory after a mythical island paradise they were searching for that was supposed to be full of gold and ruled by a queen named Califa. That was also a myth.)

Other songs describe the disappointment found after getting to California and discovering that it's no better than where the singer came from. It seems that recording a California song is a requirement for musicians, even if it's only to show that they hate California stereotypes or the Entertainment Industry based in L.A. Musicians such as Local H and Brooke White even wrote songs about California Songs, while other musicians wrote songs about how much they hate the state. It's all good, and there's room for all of them on the list.

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This list is in alphabetical order by artist last name or band name. If the band name starts with an article such as "The" ignore it and search by the next word.

I'll add new songs to the list as I discover them. Let me know if there are any good songs missing. The lyrics are as accurate as I can get, but some words might be wrong. I have tried to censor any offensive words (not to protect you, but to protect this site from being censored) but beware that I might have missed some. YouTube links to the song are included if I could find them. My apologies in advance for bad links. YouTube can be fickle.

For another list, also divided by regions, check out Wickipedia's List of songs about California.

Finally, here's a list in progress of Songs About Herps to go along with the list of songs about California to make songs about CaliforniaHerps complete.

The lyrics shown here are all the property of their owners who have the copyright. They are provided here only for educational purposes and for your entertainment.


Shortcuts to the Band Name or Artist Last Name

(Ignore any article at the beginning such as "The" or "A.")
 
Artist
Title
(Click link to listen to song)
Description
2 Chainz It's a Vibe I like hypnotic trap music like this song, even though I'm not a girl. It's from 2 Chainz' 2017 album "Pretty Girls Like Trap Music" and features three rappers - Ty Dolla $ign, Trey Songz, Jhene Aiko, along with Georgia Rapper 2 Chainz, who says his ego is as enormous as his crib in California, which, according to Lyrics Genius, is a 3,400 square foot home in the Hollywood Hills that cost 2.45 million dollars in 2016. (My ego is as small as my studio apartment.)


[Trey Songz]
"That's a vibe (that's a vibe)
She wanna vibe, yeah (wanna vibe)
That's a vibe (that's a vibe)
Yeah, uh (that's a vibe)
That's a vibe (that's a vibe)
It's a vibe (it's a vibe)
That's a vibe, yeah (that's a vibe)
Yeah, yeah (that's a vibe)
Oh that's a vibe (that's a vibe)
Oh it's a vibe (it's a vibe)
That's a vibe (that's a vibe, that's a vibe, yeah, yeah)
That's a vibe (that's a vibe)
She wanna vibe, yeah (wanna vibe)
That's a vibe, yeah (that's a vibe)
Yeah, yeah
... ... ... ...
[2 Chainz]
Okay, so I got the ambiance just where I want it (yeah)
And if you get paid, it's solely based on your performance (tru)
My ego is enormous like my crib in California (hmm)
If you ain't got no heart, man you gonna need a donor
Now I said I'm from the corner of the ATL (yah)
Where we got that clientele, avoid paper trails (right)
Broke so many bales down that I'm shell shocked (bow)
A hell Glock, sold rocks by the mailbox (ooh)
Still got a vibe, make a young chick turn her neck (alright)
Got a vibe, make a cougar wanna spend a check (check)
Got a vibe, make a Asian want hibachi (hibachi)
Got a vibe, make Italian want Versace (Versace)
Carbon copies get declined, I'm the pioneer...."
2Pac (see Shakur, Tupac)    
24KGoldn City of Angels 24kGoldn is a rapper, singer, and composer from San Francisco, who, In 2020, at the age of 19, was attending the University of Southern California, so maybe the name of the 2019 album this song comes from "Dropped Outta College" is premature. Once again, the title of the song refers to the literal translation of the Spanish language name for the city of Los Angeles, the city where the song's protagonist is addicted to designer clothes. The song is an interesting mix of hip-hop and alternative, and it's even getting airplay on alternative stations that wouldn't dare play straight up hip-hop.


"I sold my soul to the devil for designer
They said, "Go to hell," but I told 'em I don't wanna
If you know me well, then you know that I ain't goin'
'Cause I don't wanna, I don't wanna
I don't wanna die young
The City of Angels where I have my fun
Don't wanna die young
When I'm gone, remember all I've done, 'un

We've had our fun, 'un
But now I'm done, 'un
'Cause you crazy (Yeah), I can't take it (No)
Just wanted to see you naked
Heard time like money, can't waste it
What's the price of fame? 'Cause I can taste it
So I'm chasin' (Yeah), and I'm facin'
A little Hennessy, it might be good for me

I sold my soul to the devil for designer
They said, "Go to hell," but I told 'em I don't wanna
If you know me well, then you know that I ain't goin'
'Cause I don't wanna, I don't wanna
I don't wanna die young
The City of Angels where I have my fun
Don't wanna die young
When I'm gone, remember all I've done, 'un"
10,000 Maniacs City of Angels 10,000 Maniacs is an alternative rock band founded in New York in 1981, with most of their success between 1987 and 1993 when Natalie Merchant was the lead singer and main songwriter. This song is from their 1987 album "In My Tribe." The title of the song refers to the literal translation of the Spanish language name for the city of Los Angeles.


"Heaven, is this Heaven
Heaven, is this Heaven
Heaven, is Heaven where we are?
See them walking, if you dare oh, if you call that walking.
Stumble, stagger, fall and drag themselves along the streets of Heaven.

Where is the blessed table to feed all who hunger on Earth,
welcomed and seated each one is joyfully served?
See them walking, if you dare oh, if you call that walking.
Stumble, stagger, fall and drag themselves along the streets of Heaven.

Where is the halo that should glow 'round your face,
and where are the wings that should grow from your shoulder blades?
Show them to me.
Sobering sights I've seen in the City of Angels
have all been one rude awakening that was due to me in Heaven.

Sobering sights I've seen in the City of Angels
have all been one rude awakening that was due to me in Heaven.

There would have been heavenly music I was convinced before.
A host of the dearly to meet me with Hosannas sung at the door,
but these sobering sights I've seen in the City of Angels
have all been one rude awakening that was due to me
In this city of fallen angels."
A
Miss Abrams and the Strawberry Point Third Grade Class Mill Valley This soft pop song was written by Rita Abrams and recorded by the class she was teaching in 1970. Somehow it got played on the radio and made it onto the Billboard charts, peaking at #5 on the Easy Listening chart, so then they recorded an entire album. Abrams quit teaching to pursue a successful career in writing music after that. Mill Valley is a small city 14 miles north of San Francisco in Marin County that used to have one of the best record stores in the entire Bay Area before the web killed it.


"I'm gonna talk about a place
That's got a hold on me,
Mill Valley
A little place where life
Feels very fine and free,
Mill Valley
Where people aren't afraid to smile
And stop and talk with you awhile,
And you can be as friendly
As you want to be.
Mill Valley!
Talkin' 'bout Mill Valley,
That's my home!
It looks as pretty in the rain
As in the sun,
Mill Valley
And there's a mountain
That belongs to ev'ry one,
Mill Valley
And there are creeks
That run on endlessly,
And trees as far as you can see
It makes you feel as if
Your life has just begun.
Mill Valley
Talkin' 'bout Mill Valley,
Talkin' 'bout Mill Valley, California,
That's my home!
I know that there may come a time
I'll have to leave Mill Valley,
And ev'ry memory
Will seem like make-believe Mill Valley
And all the good things
That are mine right now,
Will call to me and ask me how
I could have left them all behind
How could I leave Mill Valley,
Talkin' 'bout Mill Valley,
Talkin' 'bout Mill Valley, California,
That's my home!"
Acousticats, The California Republic The Acousticats were a bluegrass group active in the early 1990s who formed in Santa Barbara. This is from their 1992 debut album “Down at Evangelina’s.”


"Roll on California
The Republic is ridin' high
You're my final destination
I will be here when I die

From the streets of San Diego
On up the Mission Trail
Follow ancient footsteps
Where ...... avail

From Shasta to goldfields
Tahoe
to Death Valley

Where the hills of California
Are always home to me"
Ryan Adams Goodnight, Hollywood Blvd. Alt country, indie rock... genres seem pretty meaningless these days, but whatever you want to call it, New Yorker Adams does it very well. From 2001, this is one of those slow sad piano songs with strings. "La Cienega Just Smiled" - which is probably a reference to another street in LA - La Cienega blvd. - is another slow Adams song from the same album "Gold" released in 2001.


"It's happening baby
They're putting up the chairs
Taking the money
And all we can do is pray
Pray for tomorrow

So close your eyes
So close your mouth
And do this all in time to the music
That screams like a child in the back of your mind
In a clown's saloon

So goodnight Hollywood Blvd, goodnight,
See ya soon
Goodnight Hollywood Blvd, see you sometime
Yeah, right "
Admiral Radley I Heart California A 2010 song from a California Indie rock band made up of members of two influential California Indie rock bands, Earlimart, from LA, and Grandaddy, from Modesto. Long walks on the 5? What, did they break down?


"I am California... yeah?
Ice tea in my hair
Drugs fall out of diaper bags
As midwesterners stare
I am California
Long walks on the 5
Truck stops and the symphony
And I'll be here when I die

I heart California... I love California
I heart California
I heart California... I love California
I heart California"
Adele Hello Adele does a little bit of California Dreaming In this song from her 2015 album "25" in which she also shows that she doesn't understand how Caller ID works.


"Hello, it's me
I was wondering if after all these years you'd like to meet
To go over everything
They say that time's supposed to heal ya
But I ain't done much healing

Hello, can you hear me?
I'm in California dreaming about who we used to be
When we were younger and free
I've forgotten how it felt before the world fell at our feet

There's such a difference between us
And a million miles

Hello from the other side
I must've called a thousand times
To tell you I'm sorry
For everything that I've done
But when I call you never
Seem to be home

Hello from the outside
At least I can say that I've tried
To tell you I'm sorry
For breaking your heart
But it don't matter, it clearly
Doesn't tear you apart anymore...."
Adolescents, The L.A. Girl The Adolescents are a punk band from Fullerton formed in 1980. This song is from their first studio album "Adolescents" released in 1981. The song was also featured in the 1995 movie "Empire Records."


"We don't care, you say we're too young
Waste our time tanning in the sun
We don't care what you know or think
Spoiled rich brat you ain't so neat

L.A. girl, L.A. world
Don't tell us how to act, don't tell us what to wear
L.A. girl, L.A. world
You didn't create our scene

We don't care
We can't see why
We don't live our lives
To keep you satisfied

Stuck in your world of dreams again
My life starts where your life ends
You've burned out your battery has died
If it wasn't for O.C. your scene wouldn't be alive

L.A. girl, L.A. world
Don't tell us how to act, don't tell us what to wear
L.A. girl, L.A. world
You didn't create our scene...."
Aislers Set, The California The Aislers Set is an indie pop band formed in San Francisco in 1997. This is from their debut album "Terrible Things Happen," released in 1998.


"I've had a bit too much tonight
But I think I'll ride my bike alright
I rode to where the lights collide
And I fell asleep where peaks divide
I dream I'm happy. And I think I'm happy
I read it in a magazine. They said it's all for free
Stop your daydreaming about such silly little things
Is California mine?
I guess I get around alright
And I have a bit of fun at night and I think I'm happy
And I dream I'm happy. I read it a magazine
They said it's all for free. Stop your daydreaming
Is California mine?"
Gary Allan She's So California A country song from 2008.


"She's a warm summer breeze with bleach blonde hair
Like a fine red wine she can take you there
She's a walk in the sand at sunset
She's the top pulled down on the 405
She'll take you higher than Humboldt sky
She's an earthquake
And you're the fault line
So, when you feel the ground start movin' around
Hold on tight you're in for a ride

'Cause she's so California
She's a wild fire out of control headed for ya
So, when you get burned, don't say I didn't warn ya
'Cause she's so California."
Lilly Allen Trigger Bang Lily Allen is a singer, songwriter, author and actress from the UK. Giggs is a London rapper. This is an apparently autobiographical pop song from her 2018 album "No Shame." I like Allen's music and her attitude and the fact that she doesn't try to sing with an American accent as most Brits do, so I'm happy to have a song of hers to put on this list, even if it only briefly mentions L.A. and the Chateau-Marmont (Hollywood's version of the Chelsea Hotel.)


"... When I was young I was blameless
Playing with rude boys and trainers
I had a foot in the rave 'cause I was attracted to danger
I never got home for Neighbours, hey
When I grew up, nothing changed much
Anything went, I was famous
I would wake up next to strangers
Everyone knows what cocaine does
Numbing the pain when the shame comes, hey

And it fuels my addictions
Hanging out in this whirlwind
If you cool my ambitions
I'm gonna cut you out

That's why I can't hang with the cool gang
Everyone's a trigger bang, bang, bang, bang, bang
Goodbye bad bones, I've got bigger plans
Don't wanna put myself in your hands
That's why I can't hang with the cool gang
Everyone's a trigger bang, bang, bang, bang, bang
Goodbye bad bones, I've got bigger plans
Don't wanna put myself in your hands

Back in the day like at Yo-Yo
Then in L.A. at the Chateau
Someone would say did you bang, no
I shake my head, I say no-no
Maybe we did, I don't think so, hey
I need to move on and grow some
Been in the Firehouse for too long
LDN's burning, so tan one
I'm gonna love you and leave some
I'm gonna go out while I'm still strong, hey

And it fuels my addictions
Hanging out in this whirlwind
If you cool my ambitions
I'm gonna cut you out..."
Alesso Cool Alesso is a Swedish DJ, producer, and musician. This song is from his 2015 album “Forever.” It’s a hit upbeat dance track that heavily samples the piano intro from one of the better Kylie Minogue songs “Get Outta My Way.” It throws a little shade on Hollywood in the beginning, where the stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame are visible, but those in the sky are not (either because of the smog or the broken dreams...)


“I saw stars on the pavement
California dreams
Looked up through the bright lights
No stars that I see

You said, "It’s all yours if you take it there."
I said, "I can’t do it alone, I swear."
You said, "It’s all yours,
It’s all yours when you smile."

It’s only you
Who loves me like you do
Trying to keep it cool
But I can’t keep cool about it
Acting like a fool
Wanna scream it from the roof
I’m trying to keep it cool
But I can’t keep cool about it (about it)

Before you, love, I was lost
Drifting at sea
You were the beacon I’d followed home
You were the one who rescued me….”
Dave Alvin California Snow Dave Alvin was in the Blasters, an 80s roots rock band who also sings beautiful folksy/country acoustic guitar-based songs like this one. In this 1998 song, Alvin takes on the persona of a Border Patrol Officer who drives at night in San Diego County.


"I'm just tryin' to make a livin'
I'm an old man at thirty-nine
With two kids and an ex-wife
Who moved up to Riverside

I'm workin' down on the border
Drivin' back roads every night
Mountains east of El Cajon
North of the Tecate line.

Where the California summer sun
Will burn right to your soul
But in the winter you can freeze to death
In the California snow. "
Dave Alvin Here In California A nice cover version of the Kate Wolf song discussed below.
Dave Alvin King of California A poor 19th century guy from east of the Ohio river promises his love that he will return and marry her after he makes his fortune in the California gold rush. That didn't work out too well for him, but it probably woudn't have been a great song if it had. This rootsy acoustic song from 1994 beautifully conjures up the era and the spirit of "Go west young man." One of my favorites.


"Well I left my home and my one true love
East of the Ohio River
My father said we'd never wed
For I had me no gold nor silver

But my darling dear, please shed no tears
But I think that it's fair to warn you
That I return to claim your hand
As the King of California"
Dave Alvin Out in California This is from Dave Alvin's Interstate City album released in 1996.


"I'm sitting here drinkin' in the last bar on earth
Sittin' here drinkin in the last bar on earth...
Out in California she's takin' off her tight red skirt

The mountains out the window - they're a woman lyin' on a bed
The mountains here are shaped like a woman lying naked on a bed
She may be out in California, but I can't get her out of my head

Out in California...

They killed off the Indians, they shot all the grizzly bears
Out in California, they shot all the grizzly bears
She just stands by the window, combing out her long black hair

If a man keeps runnin', he'll run right into himself
It a man keeps movin', he'll run into himself
Out in California she's lyin down with somebody else

Out in California...

Gonna buy me a Chevy, as soon as my luck turns around
Gonna buy me a shotgun, soon as my luck turns around
Gonna drive on back to that California town

I'm sitting here drinkin' in the last bar on earth
Sittin' here drinkin in the last bar on earth...
Out in California she's takin' off her tight red skirt"
Dave Alvin and the Guilty Women California's Burning After the death of a member of his backing band, The Guilty Men, Alvin assembled a new band composed of women called The Guilty Women, whose voices add a nice dimension to his harmonies. This song needs no explanation to those of us who have watched hillsides and homes go up in flames in the summer and fall and mudslides cover what remains the next winter...


"California's burning,
you can smell it in the air.
California's burning,
you can smell it in the air.
You may be rich or poor,
but you know that fire don't care.
… … … … ...
No rain for four years,
and the hills are dry and brown.
Yeah, no rain for four years,
and the hills are dry and brown.
Yeah, well where you gonna run to
when the whole wide world burns down?
… … … … ...
Black clouds are risin'
and they're blockin' out the sun.
Black clouds are risin'
and they're blockin' out the sun.
Some folks are sayin'
the judgement day has come.

California's burning,
no one knows when it will end.
California's burning,
no one knows when this will end.
What that fire burns down boys,
we'll just build it back again."
Amen Dunes L. A. Singer-songwriter Samon McMahon created his musical project Amen Dunes in New York in 2006. This song is hard to squeeze into a genre - psychedelic indie electro folk - something like that. It's from his 2018 album "Freedom." (Also check out the great song Miki Dora below from the same album.)


"Throw the saint in the fire, baby
Long day
Power's something you believe in
Something you gain
At 19 I was king, so supreme
Down to Judea
Memory don't mean much to me
Still, don't go away

High up in the Hollywood Hills, I'm barely awake
Got my arms around some clown who's barely awake
Doesn't we look stupid now
Tears trickle down our face
At 10 I light my first cigarette and drive down to L.A.
At 10 I light my first cigarette and drive down to L.A.

Some say fake it
I don't know, man
Stomp it, take it
Cool it down, babe
I've been trying to make it, years and years and years
Watch them years go by, on fire...."
Amen Dunes Miki Dora This 2018 song from the album "Freedom" is very much a California song, even if it mentions only one obscure location in the state - North Beach, which is in Malibu. It's about a charismatic surfer based in Malibu, California, Miki Dora. He had his own line of surf boards and appeared in several "Beach Party" movies in the 1960s as well as the 1966 classic surf movie "The Endless Summer" which praises his surfing style. But he was also a controversial figure, known as the Black Knight of Malibu. Songwriter Damon McMahon describes him this way:

"Miki Dora was arguably the most gifted and innovative surfer of his generation and the foremost opponent of surfing’s commercialization. He was also a lifelong criminal and retrograde: a true embodiment of the distorted male psyche. He was a living contradiction; both a symbol of free-living and inspiration, and of the false heroics American culture has always celebrated. With lyrics of regret and redemption at the end of one’s youth, the song is about Dora, and myself, but ultimately it is a reflection on all manifestations of mythical heroic maleness and its illusions." (Anna Gaca, Spin.com January 17, 2018.)

But enough about him. I must have listened to this song dozens of times before I bothered to find out what it was about. I'm usually pulled in by the music and the beat before I pay attention to the lyrics, and this song's hypnotic rhythm and quirky vocal style hooked me right away.


"Getting on fine
Catch the next wave
Get the move right
Darken the wave

Coasting all day
Coasting all day
The way you're going
We know what you'll say

The waves are gone
The waves are gone
The waves are gone, you said
Man, they all gone

Pride destroyed me man
'Til it took a hold of me
And I feel it when I cry
I can feel it in my dreams

Miki Dora
Taking your time
Waves are gone
Waves are gone

1963
We were up on North Beach
And you're copping all my tricks, man
But you don't do it like me

Sitting on the pier
Sipping on my beer
I come upon a vision
When Mary comes to me
Silver golden waves
And chills that keep me clear
You all recall my name
But don't mean a thing to me

Miki so fine
Catch the next wave
Miki Dora
Darken the wave

The waves they are gone
The waves they are gone
The waves are gone
The waves are gone

Pride destroyed me man
And I didn't know the deal
I said, "I'm sad I'm gonna cry"
Scaring the devil in me

I shouldn't have gone
We shouldn't have gone
But I did not discover the difference
It didn't come to me
Give with nothing to take
Slid along the waves
He could not suffer existence
It wasn't meant to be

Getting on fine
Rolling on me
There's still enough time
To roll around with me
Roll around with me
Roll around with me...."
America California Revisited America is a great and cheezy folk rock band from the '70's made up of Americans who lived in Britain as military dependants and didn't want anyone to think they were Brits before they relocated to L.A., hence the name of the group. This is from their 1972 album "Homecoming."


"Heaven may be an answer
If you're lookin' for eden in the sky
On your waters I see a strange reflection
Rumor has it I'll see you when I die

Everyone I meet is from California
There's dancin' in the streets in California

In California you watch the shadow dancer
Floating gently, gently on the sea
In California you're such a strange romancer
Come and see me when the world has set you free

Everyone I meet is from California
There's dancin' in the streets in California
Everyone I meet is from California
There's dancin' in the streets in California."
America Ventura Highway From their 1972 album "Homecoming." An upbeat soft rock classic with a catchy acoustic guitar riff from the band who have been to the desert on a horse with no name. For 30 years I wondered how those lizards got up in the air, but thanks to the imaginatiion-killing-internet I now know that they're only supposed to be cloud formations.This is one of the few songs about both California, and herps. (Or at least clouds that look like herps.)


"Wishin' on a falling star
Watchin' for the early train
Sorry boy, but I've been hit by
Purple rain
Aw, come on Joe, you can always
Change your name
Thanks a lot son, just the same

Ventura Highway
In the sunshine
Where the days are longer
The nights are stronger
Than moonshine
You're gonna go I know

'Cause the free wind is blowin' through your hair
And the days surround your daylight there
Seasons crying no despair
Alligator lizards in the air
in the air "
Americanos, The In My Foreign The Americanos are an American electronic dance music DJ trio based in Los Angeles. This song is built on a sample of Chicago’s Saturday in the Park and features rapping and singing by Ty Dolla $ign, French Montana & Lil Yachty. It’s the lead off track on the soundtrack for xXx: Return of Xander Cage, released in 2016.


[Ty Dolla $ign:]
“Do you wanna ride, ride, ride in my foreign? (In my foreign?)
Lift the top back all the way, rolling through the streets of L.A.
Girl, do you wanna ride, ride, ride in my foreign? (In my foreign?)
We can turn up the radio, we ain't got no place to go
Girl do you wanna ride?

[French Montana:]
Fo' sho' she wanna ride, fo' sho' she wanna slide
Fo' sho' we gettin' sauced, fo' sho' we gettin' high
Pull up swaggin', hop out the wagon
Suckers gonna hate but the ladies wanna brag
What you say? What you say? What you say?
Whole team faded like Jordan with the J
Cradle to the grave, NY to the Bay
Millions in the bank and the hunnids in the safe
Ain't nothing to a G baby
Foreign sitting low, climb out the V baby
Haan, ain't nothing to a G baby
Foreign sitting low climb out the V baby

[Ty Dolla $ign:]
Do you wanna ride, ride, ride in my foreign? (In my foreign?)
Lift the top back all the way, rolling through the streets of L.A.
Girl, do you wanna ride, ride, ride in my foreign? (In my foreign?)
We can turn up the radio, we ain't got no place to go

Girl it feels like Saturday, everyday
I'm smoking loud and feeling so high
I'm rolling good through my hood
Getting lit like the 4th of July
I got that exotic that you probably can't afford
We be going up like them butterfly doors
We ain't got no problems cause we counting all this cash
Got a bobblehead with her metro on the dash

Do you wanna ride, ride, ride in my foreign? (In my foreign?)
Lift the top back all the way, rolling through the streets of L.A.
Girl, do you wanna ride, ride, ride in my foreign? (In my foreign?)
We can turn up the radio, we ain't got no place to go
Girl do you wanna ride?….”
American Music Club California Dreamin' A very good 1994 indie rock cover (with sitar!) of the 1966 Mamas and Papas classic.
American Music Club Highway 5 A dark slow dirge off "California," a 1988 album from this San Francisco based alternative rock band. Maybe back in 1988 75 was the cruising speed, but 85 is more like it these days, and that's in the slow lane...


"Highway five
Takes so much to make us feel like we're alive
A weary traveler at a smooth seventy-five
Make pretend the landscape ain't so dry
Do anything to maintain a lie

To the left, a beautiful California landscape
Dead ends in the sky
And to the right, beautiful mountains rise
High and dry
Another futile expression of bitterness
Another overwhelming sensation of uselessness

Make pretend that the landscape ain't so dry
Do anything to maintain a lie
Make pretend that the lover ain't so barren
Though in Los Angeles things like that don't matter"
The Andrews Sisters The Lady From 29 Palms The Andrews Sisters were a close harmony singing group of the swing and boogie-woogie eras consisting of three sisters from Minnesota, active from 1925 to 1967. They have been called the most popular female vocal group of the first half of the 20th century. This song was a top ten hit in 1947. (Twentynine Palms is a city in the desert just north of Joshua Tree National Park.)


"She left twenty-nine broken hearts
Broken in twenty-nine parts
Now there are twenty-nine fellas complainin' to their moms
About the lady from 29 Palms

She got twenty-nine Cadillacs
Twenty-nine sables from Sach's
They came from twenty-nine fellas who never had their arms
Around the lady from 29 Palms

She's a yip-yip-yippy-eyed dolly
A new kinda gal of the west
And yip-yip-yippy by-golly
Whatever she does, she does her best

She rides twenty-nine trails to bliss
Knows twenty-nine ways how to kiss
She is a gal that you dream of, you'd love to have your arms
Around the lady from 29 Palms

She left twenty-nine broken hearts, baby
Broken in twenty-nine parts were their broken hearts, mmm oy-da doy-da
Twenty-nine fellas complainin' to their moms
About the lady from 29 Palms

She got twenty-nine Cadillacs, baby
Twenty-nine sables from Sach's and them Cadillacs, mmm boy-da doy-da
Twenty-nine fellas who never had their arms
Around the lady from 29 Palms...."
Tori Amos Maybe California Tori Amos is an American singer-songwriter originally from the East Coast. This song is from her 2009 album "Abnormally Attracted To Sin." The singer is a mother who is trying to talk a woman out of jumping off a cliff for the sake of her children. I don't know what "Maybe California" means in the context of the song, but Amos fractures and repeats and stretches those six syllables like a jazz singer until the words themselves almost disappear.


"Hey Mrs. C., please don’t jump
Why not?
Nothing is making sense anymore to me
I don’t know when I stopped making him smile
Now the kids see me crying all the time

From one mother to the other
They’ll never get over this for their lifetime
All their wishes will be dashed upon those cliffs
So let’s be strong for you and me the night is opening
Our angels are falling and they will warm us
She asked, "Right Now? Right Here?"
I'm feelin' soon, soon my dear

Maybe California
Maybe California

As mothers we have our troubles
You’ll leave them with emptiness for their lifetime
All their wishes will be dashed upon those cliffs
So let’s be strong you and me the night is opening
Our angels are falling and they will warm us
She asked, "Right Now? Right Here?"
I'm feelin' soon, soon my dear

Maybe California
Maybe California

Until then there will be starlight shining down
For every tear in every town."
Animals, The (Eric Burdon and) Monterey The Animals (aka Eric Burdon and the Animals) is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-inducted English band formed in the early 1960s. This psychedelic rock tribute to the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, which took place two years before Woodstock, is from the band's second album "The Twain Shall Meet," released in 1968.


"The people came and listened
Some of them came and played
Others gave flowers away
Yes they did yeah!
Down in Monterey
Down in Monterey

Young gods smiled upon the crowd
Their music being born of love
Children danced night and day
Religion was being born
Down in Monterey

The Byrds and the Airplane
Did fly
Oh, Ravi Shankar's
Music made me cry

The Who exploded
Into fired light (yeah)
Hugh Masekela's music
Was black as night

The Grateful Dead
Blew everybody's mind
Jimi Hendrix, baby
Believe me
Set the world on fire, yeah!

His majesty
Prince Jones smiled as he
Moved among the crowd
Ten thousand electric guitars
Were groovin' real loud, yeah

If you wanna find the truth in life
Don't pass music by
And you know
I would not lie
No, I would not lie
No, I would not lie
Down in Monterey

Hu! huh-huh!

Alright!

Three days of understanding
Of moving with one another
Even the cops grooved with us
Do you believe me?
Yeah!

Down in Monterey
Down in Monterey, yeah
Down in Monterey
Down in Monterey, yeah...."
Animals, The (Eric Burdon and) San Francisco Nights A 1967 song about San Francisco and the Summer of Love, and all that Hippy stuff. But a WARM San Franciscan night? That doesn't sound like summer in The City. Mark Twain gets credit for saying the coldest winter he ever spent was a summer in San Francisco. Whether he said it or not, it's hard to argue with it after the summer fog rolls in.


"This following program is dedicated to the city and people of San Francisco
Who may not know it but they are beautiful
And so is their city this is a very personal song
So if the viewer cannot understand it

Particularly those of you who are European residents
Save up all your brand and fly trans love airways to San Francisco U.S.A.
Then maybe you'll understand the song, it will be worth it
If not for the sake of this song but for the sake of your own peace of mind

Strobe lights beam creates dreams
Walls move minds do too
On a warm San Franciscan night
Old child young child feel alright
On a warm San Franciscan night

Angels sing leather wings
Jeans of blue Harley Davisons too
On a warm San Franciscan night
Old angels young angels feel alright
On a warm San Franciscan night

I wasn't born there perhaps I'll die there
There's no place left to go, San Francisco"
Arctic Monkeys Fake Tales of San Francisco Arctic Monkeys are an English rock band formed in 2002. They're in that lineage of snide, snotty, overly superior British rockers that runs through The Rolling Stones, The Sex Pistols, Oasis and The Prodigy. That's good company to keep. This song is from their acclaimed debut studio album "Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not" which was released in 2006. It's about a pretentious British band that talks about the USA even though they've never been there. I'll bet that band's lyrics are so wank that they rhyme "San Francisco" with "Disco."


"Fake tales of San Francisco
Echo through the room
More point to a wedding disco
Without a bride or groom
And there's a super cool band, yeah
With their trilbies and their glasses of white wine
And all the weekend rock stars are in the toilet
Practicing their lines

I don't want to hear you
Kick me out, kick me out
I don't want to hear you, no
Kick me out, kick me out
I don't want to hear you
Kick me out, kick me out
I don't want to hear you
I don't want to hear your

Fake tales of San Francisco
Echo through the air
And there's a few bored faces at the back
All wishing they weren't there

And as the microphone squeaks
A young girl's telephone beeps
Yeah, she's dashing for the exit
Oh, she's running to the streets outside
"Oh, you've saved me, " she screams down the line
"The band were f***ing wank
And I'm not having a nice time"

I don't want to hear you
Kick me out, kick me out
I don't want to hear you, no
Kick me out, kick me out

Yeah, but his bird said it's amazing, though
So all that's left
Is the proof that love's not only blind but deaf

He talks of San Francisco, he's from Hunter's Bar
I don't quite know the distance
But I'm sure that's far
Yeah I'm sure that's pretty far

And yeah, I'd love to tell you all my problem
You're not from New York City, you're from Rotherham
So get off the bandwagon, and put down the handbook
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah...."
Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti Life in L.A. Ariel Pink is the stage name of a singer-songwriter from Los Angeles active since 1996. He has released records credited to "Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti" including this one, so he is filed here under that name. (Figuring out how to list and alphabetize all these insane band and musician names is not always easy for a non-librarian such as myself.) This is from Mr. Pink's seventh studio album "Worn Copy" released in 2003. If you like a song that opens with a half a minute of wind sounds and features kazoos, you're in luck.


"Life in L.A.
Well, what can I say?
It's a treasure to find
So many ways to unwind

You could be so lonely
Life in L.A. is so lonely
Is so lonely
That way
Yeah

Life in L.A.
Come on out if you're gay
Make your babies and money
Move in together
Take out that loan
Honey, it's now or never

The weather is your boyfriend
On a Saturday
You stay in bed

And you could be so lonely
Life in L.A. is so lonely
Is so lonely
That way

A girl in my car
Doesn't mean I'm getting too far
Unless I'm taking her home
Halfway to Fresno at dark
Every peck on my cheek
When I look at her face
Every time we make plans
I think leather and lace

Life in L.A.
Is like a day in my brain
Cut

And did you know you could be so lonely?
Life in L.A. is so lonely
Is so lonely that way
Take me home"
Ashe Cold in California Ashe (Ashlyn Rae Wilson) is a singer-songwriter from San Jose. This song is from her EP "Moral of the Story: Chapter 2" released in 2019. It's a reminder to all visitors to the Golden State to bring a jacket.


"Just out of reach is the gold you're rushing for with bags under your eyes
I’ve been chasing a rainbow, wound up at your door, wanna see the other side

It’s not quite like I imagined, like I did before
When you’re pouring all your heart out
But you’re lying on the floor
All these cigarettes and hotels, could be what you’re looking for
But it’s not what you expected and you’re left wanting more

Don’t mind what anybody told ya
It still gets cold in California
See everybody thinks they know ya
They’re only seeing what they wanna
Don’t mind what anybody told ya
It still gets cold in California

We can dance in the streets with the sun upon our skin and wake up feeling burned
Under stars, we could freeze cause we’ve gotten used to heat where seasons never turn

It’s not quite like I imagined, like I did before
When you’re pouring all your heart out
But you’re lying on the floor
All these cigarettes and hotels, could be what you’re looking for
But it’s not what you expected and you’re left wanting more

Don’t mind what anybody told ya
It still gets cold in California
See everybody thinks they know ya
They’re only seeing what they wanna
Don’t mind what anybody told ya
It still gets cold in California

Talk about the pretty parts
The ones you see on film
Happiness and skinny legs and living on a hill
Don’t talk about the lonely parts, the loneliness you feel
You probably always will

Cause it gets dark in California
I know it well better than most ya
Don’t mind what anybody told ya
It still gets cold in California
See everybody thinks they know ya
They’re only seeing what they wanna
Don’t mind what anybody told ya
It still gets cold in California"
Ashford & Simpson Nobody Walks in L.A. Ashford & Simpson were a husband and wife team of songwriters and performers from New York and South Carolina who started their careers in the mid 60s writing some of the great Motown hits including "Ain't No Mountain High Enough." This song is from their 1986 album "Real Love."


"Got off the plane where they say it don't rain
Thought to myself this is for me
Looked all around and everywhere
The streets were empty
Checked in the hotel to unpack my things
Gotta get out find some company
And then it hit me

Don't know if I read it or heard somebody say
In Hollywood they do things a different way
Don't you be caught cruisin' on a sunny day
Cause nobody walks in L.A.
Nobody walks in L.A.

I had some dreams
I was gonna crash the scene
Thought anywhere I can survive
That there must be a special place
Where the beautiful people hide
Begin to wonder what am I doin' wrong
Had to figure it out intelligently
Then it hit me


Don't know if I read it or heard somebody say
In Hollywood they do things a different way
Don't you be caught cruisin' on a sunny day
Cause nobody walks in L.A.
Nobody walks in L.A.


I been around and I like New York and Chinatown
Where rivers of people seem to flow
But bein' here under the sky so blue
What do you do? What do you do?

I've been around and I don't understand this town
You got to know somebody
or be on the party list
And if you're not a big star
You won't be missed

But the most important rule
No matter what games they play
Nobody walks

Don't know if I read it or heard somebody say
In Hollywood they do things a different way
Don't you be caught cruisin' on a sunny day

Don't know if I read it or heard somebody say
In Hollywood they do things a different way
Don't you be caught cruisin' on a sunny day
Cause nobody walks in L.A.
Nobody walks in L.A......"
Atherton California I don't know anything about this band except that they are from Atherton, a small city in San Mateo County near Palo Alto. After lots of Googling I gave up trying to find more information. I guess that's what happens when you name yourself after a city. This is the lead off song from the album "Pale Summer" released in 2003. It's a great but obscure indie rock song that I only learned about because someone suggested it for this list. The song was also released on the soundtrack compilation to the MTV series "Laguna Beach" - "MTV Presents Laguna Beach: Summer Can Last Forever" released in 2006.


"Hello hello hello
I'm glad I've found you
Been away a long long time
The sun will rise
And the sun will set tomorrow
And it's been rough on this old heart

You are, you are the only reason I have found
Come down, come down, come get me off the ground
I waited for you yesterday
To come on back and say you'll always stay

Come back home to California
Find a better way to make it through today
Come back home to California
The lights they shine so bright
They shine for you tonight
So come on baby
Come home to California

We can drive the coast of San Fransisco
Head on down to Hollywood
Hurry please
Summer's almost over
You know I'm fading and I wish you would

You are, you are the only reason I have found
Come down, come down, come get me off the ground
I waited for you yesterday
To come on back and say you'll always stay

Come on home to California
Find a better way to make it through today
Come back home to California
The lights they shine so bright
They shine for you tonight
So come on baby
Come home to California

Come home to California
California
California
California
California
California
California"
Augustana California's Burning A 2005 song from a San Diego rock band.


"California's burning, burning, burning to the ground...
and my head is turning, turning, turning round and round...
Allie's stomach's churning, churning, like a storm today...
and your mother's crying, crying, closing up the safe...

and I'm here, wondering where the sun has gone...
driving through to Mexico,
asking why there's no one home...

Encinitas likes to miss me, like nobody's child..
and my eyes like rainy Tuesdays, like to watch you smile...

and I'm here, wondering where the sun has gone...
driving through a Midwest storm,
asking why there's no one home..."
Avicii Gonna Love Ya Avicii is a Swedish DJ/producer/musician who has made some great dance tracks. This is another one from 2015 with a tropical house feel. It’s got a quick mention of California, too.


“I’m gonna love ya, like no one could
Make your heart feel the way it should
I'm gonna hold ya, when no one would
Cause I swear you deserve so good

Livin' up in California
Lovin' life but I've been waiting for ya
To twist my dreams and turn my fate
But God I hope it's not too late

I'm gonna love ya, I'm gonna love ya
I'm gonna love ya, I know I could

I'm gonna love ya, like no one could
Make your heart feel the way it should
I'm gonna hold ya, when no one would
Cause I swear you deserve so good

Sometimes it's hard to have the upper hand
When every dream you've had is turning into sand
You need someone to make your day
But he took your breath and blew it away

I'm gonna love ya, like no one could
Make your heart feel the way it should
I'm gonna hold ya, when no one would
Cause I swear you deserve so good…..”
Hoyt Axton California Women Hoyt Axton was a singer-songwriter originallly from Oklahoma who got his start singing folk songs in San Francisco clubs in the late 1950s. He's best known for writing songs that were hits for other singers, notably "Joy to the World" and "Never Been to Spain" for Three Dog Night. This is from the album "Joy to the World" released in 1971.


"Talk about your women in Birmingham,
And a lady from Baltimore.
But the girls I love get their toes in the sand,
Of the sweet Santa Monica shore.

Singin' California women, in the heat God Almighty.
Gotta sweet, sweet jelly roll.
California women, in the heat God Almighty
Gotta sweet, sweet jelly roll.

California women, in the heat God Almighty
Gotta sweet, sweet jelly roll.
California women, in the heat God Almighty
Gotta sweet, sweet jelly roll.

De, da'd 'n, de, de, de, de'd 'n, de, de'd 'n, de ...

Singin' California women, in the heat God Almighty
Gotta sweet, sweet jelly roll.
California women, in the heat God Almight
Gotta sweet, sweet jelly roll.

California women, in the heat God Almighty
Gotta sweet, sweet jelly roll.
California women, in the heat God Almighty
Gotta sweet, sweet jelly roll.
I gotta sweet, sweet jelly roll.

California women, in the Greek, God, Amon.
I gotta sweet, sweet jelly roll.
California women, in the Greek, God, Amon.
I gotta sweet, sweet jelly roll."
B
Babys, The California The Babys are a British rock band that started in 1975. This song comes from their third album "Head First," released in 1979.


"When I came back home
From the USA
I had nothin' in my pockets
And not a lot to say
Though I knew somehow
We would meet real soon
But the way you've been avoidin' me
It's like I'm livin' on the moon

Here I am on this side of the stars
Livin' in California
And sometimes I get out of reach in the bars
Dreamin' about my life
And maybe one day I'll take a wife

Though I spent some
Time on the evil road
I've done things that I'm ashamed of
Oh man it's such a heavy load
Though I knew somehow
We would meet real soon
But the way you've been avoidin' me
It's like I'm livin' on the moon

Here I am on this side of the stars
Livin' in California
And sometimes I get out of reach in the bars
Dreamin' about my life
And maybe one day I'll take a wife
Oh...."
Bad Religion Land of Competition Bad Religion is a punk rock band (with harmonies) formed in Los Angeles in 1979. This song is from their 3rd album Suffer, released in 1988.


"See there's a girl who's afraid of the world so she stays at home.
Next there's a boy who seems so lost in his joy, he's all alone.
The camera's on them, they're in the land of competition.
Southern California air feeds them.

And they know they are best 'cause of the way they are dressed,
But you can bet you are not welcome in their home.
See there's a girl who sits and watches the world from her blue screen.
Also a boy who truly wants to destroy his hometown scene.
They both want to travel to the land of competition.

Southern California will destroy them,
And they won't be the best, they'll be the poseurs who dress
Like the plastic idiots who they copy.
Tell me what do you need to make you happy? Indeed, is it out of your reach?
Beware of number one, see all the damage it has done, there are so few of them.
You won't find too many in the land of competition.

Southern California doesn't breed them.
If you just want the best turn to yourself for the rest
And forget about the ones who have it all.
Be careful of the ones who have it all.
Be careful of the ones who have it all.
Be careful of the ones who have it all."
Bad Religion Los Angeles is Burning This is another song about California wildfires, from the band's 2004 album The Empire Strikes First.


"Somewhere high in the desert near a curtain of a blue
St. Anne's skirts are billowing
But down here in the city of the lime lights
The fans of Santa Ana are withering
And you can’t deny that living is easy
If you never look behind the scenery
It's showtime for dry climes
And bedlam is dreaming of rain

When the hills of Los Angeles are burning
Palm trees are candles in the murder wind
So many lives are on the breeze
Even the stars are ill at ease
And Los Angeles is burning

This is not a test
Of the emergency broadcast system
Where Malibu fires and radio towers
Conspire to dance again
And I cannot believe the media mecca
They're only trying to peddle reality,
Catch it on prime time, story at nine
The whole world is going insane

When the hills of Los Angeles are burning
Palm trees are candles in the murder wind
So many lives are on the breeze
Even the stars are ill at ease
And Los Angeles is burning

A placard reads
"The end of days"
Jacaranda boughs are bending in the haze

More a question than a curse
How could hell be any worse?

The flames are stunning
The cameras running
So take warning

When the hills of Los Angeles are burnin
Palm trees are candles in the murder wind
So many lives are on the breeze
Even the stars are ill at ease
And Los Angeles is burning"
Bahari California Bahari is a trio of female pop singer-songwriters and muscians that formed in Manhattan Beach in 2013. One member grew up in Kenya speaking Swahili and "Bahari" means "ocean" in Swahili. One thing I don't understand about this song is the line "Drive down to heaven on the 105." That's not exactly a scenic highway - it leads from Norwalk to El Segundo, but I guess if you go a few miles south you'll get to Manhattan Beach so maybe that's why they mention it. This is beginning to sound like that Saturday Night Live Californians sketch where all they do is give driving directions around L.A.


"It's a state of mind, it's a state of grace
Close your eyes, drift away
The nights are warm and the days are long
Come, pretty baby, where you belong
The taste of her skin makes you feel alive
Drive down to heaven on the 105
Oooh, everybody needs a little
California

I can be your California
I can be your getaway
I love ya, but I have to warn ya
You can visit but you cannot stay
Well I could be your California baby
And we could be a flawed paradise
Nothing perfect lasts forever
But baby wouldn't that be nice?

A kiss from the sun, let it burn your skin
I'll meet you tonight but don't ask where I've been
The liquor store on 7th, they don't check IDs
Yeah a pretty girl can always get whatever she needs

I can be your California
I can be your getaway
I love ya, but I have to warn ya
You can visit but you cannot stay
Well I could be your California baby
And we could be a flawed paradise
Nothing perfect lasts forever
But baby wouldn't that be nice?

California-fornia love
California-fornia love
Love
I can be your, I can be your...

I can be your California
I can be your getaway
I love ya, but I have to warn ya
You can visit but you cannot stay
Well I could be your California baby
And we could be a flawed paradise
Nothing perfect lasts forever
But baby wouldn't that be nice"
B. J. Baker Grant Avenue This is a big musical number in the Chinese New Year's parade scene from the musical "Flower Drum Song" which was set in San Francisco's Chinatown. The 1961 movie features the star Nancy Kwan lip syncing, but the real singer is B.J. Baker. Kwan and Baker's "I Enjoy Being a Girl" number is another highlight of the movie musical which was groundbreaking in that it featured entertainers of Asian heritage instead of non-Asian actors in "yellow-face" makeup, which was common in those days. I wish someone would have told Rogers and Hammerstein, who wrote the song for the original 1958 musical, that they're called "Cable Cars" not "trolleys" in San Francisco.


"A western street with eastern manners,
Tall pagodas and golden banners
Throw their shadows through the lantern glow.

You can shop for precious jade
or teakwood tables or silk brocade
Or see a bold and brassy night club show,
On the most exciting thoroughfare I know.

We call it
Grant Avenue, San Francisco,
California
, U.S.A.
Looks down from Chinatown
Over a foggy bay.

You travel there in a trolley,
In a trolley up you climb,
Dong! Dong! You're in Hong Kong,
Having yourself a time.

You can eat, if you are in the mood,
Shark-fin soup, bean cake fish.
The girl who serves you all your food
Is another tasty dish!

You know you
Can't have a new way of living
Till you're living all the way
On Grant Avenue. --Where is that?--
San Francisco, That's where's that!
California U.S.A."
Warren Barker Orchestra 77 Sunset Strip - TV Show Theme This is a version of the original theme song to the private detective TV series (based on a non-existant address on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles) that ran from 1958-1964. This version comes from the show's soundtrack album that was released in 1958. The much better original theme, with a faster tempo and finger snaps that sound like a whip cracking, was written by Mack David and Jerry Livingston, but I don't know who performed it.
Listen to the original theme here
.


"Seventy Seven Sunset Strip
Seventy Seven Sunset Strip
Seventy Seven Sunset Strip

The street that wears a fancy label
That's glorified in song and fable.
The most exciting people pass you by
Including a private eye

Seventy Seven Sunset Strip
Seventy Seven Sunset Strip
Seventy Seven Sunset Strip

You'll meet the high brow and the hipster
The starlet and the phony tipster
You'll see most every kind of gal and guy
Including a private eye

Seventy Seven Sunset Strip
Seventy Seven Sunset Strip
Seventy Seven Sunset Strip"
Courtney Barnett Kim's Caravan Courtney Barnett, from Melbourne, Australia, is an outstanding singer-songwriter and a great guitar player, too. With a deadpan delivery she speak/sings about asthma attacks, organic vegetables, and house shopping, turning the mundane into the universal. After a couple of great EPs she released her first full album in March 2015 "Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit" on which you'll find this song which describes the devastation of Australia's environment, not California's, and mentions the Sunset Strip in Los Angeleeze only to clarify that she's not singing about it, she's singing about the Sunset Strip on Phillip Island, which is south of Melbourne, Australia, but it's a good excuse for me to put her on my list. For more great songs of hers check out Dead Fox, Avant Gardener, Depreston, Pedestrian at Best, An Illustration of Loneliness, and History Eraser.


"Watermarks on the ceiling
I can see Jesus and he's frowning at me
I see a dead seal on the beach
The old man says he's already saved it three times this week
Guess it just wants to die
I would wanna die too
With people putting oil into my air
But to be fair, I've done my share
Guess everybody's got their different point of view

I was walking down Sunset Strip, Phillip Island, not Los Angeles
Got me some hot chips and a cold drink
Took a sandy seat on the shore
There's a paper on the ground, it makes my headache quite profound
As I read it out aloud
It said "The Great Barrier Reef it ain't so great anymore
It's been raped beyond belief, the dredgers treat it like a whore"
I drank 'til I was sinking, sank 'til I was thinking
That I'm thankful for this view
We either think that we're invincible or that we are invisible
When realistically we're somewhere in between
We all think that we're nobody but everybody is somebody else's somebody

Don't ask me what I really mean
I am just a reflection
Of what you really wanna see
So take you want from me...."
Eef Barzelay Shaker Star

Eef Barzelay is an Israeli-born singer-songwriter from New Jersey, previously with the noise rock band Clem Snide. This song is from a 2009 EP he made of covers of songs from the band The Transmissionary Six called "Black Tin Rocket (Songs of the Transmissionary Six.) It's a solo acoustic guitar song that mentions the song "Death Valley Rain" which as far as I know is the song released in 2001 by Steve Wynn. Terri Tarantula wrote this song and released it in 2009, but I prefer Barzelay's version because of his slight changes to the melody that make the song soar.


"We could be unfettered
This I know for sure
Crystalize everything
Ignition contact with you, with you

(Chorus)
Shaker shaker, start the car
Shaker, shaker star
Shaker shaker, start the car
Shaker, shaker star
Let's fall in love with a song
Drums and guitar
Drive around singin'
Death Valley Rain
Again

Sky might drench tomorrow
Flood the whole damn week
Biblical commandment
Ingnition contact with you with you

(Chorus)

This might sound unteathered
The rope's got two ends like we do
Take one and I'll take the other
Ignition to contact with you with you

(Chorus)"

Be Calm Honcho
Pretty on the West Coast 2013 - Together' EP
According to her website "A mountain kid living in San Francisco, Shannon Harney blends forest folk and indie pop….  Previously she recorded under the name Shannon Harney & the Everybody Band.

The West Coast refers to more than California, but, no offense to Oregon or Washington, this song is obviously not about either of those states with lines such as "...the land that the sun loves most..."


"Ain't if fun
to be pretty on the west coast
Ain't it a good time
to be free in the land that the sun loves most

I know that we are kings
I swear we'll be big
just livin out our dreams
couldn't pay us to quit

I know we are cool
I know we'll be fine
we did everything we could
to not make up our mind..."
Beach Boys, The California Calling One of many of the Beach Boys' California songs, this one is from 1985 during their later incarnations.


"If everybody in the U.S.A
Could come with us to Californ-i-a
We could take 'em to a place out west
Where the good sun shines everyday

Now there's a touch o' Californ-i-a
In everyone who's ever been this way
And when your telephone begins to ring
And the operator comes on the line

California callin'
I'll be there right away
There's some beautiful women
Gonna find me one
To show me how to ride the ultimate wave

Now I've joined the surfin' nation and so
I'll take a permanent vacation and go
To the golden shores of 'Frisco Bay
I'll ride 'em all the way to Malibu

And I'll take ya' boogie boardin' with me
'Cause when we're surfin' it's so great to be free
And when you're on a California beach
You might even find 'em windsurfin' too..."
Beach Boys, The California Dreaming This version of the Mamas and the Papas 1963 classic is one of my favorites.
Beach Boys, The California Girls The classic 1965 surf pop song that probably started the regional wars over whose girls look the best - another unnecessary war that can't ever be won....


"Well East coast girls are hip
I really dig those styles they wear
And the Southern girls with the way they talk
They knock me out when I'm down there

The Mid-West farmer's daughters really make you feel alright
And the Northern girls with the way they kiss
They keep their boyfriends warm at night

I wish they all could be California
I wish they all could be California
I wish they all could be California girls"
Beach Boys, The California Saga: Beaks of Eagles
California Saga: Big Sur
California Saga: California
The Beach Boys were sent to the Netherlands in 1972 to try to snap Brian Wilson out of his depression. The album that followed, Holland, contained three "California Saga" songs - Beaks of Eagles, Big Sur, and California:


Beaks of Eagles

"...An eagle's nest on the head of an old redwood on one of the
precipice-footed ridges
Above Ventana Creek, that jagged country which nothing but a fallen meteor will ever plow: no horseman
Will ever ride there, no hunter cross this ridge but the winged ones, no
one will steal the eggs from this fortress.
The she-eagle is old, her mate was shot long ago, she is now mated
With a son of hers.
When lightning blasted her nest she built it again on the same tree, in
the splinters of the thunder bolt.

In a broken shack an old man takes his time about dyin'
And just at the back a wild flowerbed that he'll lie in
In dawn's new light a man might venture
A horse drawn stage from Monterey.

The she-eagle is older than I: she was here when the fires of eighty-five
raged on these ridges,
She was lately fledged and dared not hunt ahead of them, but ate scorched
meat.
The world has changed in her time; humanity has multiplied,
But not here; men's hopes and thoughts and customs have changed, their
powers are enlarged, their powers and their follies have become fantastic...."


Big Sur

"...Big Sur I've got plans for you
Me and mine are going to
Add ourselves to your lengthy list of lovers
(Big Sur mount)
And live in canyons covered in springtime green
Wild birds and flowers to be heard and seen
And with my old guitar
I'll make up songs to sing.
Where bubbling springs from the mountainside
Join the Big Sur river to the oceanside
Where the kids can look for sea shells at low tide
Big Sur my astrology it says that I am made to be
Where the rugged mountain meets the water ...."


California

"Water, water, get yourself in the cool, clear, water
The sun shines brightly down on the bay
The air's so clean it'll just take your mind away
Take your mind away
Take your mind away Have you ever been south of Monterey
Barrancas carve the coast line and the chaparral flows to the sea
... ... ... ...

Have you ever been down Salinas way?
Where Steinbeck found the valley
And he wrote about it the way it was in his Travels With Charley.
And have you ever walked down through the sycamores
Where the farmhouse used to be
There the monarch's autumn journey ends
On a windswept cyprus tree."
Beach Boys, The Had to Phone Ya This song is from the "15 Big Ones" album released in 1976. Brian Wilson said that it's about letting his friends know that they were free to call him for help when their world was upside down. That meant a lot more in 1976 when everybody didn't carry an instant communicator in their pocket.


"Had to phone ya
Had to phone ya just to talk to you
Had to phone ya
just to tell ya I was missing you

It lifts my spirits every single time
Sometimes you're busy for awhile
But when you get through
It makes me smile

An when I phone ya
California's not so far away
You're not alone ya know I'm only just a dial away

I visualize that you're looking fine
Feels so good when you come on the line

You (you) you (you) you (you) you (you)
You (you) you (you) you (you) you (you)
You (you) you (you) you (you) you (you)
You (you) you (you) you (you)

Come on
Come on and answer the phone
Come on come on
(I hope you're home)
Come on and answer the phone
Come on come on
(I hope you're home)
Come on and answer the phone
Come on come on
(I hope you're home)
Come on and answer the phone
Come on come on
(I hope you're home)
Come on and answer the phone
Come on come on
(I hope you're home)
Come on and answer the phone
Come on come on
(Hello, hey Brian!)
(I hope you're home)"
The Beat Farmers Riverside The Beat Farmers were a cowpunk band formed in San Diego in 1983. This is from their 1986 release "Van Go." There's probably a town called Riverside in every state, but this song is definitely about Riverside California, which still has some orange groves left for a late night rendezvous.


"When you moved up to Riverside
You thought the answer was hidden there
But it just turned out to be a place to hide
Baby, that town treated you so unfair

So meet me on out in the orange grove baby
We'll never back down at the broad wet storm
If the grove gets wet, it'll freeze tonight
But I got something that'll keep us warm

The moon-cat might be walkin' tonight
The fog's rollin' in, no time to spare
We got the message of love to carry the light
If your daddy gets mad baby I don't care

So meet me on out in the orange grove baby
We'll never back down at the broad wet storm
If the grove gets wet, it'll freeze tonight
But I got something that'll keep us warm

And if I look at you with a wicked smile
It's cause a gypsy saw your face in my eyes
And if you give me an inch, I'm gonna take a mile
I've been waiting for you to see through my disguise"
Beatles, The Blue Jay Way The Beatles were a rock band formed in Liverpool, England in 1960. The band broke up in 1970 but it is still the best-selling music act of all time, and is often regarded as the most influential band of all time. George Harrison wrote the song. Blue Jay Way is a street in "The Bird Streets" region of the Hollywood Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles where Harrison stayed in 1967.


"There's a fog upon L.A.,
And my friends have lost their way.
"We'll be over soon," they said.
Now they've lost themselves instead

Please don't be long
Please don't you be very long
Please don't be long for I may be asleep

Well, it only goes to show
And I told them where to go
Ask a policeman on the street
There's so many there to meet

Please don't be long
Please don't you be very long
Please don't be long for I may be asleep

Now it's past my bed I know
And I'd really like to go
Soon will be the break of day
Sitting here in Blue Jay Way

Please don't be long
Please don't you be very long
Please don't be long for I may be asleep

Please don't be long
Please don't you be very long
Please don't be long

Please don't be long
Please don't you be very long
Please don't be long

Please don't be long
Please don't you be very long
Please don't be long

Don't be long, don't be long, don't be long
Don't be long, don't be long, don't be long"
Beatles, The, with Billy Preston Get Back This is a 1969 single that reached #1 on the Billboard charts. There is another version on the band's last album "Let it Be" released in 1969. (Useless trivia: It's the 12th and final song on the 12th and final Beatles studio album.) I don't think the California grass Jojo seeks is the kind in the yard you have to mow.


"Jojo was a man who thought he was a loner
But he knew it couldn't last
Jojo left his home in Tucson, Arizona
For some California grass

Get back, get back
Get back to where you once belonged
Get back, get back
Get back to where you once belonged
Get back, Jojo
Go home"
Beau Brummels, The Bless You California The Beau Brummels were a San Francisco band in the mid 1960s, one of the creators of the "San Francisco Sound." This is from their 1968 album "Bradley's Barn." The mixing engineer must have been late for a hot date because this song has one of the world's fastest fade-outs.


"i'm forced to admit
that i'm too weak to quit
and i don't have the courage to make it alone
i'm too weak to get through a day on my own

wasted once again and i think i've fallen
i tried to stand my ground but i'm fallin down
yes, i've tasted life again and i think i've fallen
ah tell me my old friend about fallin' down

pick me up, dust me off, but don't run me through it
cause i didn't mean to do it again
tried to find my mind but my head is hollow
it's hard to speak your peace when nothin's there
so if i try to leave, please don't follow
cause i ain't really goin' anywhere

if you're lookin' for a platform
stand with me
stand with me
the true reformer is the new performer
bless you California
you're the only state for me

every little person with a little radio waitin for somebody to tell 'em where to go
what you're singin's in the realm of worldly things and
when it sinks in do ya bring 'em into the fold?
tryin to find my mind but my head is hollow
it's hard to speak your peace when nothin' there
so if i try to leave, please don't follow
cause i ain't really goin' anywhere."
Beck Debra Beck is a Grammy-winning singer/songwriter/producer from Los Angeles active since 1989. His breakthrough hit "Loser" in 1994 put him on the map. This song is from his 1999 album "Midnight Vultures." I'm so sick of rappers and pop stars product-placing their expensive cars and other luxuries, so it always makes me smile when I hear Beck sing "...lady, step into my Hyndai" which in 1999 was about as cheap a car as you could buy. Besides the shout out to Glendale, there's a hidden L.A. reference: Zankou Chicken is a chain of restaurants in the L.A. area.


"I met you at JC Penney
I think your name tag said "Jenny"
I cold step to you with a fresh pack of gum
Somehow I knew you were lookin' for some
Like a fruit that's ripe for a pickin'
I wouldn't do you like that Zankou Chicken
Cause only you've got a thing
That I just got to get with
I just got to get with you
And you know what we're gonna do

I want to get with you
And your sister
I think her name's Debra

I want to get with you
And your sister
I think her name's Debra

I pick you up late at night after work
I said lady, step inside my Hyundai
I'm gonna take you up to Glendale
Gonna take you for a real good meal

Cause when our eyes did meet
Girl you know I was packin' heat
Ain't no use in wastin' no time gettin' to know each other
You know the deal
Cause only you got a thing
That I just got to get with
Got to get with

I want to get with you, girl
And your sister
I think her name's Debra...."
Beck Hollywood Freaks This is another song from Beck's album "Midnight Vultures" released in 1999.


"....We drop lobotomy beats
Evaporated meats
On the hi-tech streets
We go solo
Dance floors and talk shows
Hot dogs, No Doz
Hot sex in back rows

I wanna know what makes you scream
Be your twenty million dollar fantasy
Treat you real good
Expensive jeans
Hollywood freaks on the Hollywood scene

Touch it real good if you want a piece
Party people know I'm that type of freak

People look so snooty
Take pills, make them moody
Automatic bazooty
Zero to tutti frutti
Sex in the halls
Niagara Falls
Local shopping malls receive anonymous calls

Hot like a cheetah
Neon mamacita
Eat at Taqueria
Pop lockin' beats from Korea
Looking like jail bait
Selling lots of real estate
Looking like a hot date
Banging like an 808

Do you want to feel this?
Do you want to feel this?

Norman Schwartzkopf!
Something tells me you want to go home!
Champagne, bibles, custom clothes you own
Calling up from special area codes
Hollywood notes with the Hollywood phones
I got nothing to do, nowhere to go
I'll tell you what you want
If you want to know...

Jocking my Mercedes!
Probably have my baby!
Shop at Old Navy!
He wish he was a lady!

Do you wanna feel this?
Do you wanna feel this?

Dance floors, all the talk shows
Hot dogs, No Doz
Hot sex in back rows
You know
Hyundai Dodge, tricked out
Christmas in July
6.2 percent!
Yeah, you fill in the blanks
Sha-na-na-na-na-na, yeah!
Tutti frutti!
Automatic bazooti!
Yeah, I'm mixin' business with leather! (laughs)"
Bee Gees Massachusetts The Bee Gees were a pop group from England and Australia that formed in 1958 and became one of the best-selling artists of all time and rock 'n' roll hall of fame members. Unlike a lot of pop groups, they wrote their own songs. This one was a huge hit from 1967. The singer has returned to his home from San Francisco only to find that everybody else had left to become a San Francisco hippie, too.


"Feel I'm goin' back to Massachusetts
Something's telling me I must go home
And the lights all went out in Massachusetts
The day I left her standing on her own

Tried to hitch a ride to San Francisco
Gotta do the things I wanna do
And the lights all went out in Massachusetts
They brought me back to see my way with you

Talk about the life in Massachusetts
Speak about the people I have seen
And the lights all went out in Massachusetts
And Massachusetts is one place I have seen

I will remember Massachusetts...."
Belle and Sebastian Piazza, New York Catcher Belle and Sebastian are an Indie pop/folk pop band formed in Scotland in 1996.
This song is from their sixth studio album "Dear Catastrophe Waitress" released in 2003 and was on the Juno soundtrack. Mike Piazza is a Hall-of-Fame catcher who played for the Mets when this song was released. Persistent rumors that he was gay forced him to deny it in 2002. I have no idea what the song means and neither does Genius.com. Wickipedia says the singer wrote it for his wife when they were still courting.


"Elope with me Miss Private and we'll sail around the world
I will be your Ferdinand and you my wayward girl
How many nights of talking in hotel rooms can you take?
How many nights of limping round on pagan holidays?
Oh elope with me in private and we'll set something ablaze
A trail for the devil to erase

San Francisco's calling us, the Giants and Mets will play
Piazza, New York catcher, are you straight or are you gay?
We hung about the stadium, we've got no place to stay
We hung about the tenderloin and tenderly you tell
About the saddest book you ever read
It always makes you cry
The statue's crying too and well he may

I love you I've a drowning grip on your adoring face
I love you my responsibility has found a place
Beside you and strong warnings in the guise of gentle words
Come wave upon me from the family wider net absurd
"You'll take care of her, I know it, you will do a better job"
Maybe, but not what she deserves

Elope with me Miss Private and we'll drink ourselves awake
We'll taste the coffee houses and award certificates
A privy seal to keep the feel of 1960 style
We'll comment on the decor and we'll help the passer by
And at dusk when work is over we'll continue the debate
In a borrowed bedroom virginal and spare

The catcher hits for .318 and catches every day
The pitcher puts religion first and rests on holidays
He goes into cathedrals and lies prostrate on the floor
He knows the drink affects his speed he's praying for
a doorway
Back into the life he wants and the confession of the bench
Life outside the diamond is a wrench

I wish that you were here with me to pass the dull weekend
I know it wouldn't come to love, my heroine pretend
A lady stepping from the songs we love until this day
You'd settle for an epitaph like "Walk Away, Renee"
The sun upon the roof in winter will draw you out like
a flower
Meet you at the statue in an hour
Meet you at the statue in an hour"
Tony Bennett I Left My Heart in San Francisco This is an official anthem of the city of San Francisco and it's in the Library of Congress. It's also Tony Bennett's signature song. It was written in 1953 by a couple of songwriters in Brooklyn, but it wasn't a hit until Bennett recorded it in 1962. Plenty of other singers have sung it, including these:

Julie London sang it sad and sexy in 1963.

Stevie Wonder recorded it in 1968 but it was not released by Motown until later.

Bobby Womack made it upbeat and funky in 1969.



"The loveliness of Paris seems somehow sadly gray
The glory that was Rome is of another day
I've been terribly alone and forgotten in Manhattan
I'm going home to my City by the Bay

I left my heart in San Francisco
High on a hill, it calls to me
To be where little cable cars climb halfway to the stars
The morning fog may chill the air, I don't care

My love waits there in San Francisco
Above the blue and windy sea
When I come home to you, San Francisco
Your golden sun will shine for me"
Chuck Berry Promised Land In this classic 1964 rock 'n' roll version of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, the singer finally gets to L.A. and phones home.


"I left my home in Norfolk Virginia,
California on my mind.
Straddled that Greyhound, rode him past Raleigh,
On across Caroline.
… … … … ...
We had motor trouble it turned into a struggle,
Half way 'cross Alabam,
And that 'hound broke down and left us all stranded
In downtown Birmingham.

Straight off, I bought me a through train ticket,
Ridin' cross Mississippi clean
And I was on that midnight flyer out of Birmingham
Smoking into New Orleans.
… … … … …
Sure as you're born, they bought me a silk suit,
Put luggage in my hands,
And I woke up high over Albuquerque
On a jet to the promised land.
… … … … …
Los Angeles give me Norfolk Virginia,
Tidewater four ten O nine
Tell the folks back home this is the promised land callin'
And the poor boy's on the line."

Chuck Berry Get Your Kicks (On Route 66) A version ofthe Nat King Cole original discussed below.
Best Coast The Only Place Here's a California Band with some west coast attitude right in their name. And this upbeat pop song continues the geographical jingoism. The title alone tells you what it's about. Bethany Cosentino is a California Girl (couldn't resist) who plays guitar and sings vocals for Best Coast, a band from LA that sounds like a mix of 60's girl group sounds with surf pop. This one is from their 2012 album The Only Place, and I assume from the title, that there's more than one song about the Golden State on it.


"We were born with sun in our teeth and in our hair
When we get bored we like to sit around, sit around and stare
At the mountains, at the birds, at the ocean, at the trees
We have fun, we have fun, we have fun when we please

We wake up with the sun in our eyes It's no surprise that we get so much done
But we always, yes we always, we always have fun
Yes we always, yes we always, we always have fun

Why would you live anywhere else?
Why would you live anywhere else?
We've got the ocean, got the babes
Got the sun, we've got the waves

This is the only place for me
So leave your cold behind
We're gonna make it to the beach on time..."
Best Coast California Nights From 2015


"I stay high all the time
Just to get by
I climb into the sky
And my eyes, they cry

California nights
Make me feel so happy I could die
But I try to stay alive

I never wanna get so high
That I can't come back down to real life
And look you in the eyes and say
"Baby, you are mine"

Fading back and forth
I fly through my mind
I take the way I've known
But have I really grown?

California nights
Make me feel so happy I could die
But I try to stay alive

I never wanna get so high
But I can't come back down to real life
And look you in the eyes and say
"Baby, you are mine"

I never wanna get so high
That I can't come back down to real life
And look you in the eyes and say
"Baby you, oh baby you are mine"
Better Than Ezra Coyote Better Than Ezra is an alternative rock band based in New Orleans that formed in 1988. This song is from their 1993 platinum-selling album "Deluxe." It's a road trip song about driving into California, so it would be negligent of me not to point out that the singer appears to be driving west on the 40 from Texas through Tucumcari New Mexico to Barstow and beyond. Taking that route, there is no way he would ever get close to the Grand Canyon or Death Valley, and Phoenix is a couple of hours south. If he did go to Phoenix, then he would take the 10 west, not the 40 through Barstow. I suppose it's possible he took a very long detour up to the canyon and then to the valley then down to Barstow. So enjoy the song, but don't base your travel itinerary on it if you're looking to get to the west coast in a hurry.


"Heading out, you heart beating in your head
Riding of the Texas wind
Raise your feet as you cross the state line
Waking up, the Mesa sun and the sky
All the way to Tucumcari
And Santa Fe seems a stone's throw away, yeah
Coyote!
Coyote!

Coming down, the Phoenix sun on your face
Turns it to red by the afternoon
And to the right, the Grand Canyon is wide
Sing along, the needle skips in the wind
Count the stars of Death Valley
And in the dark, Barstow starts to fade
Coyote!
Coyote!
Yeah!"
Jello Biafra with the Melvins Kali-fornia Uber Alles, 21st Century Collaborating with the Melvins on their 2005 album "Sieg Howdy!," Jello Biafra once again revised his 1979 song "California Uber Alles," originally about California Governor Jerry Brown, then about Ronald Reagan, to criticize the current California Governor at that time, Arnold Schwarzenneger, using several references to his movies. Schwarzenneger was not elected in typical democratic fashion, he was appointed governor after rich opponents of the sitting Governor staged a recall election, that many people considered a coup bought the governorship. The song also criticizes the Bush/Cheney presidential regime with their unnecessary wars that profitted their friends such as Haliburton.

What Biafra did not know in 2005 is that a few years later Bush's policies would drag the nation into the worst economic disaster since the great depression of the 1930s, or that Schwarzenneger, whose supporters ignored and discounted many accusations that he had sexually harassed women (which is alluded to in the song) ended his political carreer in 2011 in disgrace because of a sex scandal.


"I am Governor Schwarzenegger
If I can I'll be dictator
When they make me President
Democracy is going away
Hasta la vista, Baby
I will command all of you
Kindergarten cop in every school
Or I vill terminate you

Kali-Fornia Uber Alles
Kali-Fornia Uber Alles
Uber Alles Kali-fornia
Uber Alles Kali-fornia

Enron will control you
Like they staged the recall coup
Steroids for de Master Race
So you all can have my face
Close your eyes, can't happen here
Bush and Cheney are already here
Third Reich won't come back, you say?
Not if Fox News has their way
Can I grope your titties today?

Kali-Fornia Uber Alles
Kali-Fornia Uber Alles
Uber Alles Kali-fornia
Uber Alles Kali-fornia

Mandate of Two-Thousand und Four
Knock Knock at your bedroom door
It's the Homeland Security Police
You're a terrorist and so is your niece
Drag you secretly to a camp
Where we keep all da Girlie Men
Don't you worry, it's for a cause
Feeding Halliburton's claws
Die on depleted uranium gas
North Korea or Iran
Run you over with my Hummer, baby
If you mess with Schwarzenegger
And all the money
That's making him bigger

Kali-Fornia Uber Alles
Kali-Fornia Uber Alles
Uber Alles Kali-fornia
Uber Alles Kali-fornia

I'll be back"
Big and Rich California Every once in a while Shazam comes in real handy, as it did at a truck stop on the 5 in the valley when I aimed my phone at the ceiling speakers playing this song. It's a nice slightly more rock-based cover of Tim McGraw's song from 2015 which is also on this list. It's from the country duo's 2017 album "Did It for the Party." The song was written in part by Rich and he and Big sang vocals on the original, so it's no wonder they eventually made their own version.


"It's a 3 day drive if she drives all night
Says she's leavin' at the crack of dawn
Well she might still be lyin' here with me
But in her heart she's already gone
Already packed up, the Altima's gassed up
She's done put the map up there on the dash
I'm all tore up just tryin' to man up
Dammin' these tears up but can't hold 'em back

Cuz she's in love with California
And that west coast sunshine dream
These ain't no Hollywoods
And these hills ain't Beverly
Ain't no beaches on these backroads
No sunset on the boulevard
She's in love with California
And breakin' my heart

Got a waitress job waitin' in an I-Hop
Throw a rock and hit Universal City
Got a glamour shot in her hip pocket
Hopin' somebody'll think she's pretty
By this time tomorrow she'll hit Colorado
I'll be drownin' my sorrow in a bottle of Beam
Before she hits Flagstaff maybe she'll backtrack
But I wouldn't bet that if I was me

Cuz she's in love with California
And that west coast sunshine dream
These ain't no Hollywoods
And these hills ain't Beverly
Ain't no beaches on these backroads
No sunset on the boulevard
She's in love with California
And breakin' my heart

Well she was all mine
Now it's go time...."
Bird and the Bee, The Los Angeles The Bird and the Bee is a indie pop duo from Los Angeles. This breezy technopop song is from their album "Recreational Love" released in 2015. I get the impression that they like living in Los Angeles.


"Touch yourself and get yourself
Come alive, just driving it around
I love you more than anyone
Stop asking me where I come from

I'm from L.A., la la la la la
Living in L.A., la la la la la
Living in L.A., la la la la la
Living in L.A., la la la la la

Summer night, take off your clothes
The water's warm, our bodies glowing
Light you up and stretch it out
Now I know I could never live without

(L.A., la la la la la)
Stop asking me where I come from
(Living in L.A., la la la la la)
Tell me how to love someone
(Living in L.A., la la la la la)
Stop asking me where I come from
(Living in L.A., la la la la la)
I love you more than anyone

Los Angeles, Los Angeles
Don't listen to a thing they say
They don't need you in the same way
Los Angeles, Los Angeles
Don't ever let them change you
They don't know you like I do
Los Angeles, Los Angeles
Los Angeles, Los Angeles
Los Angeles, Los Angeles
No, you don't need their love
Los Angeles, Los Angeles
Los Angeles, Los Angeles
Los Angeles, Los Angeles
No, you don't need their love

Touch yourself, get yourself
Let yourself come alive
Put me out, pull me in
Get me off and let's hook in...."
Frank Black California Bound Frank Black is a singer-songwriter who grew up in LA and Massachussets, where he formed the essential alternative band Pixies in the mid 80s using the stage name Black Francis. Then he used Frank Black as a solo artist, then Frank Black and the Catholics, and then he went back to using Black Francis. Maybe some day he'll make up his mind. This is an alternative rock song from the 2002 album Black Letter Days.


"Don't worry, hey, no need for you to hide among the trees
Come into the light and you'll be free
Don't scurry, hey, it's such a lonely life up in the hills
The valley's gonna cure your every ill
Don't worry, hey, I know that you are lost but you'll be found
God willing we are California bound
God willing we are California bound

No, I never will hate you
I just want to show you the one truth
And spread my love all around

Don't worry, don't bring yourself down
Don't let your mind chase you like a hound
Don't worry, don't bring yourself down
We're coming today to save your town

No worries, heys, I know tomorrow brings the golden sun
Where there's wine and olive fruit for everyone
Do hurry, hey, now spread the news from there upon your mound
God willing we are California bound
God willing I won't put you in the ground

No, I never will hate you
I just want to show you the one truth
And spread God's love all around

Don't worry, don't bring yourself down
Don't let your mind chase you like a hound
Don't worry, don't bring yourself down
We're coming today to save your town"
Frank Black Calistan This is from Frank Black's Teenager of the Year album (1994.)
There's a video of him singing the song solo with an acoustic guitar and explaining the song here. He says the song is about the great road, El Camino Real, the King's Highway. (The 600 mile long road that connects 21 Spanish missions in California that runs from San Diego to Sonoma County. It's not really one street anymore, except in the mind, but it's mostly highway 101.) "Wheezy" refers to the L.A. smog, St. Anne, refers to the Santa Anna winds, etc.


"I took three days to drive down one street
The radio on, tuned to the big fleet
Invisible planes are cracking the concrete
That's just what some people say

I put down my blanket on Cigarette Butt Beach
I saw the old man, he was doing OK
He's making his last stand
On old bottles and cans
'Round there, Calistan way

Used to be sixteen lanes
Used to be Nuevo Spain
Used to be Juan Wayne
Used to be Mexico
Used to be Navajo
Used to be yippy-ay-I-don't know

Went in from the weather when I got wheezy
I play some pachinko I play pachisi
And St. Anne is still making it breezy
In the valley of tar that once was L.A.

And my best friend he's the king of karaoke
He struck up a chord and he took it away
Out of the pan
And into Japan
'Round there, Calistan way

Used to be sixteen lanes
Used to be Juan Wayne
Used to Mexican
Used to be Espano Nuevo
Used to be Navajo
Used to be yippie-ay-I-don't know"
Frank Black Los Angeles

This is a great 1992 indie hard rocker from Black Francis of the Pixies about several Los Angeleses - one in So Cal, one in Chile, one in the future (2525), and one in old movies.


"I met a man
he was a good man.
Sailin' and shorin'
dancing the beta can-can
making me foreign, aaaah yeah.

I wanna live in Los Angeles
not the one in Los Angeles
not the one in South California
they got one in South Patagonia
I wanna live in Los Angeles
not the one in Los Angeles

They got a bunch down in moleville
they got a bunch more still.

I wanna live in Los Angeles
not the one in Los Angeles

They got one in 25-2-5
works just like a beehive."

Frank Black Ole Mulholland This is from Frank Black's (Black Francis) 1994 release Teenager of the Year.


"Hey, sleepy monster in the sand
Time to get up and have a drink
Pacific Rim has a tank that thinks
That she is really something grand

Let me tell you about
When I was hanging out
Just in my dhoti, running in the dawn
Right across my lawn, I saw a coyote

Ole', Ole', Ole' for Mulholland
See the water fall
Hooray, hooray, the ants are crawling
Down on Bradbury's mall
Ole', Ole', Ole' for Mulholland

All waxed in pride, I've got a comfortable ride
And man, she could take us
Out across the salts
And out of these faults and on into Vegas

So slept a monster in the dune
Woke him up and then he drank
Pacific rim has a think tank
But does she have I.Q. for the moon?

The concrete of the aqua duct
Will last as long as the pyramid of Egypt
Or the Parthenon of Athens
Long after Joe Harriman is elected major of Los Angeles

Ole', Ole', Ole', for Mulholland
See the water fall
And hooray, hooray, the ants are crawling
Down in Bradbury's mall

Ole', Ole', Ole', for Mulholland
Yeah, it's quite a sprawl
So hooray, hooray, the sky is falling
Down on Bradbury's mall
Ole', Ole', Ole', for Mulholland, Ole'"
Frank Black and The Catholics St. Francis Dam Disaster This is a story song from Dog in the Sand (2006) about floodwaters flowing to the sea after the dam, built in San Fransisquito Canyon in 1926, failed in 1928, killing an estimated 431 people.


"There was a well known water master man
He was the king
He could do anything
The St. Francis dam disaster, man
Thought she was all right
Until around midnight
Because that water seeks her own
She had a desire to flow
She was looking for somewhere to go
She was a slave to the great metropolis
She was feeling choked
She pushed the wall till it broke
When they heard the great apocalypse
At powerhouse number 2
Well, there was nothing they could do

Because that water seeks her own
Five and one half hours she would flow
She had 53 miles to go
A cascade down to Santa Clara way
Near 60 feet high
Now she's a mile wide
It was clear she was going far away
And whole towns were, too
A few got lucky in Piru
Because that water seeks her own
But four more hours she would flow
She had 29 miles more to go
She carried in her every kind of thing
House, tree, and telegraph pole
Some say a thousand souls
At 3 A.M. she gave Santa Paula a ring
She was still 25 feet high
Under a peaceful sky

Because that water seeks her own
But two more hours she would flow
She had 19 miles more to go
It was a real bad night in little Saticoy
El Rio, then Montalvo
How many, no one really knows
Ventura Beach was very scary, boy
Humanity a-pile
She went a final mile
Because that water seeks her own
Into the sea water flowed
Now forever she would go"
Black Whales Rattle Your Bones Black Whales is a Seattle Band their Band Camp site tags: "alternative garage pop psyche-pop rock n roll Seattle. Rattle Your Bones is the A Side of a 7" vinyl single released in 2010.



"And oh, I try and speak,
and open up my teeth,
I can't say anything.

Tell me what you hear,
I like your point of view.
Tell me everything.

And no I can't deny,
no I can't close my eyes,
I can't fall asleep,
'cause I'll only wake up here...

In the wrong place, at the wrong time.
The wrong place, at the wrong time.

We look like trouble I guess,
and people turn their heads,
we are the dead end kids.

Here come the worker bees,
rattle your bones like tambourines.
Don't fall asleep,
'cause you'll only wake up here...

In the wrong place, at the wrong time.
The wrong place, at the wrong time. Time.

I'm going to San Francisco,
and I don't think I'm ever coming back.
I'm goin' out the window,
I'm goin' and I won't cover up my tracks, yeah,
I'm going to San Francisco,
I'm going to San Francisco,
I'm going to San Francisco,
I'm going to San Francisco...."
Perry Blake California Perry Blake is an Irish singer/songwriter known for his downtempo melancholy style, reminiscent of some songs by Pete Drake and Leonard Cohen. This song is from his third album "California" released in 2002.


"A new life is what we need
A new life out of here
Little moments, don't you know?
Maybe go to California, where it's warm
Get some work
I can see you and I breaking waves
In the sunshine

Don't start slipping away
Don't start slipping away

No sad refrains
They belong to yesterday

Don't start slipping away
Don't start slipping away

California, California"
Perry Blake The Hunchback of San Francisco This is from Blake's first album "Perry Blake" released in 1998.


"Morning has broken the silence of night
Now you'll have to use kindness to fight
It's just like asbestos, it sticks to your skin
It burns within

Luck is a hunchback, travelling light
With rags and transistors to hold up the sky
Drink to the hearts that San Francisco stole
But drink slow

'Cause I'm a lonely man
And you're a lonely girl
And it's a lonely world

If you make vegas, leave on the lights
I want to see your expression change
Hatred will take you to unknown heights
Drink slow

'Cause I'm a lonely man
And you're a lonely girl
And it's a lonely world"
Blink-182 California Blink 182 is an American pop punk band from Poway formed in 1992. This is another song about the state’s good weather, from their Grammy-nominated 2016 album “California.”


"Beige little boxes in a row
Neighbors and friends that you don't know
Here's a form go wait in line
Can't you see I'm doing fine
It's what I've always wanted

Two little kids out on the lawn
Once we had love now it's gone
Good things haven't happened yet
I'm empty as a movie set
It's what I've always wanted

Hey here's to you California
Beautiful haze of suburbia
Living in the perfect weather
Spending time inside together
Hey here's to you California

Wearing all black out on the beach
Faces I've seen in magazines
Lets take a walk out on the pier
Watch the shoreline disappear
It's what I've always wanted

Hey here's to you California
Beautiful haze of suburbia
Living in the perfect weather
Spending time inside together
Hey here's to you California...."
Blink-182 Los Angeles This is another good uptempo pop punk song from the band’s 2016 album “California” that seems to be a complaint about noise and light pollution. I guess.


“Day in day out
Up at 3 AM with the searchlights shining down
Day in day out
It's the blinding light underneath the dirt downtown
Whoa
Listen to the sound as they bomb the Sixth Street Bridge
Whoa
Listen to the sound of the voices south of Fifth

In Los Angeles when will you save me
Los Angeles when will you save me
Los Angeles when will you save me
Los Angeles I'm never coming home
(I'm never coming, I'm never coming)

Come down
I've been awake for days
Knocked out
By the sound of falling rain
Come down yeah we'll watch the sun just burn away the sky
Watch the city lights die out up on Mulholland Drive

Los Angeles when will you save me
Los Angeles when will you save me
Los Angeles when will you save me
Los Angeles I'm never coming home

Wake me when this war is over
Meet me where the skyline ends
Wake me when this war is over
Meet me where the skyline ends
Wake me when this war is over
Meet me where the skyline ends...."
Blink-182 You Can't Go Home Again I forget - Thomas Wolfe was writing about San Diego, right?


“Sometimes I wonder where our lives go
And question who we used to be
Sometimes I feel like I'm the oxygen between
The cigarette and gasoline

I can't sleep cause what if I dream

Of going back to San Diego
We bought a one way ticket
So we can go see the Cure
And listen to our favorite songs in the parking lot
And think of every person I ever lost in San Diego
(To San Diego)
Can't go back to San Diego
(Can't go back to San Diego)

Abandoned houses with the lights on
Late at night I call your name
Abandoned love songs smashed across the hardwood floors
I read the sadness on your face

I can't sleep cause what if I dream

Of going back to San Diego
We bought a one way ticket
So we can go see the Cure
And listen to our favorite songs in the parking lot
And think of every person I ever lost in San Diego
(To San Diego)
Can't go back to San Diego
(Can't go back to San Diego)...."
Blue Oyster Cult Shadow of California Blue Oyster Cult is a hard rock band formed in New York in 1967. This song is from their 1983 album "Revolution By Night."


"Beneath the freeway at the cloverleaf junction
A symbol of good luck eminates darkness
The shadow will grow to cover California
Somewhere on the road from San Bernadino
Its future is steering the past... will not pass

Speed is the game in the shadow of kings
Where the company of angels fly
They appear at the crossroads at once in the future
Clad in the darkness on the highways of night
With no love... From the past

Night makes right
The symbol remains
Into the darkness
Must pour the brains
In the shadow of California

Revolution by night grant me this future
Kings of the shadow on the highways of night
From San Bernadino these angels are racing
This night to your city
The host of angels... Los Angeles

Night makes right
The symbol remains
Into the darkness
Must pour the brains
In the shadow of California"
Blues Image, The Ride Captain Ride The Blues Image was a rock band from Florida who moved to L.A. like most every other band in the '60s. This song was their biggest hit, from their second album "Open" released in 1970.


"Seventy-three men sailed up
From the San Francisco Bay,
Rolled off of their ship
And here's what they had to say.
'We're callin' everyone to ride along
To another shore,
We can laugh our lives away
And be free once more.'
But no one heard them callin',
No one came at all,
'Cause they were too busy watchin'
Those old raindrops fall.
As a storm was blowin'
Out on the peaceful sea,
Seventy-three men sailed off to history.

Ride, captain ride
Upon your mystery ship,
Be amazed at the friends
You have here on your trip.
Ride captain ride
Upon your mystery ship,
On your way to a world
That others might have missed."

Seventy-three men sailed up
From the San Francisco Bay,
Got off their ship
And here's what they had to say.
'We're callin' everyone to ride along
To another shore,
We can laugh our lives away
And be free once more.'

Ride, captain ride
Upon your mystery ship,
Be amazed at the friends
You have here on your trip.
Ride, captain ride
Upon your mystery ship,
On your way to a world
That others might have missed.
Ride, captain ride
Upon your mystery ship,
Be amazed at the friends
You have here on your trip."
Body Count Body Count Body Count is a band that mixes heavy metal, punk, and rap, formed in L.A. in 1990 and fronted by rapper and actor Ice-T. This song is from their self-titled album released in 1992 when the violence and crime and police brutality in L.A.'s African American neighborhoods were a common topic in rap songs and movies. The album was released only a month before the Rodney King Riots exploded across L.A. but well after the video of cops beating up Rodney King was shown almost every day on TV. The album also contained the song "Cop Killer" that - spoiler alert - pissed off a lot of cops. But that was 1992 - since the year 2000 until now (2018) Ice-T has played a cop on TV.


"You know sometimes I sit at home, you know,
and I watch T.V. and I wonder what it would be like
to live someplace like, you know, the Cosby show,
Ozzie and Harriet, you know, where
cops come and got your cat outta the tree
all your friends died of old age,
But you see, I live in South Central Los Angeles and unfortunately...
S**T AIN'T LIKE THAT! IT'S REAL F****D UP!

Goddamn what a brotha gotta do
to get a message through
to the red, white and blue?
What I gotta die
before you realize
I was a brotha with open eyes?
The world's insane
while you drink champagne
and I'm livin' in black rain.
You try to ban the A.K.,
I got ten of 'em stashed
with a case of hand grenades.

Tell us what to do... F**k you!
Tell us what to do... F**k you!
Tell us what to do... F**k you!
Tell us what to do... F**k you!

You know what you'd do
if a kid got killed on the way to school
or a cop shot your kid in the backyard.
S**t would hit the fan, muthaf**ka
and it would hit real hard.
I hear it every night, another gunfight,
the tension mounts,
on with the Body Count.

Yo, Beatmaster, take these muthaf**kas
to South Central.
Ha ha.
Yeah
F**k that.

I hear it every night,
another gunfight,
the tension mounts,
on with the Body Count.

Last weekend thirty-seven kids killed in gang warfare,
in my backyard.
No!
No!
No!
Yo, Ernie C., take these muthaf**ckas home.
Yeah.
Yeah, we in the house, Body Count fools, 1991 muthaf**uckas.

I hear it every night,
another gunfight,
the tension mounts,
on with the Body Count...."
Bonez MC & RAF Camora 500 PS Bonez MC and RAF Camora are German rappers. When listening to this dance rap single from 2018, I kept hearing the words "Los Angeles" so I just had to find the German lyrics and get a translation. I like using Google Translate to translate lyrics, because it can make the lyrics sound like gibberish and I never know if that's because the original lyrics were gibberish. I'm at least sure that this song is about driving. Driving a 500 horsepower black Maserati through L.A. or maybe around Germany, since it mentions the streets of Hamburg. GTA Los Angeles has to refer to the video game Grand Theft Auto 5, which uses a ficticious city called Los Santos that is based on the city of Los Angeles. Gamers have made lists and maps comparing the game places to the real places in L.A. So maybe he's driving in the game.


"Ich drück' aufs Gas, hör' die 500 PS
Fahren durch die Stadt, GTA Los Angeles
Alles mattschwarz, Maserati GT S
Manchmal gibt's Palaver, doch es regelt sich von selbst

[I hit the gas, hear the 500 hp
Driving through the city, GTA Los Angeles
Everything matt black, Maserati GT S
Sometimes there's palaver, but it's self-regulating]

Ah, fühl' mich wie Rocky
Rabe graviert aufm Cockpit (ahh)
Lipgloss am Sibbi
Kind der 90er-Jahre wie Mobb Deep, ah
Camora ist topfit
Gib dir den Sound und die Optik (ahh)
Aus reiner Routine die Glock mit
Denn West-Wien ist Gotham, ah
Konkurrenz, mir fällt keine ein
Alle Winner in unserem Team
Bin der Sperrbildschirm deiner Chay
Und auf dem Juice-Magazin
Ihr Sound ist Vanessa Mai
Mein Sound direkt aus Marseille
Wien-Fünfhaus seit Tag eins

[Ah, feel like Rocky
Raven engraved on the cockpit (ahh)
Lip gloss on the Sibbi
Child of the 90s like Mobb Deep, ah
Camora is in top form
Give yourself the sound and the optics (ahh)
From pure routine the Glock with
Because West Vienna is Gotham, ah
Competition, I can not think of one
All winners in our team
Am the lock screen of your Chay
And on the juice magazine
Her sound is Vanessa Mai
My sound directly from Marseille
Vienna-Fünfhaus since day one]

Ich drück' aufs Gas, hör' die 500 PS
Fahren durch die Stadt, GTA Los Angeles
Alles mattschwarz, Maserati GT S
Manchmal gibt's Palaver, doch es regelt sich von selbst (alle, alle)

[I hit the gas, hear the 500 hp
Driving through the city, GTA Los Angeles
Everything matt black, Maserati GT S
Sometimes there's palaver, but it settles on its own (all, all)
I hit the gas, hear the 500 hp
Driving through the city, GTA Los Angeles
Everything matt black, Maserati GT S
Sometimes there's palaver, but it's self-regulating]

Fühl' mich wie Rambo
Fahr' durch die Straßen von Hamburg
Brauche niemand, der mich schützt, Kaliber unterm Sitz
Und verdunkelte Scheiben wie ein Phantom, hah
Komm und kauf dir einen Kampfhund, üff
Oder brauchst du ein Gramm Koks?
Denn die Lieder alles Hits, gibt niemand, der mich fickt
187 übers Land wie ein Sandsturm (come on, dance everybody)

[Feel like Rambo
Drive through the streets of Hamburg
Do not need anyone to protect me, caliber under the seat
And darkened slices like a phantom, hah
Come and buy a fighting dog, eh?
Or do you need a gram of coke?
Because the songs of all hits, no one gives me who f**ks me
187 across the country like a sandstorm (come on, dance everybody)...."
Pat Boone When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano This 1940 hit about birds migrating back from their winter territories to the coastal city of Capistrano, was written by Leon Rene and recorded by many artists, including Glenn Miller, Gene Autry, Pat Boone, The Dominoes, The Five Satins,The Ink Spots, Harry James & His Orch, Guy Lombardo, Carmen McRae.


"When the swallows come back to Capistrano
That's the day you promised to come back to me
When you whispered, "Farewell", in Capistrano
Twas the day the swallow flew out to sea

All the mission bells will ring
The chapel choir will sing
The happiness you'll bring
Will live in my memory
When the swallows come back to Capistrano
That's the day I pray that you'll come back to me"
David Bowie Cracked Actor From Bowie's 1973 album "Alladin Sane" this is about an aging movie actor in Hollywood.

"I've come on a few years from my Hollywood Highs
The best of the last, the cleanest star they ever had
I'm stiff on my legend,
the films that I made
Forget that I'm fifty
cause you just got paid
Crack, baby, crack,
show me you're real
Smack, baby, smack, is that all that you feel
Suck, baby, suck,
give me your head
Before you start professing
that you're knocking me dead
You caught yourself a trick down
on Sunset and Vine
But since he pinned you baby
you're a porcupine
You sold me illusions for a sack full of cheques
You've made a bad connection 'cause I just want your sex
Crack, baby, crack,
show me you're real
Smack, baby, smack, is that all that you feel
Suck, baby, suck,
give me your head
Before you start professing
that you're knocking me dead"
Bow Wow Wow Do You Wanna Hold Me? Bow Wow Wow is an English worldbeat pop band assembled by Malcolm McLaren, who also invented the Sex Pistols, to promote a line of clothing. He took several musicians from Adam and the Ants and added 14-year-old Annabella Lwin as the lead vocalist. This song is from the band's third and final album When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going, released in 1983.


"Children, I wanna warn ya (Whoa-oh-oh)
'Cause I've been to California (Whoa-oh-oh)
Where Mickey Mouse is such a demon (Whoa-oh-oh)
Where Mickey Mouse is as big as a house (Whoa-oh-oh)

Ba da ba ba da ba (Whoa-oh-oh)
Ba da ba ba da ba

Life is wasted on illusion (Whoa-oh-oh)
Tom and Jerry's no solution (Whoa-oh-oh)
Evil games for cartoon demons (Whoa-oh-oh)
Pinocchio's a real boy, look around!

Ba da ba ba da ba (Whoa-oh-oh)
Ba da ba ba da ba

And I cry all night
Do you wanna hold me, hold me tight?
Do you wanna hold me? Oh yeah
Do you wanna hold me, hold me there?

Children, you got to hear me (Whoa-oh-oh)
You just got to understand me (Whoa-oh-oh)
Love and death ain't no physical thing (Whoa-oh-oh)
'Cause Mickey Mouse, he don't wanna know! (Whoa-oh-oh)...."
Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise California This is a good blues song from an American band formed in 1994 in Detroit featuring vocalist Robert Bradley. It's from the band's eponymous recording released in 2011.


"Well, I'll never forget the day
I motored into big L.A.
I remember seeing the Dodgers play some ball
Well I'll never forget the sound of all the
Greyhound bound, takin me home, to see my momma

And I never y'all, seen the stars shine in California
but I remember seeing the rain a comin down, Lord
And I never no, seen the stars shine in California
but I remember seeing the rain comin down

Well I'll never forget the time
That I toasted California wine
I remember strolling along Wilshire Boulevard
But I never forget the lights, the lights of Hollywood
and I remember a ridin down the Harbor Freeway

And I never y'all, seen the stars shine in California
but I remember seeing the rain a comin down, Lord
And I never no, seen the stars shine in California
but I remember seeing the rain comin down

Well I never forget the warmth
of that San Diego sun
And I remember going across the Golden Gate Bridge
But I never forget the day
that I motored into the big L.A.
I remember seeing the Dodgers play the ball, y'all

And I never y'all, a little star shine in California
but I remember, seeing the rain a coming down, Lord

Turn on the light
and let it shine on me
Turn on the light
and let it shine on me
The Big L.A.
The Big L.A.
The Hollywood lights
Its gonna make them ride
Well I never seen the stars shine in California
But I remember, seeing the rain comin down"
Bran Van 3000 Drinking in L.A. This is a 1997 song from the album "Glee" by a Canadian collective that mixes alternative rock and hip hop and other styles.


"....I woke up again this morning with the sun in my eyes
When Mike came over with a script surprise
A mafioso story with a twist
A "To Wong Foo, Julie Newmar" hitch
Get your ass out of bed, he said:
I'll explain it on the way
But we did nothing
Absolutely nothing that day
And I'll say
What the hell am I doing drinking in L.A.
At twenty six?
I got the fever for the flavor
The payback will be later
Still I need a fix
And the girls on the bus kept on laughing at us
As we rode on the ten down to Venice again
Flaring out the g-funk
Sipping on juice and gin
Just me and a friend
Feeling kinda groovy
Working on movie
(Yeah right!)
But we did nothing
Absolutely bupkis
That day
And I'll say
What the hell am I doing drinking in L.A.
At twenty six?
With my mind on my money and my money on my, beer beer!
I know that life is for the taking
So I'd better wise up
And take it quickly

(Yeah one more time at Trader Vics)
Some men there wanted to hurt us
And other men
Said we weren't worth the fuss
We could see them all bitching by the bar
About the fine line
Between the rich and the poor
Then mike turned to me and said
What do you think we got done son?
We've got a conclusion
And I guess that's something
So I ask you

What the hell am I doing drinking in L.A.
At twenty six?
I got the fever for the nectar
The payback will be later
Still I need a fix

(We need to fix you up
Call me monday
And maybe we'll fix it all up)

L.A.
L.A.
L. L.A.
L.A
....."
Phoebe Bridgers If We Make it Through December Phoebe Bridgers is a singer/songwriter from L.A. This song, from the 2020 album "Dead Oceans," is a cover of Merle Haggard's original, released in 1973.
Phoebe Bridgers Smoke Signals This song is from her 2017 album "Stranger in the Alps" which she explained comes from the way a line of dialog in the movie "The Big Lebowski" was censored on T.V. - "This is what happens when you f**k a stranger in the a*s!" was changed to "This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps!"


"I went with you up to
The place you grew up in
We spent a week in the cold
Just long enough to
"Walden" it with you
Any longer, it would have got old
Singing "Ace of Spades" when Lemmy died
But nothing's changed, L.A.'s all right
Sleeping in my bed again, and getting in my head
And then walk around the reservoir

You, you must have been looking for me
Sending smoke signals
Pelicans circling
Burning trash out on the beach

One of your eyes is
Always half-shut
Something happened when you were a kid
I didn't know you then
And I'll never understand
Why it feels like I did
"How Soon Is Now" in an '80s sedan
You slept inside of it because your dad
Lived in a campground in the back of a van
You said that song will creep you out until you're dead

And you must have been looking for me
Sending smoke signals
Pelicans circling
Burning trash out on the beach

I want to live at
The Holiday Inn
Where somebody else makes the bed
We'll watch TV while
The lights on the street
Put all the stars to death
It's been on my mind since Bowie died
Just checking out to hide from life
And all of our problems, I'm gonna solve 'em
With you riding shot-gun, speeding, 'cause f**k the cops

And you, you must have been looking for me
Sending smoke signals
Pelicans circling
Burning trash out on the beach

I buried a hatchet
It's coming up lavender
The future's unwritten
The past is a corridor
I'm at the exit looking back through the hall
You are anonymous
I am a concrete wall"
Cleo Brown When Hollywood Goes Black and Tan In this upbeat early 40's jazz classic, Harlem crooners, Louis Armstrong, and more will all be heading west when Hollywood goes black and tan. It's a celebration of African American entertainers in the movies, back when there were not many of them.


"Creole babies from Manhattan,
Will be leaving Harlem if they can,
Yeah, man! Oh, yeah, man!
When Hollywood goes black and tan!

Louis Armstrong with his trumpet
Will be heading westward with his band,
Yeah, man! Oh, yeah, man!
When Hollywood goes black and tan!"
Buddy Trouble on Central Buddy (Simmie Sims III) is a rapper from Compton. This is a great upbeat song that's sung instead of rapped, with a laid-back G-funk rhythm but none of the gangsta attitude. It's from his 2018 debut album "Harlan & Alondra" named after the cross streets of his childhood home. Central Avenue is a long avenue that passes through west Compton.


"Just so good at being in trouble
Spending my days out in the ghetto
Mama say that I need to be careful
Going downtown on the blue line metro
A car overheated indicated for the rental (s**t)
Broke down Chevrolets sitting on Central
Turning on my headphones looking out the window
Lauryn Hill playing, it could be so simple
Damn, I just can't wait 'til I get on
What the hell is taking so long?

I wish I had a girl by my side
Wish I had a brand new ride
I wish I had a light
I wish I had a private flight
I wish upon the stars sometimes
I wish I had a ride
I wish I had the finer things
I wish you wasn't so Cobain
I wish I had you (s**t)
And I wish I wasn't stuck on Central

Just so good at being in trouble
Spending my days out in the ghetto
Papa say that I need to be careful
Heard a nigga just got popped at the Arco
Pros on the hoes stro junkies on narcos
Long Beach Compton to South Central
Damn, I just can't wait 'til I get home (s**t)
That's when a cop had pulled me over
... ... ... ...

I wish I was in control
Really wish I wasn't stuck on Central
I still got so far to go, yeah
Won't be stuck here, not for long
Just hold on, hold on
Work late nights and early mornings
I'm on it, I'm on it
Trouble on Central with the homies
Oh no, oh no
Pretty soon we gon' take control
Just wait on it, wait on it"

Buffalo Springfield

 

For What It's Worth (Stop, Hey What's That Sound) Buffalo Springfield was a rock band active from 1966 to 1968 that featured several musicians who went on to greater fame with other bands or as solo acts - Stephen Stills, Neil Young, and Richie Furay.

The band's most commercially successful song, this is often considered a protest song about the war in Viet Nam, but it was not written as an anti-war song. It was written by Steven Stills who was inspired by the Sunset Strip curfew riots in November of 1966. Basically it was about young people rioting because they couldn't get into clubs late at night. The song was released shortly afterwards in late December 1966. The song never once mentions the Sunset Strip or L.A. or the riots, nor does it mention the Viet Nam war. The lack of a specific subject has let it serve as a universal protest song and anti-war anthem for any time and place.

A California song doesn't always need to mention California. For what it's worth, even if what it is ain't exactly clear, because of its well-know association with the Sunset Strip riots when it was released, this is a song about California. I can't say the same thing about the many cover versions, which include recordings by The Staple Singers, Rush, Cher, Queensryche, Miriam Makeba, Ozzy Osbourne, Oui 3, David Cassidy, Haley Reinhart, and others. The song was also sampled by Public Enemy in 1998 in "He Got Game."


"There's something happening here
But what it is ain't exactly clear
There's a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware

I think it's time we stop
Children, what's that sound?
Everybody look - what's going down?

There's battle lines being drawn
Nobody's right if everybody's wrong
Young people speaking' their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind

It's time we stop
Hey, what's that sound?
Everybody look - what's going down?

What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

It's time we stop
Hey, what's that sound?
Everybody look - what's going down?

Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you're always afraid
Step out of line, the men come and take you away

We better stop
Hey, what's that sound?
Everybody look - what's going down?...."
Jimmy Buffett Come Monday This easy listening ballad is basically a postcard to his wife from a musician tired of touring and the L.A. smog (which was really horrible back in 1974, I can assure you) and looking forward to seeing her. It's from his 1974 album "Living & Dying in 3/4 Time, which was released 3 years before his monster pop country hit "Margaritaville." When not promoting the consumption of tasty tequila-based beverages, Buffett has worked since 1981 to save the Manatees and other marine life. I'll raise a glass to that.


"Headin' up to San Francisco
for the Labor Day weekend show,
I've got my hush-puppies on,
I guess I never was meant for
glitter rock and roll.
And honey I didn't know
that I'd be missin' you so.

Come Monday It'll be all right,
Come Monday I'll be holding you tight.
I spent four lonely days in a brown L.A. haze
and I just want you back by my side.

Yes it's been quite a summer,
rent-a-cars and west bound trains.
And now you're off on vacation,
somethin' you tried to explain.
And darlin' I love you so that's
the reason I just let you go.

Come Monday It'll be all right,
Come Monday I'll be holding you tight.
I spent four lonely days in a brown L.A. haze
and I just want you back by my side.

I can't help it honey,
you're that much a part of me now.
Remember the night in Montana when
we said there'd be no room for doubt.

I hope you're enjoyin' the scenery,
I know that it's pretty up there.
We can go hikin on Tuesday,
with you I'd walk anywhere.
California has worn me quite thin,
I just can't wait to see you again..."
C
Cage the Elephant Mess Around This is from a band from Kentucky who have had lots of number one hits on the Billboard Alternative Rock charts, including this song. It's off their 2015 album Tell Me I'm Pretty. There's only a quick mention of California.


"Ahhhhh, oh no
Ahhhhh, oh no
Ahhhhh, oh no
No, she don't mess around
No, she don't mess around

Oh St. Louis, California
Blue eyes, yeah she's comin' for ya
Land of Mary, Charm City
Oh lord, wish she was my baby
You know she'll drive you crazy
Yeah she's coming for ya
No, she don't mess around
No, she don't mess around

Ahhhhh, oh no
Ahhhhh, oh no
Ahhhhh, oh no
No, she don't mess around
No, she don't mess around

The heat is rising and only getting hotter, ready to blow
I think I'll pour myself a glass of water, let it flow
She'll show you what she's made of
Yeah she's comin' for ya
She's gonna try to break ya
Yeah she's comin' for ya
No, she don't mess around
No, she don't mess around

Ahhhhh, oh no
Ahhhhh, oh no
Ahhhhh, oh no
No, she don't mess around
No, she don't mess around...."
J. J. Cale Downtown L.A. J. J. Cale was a singer-songwriter from Oklahoma known for his great country/blues slide guitar playing. (His wah-wah slide on Crazy Mama still gets to me after 40 years.) This is from Cale's "Grasshopper" album released in 1982. Much of downtown L.A. has been developed and gentrified since Cale wrote this, but my guess is that poverty and homelessness in the area is worse than it was then.


"Downtown L.A. is a depressing place
You can see young men with deep lines in their face
They could all be something if somebody cared
But nobody knows they're even down there
Old woman walking with a sack on her back
Picking up the garbage people put out back
Men down there trying to walk the line
Trading their soul for a bottle of wine

In the inner city it ain't no good
It's a long, long way from Hollywood
Bad kind of people got a hold of the street
They got something that the poor people need
At two in the morning they bust your head
Fat chance walking you'll end up dead
It' the law of the jungle with a gun and a knife
If you stay long enough you lose your life

Man down there he couldn't be lying
He was sleeping in the street and he couldn't keep from crying
Said he'd been there for twenty one years
Through the bars and the brawls and the blues and the tears
Prop up the front the back falls down
All around the canyons of L.A. town
When he asked me for a dollar I looked him in his face
Downtown L.A. is a depressing place"
J. J. Cale Santa Cruz This song is from the 1997 album "Anyway The Wind Blows - The Anthology." It mentions two of his songs from the 1970s that were hits for Eric Clapton.


"Oo-wee how did I lose
Talkin' about a night in Santa Cruz
Oo-wee how did I lose
Talkin' about a night in Santa Cruz
Well I came to coast from L.A.
Just to give a little music to boo me away
Hey J.J. can you play Cocaine
Do After Midnight it's all the same
Oo-wee how did I lose
Talkin' about a night in Santa Cruz
Oo-wee how did I lose
I'll tell you about the night in Santa Cruz
Well we didn't play long it booed too soon
I can't do right no matter what you do
A girl in the crowd, at the finale
Shouted at me had I even turned
Another man left 'cause he didn't stay long
I thought we had played his favorite song
Hey you, pull that weight
A soon as it's cleaned up then I'll fade away
My friends and I hope you're glad to see
Me and friends coming off the street
Play, Richard
I don't mean a man can't lose
Just stay by the night in Santa Cruz
Just stay by the night in Santa Cruz
I don't mean a man can't lose"
Cab Calloway San Francisco Fan Cab Calloway was a popular jazz and scat singer, dancer, and bandleader from New York, known as the "Hi-de-ho" man, which comes from the lyrics to his most famous song "Minnie the Moocher." He had several other hits in the 1930s and '40s. This is a slow blues released in 1947.


"San Francisco Fan
Loved a no-good gamblin' man
She drank the coffee dregs
So she could fry his eggs In a golden frying pan

Can-canned by command Of the Gold Rush Cafe Clan
She gave her man her pay
He gambled it away
Playing Chinatown fan-tan

Once they caught him cheatin'
And he knew that he was beaten
When a miner aimed a pistol at his head
Fanny when she'd seen him Ran and jumped right in between 'em
And she stopped a dozen slugs of poison lead

There was Fanny dyin'
While a hundred men stood cryin'
And the angels up above were cryin' too
When seven horses started draggin'
Fanny's coffin in a wagon
Through a dusty Californian avenue

San Francisco Fan
Gave her life to save her man
A man who wasn't worth
A shovelful of earth
From the grave of San Francisco Fan

San Francisco Fan
Loved a no-good gamblin' man
She drank the coffee dregs
So she could fry his eggs
In a golden frying pan

San Francisco Fan
Gave her life to save her man
A man who wasn't worth
A shovelful of earth
From the grave of San Francisco Fan"
Cake Bound Away Cake is an alternative rock band from Sacramento formed in 1991. This song, which name checks their home town, is from their 2011 album "Showroom of Compassion.


"I'm an unknown individual in an unattended car
Hey, welcome to Chicago or wherever you are
New York to London, Barcelona to Berlin
Sacramento, California, we are leaving again

Away, away, away, away
Away, I'm bound away

I'm circling, I'm swiveling, I'm waiting just to land
I'm trying to come home, but I'm here with the band
Traveling, unraveling, I'm staying on track
My plastic utensil has broken in half

Away, away, away, away
Away, I'm bound away

There's low visibility, gusty wind and rain
My carry-on luggage is still on the plane
Seconds turn to minutes, minutes turn to hours
Hours give you a lifetime and a grave with pink flowers

Away, away, away, away
Away, I'm bound
Away, away, away, away
Away, I'm bound away"
Camera Obscura Desire Lines Camera Obscura is a Scottish indie pop band, fronted by vocalist Tracyanne Campbell, who also writes all their songs. This song is from the band's fifth album "Desire Lines" releasd in 2013. Ginger Rogers Road is a road in Rancho Mirage in the desert near Palm Springs, right off Bob Hope Drive.


"I went to California
I needed sun, I warned you
When the green of your eyes met my blue by surprise
There was a storm yeah

We could send letters
Beautiful, let us?
I could illustrate for you my day to day
Would that mend us?

Desire Lines sent me to Badlands
But I am on my way back now
I'm going to love you as I know how
I know how

The shade of Jacaranda
The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter
You mention the name
That fills my lungs with pain, eyes like Panda
I could bottle up this love
Find a stall and serve it up
It won't be the same, my heart's calling your name, love

Desire lines sent me to Badlands
But I am on my way back now
I'm going to love you as I know how
I know how

Desire lines sent me to Badlands
But I am on my way back now
I'm going to love you as I know how
I know how

Desire lines sent me to Badlands
But I am on my way back now
Let me love you as I know how
I know how

Ginger Rogers Road
I was heading home
With an official polling card to vote for you, lad
I vote for you, lad
I vote for you, lad
I vote for you, lad
I vote for you, lad
I vote for you"
Glen Campbell Country Boy (You Got Your Feet in L.A.) Glen Campbell was a country boy from Arkansas who worked for years as a studio musician in L.A., so this song might be somewhat autobiographical, even though he didn't write it. He was a member of the loose group of L.A. studio musicans known as "The Wrecking Crew," playing on records for the Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, Merle Haggard, Phil Spector, The Everly Brothers, Elvis Presley, and many, many more. Then he had a long and successful solo career, winning awards and selling over 45 million records of his own, and he did some acting, also. This song was a hit single from his 1975 album "Rhinestone Cowboy."


""Livin' in the city
Ain't never been my idea of gettin' it on
But the job demands that you make new plans
Before your big chance is gone

You get a house in the hills
You're payin' everyone's bills
And they tell you that you're gonna go far
But in the back of my mind
I hear it time after time
"Is that who you really are?"

Country boy, you got your feet in L.A.
But your mind's on Tennessee
Lookin' back, I can remember the time
When I sang my songs for free

Country boy, you got your feet in L.A.
Take a look at everything you own
But now and then, my heart keeps goin' home

Talkin' on the telephone
Settin' up another day of people to meet
You've gotta do what's right
You've gotta spend the night
Stayin' in touch with the street

When you're surrounded by friends
They say the fun never ends
But I guess I'll never figure it out
'Cause in the back of my mind
I hear it time after time
"Is this what it's all about?"

Country boy, you got your feet in L.A.
But your mind's on Tennessee
Lookin' back, I can remember the time
When I sang my songs for free

Country boy, you got your feet in L.A.
Take a look at everything you own
But now and then, my heart keeps goin' home....""
Camper Van Beethoven Cowboys From Hollywood Camper Van Beethoven is a band formed in Redlands in 1983 before relocating to Santa Cruz and San Francisco. This song is from their 1985 album "Telephone Free Landslide Victory." The lyrics are simple, just one line repeated a dozen times, in true quirky CVB fashion:

"Aren't y'all cowboys from Hollywood?
"Aren't y'all cowboys from Hollywood?
"Aren't y'all cowboys from Hollywood?...." etc.
Camper Van Beethoven Dockweiler Beach From "El Camino Real" released in 2014.


"I am waiting in the water
I am waiting at El Segundo
I am waiting for that rogue wave
I am waiting for your body

I saw you go into the water
I saw Neptune's trident shine
Took you by the hand my darlin'
Took you in the uh-undertow

I will wait ten thousand years
I will wait ten thousand years
Eternity
Ten thousand years
Montgomeryo

I am living in a trailer
Dockweiler Beach at LAX
Planes take off for To-Tokyo
They are never c-coming back

Oceans filled with suh-submariners
Dark secrets and c-c-chemicals
Night time lit by g-g-g-gas flares
Bring my baby's body back

I will wait ten thousand years
I will wait ten thousand years
Eternity
Ten thousand years
Montgomery-o"
Camper Van Beethoven I Live in L.A. From "El Camino Real" released in 2014


"She comes in like a star, wearing jewellery and fur
With her own entourage, hanger-onners in clogs
From some small town in Spain, it's never explained.

Sufficiently
Or the security

I live in L. A.
Come and see me someday.
You can stay at my house.
I've got plenty of space.
I live in L. A.
Come and see me someday boy
If you wanna have a good time
A good time with me.

Black SUVs in the drive, tinted windows and guards
Cowboy boots and shaved heads, Italian suits, tattood necks
The party rages inside, but its never explained
La Frontera plates
Oh boy I hope it's not too late."
Camper Van Beethoven Northern California Girls Another song about California Girls. From their 2013 album  "La Costa Perdida"


' Northern California girls say, "Baby come home now"
You don't belong there
Everybody knows this but you
Don't you miss the ocean?
Don't you miss the weather?
Don't you miss me just a little bit?
Northern California girls say, "Come home from Texas"
You could take a fast train
Baby take the next plane
You'd be home by suppertime
There ain't nobody like me
Ain't nobody like me out there
Northern California girls say, "You don't know what you're missing"
I got a good job, stay home and play the guitar
You can raise the children barefoot on the beaches
Teach 'em how to surf and play baseball
Northern California girls say, "Come home from Brooklyn!"
You could take a fast train
Baby take the next plane
You'd be home by suppertime
There ain't nobody like me
Ain't nobody like me out there
Northern California girls say, "Everything happens for a reason"
You did what you had to do
Now it's time for you to come home
Northern California girls
Northern California girls
Northern California girls
Northern California girls '
Camper Van Beethoven City of Industry An outtake from "El Camino Real" released in 2014 available as an iTunes extra.


"So bring a basket for the lions
Of City of Industry
Don't mind the benzene, the double helix
Don't drink the water from my tap

You know the ZIP code, it's got a good one
90601
You love your husband, but you like danger
That's why you're hanging out with me

I'm growing palm trees in wooden barrels
In City of Industry
I've got a contact, a State employee
He's got big gambling debts

I have these wise guys, we meet at Denny's
That's why you can't keep yourself away
You love your husband, yeah I'm a fella
That's why you can't keep yourself away

You love your husband, but you like danger
That's why you're hanging out with me
Meet me at Denny's, we'll plan a heist there
City of Industry

We got a bad man, we got a rock god
We got a man on the inside too
Don't mind the benzene, the double helix
Don't drink the water from the tap."
Vanessa Carlton Dear California Vanessa Carlton is an American singer-songwriter from Pennsylvania whose 2002 debut single "A Thousand Miles" was a huge Grammy-nominated hit. This song is from her 2011 album "Rabbits on the Run." The singer of this one is planning on leaving California. Maybe to make room for all the other songs about going there.


"As usual, I'm in a tricky predicament
Weather in my thoughts, on the roof sneaking a cigarette
Dear California, it's been nice to know ya
Tell me, will you miss me when I'm gone?

'Cause he loves me as I leave, so I'm gonna go
And I'm not in companies when you feel it most
And you keep my memory, hope ya keep me close
Would you love me as I leave?

This alchemy is making me suspicious
As if I slipped you some belladonna
That I crossed town to get, don't you know?
Yes, my grand friend checks it

Oh he loves me as I leave, so I'm gonna go
And I'm not in companies when you feel it the most
And you keep my memory, hope ya keep me close
Would you love me as I leave?

Ever-changing as the sea, it's my only hope
It's just me and my pup in the open road
But your face is like a paper-cut to the heart
Slip away while you sleep

It's easy, it's easier
Than it seems
It's easy, it's easier
Than it seems

Just go, I'll go, don't cry
I don't know, I don't know, but you fly
(Hey!)
Paper-cut to the heart

Oh he loves me as I leave, so I'm gonna go
And I'm not in companies when you feel it most
And you keep my memory, hope ya keep me close
Would you love me as I leave?

Ever-changing as the sea
Would you love me as I leave?
Dear California
Would you love me as I leave?
Dear California
Would you love me as I leave?
Dear California
Would you love me as I leave?
Dear California"
Vanessa Carlton San Francisco This song is from Carlson's 2004 album "Harmonium."


"I, I know what you did
Like a boy of summer gives his first kiss
Love, is dancing on my finger
He got to the heart of the matter and lingered
Now I'm walking with the living
I always liked Steinbeck and those old men whistling

We're back, we're back in San Francisco
We're back and you tell me I'm home

Talking in the Mission
Over coffee this is my utopia
Man, I'll be your lady
As the ocean rises, the sun is fading

We're back, we're back in San Francisco
We're back, we're back in San Francisco
We're back, we're back in San Francisco

And now I feel the ever after
Over red wine on the eve of summer
The buzz, the buzz of the city
As we settle in it's majesty
I, I know what you did
Like a boy of summer gives his first kiss

We're back, we're back in San Francisco
We're back and you tell me I'm home

You tell me I am home
You tell me I am home
You tell me I am home
Back in San Francisco

And I know what you did in San Francisco
I know what you did in San Francisco
San Francisco"
Hoagy Carmichael Hong Kong Blues Carmichael sings this song in the classic Howard Hawks film "To Have and Have Not" with Humphry Bogart and 19-year-old Lauren Bacall in her first film. I don't understand why the gong-kicking guy says he lives in Frisco if he lives in Tennessee, or why they send rice there (Rice-a-Roni?), but that's show biz...


"It's the story of a very unfortunate colored man
Who got arrested down in old Hong Kong
He got twenty years privilege taken away from him
When he kicked old Buddha's gong

And now he's poppin' the piano just to raise the price
Of a ticket to the land of the free
Well, he says his home's in Frisco where they send the rice
But it's really in Tennessee

That's why he said, 'I need someone to love me
I need somebody to carry me home to San Francisco
And bury my body there
I need someone to lend me a fifty dollar bill and then
I'll leave Hong Kong behind me for happiness once again'

Won't somebody believe
I've a yen to see that Bay again
Every time I try to leave
Sweet opium won't let me fly away"
Car Seat Headrest Hollywood Car Seat Headrest is an indie rock band formed in Virginia. This song is from the 2020 album "Making a Door Less Open." As happens often in songs about Hollywood, this song doesn't refer to the district of Los Angeles as much as what it represents, which songwriter Will Toledo said in NME is "...a place where people go to make their fantasies come to life, and they end up exploiting other people and doing terrible things to maintain their fantasy." It's a cliche that could be boring but the music makes it worth listening to again.


"I'm sick of violence
Sick of money
Sick of drinking
Sick of drugs
Sick of f**king
Sick of staring at the ads on the bus

Hollywood makes me wanna puke
Hollywood makes me want to -

You got a face that you think
Will last as long as the sphinx
But the poster's painted over in a week if it stinks
So let the people decide
On a metro ride
Because everyone's an artist but
No one has the time, yeah

Everywhere I go, I'm oppressed by these energies
Like it? Yes, I love it
I hear music in my head
Was that a gun?
(He was snapping his gum)
Are my earbuds on the fritz?
There's a hiss on the bus
And it goes round

Hollywood makes me wanna puke
Hollywood makes me wanna puke
Hollywood
Hollywood
Hollywood
Hollywood

Faces form faces
Phrases come in phases
Take me to the palace
Make me think I'm famous
Okay
Hop inside (Come see my movie)
Hop inside (Come see my movie)
Hop inside (Come see my movie)
(Catch a ride) It's kinda groovy

You can't disengage with one single aspect
Watching from the sidelines
Supervising lines
Why don't you take what you can get?
No disruptions on the set
You're gonna wind up back home
Where the fear splits in two like Moses

Into Mansons and Monroeses
Logic and hypnosis
Good and evil
Only people
They don't talk about the
12-year-olds on pills waking up in beds of big producers
I can make you famous
I can make you something...."
Carolina Liar California Bound Carolina Liar is an indie rock band from LA with a big bright sound, but the lead vocalist is originally from South Carolina, and other band members are from Sweden. But the guy in this 2008 song can't wait to get back to that California sun that everyone else is always singing about. But this time he's coming by train and not car. What does he they think he'll be able to do in California without a car? I'll bet he's planning on renting a convertible and driving down the coast highway with the top down just like they do in all the other songs. Then he'll write a song about it...


"You're miles away
You just can't relate
Are you what surrounds you?
 
You feel alive
At least you think that life
Is something in you
What do we know?
 
There's a southern bound train tomorrow
Takes us out of this dirty town
Chase the sun back to the west coast
In eight hours we're California bound
We're California bound
 … … … …

Forget everything tomorrow
We'll be on a brand new road
Chasing the sun back to the west coast
In eight hours we're California bound
We're California bound
We're California bound"
Rafael Casal & Daveed Diggs (featuring Chinaka Hodge) Foxy Girls (Candy Store) Rafael Casal is a musician and actor from Berkeley and Daveed Diggs is a rapper/actor/songwriter from Oakland who won awards for his work in the Broadway production of "Hamilton." Chinaka Hodge is a writer from Oakland. Casal and Diggs are both filmmakers also, and I recommend their 2018 film "Blindspotting" which they wrote and produced and starred in. It's mostly about the gentrification of Oakland, cultural appropriation, loss of identity, and the struggles of a man who witnesses a white police officer gun down a black man.

This hyphy/hip-hop track from the Bay Boy Mixtape, released in 2010, samples Rodger Collins' song "Foxy Little Girls in Oakland" from 1970.


"The Bay
The Bay
The Bay
Candy store
The Bay
Candy store

[Rafael Casal]
There they go
Done up from head to toe
She’s so incredibly town
Guess that’s just how they roll
So I figured I’d say hi
She waved at me “hello”
Just checking if she’s sweet
See, Oakland’s the candy store

[Daveed Diggs]
Maybe I didn’t appreciate you till I left

[Rafael Casal]
But I’m back and I promise you the town got the best

[Daveed Diggs]
Rocking naturals, infallible, impeccably dressed

[Rafael Casal]
Lips smashing, toes going with the tips of your dreads

[Daveed Diggs]
Shake ‘em, pretty little Bay baby
Say, yuh, if I may play you this song would you come into my scrap

[Rafael Casal]
From the Lake to E14 we bending corners
Every day I fall in love when I’m in Oakland, California

[Daveed Diggs]
Oh, Ghost Town girls gon' give me the holy ghost
Ride my (uh) let me get you alone
I’m’a spit it for you, lick it, it be sweeter than the berry
Can I get them panties off by the time we hit Seminary

[Rafael Casal]
Say oh yeah, they’re everywhere I see
So when I was grammy afternoons and yelling “Mami, ven aquí”
So Oaklandish full of Spanish
She all hips and town bidness, I'm tryna get out this young

[Chorus]
Foxy little girls in Oakland
Something like I’ve never never seen before
Candy store
Foxy little girls in Oakland
Something like I’ve never ever seen before
Candy store
Candy store
Foxy little girls in Oakland (where they at)
Foxy little girls in Oakland (I wanna see em baby)
Foxy little girls in Oakland (where you goin’, girl)
Foxy little girls (what’s yo name)

I've gots sweets and
You call home
Come on home to my
Candy store

[Rafael Casal]
There they go
Done up from head to toe
She’s so incredibly town
Guess that’s just how they roll
So I figured I’d say hi
She waved at me “hello”
Just checking if she’s sweet
See, Oakland’s the candy store

[Chinaka Hodge]
First things first, raise a toast to my city
Where the girls go dumb, and the pimps get pretty
Where the metro phone’s got my ringtone playing
It’s a Getback tune but the call is delayed
No problem, I got it
Hi Oakland, it’s 'Naka
Go back to my block where the girls all grown
Packed full of hair in they rat tail combs
Ratchin a scrap of a Mac Dre tome
Slabs full of concrete, pop, call home
So stick with it, get lifted
Throw your weave back like you all mixed it
Fuck what you heard about an L.A. beauty
Oakland face, East Bay booty
Get y’all rakes in the gate of the dancer
My kitty go hard, it’s the shape of a panther...."
Cascada San Francisco Cascada is a German dance music group formed in 2004. This is a EuroDance song from their 2011 album "Original Me" that has been criticized as being similar to Katy Perry's "California Gurls." I don't know why the singer wants to go back to 1969. 1967 was The Summer Of Love. That's the year I would set my time machine for, if I was her.


"I'll take you back to 1969
Let's hit the city of freedom, like old times
It's getting dirty
Underneath the blue sky
Imagine you and me count the butterflies

One, two, three
Let's bring it on
Keep on dancing in the streets of love
French kissing on JFK Drive
Till we crash at the beach
Where we watch the sun rise

Tell me what you waiting for

We're crossing the Golden Gate
Party at the Frisco Bay

Wake me up in San Francisco

We knew the power is in your head, girl
Party everywhere, girl

Wake me up in San Francisco

Where the love is in the air
All the people stop and stare
Baby take me back to the city of love
To the place that I've been dreaming of

San Francisco


Wake me up in San Francisco

It's 10 pm
Getting ready for the night
Wanna be a hippie when the city's getting high
I'm cruising down Broadway, you on my side
Pulling over my pink rover at the Hungry Eye

One, two, three
Let's bring it on
DJ play my favorite beats
All night long
Poppin' some bottles, champagne, red wine
And we both giddy up on the rooftop
And watch the city lights

Tell me what you waiting for

We're crossing the Golden Gate
Party at the Frisco Bay

Wake me up in San Francisco..."
Neko Case In California The Alt Country queen from the Northwest dreams of snow now that she's living in L.A. where the sun always shines and the palm trees are laughing at her.


"In California I dream of snow
And all the places we used to go
With the night falling down
With the night falling down
Now I'm living in Korea Town
Waking to the sound of car alarms

I remember your face when I showed you the ticket
Said you were happy for me, your heart wasn't in it
Just a phone call away
Now there's nothing to say
As the days roll by, disconnected

In the land where the sun is always shining on
Crying alone, palm tress are laughing at me
Another fool playing songs that don't matter
For people who chatter endlessly"
Neko Case Thrice All American (Tacoma) This isn't really a California song, but in her great 2000 song about her home town Tacoma Washington, which had seen hard times when she wrote the song, Neko Case gets in a dig at California singing "God bless California, make way for the Walmart. I hope they don't find you Tacoma." Sorry Neko, they opened a Walmart in Tacoma in 2013.


"I want to tell you about my hometown
It's a dusty old jewel in the South Puget Sound
Well the factories churn and the timbers all cut down
And life goes by slow in Tacoma

People they laugh when they hear you're from my town
They say it's a sour and used up all place
I defended its honor, shrugged off the put downs
You know that you're poor, from Tacoma

Buildings are empty like ghettos or ghost-towns
It gives me a chill to think what was inside
I can't seem to fathom the dark of my history
I invented my own in Tacoma

There was nothing to put me in love with the good life
I'm in league with the the gangs guns, and the crime
There was no hollow promise that life would reward you
There was nowhere to hide in Tacoma

People who built it they loved it like I do
There was hope in the trainyard of something inspired
Once was I on it, but it's been painted shut
I found passion for life in Tacoma

Well I don't make it home much, I sadly neglect you
But that's how you like it away from the world
God bless California, make way for the Walmart
I hope they don't find you Tacoma"
Johnny Cash Folsom Prison Blues Folsom State Prison is near Sacramento. Cash said he wrote this 1955 song after watching a movie about the prison when he was in the Air Force in Germany, but he used the melody and many of the lyrics from the 1953 song "Crescent City Blues" written by Gordon Jenkins. Jenkins sued and Cash paid him a settlement in 1968. Some say that Sam Phillips of Son Records is the one who refused to credit Jenkins. Cash's song is much better, but this is just another example of powerful people stealing from the less powerful and I have a hard time appreciating this song without hating Cash. The song became a huge hit and Cash later made a classic country album recorded live at the prison.


"I hear the train a comin'
It's rolling round the bend
And I ain't seen the sunshine since I don't know when
I'm stuck in Folsom Prison, and time keeps draggin' on
But that train keeps a rollin' on down to San Antone

When I was just a baby my mama told me. Son
Always be a good boy, don't ever play with guns
But I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die
When I hear that whistle blowing, I hang my head and cry

I bet there's rich folks eating in a fancy dining car
They're probably drinkin' coffee and smoking big cigars
Well I know I had it coming, I know I can't be free
But those people keep a movin'
And that's what tortures me

Well if they freed me from this prison
If that railroad train was mine
I bet I'd move it on a little farther down the line
Far from Folsom Prison, that's where I want to stay
And I'd let that lonesome whistle blow my blues away"
Nick Cave and Warren Ellis All the Gold in California The always cheerful Australian song and dance man does his version of the 1979 Gatlin Brothers song for the soundtrack to the HBO series True Detective.


"All the gold in California is in a bank in the middle of Beverly Hills
In somebody else's name, so if you're dreaming about California
It don't matter at all where you've played before
California's a brand new game

Tryin' to be a hero, winding up a zero
Can scar a man forever right down to your soul
Living on the spotlight can kill a man outright
'Cause everything that glitters is not gold

And all the gold in California is in a bank in the middle of Beverly Hills
In somebody else's name, so if you're dreaming about California
It don't matter at all where you've played before
California's a brand new game...."
Exene Cervenka Alone in Arizona Exene Cervenka was one of the vocalists from the seminal L.A. punk band X. She also sang with the Knitters and other bands. She wrote this song and included it on her 2011 album "The Excitement Of Maybe." Her former X bandmate John Doe also sings a version of the song.


"My heart is blue with losing you
My soul is still losing you
The road is rough, I'm losing you
The sun beats down, I'm losing you

My heart's in California, I'm alone in Arizona
My heart's in California, I'm alone in Arizona

Found her where it shouldn't be, I'm losing you
Cactus run away from me, I'm losing you
The shades I've drawn, I'm losing you
My eyes are closed, I'm losing you

My heart's in California, I'm alone in Arizona
My heart's in California, I'm alone in Arizona

My heart is blue with losing you
My soul is still losing you
The road is rough, I'm losing you
The sun beats down, I'm losing you

My heart's in California, I'm alone in Arizona...."
Harry Chapin Taxi Harry Chapin was a Grammy-winning pop rock singer-songwriter from New York who produced a lot of hits in his short life, including his #1 hit "Cat's in the Cradle." This song is from his 1972 album "Heads & Tales." While the song is about a taxi driver in San Francisco who picks up an old girlfriend, don't bother to look for her address, it doesn't exist.


"It was raining hard in 'Frisco
I needed one more fare to make my night
A lady up ahead waved to flag me down
She got in at the light

Oh, where you going to, my lady blue
It's a shame you ruined your gown in the rain
She just looked out the window
She said, Sixteen Parkside Lane

Something about her was familiar
I could swear I'd seen her face before
But she said, I'm sure you're mistaken
And she didn't say anything more

It took a while, but she looked in the mirror
And she glanced at the license for my name
A smile seemed to come to her slowly
It was a sad smile, just the same

And she said, How are you Harry
I said, How are you Sue
Through the too many miles
And the too little smiles
I still remember you

It was somewhere in a fairy tale
I used to take her home in my car
We learned about love in the back of a Dodge
The lesson hadn't gone too far

You see, she was gonna be an actress
And I was gonna learn to fly
She took off to find the footlights
And I took off to find the sky

Oh, I've got something inside me
To drive a princess blind
There's a wild man, wizard
He's hiding in me, illuminating my mind
Oh, I've got something inside me
Not what my life's about
'Cause I've been letting my outside tide me
Over 'til my time, runs out

(Baby's so high that she's skying)
(Yes, she's flying, afraid to fall)
(I'll tell you why baby's crying)
('Cause she's dying, aren't we all)

There was not much more for us to talk about
Whatever we had once was gone
So I turned my cab into the driveway
Past the gate and the fine trimmed lawns


And she said, we must get together
But I knew it'd never be arranged
And she handed me twenty dollars
For a two fifty fare
She said, Harry, keep the change


Well, another man might have been angry
And another man might have been hurt
But another man never would've let her go
I stashed the bill in my shirt

And she walked away in silence
It's strange, how you never know
But we'd both gotten what we'd asked for
Such a long, long time ago

You see, she was gonna be an actress
And I was gonna learn to fly
She took off to find the footlights
And I took off for the sky

And here, she's acting happy
Inside her handsome home
And me, I'm flying in my taxi
Taking tips, and getting stoned
I go flying so high, when I'm stoned"
Charlene I've Never Been to Me Charlene is a singer from Hollywood who only had one big hit - this one. It's original release in 1977 was unsuccessful, but its re-release in 1982 charted at #3. I have nothing against women who are happily married with children or against women who choose to give up their dreams to stay in a loveless marriage and raise their children (thanks mom!) but this has to be one of the most anti-feminist songs ever written. The singer tries to convince a woman that it's better to give up her dreams and stay in an unhappy marriage than it is to be making love in the sun in paradise and sipping champagne on a yacht - a woman who tries to be free only ends up alone because only babies will make her complete. It's not hard to tell that the lyrics were written by a man, is it? (Along with the awful cloying melody, too.)


"Hey lady, you lady
Cursing at your life
You're a discontented mother
And a regimented wife
I've no doubt you dream about
The things you'll never do
But, I wish someone had talked to me
Like I wanna talk to you

Whoooa, I've been to Georgia
And California and anywhere I could run
Took the hand of a preacher man
And we made love in the sun
But I ran out of places
And friendly faces
Because I had to be free
I've been to paradise
But I've never been to me

Please lady, please, lady
Don't just walk away
'Cause I have this need to tell you
Why I'm all alone today
I can see so much of me
Still living in your eyes
Won't you share a part
Of a weary heart
that has lived a million lies

Whoooa, I've been to Nice
And the Isle of Greece
While I've sipped champagne on a yacht
I've moved like Harlow in Monte Carlo
And showed 'em what I've got
I've been undressed by kings
And I've seen some things
That a woman ain't supposed to see
I've been to paradise
But I've never been to me

[Spoken Bridge - not in all versions]

Hey, you know what paradise is
It's a lie
A fantasy we create about people
And places as we'd like them to be
But you know what truth is
It's that little baby you're holding
And it's that man you fought with this morning
The same one you're going to make love with tonight
That's truth, that's love...."

Sometimes I've been to crying
For unborn children
That might have made me complete
But I, I took the sweet life
I never knew
I'd be bitter from the sweet
I've spent my life exploring
The subtle whoring
That costs too much to be free
Hey lady, I've been to paradise
But I've never been to meeeeeee

I've been to paradise
(Never been to me)

I've been to Georgia
And California and anywhere I could run
I've been to paradise
(Never been to me)

I've been to Nice
And the Isle of Greece
While I've sipped champagne on a yacht
I've been to paradise
(Never been to me)"
Charlie Daniels Band, The Uneasy Rider Charlie Daniels is a country, bluegrass, southern rock musician best known for the fiddling duel with the Devil in his hit "The Devil Went Down to Georgia." This top ten hit is a silly spoken narrative country novelty song with a guitar background from the band's 1973 album, "Honey in the Rock." The title plays with the title of the movie "Easy Rider." It's about a man driving to L.A. who gets a flat tire in Jackson Mississippi. Back then a man with long hair was considered an offensive "hippy-type, pinko fag" with "a commie flag" by red-necks. (Must have been before the longhaired Alman Brothers Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd got popular.) At the end, the singer considers rerouting his trip to L.A. via Omaha, which doesn't make any sense since it would add about a thousand miles of driving, and since, in 1973, long-hairs weren't very safe anywhere outside of big cities, not even in California, and you can't hid your hair under your hat forever....


"I was takin a trip out to L.A.
Toolin along in my Cheverolet
Tokin' on a number and diggin' on the radio

Just as I crossed the Mississippi line
I heard that highway start to whine
And I knew that left rear tire was about to blow

Well the spare was flat and I got uptight
Cause there wasn't a filling station in sight
So I just limped on down the shoulder on the rim

I went as far as I could and when I stopped the car
It was right in front of this little bar
Kind of a red-neck lookin' joint called the Dew Drop Inn

I stuffed my hair up under my hat
And told the bartender that I had a flat
And would he be kind enough to give me change for a one

There was one thing I was sure proud to see
There wasn't a soul in the place except for him and me
He just looked disgusted and pointed toward the telephone

I called up the station down the road a ways
He said he wasn't very busy today
And he could have someone out there in just about 10 minutes or so

He said, "Now, you just stay right where yer at!"
And I didn't bother to tell the darn fool
That I sure as hell didn't have anyplace else to go

I just ordered up a beer and sat down at the bar
When some guy walked in and said, "Who owns this car
With the peace sign, the mag wheels and the four on the floor?"

He looked at me and I damn near died
And I decided that I'd just wait outside
So I laid a dollar on the bar and headed for the door

Just when I thought I'd get outta there with my skin
These 5 big dudes come strollin' in
With one old drunk chick and some fella with green teeth

I was almost to the door when the biggest one
Said, "You tip your hat to this lady, son!"
And when I did, all that hair fell out from underneath

Now the last thing I wanted was to get into a fight
In Jackson Mississippi on a Saturday night
Especially when there was three of them and only one of me

They all started laughin and I felt kinda sick
And I knew I better think of something pretty quick
So I just reached out and kicked old green teeth right in the knee

Now he let out a yell that'd curl yer hair
But before he could move I grabbed me a chair
And said "Now watch him Folks cause he's a thoroughly dangerous man!"

"You may not know it but this man is a spy.
He's a undercover agent for the FBI
And he's been sent down here to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan!"

He was still bent over holdin on to his knee
But everybody else was looking and listening to me
And I laid it on thicker and heavier as I went

I said, "Would you believe this man has gone as far
As tearing Wallace stickers off the bumpers of cars.
And he voted for George McGovern for President."

"Well, he's a friend of them long haired, hippy-type, pinko fags!
I betchya he's even got a commie flag
tacked up on the wall inside of his garage."

"He's a snake in the grass, I tell ya guys.
He may look dumb but that's just a disguise,
He's a mastermind in the ways of espionage"

They all started lookin' real suspicious at him
And he jumped up and said "Now just wait a minute Jim!
You know he's lying I been living here all of my life!"

"I'm a faithful follower of Brother John Birch
And I belong to the Antioch Baptist Church.
And I ain't even got a garage, you can call home and ask my wife!"

Then he started saying somethin bout the way I was dressed
But I didn't wait around to hear the rest
I was too busy moving and hoping I didn't run outta luck

When I hit the ground I was making tracks
And they were just taking my car down off the jacks
So I threw the man a twenty and jumped in and fired that mother up

Mario Andretti wouldda sure been proud
Of the way I was movin' when I passed that crowd
Coming out the door and headed toward me at a trot

And I guess I should of gone ahead and run
But somehow I just couldn't resist the fun
Of chasing them all just once around the parking lot

Well they headed for their car, but I hit the gas
And spun around and headed them off at the pass
I was slinging gravel and putting a ton of dust in the air

I had them all out there steppin' and fetchin'
Like their heads was on fire and their asses was catchin'
then I figgered I had better go ahead and split before the cops got there

When I hit the road I was really wheelin'
Had gravel flyin' and rubber squeelin'
And I didn't slow down till I was almost to Arkansas

I think I'm gonna reroute my trip
I wonder if anybody'd think I'd flipped
If I went to L.A., via Omaha"
Cheap Trick
California Man A 1978 cover of the 1972 song by The Move (Roy Wood's band that became The Electric Light Orchestra) with a bunch of classic boogie rock nonsense lyrics about a party where the jive is really cool and he's a California man and can't stop dancing and all that.


"Goin' to a party,
Meet me on after school.
Well we're goin to a place
Where the jive is really cool.

And if the band stops a playin'
There's a jukebox down the hall.
And with your blue dress on, your folks all gone.
You're sure to give the guys a ball.

Get that real guitar boy shakin',
I'm a California man,
Dance right on till the floors are breakin'
I'm a California man."
Cheat Codes Home Cheat Codes is a trio of DJs based in Los Angeles. This is a dance-pop song released in 2018.


"Blonde hair and a sun dress
Cocaine on her lips
She is new to Los Angeles, uh
Not used to the lifestyle
Not used to the rules
Don't know if she can handle it

So come in close and stay right by my side, side, side
Believe me, baby, I know what it's like

And she said
Home, it feels like home when I'm with you
Home, it feels like home when I'm with you
Leave it all behind
Put your hand in mine
Home, it feels like home when I'm with you

Feels like home
Feels like home

Spend time like a Rolex
I'll order a car
Take her where she hasn't been, oh yeah
Undress at the coat check
Make out at the bar
She bad but she's innocent

So come in close and stay right by my side, side, side
Believe me, baby, I know what it's like...."
Cheech & Chong Born in East L.A. Cheech & Chong are a comedy duo who formed in Vancouver Canada. Cheech is from southern California. They did stand-up on stage, made records, and made movies. This song is a parody of the Bruce Springsteen song "Born in the U.S.A." Both were released in 1984. After the duo split up, Cheech Marin made a movie based on the song that was released in 1987. East L.A. is a neighborhood historically made up almost entirely of residents of Latin American heritage (96 percent in 2010.)


(Cheech:)
Took a walk to the corner store
Just to buy a loaf of bread and a box of s'mores
Up pulled a guy in a yellow van
Shiny gold badge flashing in his hand

He said,
(Chong:)
Alright all you mojados down here
I want you all to hit the floor
I got one thing to ask you and nothing more
So answer in English, if you can
Where were ya born, man

(Cheech:)
Huh? Where was I born?
(Chong:)
That's right, I said
Where were ya born?
(Cheech:)
Hey, are you one of those dudes who do horoscopes, man
Hey, I'm a Cancer with a bad moon rising
(Chong:)
Look here el vago, watch my lips
Where were ya born?

(Cheech:)
I was born in East L.A.
Man, I was born in East L.A.
(Chong:)
Oh yeah, you were born in East L.A.
Well let's see your green card, hun?
(Cheech:)
Huh? Green card?
I'm from East L.A.
(Chong:)
Alright, then who's President of the United States
(Cheech:)
Oh, that's easy, man
That guy that used to be on Death Valley Days, John Wayne
(Chong:)
Alright, let's go, come on!

(Cheech:)
Next thing I know, I'm in a foreign land
People talkin so fast, I couldn't understand
There was nobody there to lend a helping hand
I was cold, it was dark, where is a burger stand?

I want to go back to East L.A.
I wish I was back in East L.A.
I don't belong here in downtown T.J.
Cause I was born in East L.A., ole!

I crawled under barbed wire, swam across a stream
Rode in six different trucks packed like a sardine
Walked all day in the burning sun
Now I know what it's like to be Born to Run

Up ahead was the promised land
Shining like a star just beyond my hand
All I could see was a golden door
I looked up, a sign said "Five Zillion Sold Sold"

And I was back in East L.A.
Yes, I was back in East L.A.
You know I'm never gonna stray
Cause I was born in East L.A. Orale!...."
The Cheers Black Denim Trousers and Motorcycle Boots This 1955 single was written by the famous songwriting team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. It's a teenage tragedy song that might be the first of the genre. A bunch of similar songs were written in the years following. The filthy biker in the song hits a diesel that was California bound while riding on Highway 101, and apparently then turns into a naked ghost biker. (Maybe he was even one on fire like the fiery biker in the Nicholas Cage movie.) I'm assuming the accident happened on the 101 in Oregon, but maybe it was in California.


"He wore black denim trousers and motorcycle boots
And a black leather jacket with an eagle on the back
He had a hopped-up 'cycle that took off like a gun
That fool was the terror of Highway 101

Well, he never washed his face and he never combed his hair
He had axle grease embedded underneath his fingernails
On the muscle of his arm was a red tattoo
A picture of a heart saying "Mother, I love you"

He had a pretty girlfriend by the name of Mary Lou
But he treated her just like he treated all the rest
And everybody pitied her 'cause everybody knew
He loved that doggone motorcycle best

He wore black denim trousers and motorcycle boots
And a black leather jacket with an eagle on the back
He had a hopped-up 'cycle that took off like a gun
That fool was the terror of Highway 101

Mary Lou, poor girl, she pleaded and she begged him not to leave
She said "I've got a feeling if you ride tonight I'll grieve"
But her tears were shed in vain and her every word was lost
In the rumble of his engine and the smoke from his exhaust

Then he took off like the Devil and there was fire in his eyes
He said "I'll go a thousand miles before the sun can rise"
But he hit a screamin' diesel that was California-bound
And when they cleared the wreckage, all they found

Was his black denim trousers and motorcycle boots
And a black leather jacket with an eagle on the back
But they couldn't find the 'cycle that took off like a gun
And they never found the terror of Highway 101."
The Cheetah Girls Christmas in California The Cheetah Girls are an American girl group that was formed for the 2003 Disney TV movie "The Cheetah Girls," based on a series of books, about four teen girls in Manhattan who are in a girl group. There are three Cheetah Girls movies, a few albums and some video games and probably lots of other marketing products, but I had never even heard of them until I discovered this song 14 years later. (Probably because I was never a tween girl.) This song is not from the movie soundtrack, it's from their 2005 album "Cheetah-licious Christmas." The title should have been "Christmas in Southern California" because you won't be getting a tan in Nor Cal in late December or catching any waves (at least not without a wet suit.)


"They got the snow
But we got the beach now
They're getting cold
We're getting pool side seats now

Yeah, we're surfin' through the holidays
bustin' out some candy canes
Hot in the sun

Yeah we're rollerskatin' everyday
Santa Claus is catching waves
Having some fun

(You know I'm talkin' 'bout)
Christmas time in California
All this fun here waiting for ya

They got the sleigh rides and sleigh bells too (Come on girls)
But we got convertables, at Christmas we cruise
We never made a snow man
But we're working on our sun tan

(Everyone knows)
That we can have a holiday
Celebrate it our way
(Come on lets go)

(You know I'm talkin' 'bout)
Christmas time in California
All this fun here waiting for ya

California is the place that you wnana be
Santa even likes our weather better out on Christmas Eve...."
Kenny Chesney California They don't get much bigger than Kenny Chesney in Country or any kind of music, and he has 30 million album sales and almost as many awards to prove it. This song is from his1999 album "Everywhere We Go." It's about a woman who thinks that going to sunny California will solve all her problems. Maybe it will.


"She lived at the end of a little dirt road
In a house where secrets go untold
Barefoot in a cotton dress
Dark hair in a tangled mess
And a head full of crazy dreams
She said

I'm goin' to California
A place where the sun always shines
I'm goin' to California
And I'm leavin' everything behind

You can't help but feel a little bit touched
When your daddy loves you a little too much
You can wish on four leaf clovers
But all the fields have been plowed over
And there's nothin' left to do but fly away
She said

I'm goin' to California
A place where the sun always shines
I'm goin' to California
And I'm leavin' everything behind

Stars burn like candles on that two-lane highway
She made her wish, and disappeared on her 18th birthday
And she said

I'm goin' to California
A place where the sun always shines
I'm goin' to California
And I'm leavin' everything behind

I'm goin' to California
And I'm leavin' everything behind

Oh California
I'm goin' to California
Oh California
Leavin' it all behind
California"
Kenny Chesney El Cerrito Place A cover of a song written by Keith Gattis and originally recorded by Charlie Robison from Country megastar Kenny Chesney's 2012 album "Welcome to the Fishbowl." El Cerrito Place supposedly refers to some apartments in Hollywood. The song also name checks Pioneertown.


"I been hangin' round this place, I been lookin' through your space
I been waitin' for you, I've been waitin' for you
All the places that you go, all the people that you know
I've been lookin' for you, I've been lookin' for you

And all these pretty people up on El Cerrito Place
They all got somethin' in their pockets, all got somethin' on their face
They roll down to La Brea where it meets the boulevard
Singin' hallelujah while they dance over the stars
They all say they're goin' far

Me I've been lookin' for you baby, I've been lookin' for you baby
I've been lookin' for you baby, I've been lookin' for you baby
All night long, all night long, all night long

Someone said they might have seen you where the ocean meets the land
So I've been out here all night lookin' for your footprints in the sand
Did you hear the ocean singing, baby did you sing along
While you danced out in the water to some ol' forgotten song,
Were you even here at all?

Me I've been lookin' for you baby, I've been lookin' for you baby
I've been lookin' for you baby, I've been lookin' for you baby
All night long, all night long, all night long

Somehow I wound up in the desert just after daylight
Where the Joshua Trees grow that little place you always liked
These Pioneertown people ain't got too much to say
And if you ever were here baby they ain't givin' you away

Now it's been two days
I'm still lookin' for you baby, I've been lookin' for you baby
I've been lookin' for you baby, I've been lookin' for you baby
All night long, all night long, all night long

And all these pretty people up on El Cerrito Place
They all got somethin' in their pockets, all got somethin' on their face

Someone said they might have seen you where the ocean meets the land
So I've been out here all night lookin' for your footprints in the sand

Think I'll go back to the city, back to El Cerrito Place
That's the last time that I saw that pretty smile upon your face
I've been lookin' for you baby"
Kenny Chesney Get Along Kenny Chesney spends half his time playing stadiums in front of hundreds of thousands of shoeless fans, half his time counting big piles of money and country music awards, and the other half of his time kicking back on a beach in a tank top with Jimmy Buffett. That's entirely true, as I see it. In this post-truth world, you can see it however you want. Can't we all just get along?

The singer of this inspirational 2018 country song wonders if a woman he saw on a highway billboard advertising some kind of sex phone line got stranded there on her way to L.A. where she hoped to achieve a higher level of success in the entertainment industry. I wonder - are there still phone sex lines? Maybe that billboard has been there since the 90s.


"Met a man wearin' a t-shirt, says "Virginia is for lovers"
Had a Bible in his left hand and a bottle in the other
He said "all you're really given is the sunshine and your name"
We both started laughin' when the sky started to rain

Get along, on down the road
We've got a long long way to go
Scared to live, scared to die
We ain't perfect but we try

Get along while we can
Always give love the upper hand
Paint a wall, learn to dance
Call your mom, buy a boat
Drink a beer, sing a song
Make a friend, can't we all get along

Saw a model on a billboard, 1-800 get to know me
Wondered was she photoshopped, or were her eyes really that lonely?
Did she leave her hometown thinkin' she'd end up in L.A.?
Did she break down in the desert and get stuck beside the highway?

Get along, on down the road
We've got a long long way to go
Scared to live, scared to die
We ain't perfect but we try

Get along while we can
Always give love the upper hand
Paint a wall, learn to dance
Call your mom, buy a boat
Drink a beer, sing a song
Make a friend, can't we all get along...."
Chicago South California Purples

Describing themselves as a rock and roll band with horns, Chicago (originally called Chicago Transit Authority) formed in Chicago in 1967 then went on to record a steady stream of hits into the 80s, becoming one of the best selling groups of all time. This is from their debut album "Chicago Transit Authority" released in 1969. On a cloudy day, the singer wonders where the fabled California sun is. L.A. is cold and cloudy when you've lost your girl and you've got the blues. Or the purples, in this case. (Maybe he should try looking in "Southern California," since there's no place called "South California.")


"I thought this was a warm place
I must be in the wrong place.
Thought this was a warm place
I must be in the wrong place.
And I don't know where I'm going
Since my lover left me.
Never no smile on my face.
I am he is you are he is you are me and we are all together, woah woah.
Buddy, this ain't L.A.
I've travelled such a long way.
Buddy, this ain't L.A.
I've travelled such a long way,
And I still don't know where I'm going.
But without my baby
I better not stay."

Chilly Come to L.A. Chilly was a German disco group from 1978-1983. This is one of their hits, from their 1979 album "Come to L.A." Disco does not get any cheesier than this.


"In L.A. there's beautiful ladies
Hey L.A., you beautiful town

A town full of musical people
Where true stars are always found
Come, come, come
Come, come, come, come to L.A.
Come, come, come
Come, come, come, come to L.A.

Down on the boulevard, man, it's hot
And disco lights are flashing fancy colours

Hell's Angels, movie stars and limousines
L.A.'s got just what you want
L.A.'s got just what you want
L.A.'s got just what you want
... ... ...
Glittery tights, satin ballet shoes
A fashion that's catching every man by the eye
Temperature rise when they see me walk by
Asking where I live and is it far?

Come, come, come
Come, come, come, come to L.A.
Come, come, come
Come, come, come, come to L.A.
Come, come, come
Come, come, come, come to L.A.
Come, come, come
Come, come, come, come to L.A....."
Chris & Herb Bakersfield Bound Chris & Herb are Chris Hillman, who was a founding member of the Byrds, the Flying Burrito Brothers and other bands, and Herb Pederson, a studio musician for many years and a producer. This is a country song in the Bakersfield Country style from their album with the same name released in 1996.


"I was the youngest boy in a family of four
We lived in Oklahoma, the wind whistled through our door
We scratched out a living in the dirt and the clay
I never will forget it until my dying day

The dust storms they came at us, the sky turned cold and black
We packed up our belongings and never looked back
We rode out west toward the sun just a heartbeat away
I never will forget it until my dying day

We were Bakersfield bound and the California dream
Down the road lay the promised land, our fields would all turn green
We were Bakersfield bound like so many gone before
Just to cross our river Jordan and reach the other shore

When we first set eyes on the San Joaquin was like a friend we always knew
The gates swung open so far and wide even God could drive through
We worked the crops from dawn to dusk, shared along the way
I never will forget it until my dying day

We were Bakersfield bound and the California dream
Down the road lay the promised land, our fields would all turn green
We were Bakersfield bound like so many gone before
Crossed our river Jordan and reached the other shore
Crossed our river Jordan and reached the other shore"
Cigarettes After Sex Each Time You Fall in Love Cigarettes After Sex is a band from El Paso, Texas, know for their dream-like musical style and lead singer Greg Gonzalez' sensual androgenous voice. This song is from their self-titled album, released in 2017.
(Also recommened: Nothing's Gonna Hurt You Baby, 2012, and Falling in Love, 2019.)


"Each time you fall in love it’s clearly not enough
You sleep all day and drive out in L.A.
It isn’t safe

and each time you kiss a girl you never know what it’s worth
You say all of the words they wanna hear
It isn’t real

She took you for a ride in summer baby
Lost all your money to her
All I wanna know is if you love her how come you never give in

Each time you have a dream you never know what it means
You see that open road and never know which way to go

and each time you fall in love it’s clearly not enough
You sleep all day and drive out in L.A.
It isn’t safe…"
Circle Jerks Beverly Hills Circle Jerks were a hardcore punk band formed in 1979 in L.A. This is from the band's first studio album "Group Sex" released in 1980.


"Beverly Hills, Century City
Everything's so nice and pretty
All the people look the same
Don't they know they're so damn lame

There she goes
Three piece suit
Spandex pants
Cowboy boots

I don't know what I'm gonna do
I don't know what I'm gonna do
Maybe I'll have to move from

Beverly Hills, Century City
Everything's so nice and pretty
All the people look the same
Don't they know they're so damn lame

There she goes
Three piece suit
Spandex pants
Fiorucci too
Beverly Hills, Century City!"
Eric Clapton San Francisco Bay Blues This is a cover of the Jesse Fuller 1954 original. It was included on Clapton's 1992 album "Unplugged" which won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year.
The lyrics are listed under Jessie Fuller.
Gene Clark Los Angeles Gene Clark was a founding member of the great L. A. band The Byrds who pioneered folk rock in the mid 1960's. Clark wrote a lot of their songs including a couple of their best - "Eight Miles High" and "I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better." "Los Angeles" is a solo recording from Flying High, released in 1998 and containing previously unavailable tracks, but I don't know when the song itself was recorded. Clark left the Byrds in 1966 and died in 1991.


"Los Angeles, city of the doomed
Los Angeles, city of the doomed
Well I loved you once but I gotta go, yeah

San Francisco, city pretty by the bay
San Francisco, city pretty by the bay
Well I loved you once but I gotta go, yeah

Well I don't know where she'll be going
Yeah I saw her about a day or so ago
Yeah I don't know if I should look for her
Well I'd say she's gone down to San Diego

Los Angeles, city of the doomed
Los Angeles, city of the doomed
Well I loved you once but I gotta go, yeah"
Guy Clark L.A. Freeway A classic country/folk song from 1974 by a great Texas singer and songwriter. I like the solo version you can hear on YouTube. This song has been covered by lots of other performers.


"Pack up all your dishes.
Make note of all good wishes.
Say goodbye to the landlord for me.
That son of a bitch has always bored me.
Throw out them L.A. papers
And that moldy box of vanilla wafers.
Adios to all this concrete.
Gonna get me some dirt road back street

If I can just get off of this L.A. freeway
Without getting killed or caught
I'd be down that road in a cloud of smoke
For some land that I ain't bought bought bought"
Shana Cleveland Face of the Sun Shana Cleveland is an L.A. based artist and vocalist and guitarist for the surf noir rock band La Luz. This psychedelic folk song is from her solo album "Night of the Worm Moon" released in 2019.


"Guitar baby you've stumbled
Right into the blinding light
Looking to the face of the sun
Rode a midwest song
All the way to San Francisco Bay
Looking to the face of the sun

When you have all
All you want so young
So hard to start new
Still defined by who you
Were back then
But that’s no longer you

Good friends burned bright and blew out
And now you're still around
Looking to the face of the sun
Barflies wait in a smiling line
To ask you what it's like
Looking to the face of the sun

When you have all
You want so young
So hard to start new
Still defined by who you
Were back then
But that’s no longer you

Guitar baby you've stumbled
Right into the blinding light
Looking to the face of the sun
Rode a midwest song
All the way to San Francisco Bay
Looking to the face of the sun"
Coconut Records (Jason Schwartzman) West Coast Coconut Records is an indie pop music solo project by L.A. based Jason Schwartzman, who is also an actor, a member of the Coppola family, and a former member of the band Phantom Planet. This is from his 2007 album, Nighttiming. I'm declaring here that the West Coast to which the singer is going back home, is California, since Schwartzman grew up in L.A. If he tells me that I'm wrong, that he is referring to his home in Perth, or maybe his home in Panama City, or Puerto Vallarta, or Mumbai, then I will remove this.


"For a second there I thought you disappeared
It rains a lot this time of year
And we both go together if one falls down
I talk out loud like you're still around
No, no

And I miss you
I'm goin' back home to the West Coast
I wish you would've put yourself in my suitcase
I love you
Standin' all alone in a black coat
I miss you
I'm goin' back home to the West Coast

And if you shake her hard enough she will appear
Tonight I think I'll be stayin' here
And you never did like this town
I talk out loud like you're still around
No, no

And I miss you
I'm goin' back home to the West Coast
I wish you would've put yourself in my suitcase
I love you
Standin' all alone in a black coat
I miss you
I'm goin' back home to the West Coast

Come on, everybody

La la la la, la la la la-la
La la la la, la la la la-la

So pack up the bags to beat back the clock
Do I let her sleep or should I wake her up?
You said
We both go together if one falls down
Yeah, right, heh
I talk out loud like you're still around
Oh, no, no

And I miss you
I'm goin' back home to the West Coast
I wish you would've put yourself in my suitcase
I love you
Standin' all alone in a black coat
I miss you
I'm goin' back home to the West Coast

Goin' back home to the West Coast
Goin' back home to the West Coast"
Gabriella Cohen Music Machine Gabriella Cohen is an Australian musician. This song is from her 2018 album "Pink is the Colour of Unconditional Love." The singer disparages L.A. because girls strut around in bikinis while homeless people sleep on sidewalks. I saw the same thing in Sydney.


"We're all looking for that small green
Or we're looking for something in between
We're wondering if we can park on your street
I took a left not a right but you didn't see me

I think your garden needs a couple of trees
You think you drive but I have your keys

I said I love you and you know what I mean
I take it slow on the road while the traffic beeps
I'm playing gigs in the music machine
In the music machine
In the music machine

I like L.A. cos the people are mean
I like L.A. cos the people seem clean
I saw many homeless on the concrete
While bikini girls strut down Venice Beach

I'm doing time in the industry
I go to parties but I'm not in your scene
My mama thinks I'm doing gigs for free
I'm playing gigs but I'm
Anti-machine

I said I love you and you know what I mean
I take it slow on the road while the traffic beeps
I'm playing gigs in the music machine
In the music machine
In the music machine"
Nat King Cole Midnight Flyer Nat King Cole was an American jazz pianist who became a very popular singer. In a previous hit (below) he was driving on Route 66, but this time the singer is on a train to L.A. to try to get his girl back, something a lot of singers have tried without ever telling us if they were successful. The song won a Grammy Award in 1959.


"Midnight flyer
Take me to L.A.
Midnight flyer
Take me to L.A.

There'll be a whole lot of kissing
When I jump off that Santa Fe

Midnight flyer
Roll on down the track
Midnight flyer
Roll on down the track

The quicker I get there
The sooner I'll get her back

A pocket full of money
A heart full of pain
I won't be myself
Until I see her again
... ... ...
I got a whole lot of dust
On my dancing shoes
And I've got a lot of loving
That I haven't used

Midnight flyer
Be on your way
Midnight flyer
Be on your way...."
Nat King Cole (Get Your Kicks On) Route 66 This rock classic was written in 1946 by Bobby Troupe, recorded first the same year by the King Cole Trio, and recorded by many more musicians, including Chuck Berry in 1961 and the Rolling Stones in 1964. My family moved to California from St. Louis to L.A. driving almost the complete length of Route 66, so this song brings back some ancient childhood memories for me of motels of Indian tee-pees and my first exposure to the great southwestern deserts.


"Well if you ever plan to motor west
Just take my way that's the highway that's the best
Get your kicks on Route 66

Well it winds from Chicago to L.A.
More than 2000 miles all the way
Get your kicks on Route 66

Well it goes from St Louis,
down to Missouri
Oklahoma city looks oh so pretty
You'll see Amarillo and Gallup, New Mexico
Flagstaff, Arizona don't forget Winona
Kingsman, Barstow, San Bernadino
Would you get hip to this kindly tip
And go take that California trip
Get your kicks on Route 66"
Rodger Collins Foxy Girls in Oakland Rodger Collins is a funk singer and songwriter from Oakland by way of Texas who started his career in about 1960. This song was written by Joe Crane of the Hoodoo Rhythm Devils and recorded by Collins in 1970.


"Foxy little girls in Oakland
Somethin' like I never never seen before
Foxy little girls in Oakland
Somethin' like I never never seen before
Foxy little girls in Oakland
Like somethin' in a candy store

Pretty leg girls in Oakland
Struttin’ down East 14th
Skinny leg girls in Oakland
Struttin' and splittin’ down East 14th
Thick pretty legs in Oakland
Gonna knock you right off your feet
You don't watch your self

You can hear them ooh and awin’
All the way 'cross the bay
All of the guys in Frisco
Don’t do nothin' all day
But think about the girls in Oakland
And the way they goin' there to play
And they goin' to play
And now watch me play

True fine mamas in the East Bay
Shuckin’ and jivin’ at cha while they talk
True fine mamas in the East Bay
Shuckin’ and jivin’ at cha while they talk
But if they don’t know you’re watchin’
Might even see ‘em do the camel walk, camel walk

Look here, Oohee, all these girls are killin’ me
Make me happy, make me so happy I could slap my pappy...."
Colonel Loud (feat. Young Dolph, Ricco Barrino) California Colonel Loud is an American rapper from Florida, Atlanta and North Carolina. This song is from his 2015 album "Plug Talk." It's a celebration of California weed, women, and sunshine that features three other rappers - T. I., Young Dolph, and Ricco Barrino.


[Verse 1: T.I.]

"Bankroll Mob
Okay okay
You know, you know
Well I be
Bumping California Love on the West Side
Thanking God for the weed, women, and the sunshine

Dumb hot
Out on Sunset
Blowing kush
From the one time
You get a contact
Catch ya ass at the red light
Wanna run at 'em sideways in a Hellcat
On some run flat
By the way I
Never seen a better view, not in Malibu
Bunch of bad bitches naked in the swimming pool
Hear the waves crashing, playing spades in the living room (Cracking)
Sound like a Doggystyle interlude
Kurupt Gotti, nigga where the gas at?
Moon rock got me acting like I never had sh*t
From Bankhead to a Hollywood address
Same nigga tho
One on one get your ass kicked
Respect it more than a tad bit
Every hood every set though
Sheesh!
One time for the West Coast
L.A., the Bay, from Sacramento out to San Diego, California

[Hook: Ricco Barrino]

Stay getting that work in California
And all the killers they show me love in California
I flew a bitch from the A to California
And I be smoking on the best loud in California
Ayy California, oh California
I swear
I got to get back to that place to smoke on that Cali

[Verse 2: Young Dolph]

Palm trees in the air, the top pushed back
Blowing smoke out the roof cookies to be exact
I'm always in Cali cause this is where it's at
Bitches, bud, good weather, what you know bout that
Where all the fly bitches ride Benzs and Beamers
They either wanna be an actress, or a singer
I'm at the strip club on Sunset, throwing singles
With this bad bitch from Compton, pouring lean up
Breaking down backwoods, rolling gasoline up
Left the Laugh Factory, pulled up in Inglewood
I f**k with some crips and I f**k with some bloods
And I f**k with some esé
My stash house in the Valley
Welcome to my palace
Just went and killed two shows out in Dallas
Selling OG from LA and crates from the Bay

[Hook: Ricco Barrino

Stay getting that work in California
And all the killers they show me love in California
I flew a bitch from the A to California
And I be smoking on the best loud in California
Ayy California, oh California
I swear
I got to get back to that place to smoke on that Cali

[Verse 3: Colonel Loud]

You know I gotta show the West love
I had to take a trip to Cali for the best bud
I been chilling with the goons, yeah the real thugs
Went to Sacramento nigga met a real plug
I said I'm looking for the gas where the kill at
Want the strong gotta go where the hill at
I met a bad bopper chilling out in Frisco
Like to sip the lime-a-ritas and the sisco
I hopped my ass on the 101 and headed north
And when I hit the hill I found what I was looking for
I'm feeling like a leprechaun with a pot of gold
Bags of the gas yeah the Colonel got a soul
I fly a bitch from the A with 100 racks
Put her ass in a rental told her run it back
Fly another bitch in with 200 more
Welcome to California the State of gold...."
Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen Hot Rod Lincoln Commander Cody... is an American country rock band formed in the 60s. This was a top ten hit and the band's biggest hit, from their 1971 album, Lost in the Ozone. It's a cover of Charlie Ryan's 1955 rockabilly song that was an answer song to Arkie Shibley's "Hot Rod Race," a 1950 song about a hot rod race in San Pedro by. The full lyrics can be seen under Charley Ryan's entry.


"....Pulled out of San Pedro late one night
The moon and the stars was shinin' bright.
We was drivin' up Grapevine Hill
Passing cars like they was standing still....."
Concrete Blonde Still in Hollywood The singer of this L.A. punk band is stuck in "the city of sin" in this song from 1986.


"I was walking down the street early this morning
Past the graveyard, voices singin' to me.
I was walking down the street, early this morning
And the silver drops of rain hung from the leaves
And I swear I heard the voices singing to me...
Singing to the rhythm of the beat of my feet,
I swear I heard the voices singing to me -
Keep on, keep on, keep on.

Still in Hollywood!
Oh WOW! Thought I'd be out of here by now.
Still in Hollywood!
My, my I'm running on a wheel and I don't know why
I don't know why.
... ... ... ... ... ...

And so it's three A.M., I'm out walking again.
I'm just a spot on the sidewalk in the city of sin.
He doesn't give a f**k, he's living under a truck.
You know it coulda been me, guess it's just my luck.
But I swear I hear the voices singing to me -
Keep on, keep on, keep on.
Still in Hollywood..."
Ry Cooder Down in Hollywood Ry Cooder is a songwriter/musician from Santa Monica who has been active since 1967. He has an amazing list of achievements that includes producing the great Cuban music album "Buena Vista Social Club," making the soundtrack for Wim Wenders' great film "Paris Texas," and collaborating with Ali Farka Toure and other musicians from around the world. This is an R&B song featuring Chaka Khan from his 1979 album "Bop Till You Drop.


"Well, did you hear the good news ?
There's gonna be some bad blues
Somebody said they're playing all night long
So go and fill your brown bag and put on all your clean rags
Let's go downtown and see what's going on

You take me down the Vine Street
Stop when you hear the back beat
And I'll sneak past the bouncer at the door
Now I know that he ain't looking
Not when the band is cooking
Because he's watching the ladies dancing on the floor

Going down in Hollywood
You better hope that you don't run out of gas
Down in Hollywood
He'll drag you right out of your car and kick your ass
Down in Hollywood
They're standing on a corner waiting for a sucker like you
Down in Hollywood
Now, if you want to stay healthy just keep a-moving right on through
Be careful, don't look back, keep moving, keep moving

Well, the scotch has started flowing
And some girls she is showing everything she's got
Folks, it's a sight!
Some men will give a week's pay if she would just dance down their way and say
"Baby, I'm gonna take you home with me tonight"
Outside the streets is shaking and I hear the windows breaking
Some poor fool's gonna land in jail tonight
Well, all those hookers trying to pull your coat and the pimps reach out to cut your throat
Ain't no way out of here without a fight
(What's that fool saying ?)

Going down in Hollywood...."
Ry Cooder In My Town From his album "Chavez Ravine" released in 2005. This song, like many of them on this album deal with Chavez Ravine which was a Mexican-American neighborhood that was torn down to build public housing in the 1950's. Before the housing was built, Dodger Stadium was built on the site. Like most cities, much of modern day L. A. was built on the destruction of poor non-white neighborhoods by rich white developers.


"Up here on the hill, it's starting to rain,
The sun's disappearing through my windowpane,
And everything's still in my room.
Then a trolley goes by with its clattering sound,
Like a clock on the wall and the rain coming down,
And somebody's chattering way down the hall from my room.

From my room, I see old town.
Crook town, wop town, and spic town.
Black town, shack town, and hick town, from my room.
Looking down through the rain,
I think the future's going my way.
And there's a freeway coming soon
Right through this dirty old room.
Can't you see a 50-story building
Where a palm tree used to be?
Well, I like a town that's flat, I like a street that's tame.
You take out the trash; they all do the same.
But get back inside and remain, until notified.
I want a town that's clean and I want a rule that's maintained.

If you're brown, back down.
If you're black, get back.
Better white than right.
Better dead than red.
Better keep it contained in my town.
Now, in my town, I'm the big cheese.
Don't like all those commie rats in the palm trees
Up there in Chavez Ravine.
They come down here to City Hall,
Creating a big scene, crying "foul ball."
We'll put the head rat on the stand.
"Are you now or have you ever been?"
Chief runs a make; director runs the names.
I write the rules; I call the game.
There's the pitch, it's good; there goes your old neighborhood.

Tell the mayor duck out the back,
Tell the monsignor keep the deal under his hat.
Chavez Ravine plugged up, Bunker Hill ripped down.
Cement mixers spreading the word around.
This here is my town.
Then the trolley stops by on its way down the hill,
And somebody's passing by my window sill.
No shoes on the stairs, no knock at the door
Of my room, of my room.
Why should I go down?"
Elizabeth Cook Not California A 2010 tune from the smart and quicky country roots rocker. She didn't write it, but she sings it. It seems to be about someone who moved away from California and misses it. I've put a song of hers about a snake in the bed on the herp song list, too.


"Later on you're breaking the boxes down
There's nobody out tonight, nobody's hanging 'round
So you take the drive that used to be almost right
But now it's just empty lots around you
All these empty lots around you And they don't know
What you hold dear
and they can't see
That it's not California here

And it's not true
And it's not fair
And they're not us
And it's not California here...."
Coolio Fantastic Voyage Coolio is a rapper and producer from Compton, CA. (He's also a chef with a cooking show and a "Ghetto Gourmet" cookbook.) From his album "It Takes a Thief" released in 1994 this song was a huge hit on the pop charts. (In 1995 he had an even bigger worldwide hit with "Gangsta's Paradise.") This song mentions the California city of Watts one time but it's as good an example of West Coast G-funk as you'll ever find with its lyrics about gangs and drive-by shootings and the car culture of L.A. and its funk beat taken from "Fantastic Voyage" the #1 1980 party anthem by Ohio funk band Lakeside.


"Come on y'all let's take a ride
Don't you say s**t just get inside
It's time to take your ass on another kind of trip
'Cause you can't have the hop if you don't have the hip

Grab your gat with the extra clip and,
Close your eyes and hit the switch
We're going to a place where everybody kick it
Kick it, kick it, yeah, that's the ticket

Ain't no Bloodin', ain't no Crippin'
Ain't no punk-ass n***a's set trippin'
Everybody's got a stack and it ain't no crack
And it really don't matter if you're white or black

I want to take you there like the Staple Singers
Put something in the tank and I know that I can bring ya
If you can't take the heat get yo' ass out the kitchen
We're on a mission

Come along and ride on a fantastic voyage
Slide slide slippidy-slide
With switches on the block in a '65
Come along and ride on a fantastic voyage
Slide slide who-ride
Ain't no valley low enough or mountain high

I'm tryin' to find a place where I can live my life and
Maybe eat some steak with my beans and rice, a
Place where my kids can play outside
Without livin' in fear of a drive-by

And even if I get away from them drive-by killers
I still got to worry about those snitch-ass n****as
I keep on searching and I keep on looking
But n***as are the same from Watts to Brooklyn

I try to keep my faith in my people
But sometimes my people be acting like they evil
You don't understand about runnin' with a gang
'Cause you don't gang bang, and

You don't have to stand on the corner and slang
'Cause you got your own thang
You can't help me if you can't help yourself
You better make a left

Come along and ride on a fantasic voyage
Slide slide slippidy-slide
I do what I do just to survive
Come along and ride on a fantasic voyage
Slide slide who-ride
That's why I pack my 45

Life is a bitch and then you die
Still tryin' to get a peace of the apple pie
Every game ain't the same, coz the game still remains
Don't it seem kinda strange, ain't a damn thing change

If you don't work then you don't eat
And only down-ass n***as can ride with me
Hop-hop-hop your 5 quickly down the block
Stay sucka-free and keep the busters off your jock

You gotta have heart son, if you want to go,
Watch this sweet chariot swing low
Ain't nobody cryin' Ain't nobody dyin'
Ain't nobody worried, everybody´s tryin'

Nothin' from nothin' leaves nothin'
If you want to have something, you better start frontin'
What ya gonna do when the 5 roll by
You better be ready, so you can ride

Come along and ride on a fantastic voyage
Slide slide slippidy-slide
When you're living in a city it's do or die
Come along and ride on a fantastic voyage
Slide slide who-ride
You better be ready when the 5 roll by

Just roll along - that's what you do...."
Jonathan Coulton I Hate California An upbeat acoustic guitar tune from the 2003 first album of the singer-songwriter from Brooklyn known for writing quircky songs about science fiction and technology and geek culture and became popular using the internet. He doesn't hate the state, it's all about a girl.


"I hate California
There's something out there I just don't get
I know your friends out there must think I'm pretty strange
Because I dress as if the weather's gonna change
But it never does
I hate California

I hate California
The sun goes down the wrong side
Something in the water, maybe something in the sand
Maybe some west coast thing I'll never understand
Maybe just because
I hate California

I don't blame the Beach Boys
I don't blame Hollywood
I don't blame L.A.
Although I probably should
I don't blame the sky for its careless shade of blue
Lord knows I don't blame you
Lord knows I don't blame you

I hate California
One more beach day come and gone
And by the time you've finished gazing at the sea
3,000 miles away there's nothing left for me
If there ever was
I hate California...."
Counting Crows Holiday in Spain Counting Crows is a rock band from Berkeley, formed in 1991.
This is from the band's album "Hard Candy" released in 2002.


"Got no place to go
But there's a girl waiting for me down in Mexico
She's got a bottle of tequila, a bottle of gin
And if I bring a little music I can fit right in

We've got airplane rides
We got California drowning out the window side
We've got big black cars
And we've got stories how we slept with all the movie stars

I may take a holiday in Spain
Leave my wings behind me
Drink my worries down the drain
And fly away to somewhere new...."
Counting Crows A Long December This is from the band's album "Recovering the Satellites" released in 1996.


"A long December and there's reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last
I can't remember the last thing that you said as you were leavin'
Now the days go by so fast

And it's one more day up in the canyons
And it's one more night in Hollywood
If you think that I could be forgiven
I wish you would

The smell of hospitals in winter
And the feeling that it's all a lot of oysters, but no pearls
All at once, you look across a crowded room
To see the way that light attaches to a girl

And it's one more day up in the canyons
And it's one more night in Hollywood
If you think you might come to California
I think you should

Drove up to Hillside Manor sometime after 2 A.M
And talked a little while about the year
I guess the winter makes you laugh a little slower
Makes you talk a little lower
About the things you could not show her

And it's been a long December and there's reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last
I can't remember all the times I tried to tell my myself
To hold on to these moments as they pass

And it's one more day up in the canyon
And it's one more night in Hollywood
It's been so long since I've seen the ocean
I guess I should"
Counting Crows Perfect Blue Buildings This song is from the band's 1993 debut album "August and Everything After." Virginia and La Loma are streets on the north side of the U.C. Berkeley campus.


"Just down the street from your hotel, baby
I stay at home with my disease
And ain't this position familiar, darling
Well, all monkeys do what they see
Help me stay awake, I'm falling...
Down on Virginia and La Loma
Where I got friends who'll care for me
You got an attitude of everything I ever wanted
I got an attitude of need
Help me stay awake, I'm falling...

Asleep in perfect blue buildings
Beside the green apple sea
Gonna get me a little oblivion, baby
Try to keep myself away from me (myself and) me
It's 4:30 A.M. on a Tuesday
It doesn't get much worse than this
In beds in little rooms in buildings in the middle
of these lives which are completely meaningless
Help me stay awake, I'm falling...

I got bones beneath my skin, and mister...
There's a skeleton in every man's house
Beneath the dust and love and sweat that hangs on everybody
There's a dead man trying to get out
Please help me stay awake, I'm falling..."
Country Joe and the Fish Flying High A dose of Psychedelic Acid Rock from the Berkeley band, the first track off their first album released in 1967 "Electric Music For the Mind and Body" with a couple of LA mentions.


"I'm stuck on the L.A. freeway
Got rain water in my boots

My thumbs done froze, can't feel my toes
I feel a little destitute
Wheels throwing water all over my axe
And Mr. Jones won't lend me a hand
Up come two cats in a Cadillac
And they say: 'Won't you hop in, man?'
I went flying high all the way, all the way.

The one that's driving's got a bowler hat
The other's got a fez on his head
They turn around and grin and I grin back
But not a word was said
So I took out my harp and I played 'em a tune
I could see they were diggin' it
Then the one with the fez, well he turns and he says
'We'd like to help you make your trip.'
I went flying high all the way, all the way.

He said: 'We can't leave him out in the rain'
'He just might freeze and die'
'So why not put him on a plane'
'And send him home in the sky?'
So they took me to the L.A. airport
Laid twenty dollars in my hand
Well, I paid my fare, I'm in the air
Flying back home again
And I went flying high
All the way, yeah all the way, all the way
You know I went flying high all the way
Don't you know I went flying high all the way...."
Cracker El Cerrito Biologist Jeff Ahrens recommended that I add some songs from the new Cracker album, Berkeley to Bakersfield, released in December 2014, and I'm glad he did. Thanks to Cracker for producing a great fun political album about the state, dealing with topics others won't dare to touch (like the totalitarian tech industry that has overtaken our lives) leading off with "Torches and Pitchforks" (not on this list because it doesn't specifically mention the state) and it's revolutionary lyrics:

"We will fight you from the mountains
And we will fight you in the streets
And we will fight you in the valleys
You cannot take what isn't yours."

Berkeley to Bakersfield is a double album about California. The first one could be titled "Berkeley" (a liberal city with roots in social protest) with punk-based songs protesting economic inequality, much of it created by the Silicon Valley tech industry and its gentrification of the Bay Area. The second one could be titled "Bakersfield" (a conservative city with roots in the oil industry and country music) with country songs about the red state half of the golden state that most of the rest of the country is not aware of. I could list all of the songs on the album, but I'll just list a few of them below.

The song "El Cerrito" complains about the gentrification of the SF Bay Area fueled by the mostly south-bay tech companies and their conformist wealth-obsessed employees whose affluent lifestyles have driven up prices (especially housing prices) forcing many people to live elsewhere. There's a good article about the song in the San Jose Mercury News.


"Walkin down the street in San Francisco just the other day,
wondering what has happened to the freaks and hippies and the punks.
Everybody's squeaky clean. They look and dress and act the same.
I don't give a s**t about your IPO I live in El Cerrito.

Mama took the Alameda transit bus to work each day.
All the way down San Pablo.
30 years the Navy Base.
Never heard her once complain about taking public transportation.
You should ride the city bus just like the rest of us in El Cerrito.

Big moustache in taxi cabs. Don't you know that ???? scabs.
Union busting techy uber alles. I said it.
Bulls**t claims to change the world. Making Wall Street bankers even richer.
El Cerrito's got it's problems but we don't pick pockets of the workin' man.

Papa was an engineer. Worked at Hewlett-Packard.
Dumbarton bridge two times a day, then lost his job and pension.
We would go and visit him in bars in Jack London square.
I don't give a s**t about your IPO I come from El Cerrito.

Do do do do do do do do do do do
Do do do do do do do do do do do
El Cerrito

If there is a lesson from this story to be learned.
It's not exactly what you think.
You shouldn't be concerned.
It's not that we don't like the rich,
it's simply that we think it's kind of boring.
Everybody acts and thinks the same
that's why I live in El Cerrito."
Cracker Almond Grove From 2014's Berkeley to Bakersfield.


"Said goodbye to Miss Jenny, sleeping on a subway grate
Say goodbye to all the ladies, waiting for the tricks to show
Got a hundred dollars, more than I need to score
Got a hundred dollars, just enough to get me home

Yeah I'm going back home, to the cotton fields
To the almond groves, to the old homestead
See my Ma and Pa, mighty brother Jack
He went to Kandahar, but he never come back

Came from Maricopa, had no family left
Working for Evoclin, fell in with the narco set
Ended up a junkie, living in my brother's car
Don't shed a tear for me, home ain't so far
...
No he never come back

In a national boulevard, ladies don't you weep and moan
I've gone to a better place off the dirty streets
Mr Patel, won't you send my ashes home?
Spread 'em in the old family almond grove."
Cracker Beautiful From 2014's Berkeley to Bakersfield.


"If you haven't heard it
If you don't know it
If you don't think it
You are beautiful

Saw you working at the coffee shop
Saw you walking down Telegraph
Pink mohawk and Doc Marten boots
Don't you know that you're beautiful?

Let's buy records at Rasputin's
Let's see a show at Gilman Street
An anarchists' rally at People's Park
Don't you know you're beautiful?

If you don't know it
If you haven't heard it
If you don't think it
You are beautiful

If you come to doubt it
If you don't feel it
If you haven't heard it
You are beautiful

Now you own your own coffee shop
Punk rock shows at matinees
You got a little house west of San Pablo
Don't you know you're still beautiful?

Two teenagers with blue Mohawks
Working at the local fruit co-op
Everything's different but nothing has changed
Don't you know that you're beautiful?"
Cracker Big Dipper This one's slow and moody, about Santa Cruz and it's "Giant Dipper" roller coaster. David Lowery described Santa Cruz as combining "carrot juice and cigarettes." Like most of California, it's a combination of healthy/natural and carcinogenic.


"Cigarettes and carrot juice and get yourself a new tattoo
For those sleeveless days of June
I'm sitting on the Cafe Xeno's steps with a book I haven't started yet
Watching all the girls walk by

Could I take you out?
I'll be yours without a doubt on that Big Dipper
And if the sound of this it frightens you
We could play it real cool and act somewhat indifferent

And hey June why'd you have to come
Why'd you have to come around, so soon?
I wasn't ready for all this nature
The terrible green green grass
And violent blooms of flowered dresses
And afternoons that make me sleepy

But we could wait awhile
Before we push that dull turnstile into the passage
The thousands they have tread and others sometimes fled
Before the turn came

And we could wait our lives before a chance arrives
Before the passage
From the top you can see Monterey or think about San Jose
Though I know it's not that pleasant

And hey Jim, Kerouac, a brother of the famous Jack
Or so he likes to say, lucky bastard
He's sitting on the Cafe Xeno's steps with a girl I'm not over yet
Watching all the world go by...."
Cracker California Country Boy
From 2014's Berkeley to Bakersfield.


"Ain't no palm trees where I come from
No big waves crashing on the shore
No grid-locked traffic, no movie stars, no
In the part of California I come from

We got oil fields in the Central Valley
We cowboys out in the Mojave
Selena Valley, yeah where I come from
We got farms, far as the eye can see

Now I got good friends out in Texas
And I got family in Tennessee
But this here country boy's from California
Ain't no place I'd rather be
Ain't no place I'd rather be

From Pasa Robles to the Owens Valley
From Manchester on down the Salton Sea
It's where I pick this guitar, it's where I write these songs
Ain't no place that I'd rather be

Yeah I got good friends out in Texas
And I got family in Tennessee
But this here country boy's from California
Ain't no place I'd rather be
Ain't no place I'd rather be

Ain't no palm trees, ain't no movie stars
In the part of b I come from."
Cracker King of Bakersfield From 2014's Berkeley to Bakersfield.


"I got a double wide in my own merlot vineyard
I got plenty of space to park my dually truck
I never have to deal with LA traffic
Life is good they call me the king of Bakersfield

I work from dusk to dawn for Paramount Pictures
Set carpenter and all around handy man
Back in Bakersfield I got a Sinaloan beauty
Life is good they call me king of Bakersfield

We got wide open spaces
For my friends to come drink beer
We got a stage in the back with a band two stepping all night long

I got some motorcycle riding neighbours
We never have no trouble round here
All my friends say I live like a king in Bakersfield

And I do

Yeah, play it weird man. this ain't Nashville.
...
Ain't nobody's business how you live your life
I'm a red state union man from California
Life is good they call me king of Bakersfield

Life is good they call me king of Bakersfield
Life is good they call me king of Bakersfield"
Cracker Miss Santa Cruz County From the album "Forever" released in 2002.


"So let's all be someone else
I'm tired of being myself
Let's all be someone else

You could be someone else
I know you're tired of yourself
You say you're so bored you could cry
Well let me tell you, so am I
… … …
So come on down Miss Santa Cruz County
Won't you come on down from your daddy's hydroponic farm?
'Cause there's no shame in being seen as the Artichoke Festival Queen
You know we like what you've become
You know we like what you've become"
Cracker The San Bernardino Boy From 2014's Berkeley to Bakersfield.


"In his underwear
playin' in that dirty air
and his daddy's in the Chino jail.
He'll grow up to be
dumb as dirt by 23
with the county sherriff on his trail.

714 who's that knockin' on my door
It's the San Bernardino boy.
909 everybody hide it
The San Bernardino boy.

I've seen him over by the keg
dancin' on his broken leg
Blisters risin' on his sunburned hide.
Later on tonight
he'll be startin' up a fight
Till those billy clubs commence to wail.

714 who's that knockin' on my door
it's the San Bernardino boy
909 somebody kill the lights
It's the San Bernardino boy...."
Creedence Clearwater Revival Lodi John Fogerty had never been to Lodi in 1969 when he chose the city to represent a dead-end town that a down on his luck musician couldn't escape after a one night stand. "Oh Lord, stuck in Lodi Again" is now the theme of some city events in Lodi, proving there's no such thing as bad publicity, and that the people there have a good sense of humor.


"Rode in on the Greyhound
I'll be walkin' out if I go
I was just passin' through
Must be seven seven months or more
Ran out of time and money
Looks like they took my friends
Oh Lord I'm stuck in Lodi again."
Jim Croce Operator (That's Not The Way It Feels) Jim Croce was a popular folk rock singer originally from Philadelphia. This is a song from his huge hit album You Don't Mess Around with Jim 1972, released the year before he died in a plane crash at the age of 30. He's trying to find the phone number of his ex-girlfriend who moved to L.A. with his ex-friend. This song is probably incomprehensible to anyone born in the cell phone era who never talked with a telephone operator or used a pay phone that only cost a dime.


"Operator, well could you help me place this call
See, the number on the match book is old and faded
She's living in L.A.
With my best old ex-friend Ray
A guy she said she knew well and sometimes hated

But isn't that the way they say it goes
Well let's forget all that
And give me the number if you can find it
So I can call just to tell 'em I'm fine, and to show
I've overcome the blow
I've learned to take it well
I only wish my words
Could just convince myself
That it just wasn't real
But that's not the way it feels...."
Sheryl Crow All I Wanna Do Sheryl Crow is a singer-songwriter-actress from Missouri who moved to L.A. like so many wanna-be musicians, but unlike most, she went from wanna-be to fame and fortune.

This ain't no disco, it ain't no country club either. This is L.A. and girls just wanna have fun, by sitting around drinking beer at noon on a Tuesday with an ugly guy named Billy in a bar next to a car wash on Santa Monica Boulevard. Whatever works for you... It certainly worked for Sheryl; it's still her biggest hit, and the 1995 Grammys Record of the Year.


"This ain't no disco
This ain't no country club either, this is L.A.
… … … … …
We are drinking beer at noon on Tuesday
In the bar that faces the giant car wash
And the good people of the world
Are washing their cars on their lunch breaks
Hosing and scrubbing as best they can
In skirts and suits chi

And they drive their shiny Datsuns and Buicks
Back to the phone company, the record stores, too
Well, they're nothing like Billy and me
'Cause All I wanna do is have some fun
I got a feeling I'm not the only one...
Until the sun comes up over
Santa Monica Boulevard"
Sheryl Crow Leaving Las Vegas This song is from Crow's debut album, Tuesday Night Music Club, released in 1993 and certified 2x platinum (back when people used to buy a piece of plastic with music on it.) Sure the song is about Las Vegas, but the sleazy alcoholic gambling-addicted blackjack-dealing ex-showgirl singing the song mentions driving to Barstow, California to have sex with truck drivers, and this list needs to give Barstow more respect.  ...but I think I liked this song more before I payed attention to the lyrics.


"Life springs eternal
On a gaudy neon street
Not that I care at all
I spent the best part of my losing streak
In an Army Jeep
For what I can't recall
Oh I'm banging on my TV set
And I check the odds
And I place my bet
I pour a drink
And I pull the blind
And I wonder what I'll find

I'm Leaving Las Vegas
Lights so bright
Palm sweat, blackjack
On a Saturday night
Leaving Las Vegas
Leaving for good, for good
I'm leaving for good
I'm leaving for good

Used to be I could drive up to
Barstow for the night
Find some crossroad trucker
To demonstrate his might
But these days it seems
Nowhere is far enough away
So I'm leaving Las Vegas today

I'm Leaving Las Vegas
Lights so bright
Palm sweat, blackjack
On a Saturday night
Leaving Las Vegas
Leaving for good, for good
I'm leaving for good
I'm leaving for good

I'm standing in the middle of the desert
Waiting for my ship to come in
But now no joker, no jack, no king
Can take this loser hand
And make it win

I'm Leaving Las Vegas
Lights so bright
Palm sweat, blackjack
On a Saturday night
Leaving Las Vegas
Leaving for good, for good
I'm leaving for good
I'm leaving for good

I quit my job as a dancer
At the Lido Des Girls
Dealing blackjack until one or two
Such a muddy line between
The things you want
And the things you have to do...."
Rodney Crowell California Earthquake (A Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On) Rodney Crowell is a Country music singer-songwriter from Texas. This song is from his 1978 album "I Ain't Living Long Like This." There are also versions of Grateful Dead covers of this song that they sang live just after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.


"There was a California earthquake, in the year of '83
It shook the living daylights out of the Owens County Seat
Not a building still left standing when the dust had cleared away
Just a rumble in the distance all the way to San Andrea

Oh Sherman Buck was driving his old mule into town
When a big one came and shook so hard, that it knocked him to the ground
Lord there opened up a hole so big, he thought his time was up
And it swallowed up that poor old mule and it just missed Sherman Buck

California earthquake you just don't know what you've done
We may fall off in the ocean, but you'll never make us run
You're a partner to the devil, but we ain't afraid of him
We'll build ourselves another town so you can tear it down again

Then came the quake of '99 that levelled Mission Creek
The earth was like an ocean churning, with waves of twenty feet
Lord it sounded like a thousand trains were screaming underground
Clean across to San Joachim, they heard that mournful sound

Then came one day the holocaust on San Franciso Bay
[Ninety] miles of walls came down like old Jericho that day
Might near everything the earthquake missed, a holy fire consumed
And left 'em smoke and the ashes of the dreams that can't be ruined
Build ourselves another town so you can tear it down again"
The Crusaders (featuring Bill Withers) Soul Shadows The Crusaders were a jazz fusion band from Houston. Bill Withers was a singer-songwriter from West Virginia. This is from the album "Rhapsody and Blues" released in 1980.


"San Francisco morning coming clear and cold
Don't know if I'm waking or I'm dreaming
Riding with Fats Waller on the Super Chief
He said, music's real, the rest is seeming

Oh, he played
Feeling that won't go away
Left a sound of his soul in the air
I can hear it out there
And I know

He left those soul shadows
On my mind
On my mind
On my mind

He left a soul shadow
On my mind
On my mind
On my mind

Standing by the window as a fog rolls in
I swear I can hear a far-off music
Jelly Roll is playing down in Storyville
And Satchmo is wailing in Chicago
You ought to heard 'em play
Feelings that won't go away
Left the sound of their souls in the air
I hear out there and I know

They left them soul shadows
All on my mind
On my mind,
All on my mind...."
Miley Cyrus Malibu Miley Cyrus is an American singer, songwriter & actress from Tennessee where her father was a country music star with his "Achy Breaky Heart."
In this 2017 pop hit, Cyrus sings about being young and beautiful and rich in an exclusive beachfront community where the rich and famous own getaway property.



"I never came to the beach or stood by the ocean
I never sat by the shore under the sun with my feet in the sand
But you brought me here and I'm happy that you did
'Cause now I'm as free as birds catching the wind

I always thought I would sink, so I never swam
I never went boatin', don't get how they are floatin'
And sometimes I get so scared
Of what I can't understand

But here I am
Next to you
The sky's more blue
In Malibu
Next to you
In Malibu
Next to you, baby

We watched the sun go down as we were walking
I'd spend the rest of my life just standing here talking
You would explain the current as I just smile
Hoping that you'll stay the same and nothing will change
And it'll be us just for a while
Do they even exist?
That's when I make the wish
To swim away with the fish

Is it supposed to be this hot all summer long?
I never would've believed you
If three years ago you told me
I'd be here writing this song

But here I am
Next to you
The sky's so blue
In Malibu
Next to you
In Malibu
Next to you, baby

Next to you
The sky's so blue
In Malibu, baby
Next to you

We are just like the waves that flow back and forth
Sometimes I feel like I'm drowning and you're there to save me
And I wanna thank you with all of my heart
It's a brand new start
A dream come true
In Malibu"
Miley Cyrus Party in the USA This is an upbeat pop song from her first EP “The Time of Our Lives” released in 2009 when she was 16 years old that was a huge hit.


“I hopped off the plane at L.A.X.
With a dream and my cardigan
Welcome to the land of fame excess (whoa),
Am I gonna fit in?

Jumped in the cab,
Here I am for the first time
Look to my right and I see the Hollywood sign
This is all so crazy
Everybody seems so famous

My tummy's turnin' and I'm feelin' kinda home sick
Too much pressure and I'm nervous,
That's when the taxi man turned on the radio
And a Jay-Z song was on
And a Jay-Z song was on
And a Jay-Z song was on

So I put my hands up
They're playing my song,
The butterflies fly away
I'm noddin' my head like yeah
Movin' my hips like yeah
I got my hands up,
They're playin' my song
I know I'm gonna be OK
Yeah, it's a party in the USA
Yeah, it's a party in the USA

Get to the club in my taxi cab
Everybody's looking at me now
Like, "Who's that chick that's rockin' kicks?
She gotta be from out of town."

So hard with my girls not around me
It's definitely not a Nashville party
'Cause all I see are stilettos
I guess I never got the memo

My tummy's turnin' and I'm feelin' kinda home sick
Too much pressure and I'm nervous
That's when the DJ dropped my favorite tune
And a Britney song was on
And a Britney song was on
And a Britney song was on

Feel like hoppin' on a flight (on a flight)
Back to my hometown tonight (town tonight)
Something stops me every time (every time)
The DJ plays my song and I feel alright”
D
Gregory D & DJ Mannie Fresh Buck Jump Time (Project Rap) Gregory Duvernay and Mannie Fresh are a New Orleans rapper and producer. This is a classic "New Orleans Bounce" track from 1989 that describes how tough New Orleans' projects are. Gregory D taunts West Coast Gangsta Rappers that they couldn't survive the Calliope. (He's not rapping about a steam organ or the Muse of poetry - Calliope here refers to a housing project in New Orleans that was known to be one of the most violent projects in the country before it was demolished in 2014.)


"....Listen to the rhymes back-to-back
That I wrote for the project rap
This rap is wild, a number one hit
When you ever heard a rapper bust like this?
Uptown, Third Ward, that Calliope
Melpomene, Magnolia, the home of dope
St. Thomas, Lafitte, the Iberville's hard
And that Seventh Ward St. Bernard
The Fischer from that one point five
Where the brothers at from that wild Desire?
Where the Floridas at? Y'all ready to roll?
Where that wild buck jumping going Hollygrove
Gert Town, Pigeon Town
Seabrook -- this whole city throws down
That Uzi Ward, jack rope and geese(?) symbolizes New Orleans East
Them brothers wild, they don't give you a chance
Jumped everybody at the St. Mary's dance
Brothers go to popping, you're running like stallions
Ahhh ahhh! Pop, he got your medallion
Remember St. Mary's dance? Please!
Brothers used to be hopping out of trees
Wild horde New Orleans lord
I heard they kicking colors in the St. Bernard

The point behind this whole rap
This city is cold as any other on the map
New York this, California that
Forget that talk, this is where it's at
They're talking bout California like it's so dope
Let me see Cali walk through the Calliope
The projects, Wards, all on time
New Orleans number one in this rhyme...."
Daddy Yankee & Katy Perry
(featuring Snow)
Con Calma Remix
This is a Spanglish reggaeton song released in Spring 2019 about a guy watching a girl shake her poom poom on the dance floor. It's a revision of Canadian rapper Snow's big number one hit from 1992 "Informer." It's also a remix of Daddy Yankee's original version of the song, adding Katy Perry and more tropical rap. After Despacito destroyed the pop charts, every English-speaking pop singer is now required by the industry to sing on Latin pop songs. Katy Perry does better than most. It's been 9 years since her smash hit "California Gurls" but she's still working that moniker here. Daddy Yankee is her Puerto Rican dream aka the guy who invented the name "reggaeton."


"[Katy Perry]
¿Cómo te llamas baby?
A little mezcal got me feelin' spicy
I know that we don't speak the same language
But I'm gonna let my body talk for me (Talk for me)
Hola me llamo Katy
A little mezcal got me feelin' naughty
I know that we don't speak the same language
So I'm gonna let my body talk for me (Talk for me)

[Daddy Yankee]
Con calma, yo quiero ver como ella lo menea
Mueve ese poom-poom, girl

Es un asesina, cuando baila quiere que to' el mundo la vea
I like your poom-poom, girl (Sube, sube)
Con calma, yo quiero ver como ella lo menea
Mueve ese poom-poom, girl
Tiene adrenalina, en medio 'e la pista, vente hazme lo que sea
I like your poom-poom, girl (¡Hey!)

[Katy Perry]
Dress up with my girls, on the hunt tonight
Got a feelin' Ima catch a wild one
I know that I'm not typically your type
But you never had this kind of stimulation
All eyes on my when I light up the room
You play the right vibe and my body will move
Easy baby, I see you're in the mood
Me too

Con calma
I see you're lovin' the way I work the floor now

I got the poom-poom, boy
You could be my Puerto Rican dream, I'll be your California gurl now
I got the poom-poom, boy
Con calma
I see you're lovin' the way I work the floor now
I got the poom-poom, boy
You could be my Puerto Rican dream, I'll be your California gurl now
I got the poom-poom, boy...."
Daughter of Swords Gem Daughter of Swords is a side project of Alexandra Sauser-Monnig of the indie folk trio Mountain Man. This song is from the 2019 debut album "Dawnbreaker"


"On the edge of the world
Out in the night, darkness
On a path of dusty brush and eucalyptus
There's tall grass moving in the wind
On the edge of a cliff over water
I could die in

The sun's hanging low over the ocean
Sand in my hair
Cool sand under my feet
Pink clouds and the moon coming out
To join me and the heart beat rhythm of your gold soul, beating

California, Carolina
It's a dry summer again
I miss you over me
Rain falling, soft and warm in bed

High-beams sweep around edge of the mountain
Etching out in light some line of the hills
Wrapped up with a blanket around
Waves on the rocks below
You were my abalone boy
The heart beat rhythm of your gold soul
Beating
No

California, Carolina
It's a dry summer again
I miss you over me
Rain falling, soft and warm in bed
They were legend
Ooh, oh, oh, oh, ooh, ooh
Ooh, ooh, ooh
Ooh, oh, oh, oh, ooh, ooh
Ooh, ooh, ooh, oh, oh, ooh"
Johnny 'Scat' Davis and Frances Langford Hooray For Hollywood This is the classic and campy song from the 1937 film "Hollywood Hotel" directed by the always amazing Busby Berkeley. It was sung by Johnny 'Scat' Davis and Frances Langford on the film soundtrack and was later covered by many other singers and orchestras including Benny Goodman and Orchestra, Doris Day, Sammy Davis Jr., Johnny Mercer, Rosemary Clooney, and even Nancy Sinatra.


"Hooray for Hollywood
That screwy ballyhooey Hollywood
Where any office boy or young mechanic can be a panic
With just a good looking pan
And any barmaid can be a star maid
If she dances with or without a fan

Hooray for Hollywood,
Where you're terrific if you're even good
Where anyone at all from Shirley Temple to Aimee Semple
Is equally understood
Go out and try your luck, you might be Donald Duck
Hooray for Hollywood

Hooray for Hollywood
That phoney super-Coney Hollywood
They come from Chillicothes and Paducas with their bazookas
To get their names up in lights
All armed with photos from local rotos
With their hair in ribbon and legs in tights

Hooray for Hollywood
You may be homely in your neighbourhood
But if you think that you can be an actor, see Mr. Factor
He'll make a monkey look good
Within a half an hour you'll look like Tyrone Power
Hooray for Hollywood"


Alternate lyrics from later versions of the song update some of the star names:

"Hooray for Hollywood
That screwy ballyhooey Hollywood
Where any office boy or young mechanic can be a panic
With just a good looking pan
And any shop girl can be a top girl
If she pleases Mister Businessman

Hooray for Hollywood
Where you're terrific, if you're even good
Where anyone at all from TV's Lassie to Monroe's chassis
Is equally understood
Go out and try your luck, you might be Donald Duck
Hooray for Hollywood"
Dead Kennedys California Uber Alles Dead Kennedys are a punk band formed in San Francisco in 1978. This was the debut single from the band, released in 1979. The title is a riff on the German national anthem as sung by the Nazis "Deutschland uber alles" or "Germany above everything" and a criticism of Governor Jerry Brown, who was Governor of the state from 1975-1983, and later from 2011-2019.

The band has recorded several versions of the song, and Biafra revised it in 1985 to satirize former California Governor Ronald Reagan, then President Reagan, in "We've Got a Bigger Problem Now." He later revised it again with the Melvins in 2004 to satirize California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on "Kalifornia Uber Alles, 21st Century." The original song has also been covered by many other artists, including Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy.

Watching the Dead Kennedys play songs like this at the Mabuhay club in San Francisco was one of the highlights of the 1970s & 80s San Franisco punk scene for me. But since then Jerry Brown became the Governor of California once again in 2011 for two more terms with very high approval ratings from the press and the people, while the credibility of the Dead Kennedys took a pie in the face after lead singer Jello Biafra was convicted for cheating the rest of the band out of their royalties. He then accused the rest of the band of stealing his songs and selling them for use in video games. Maybe the song should have been called "Money Uber Alles." Fortunately for the fans, the band's punk anthems live on for us to enjoy regardless of the controversy.


"I am Governor Jerry Brown
My aura smiles
And never frowns
Soon I will be president
Carter Power will soon go away
I will be Fuhrer one day
I will command all of you
Your kids will meditate in school!
Your kids will meditate in school!

California Uber Alles
California Uber Alles
Uber Alles California
Uber Alles California

Zen fascists will control you
Hundred percent natural
You will jog for the master race
And always wear the happy face
Close your eyes, can't happen here
Big Bro' on white horse is near
The hippies won't come back, you say
Mellow out or you will pay
Mellow out or you will pay

California Uber Alles
California Uber Alles
Uber Alles California
Uber Alles California

Now it is nineteen eighty-four
Knock-knock at your front door
It's the suede denim secret police
They have come for your uncool niece

Come quietly to the camp
You'd look nice as a drawstring lamp
Don't you worry, it's only a shower
For your clothes, here's a pretty flower

Die on organic poison gas
Serpent's egg's already hatched
You will croak, you little clown
When you mess with President Brown
When you mess with President Brown

California Uber Alles
California Uber Alles
Uber Alles California
Uber Alles California"
Dead Kennedys Moon Over Marin This is from the DK's second album "Plastic Surgery Disasters" released in 1982. Marin is the county north of the San Francisco Bay. When this song was written, only the rich could afford to live there. Now, of course, that's the entire S.F. Bay Area and much of the state.


"The crowded future stings my eyes
I still find time to exercise
In uniform with two white stripes

Unlock my section of the sand
It's fenced off to the water's edge
I clamp a gasmask on my head

On my beach at night
Bathe in my moonlight

Another tanker's hit the rocks
Abandoned to spill out its guts
The sand is laced with sticky glops

O' Shimmering moonlight sheen upon
The waves and water clogged with oil
White gases steam up from the soil

On my beach at night
Bathe in my moonlight

I squash dead fish between my toes
Try not to step on any bones
I turn around and I go home

I slip back through my basement door
Switch off all that I own below
Dive in my scalding wooden tub

My own beach at night
Electric Moonlight

There will always be a moon
Over Marin"
Dead Kennedys We've Got a Bigger Problem Now "California Uber Alles," the 1979 song about California Governor Jerry Brown, is updated here for the President Reagan era. (Reagan was also Governor of California from 1967-1975, just beforeJerry Brown.) Biafra whip pans back and forth from a sleazy lounge singer to an angry punk in this 1985 evisceration of the Reagan regime from the band's "In God We Trust, Inc." EP.


"Last call for alcohol.
Last call for your freedom of speech.
Drink up. Happy hour is now enforced by law.
Don't forget our house special, it's called a Trickie Dickie Screwdriver.
It's got one part Jack Daniels, two parts purple Kool-Aid,
and a jigger of formaldehyde
from the jar with Hitler's brain in it we got in the back storeroom.
Happy trails to you.
Happy trails to you.

I am Emperor Ronald Reagan
Born again with fascist cravings
Still, you made me president

Human rights will soon go 'way
I am now your Shah today
Now I command all of you
Now you're going to pray in school
I'll make sure they're Christian too

California Uber alles
California Uber alles
Uber alles California
Uber alles California

Ku Klux Klan will control you
Still you think it's natural
Nigger knockin' for the master race
Still you wear the happy face

You closed your eyes, can't happen here
Alexander Haig is near
Vietnam won't come back you say
Join the army or you will pay
Join the army or you will pay

California Uber alles
California Uber alles
Uber alles California
Uber alles California

Yeah, that's it. Just relax.
Have another drink,
few more pretzels,
little more MSG.
Turn on those Dallas Cowboys on your TV.
Lock your doors. Close your mind.
It's time for the two-minute warning.

Welcome to 1984
Are you ready for the third world war?!?
You too will meet the secret police
They'll draft you and they'll jail your niece

You'll go quitely to boot camp
They'll shoot you dead, make you a man
Don't you worry, it's for a cause
Feeding global corporations' claws

Die on our brand new poison gas
El Salvador or Afghanistan
Making money for President Reagan
Making money for President Reagan
And all the friends of President Reagan

California Uber alles
California Uber alles
Uber alles California
Uber alles California"
Death Cab For Cutie Bixby Canyon Bridge Death Cab For Cutie is an Indie rock band from Bellingham Washington. This song from 2007 is about that very tall scenic cement bridge over a cnayon next to the ocean on highway one near Big Sur that you've seen frequently in movies, TV shows, and commercials. Jack Keroac spent some time in Big Sur and wrote a book named after the area and this song is supposed to be about him.



"I descended a dusty gravel ridge
Beneath the Bixby Canyon Bridge
Until I eventually arrived
At the place where your soul had died

Barefoot in the shallow creek
I grab some stones from underneath
And waited for you to speak to me

In the silence it became so very clear
That you had long ago disappeared
And I cursed myself for being surprised
That this didn't play like it did in my mind

All the way from San Francisco
As I chased the end of your rope
'Cause I've still got miles to go"
Death Cab For Cutie El Dorado Singer Ben Gibbard's ex-wife is Zoey Deschanel who found her personal "El Dorado" starring in a TV series "The New Girl," filmed in Culver City.


"Seems you finally found, finally found El Dorado
Over in Culver City, shining bright, name in lights

And I tried to be kind for you
Oh I'm trying to be kind for you

It's kinda like a party that you never wanted to attend
But when an invitation finally arrives you change your mind

And I tried to be kind for you
Oh I'm trying to be kind for you
As you slip away behind the gates
Behind the gates

Seems you finally found, finally found El Dorado
So why does it feel underwhelming there be real

And I tried to be kind for you
Oh I'm trying to be kind for you
As you slip away behind the gates
Behind the gates

El Dorado
El Dorado
El Dorado
El Dorado"
Death Cab For Cutie Ghosts of Beverly Drive This is a single from the band's 2015 album "Kintsugi" which was nominated for a Grammy and seems to have a number of songs that deal with L.A. Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing pottery with gold so that the breaks become a part of the design instead of being hidden. It's a pretty good metaphor for how to get over the failed relationship the singer sings about, and as the song's writer/singer Ben Gibbard did after his divorce and move away from L.A. (Beverly Drive is a street in Beverly Hills.)


"If only you'd had known me
before the accident
For with that grand collision
came a grave consequence

Receptors overloaded
They burst and disconnect
Til' there was little feeling
Please work with what is left

Oh, I need not be flattered
that you've never been here before
So there's no need to mention
that you've no firsts anymore

But if you let me be your skyline
I'll let you be the wave
That reduces me to rubble
That looked safe from far away
I don't know why, I don't know why
I return to the scenes of these crimes
Where the hedgerows slowly wind
through the ghosts of Beverly Drive...."
Death Cab For Cutie Grapevine Fires This 2008 release is from the album Narrow Stairs. The band is from northwest Washington State, and there are bad forest fires in that state also, but it seems to be inspired by the terrible fires in California in 2007 (including one at Gorman in the Tejon Pass - aka "The Grapevine.") The fires seem to be a metaphor for death and change and renewal that the singer welcomes with optimism as he watches his daughter laughing and dancing through a graveyard while everthing burns.


"When the wind picked up, the fire spread
And the Grapevine seemed left for dead
And the northern sky looked like the end of days
The end of days

The wake up call to a rented room
Sounded like an alarm of impending doom
To warn us it's only a matter of time
Before we all burn
Before we all burn
Before we all burn
Before we all burn

We bought some wine and some paper cups
Near your daughter's school when we picked her up
And drove to a cemetery on a hill
On a hill

And we watched the plumes paint the sky gray
As she laughed and danced through the field of graves
And there I knew it would be alright
That everything would be alright
Would be alright
Would be alright
Would be alright

And the news reports, on the radio
Said it was getting worse
As the ocean air fanned the flames
But I couldn't think of anywhere I would have rather been
To watch it all burn away
To burn away

The firemen worked in double shifts
With prayers for rain on their lips
And they knew it was only a matter of time"
Death Cab For Cutie Why You'd Want to Live Here Another anti-L.A. song from 2001 by the Bellingham indie rockers.


"I'm in Los Angeles today...
Garbage cans comprise the medians of freeways always creaping
Even when the population's sleeping.

And I can't see why you'd want to live here.
...    ...    ...    ...    ...

The vessel keeps pumping us through this zentropic place
In the belly of the beast that is Californ-i-a,
I drank from a faucet and I kept my receipts
For when the weigh me on my way out
(Here nothing is free).
The greyhounds keep coming
Dumping locusts into the street
Until the gutters overflow
And Los Angeles thinks,
'I might explode someday soon.'

It's a lovely summer's day
And I can almost see a skyline through a thickening shroud of egos.
(Is this the City of Angeles or demons?)
Here the names are what remain...
Stars encapsulate the gold lame
And they need constant cleaning for when the tourists begin salivating.

You can't swim in a town this shallow - you will most assuredly drown tomorrow."
Decemberists, The California One/Youth and Beauty Brigade The Decemberists are an American indie folk band from Portland Oregon. This is a 2003 song about the coast highway, highway 1.


"Take a long drive with me
On California one, California one
...
We're lining up the light-loafer'd
And the bored bench warmers
Castaways and cutouts, fill it up
Come join the youth and beauty brigade
Nothing will stand in our way"
Decemberists, The Calamity Song A 2011 tune that channels the upbeat jangly guitars of 80's REM (literally - because Peter Buck is playing them.) There's not much really about California, just the stereotypical end-of-the-world viewof the state destroyed by an earthquake, but it is a great great song.


"Had a dream
You and me and the war of the end times
And I believe
California succumbed to the fault line
We heaved relief
As scores of innocents died…"
Decemberists, The Los Angeles, I'm Yours This song is from the band's second album "Her Majesty the Decemberists" released in 2003


"There is a city by the sea
A gentle company
I don't suppose you want to
And as it tells its sorry tale
In harrowing detail
Its hollowness will haunt you
Its streets and boulevards
Orphans and oligarchs it hears
A plaintive melody
Truncated symphony
An ocean's garbled vomit on the shore,
Los Angeles, I'm yours

Oh ladies, pleasant and demure
Sallow-cheeked and sure
I can see your undies
And all the boys you drag about
An empty fellow found
From Saturdays to Mondays
You hill and valley crowd
Hanging your trousers down at heel
This is the realest thing
As ancient choirs sing
A dozen blushing cherubs wheel above
Los Angeles I love

Oh what a rush of ripe elan
Languor on divans
Dalliant and dainty
But oh, the smell of burnt cocaine
The dolor and decay
It only makes me cranky
Oh great calamity,
Ditch of iniquity and tears
How I abhor this place
Its sweet and bitter taste
Has left me wretched, retching on all fours
Los Angeles, I'm yours"
Lana Del Rey California This song from everybody's favorite gloomy California hedonist comes from her 2019 release "Norman F***ing Rockwell! which I consider a California album since most of the songs on the album have a reference to L.A. and Hollywood and her journey there from New York. Like a pop song actress, she plays a lot of different roles on this album. I'm only going to put a few of the songs on this list, but some others are:

Bartender - "All the ladies of the canyon" "60 MPH on PCH drive Head to Long Beach to Newport by your side"

Happiness is a Butterfly - "Go down to Sunset in the truck" "Hollywood and Vine, Black Rabbit in the alley"

How to Disappear - "Now it's been years since I left New York
I got a key and two cats in the yard
A California sun and the movie stars"

Norman F***ing Rockwell - Self-loathing poet, resident Laurel Canyon know-it-all



"You don't ever have to be stronger than you really are
When you're lying in my arms, baby
You don't ever have to go faster than your fastest pace
Or faster than my fastest cars

I shouldn't have done it, but I read it in your letter
You said to a friend that you wish you were doing better
I wanted to reach out, but I never said a thing
I shouldn't have done it, but I read it in your letter
You said to a friend that you wish you were doing better
I wanted to call you, but I didn't say a thing

Oh, I'll pick you up
If you come back to America, just hit me up
'cause this is crazy love,
I'll catch you on the flip side
If you come back to California, you should just hit me up

We'll do whatever you want, travel wherever how far
We'll hit up all the old places
We'll have a party, we'll dance 'til dawn
I'll pick up all of your Vogues and all of your Rolling Stones
Your favorite liquor off the top shelf
I'll throw a party all night long

You don't ever have to be stronger than you really are
When you're lying in my arms, and, honey
You don't ever have to act cooler than you think you should
You're brighter than the brightest stars

You're scared to win, scared to lose
I've heard the war was over if you really choose
The one in and around you
You hate the heat, you got the blues
Changing like the weather, oh, that's so like you
The Santa Ana moves you

Oh, I'll pick you up
If you come back to America, just hit me up
'cause this is crazy love, I'll catch you on the flip side
If you come back to California, you should just hit me up...."
Lana Del Rey F**k It, I Love You This is a great single from LDR's hit 2019 album "Norman F**king Rockwell" that makes me wonder if she's going for the record for use of the F-word in a song. (I'll have to check the Guiness book.) Whatever, I don't expect to hear it much on the radio. Not because it's a bad song, but because after they censor it, there won't be much left to hear. And the whole album is full of F-words, too, in case you didn't get enough in this song. Soon we're going to need a new F-word, because this one is getting used up.


"I like to see everything in neon
Drink lime green, stay up 'til dawn
Maybe the way that I'm living is killing me
I like to light up the stage with a song
Do s**t to keep me turned on
But one day I woke up like
"Maybe I'll do it differently"

So I moved to California‚ but it's just a state of mind
It turns out everywhere you go‚ you take yourself‚ that's not a lie
Wish that you would hold me or just say that you were mine
It's killing me slowly

Dream a little dream of me
Make me into something sweet
Turn the radio on, dancing to a pop song
F**k it, I love you
F**k it‚ I love you
F**k it, I love you
I really do

I used to shoot up my veins in neon
And s**t's even brighter, you're gone
So many things I would say to you
I want you

You moved to California, but it's just a state of mind
And you know everyone adores you
You can't feel it and you're tired
Baby‚ wish that you would hold me or just say that you were mine
But it's killing me slowly

Dream a little dream of me
Turn this into something sweet
Turn the radio on, dancing to a pop song
F**k it, I love you
F**k it, I love you
F**k it, I love you
I really do

It turns out California's more than just a state of mind
I met you on the boulevard, wind through my hair, you blew my mind
And if I wasn't so f**ked up, I think I'd f**k you all the time
(I really do)
It's killing me slowly

F**k it, I love you (I moved to California, but it's just a state of mind)
F**k it, I love you (It turns out everywhere you go, you take yourself, that's not a lie)
F**k it, I love you (Wish that you would hold me or just say that you were mine)
I really do (It's killing me slowly)

(F**k it, I love you)
California dreamin', got my money on my mind
(F**k it, I love you)
Chances in my veins, running out of time
(F**k it, I love you)
California dreamin', got my money on my mind
(I really do)
Chances in my veins, running out of time
(F**k it, I love you)
California dreamin', got my money on my mind
(F**k it, I love you)
Chances in my veins, running out of time
(F**k it, I love you)
California dreamin', got my money on my mind
(I really do)
Chances in my veins, running out of time"
Lana Del Rey The Greatest An apocalyptic vision of L.A. from 2019's "Norman F***ing Rockwell!
Apparently Kanye West going blonde is one of the signs of the Apocalypse.


"I miss Long Beach and I miss you, babe
I miss dancing with you the most of all
I miss the bar where the Beach Boys would go
Dennis's last stop before Kokomo

Those nights were on fire
We couldn't get higher
We didn't know that we had it all
But nobody warns you before the fall

And I pray that you stay
Don't leave, I just need a wake-up call
I'm facing the greatest
The greatest loss of them all
The culture is lit and I had a ball
I guess I'm signing off after all

I miss New York and I miss the music
Me and my friends, we miss rock and roll
I want s**t to feel just like it used to
And, baby, I was doing nothing the most of all
The culture is lit and if this is it, I had a ball
I guess that I'm burned out after all

Oh I pray that you stay
Don't leave, I just need a wake-up call
I'm facing the greatest
The greatest loss of them all
The culture is lit and I had a ball
I guess that I'm burned out after all

If this is it, I'm signing off
Miss doing nothing, the most of all
Oh I just missed a fireball
L.A. is in flames, it's getting hot
Kanye West is blonde and gone
"Life on Mars" ain't just a song
Oh, the lifestream's almost on"
Lana Del Rey Lust For Life Singer, songwriter, and model Lana Del Rey was born Elizabeth Grant in New York. It’s hard to describe her unique sound, but it typically slow and torchy, dark and beautiful. (“Hollywood Sadcore,” “Gangsta Nancy Sinatra,” and “Lolita lost in the hood” are a few clever descriptions I've found of her style.)

This features pop star The Weeknd. At first I thought it might be a cover of the Iggy Pop classic, Lust For Life, but it’s not even close. When I think of climbing the "H" in the Hollywood sign, I think of actress Peg Entwistle who jumped from her death from the "H" in 1932, and Del Rey certainly knows that story, so there’s a bit of lust for death as well as life in the song.


“Climb up the H
Of the Hollywood sign, yeah
In these stolen moments
The world is mine (do it, do it)
There's nobody here
Just us together (shut up, shut up)
Keepin' me hot
Like July forever

'Cause we're the masters of our own fate
We're the captains of our own souls
There's no way for us to come away
'Cause boy we're gold, boy we're gold
And I was like...

Take off, take off
Take off all your clothes
Take off, take off
Take off all your clothes
Take off, take off
Take off all of your clothes
They say only the good die young
That just ain't right
'Cause we're having too much fun
Too much fun tonight, yeah

And a lust for life, and a lust for life
And a lust for life, and a lust for life
Keeps us alive, keeps us alive
Keeps us alive, keeps us alive
And a lust for life, and a lust for life
And a lust for life, and a lust for life
Keeps us alive, keeps us alive
Keeps us alive, keeps us alive

Then, we dance on the H
Of the Hollywood sign, yeah
'Til we run out of breath
Gotta dance 'til we die (doo-wop, doo-wop)
My boyfriend's back
And he's cooler than ever (shoo-wop, shoo-wop)
There's no more night
Blue skies forever….”
Lana Del Rey The Next Best American Record Another song from LDR's 2019 album "Norman F***ing Rockwell! with several references to places and freeways around L.A.


"My baby used to dance underneath my architecture
To the 'Houses of the Holy'
Smoking on them cigarettes
My baby used to dance underneath my architecture
He was cool as heck
He was cool as heck

And we were so obsessed with writing the next best American record
That we gave all we had to the time we got to bed
'Cause we knew we could
We were so obsessed with writing the next best American record
'Cause we were just that good
It was just that good

Whatever's on tonight
I just wanna party with you
Topanga's hot tonight
I'm taking off my bathing suit
You make me feel like
There's something that I never knew
I wanted

My baby used to dance underneath my architecture
He was seventies in spirit; nineties in his frame of mind
My baby used to dance underneath my architecture
We lost track of space
We lost track of time

And we were so obsessed with writing the next best American record
That we gave all we had to the time we got to bed
'Cause we knew we could
We were so obsessed with writing the next best American record
'Cause we were just that good
It was just that good

Whatever's on tonight
I just wanna party with you
Topanga's hot tonight
I'm taking off my bathing suit
You make me feel like
There's something that I never knew
I wanted
We play the Eagles down in Malibu
And I want it

It's true
All the roads lead to you
Everything I want and do
All the things that I say
It's true
All the roads lead to you
Like the 405 I drive through
Every night and every day
I see you for who you really are
Why the thousands of girls
Love the way Bill plays guitar

Whatever's on tonight
I just wanna party with you
Topanga's hot tonight
I'm taking off my bathing suit
You make me feel like
There's something that I never knew
I wanted
We play the Eagles down in Malibu
And I want it

There's something that I never knew
I wanted"
Lana Del Rey Venice Bitch This is an epic-length song from LDR, with shoe-gazy guitars and analog synths released in 2018 then put on her 2019 album "Norman F***ing Rockwell! (It's also another of many songs that reference the classic song "Crimson and Clover" maybe the first dream pop tune.) I was surprised but happy to see this song on several "best songs of 2018" lists, even though they all felt they had to censor the title. I see no reason to censor it, especially when it's used by a woman to refer to herself. The B word is like the N word in that way. I just hope the Google bot Stormtroopers don't tag me and censor the site or whatever they do. Besides, it's a clever play on "Venice Beach" a famous tourist destination in southern California.


"Fear fun, fear love
Fresh out of f**ks, forever
Tryin' to be stronger for you
Ice cream, ice queen
I dream in jeans and leather
Life's dream I'm sweet for you

Oh god, miss you on my lips
It's me, your little Venice bitch
On the stoop with the neighborhood kids
Callin' out, bang bang, kiss kiss

You're in the yard, I light the fire
And as the summer fades away
Nothing gold can stay
You write, I tour, we make it work
You're beautiful and I'm insane
We're American-made

Give me Hallmark
One dream, one life, one lover
Paint me happy and blue
Norman Rockwell
No hype under our covers
It's just me and you

Oh god, miss you on my lips
It's me, your little Venice bitch
On the stoop with the neighborhood kids
Callin' out, bang bang, kiss kiss

You're in the yard, I light the fire
And as the summer fades away
Nothing gold can stay
You write, I tour, we make it work
You're beautiful and I'm insane
We're American-made
... ... ... ...
Young baby is back in town now
You should come, come over
We'll be hanging around now
You should come, come over
Oh god, I love him on my lips
It's me, your little Venice bitch
Touch me with your fingertips
It's me, your little Venice bitch
Out back in the garden
We're getting high now, because we're older
Be myself, I like diamonds
My baby crimson and clover..."
Lana Del Rey
West Coast From her 2014 album "Ultraviolence" She never mentions California, but the location is obviously L.A. It can't be Portland or Seattle - they're "up" on the West Coast.


"Down on the West Coast, they got their icons
Their silver starlets, their Queens of Saigons
And you've got the music, you've got the music in you, don't you?

Down on the West Coast, they love their movies
Their golden gods, and rock and roll groupies
And you've got the music, you've got the music in you, don't you?

You push it hard, I pull away, I'm feeling hotter than fire
I guess that no one ever really made me feel that much higher
Te deseo, cariño, boy, it's you I desire
Your love, your love, your love"
Delta Spirit California An Indie Pop break-up or maybe unrequited love song from 2012 from a band formed in San Diego that has been labeled Indie Rock, Americana, and Soul.


"I want you to move to California for yourself,
I want you to find whatever your heart needs,
I want you to move to California for yourself, but not for me

I want you to go out there and find somebody else,
I want him to treat you like I know he should,
I want you to find somebody new for yourself, if not for me.

all of the feelings that I know you never felt,
and all of the simple words you never said,
I want you to keep them like a secret to yourself, they’re not for me.

I want you to wander silent past my outstretched arms,
I want you to hide yourself from all I see,
and though my heart will fight until its dying breath, you’re not for me."
Jason Derulo
(feat. Nicki Minaj & Ty Dolla $ign)
Swalla Jason Derulo is a very successful American singer, songwriter, and dancer. This is a rap pop song from early 2017 that features two rappers - Nicki Minaj and Ty Dolla $ign who gives a shout out to a girl in Beverly Hills who wears red bottom heels. (Rappers like rapping about red bottom heels almost as much as they like rapping about Grey Poupon and Cristal.) The song starts with an ice cream truck jingle, but I'm pretty sure they're not rapping about sucking on popsicles....


“Love in a thousand different flavors
I wish that I could taste them all tonight
No, I ain't got no dinner plans
So you should bring all your friends
I swear that to all y'all my type

All you girls in here, if you're feeling thirsty
Come on take a sip 'cause you know what I'm servin', ooh

Shimmy shimmy yay, shimmy yay, shimmy ya (drank)
Swalla-la-la (drank)
Swalla-la-la (swalla-la-la)
Swalla-la-la
Shimmy shimmy yay, shimmy yay, shimmy ya (drank)
Swalla-la-la (drank)
Swalla-la-la (swalla-la-la)
Swalla-la-la
Freaky, freaky gyal
My freaky, freaky gyal

Shimmy shimmy shimmy yay, shimmy yah
Bad girls gon' swalla-la-la
Bust down on my wrist in this bitch
My pinky-ring bigger than his
Met her out in Beverly Hills, ay
Dolla got too many girls, ay
Met her out in Beverly Hills
All she wear is red bottom heels
When she back it up, put it on the Snap
When she droppin' low, put it on the Gram
DJ poppin', she gon' swallow that
Champagne poppin', she gon' swallow that….”
The Descendents Catalina The Descendents are a punk rock band formed in 1977 in Manhattan Beach. They were a big part of the L.A. hardcore punk scene in the 1970s and 1980s. This song is from their first album "Milo Goes to College" released in 1982. The singer must have a pretty nice boat if he plans to take it all the way to Catalina Island. That's 26 miles across the sea, according to The Four Preps song.


"My room's a mess, I don't care
Tired of sitting at my desk
You can't bother me
Man, I'm far away from you
Got to get away
You can't ruin my day
You can't tell me what to do
You can't make me think I love you

Shoot it in your arm, you can't hurt me
I'm on my way to Catalina
I'm not going to read your books
My tank's full of squid
And it's getting light

Whores, you can't make me want
I got all the fish I need
On the deck of my boat
You can't take my heart when I'm here
('Cause it's a) long swim home
For your cute little arms

I'll steal some gas, fix my motor
Turn on my Beatles tape
And get you out of my head

Ah yes, here I am, far away from everyone
And the only fish I smell
Is on the deck of my boat
Yeah, I want to go (I really want to go)
but my motor's broken
There's no scotch tape, I'm out of gas,
Looks like I'm stuck here
Looks like I'm stuck here

I'll steal some gas, fix my motor
Turn on my Doors tape
And get you out of my head
Get you out of my head

Ah, head."
Neil Diamond I Am... I Said Neil Diamond is an American singer-songwriter from Brooklyn, active since the 60s, and one of the world's best-selling artists of all time, according to Wickipedia. This 1971 hit was written by Diamond after he spent time in therapy trying to figure himself out. The strangest line in this song is not the one about the chair not hearing him, it's the one that says the rents are low in L.A. In what alternate universe was that ever true?


"L.A.'s fine, the sun shines most the time
And the feeling is "lay back"
Palm trees grow and rents are low
But you know I keep thinkin' about
Making my way back

Well I'm New York City born and raised
But nowadays,
I'm lost between two shores
L.A.'s fine, but it ain't home
New York's home,
But it ain't mine no more

"I am"... I said
To no one there
And no one heard at all
Not even the chair

"I am"... I cried "I am"... said I
And I am lost and I can't
Even say why
Leavin' me lonely still

Did you ever read about a frog
Who dreamed of bein' a king
And then became one
Well except for the names
And a few other changes
If you talk about me
The story's the same one

But I got an emptiness deep inside
And I've tried
But it won't let me go
And I'm not a man who likes to swear
But I never cared
For the sound of being alone

"I am"... I said
To no one there
And no one heard at all
Not even the chair
"I am"... I cried
"I am"... said I
And I am lost and I can't
Even say why
"I am"... I said
"I am"... I cried
"I am"... I said" "
Russell Dickerson Blue Tacoma This a 2018 California road trip country song about a girl and a truck that makes you want to hit the road with your sweetheart in whatever vehicle you have. Russell Dickerson is an American country recording artist from Tennessee. In case you don't know, the Tacoma sung about here is a model of Toyota pickup truck, not the city in Washington State that's named after the original Native American name for the volcano Mt. Rainier. The historian in me needed to tell you that. The economist in me can't help but wonder if Dickerson was paid by Toyota to use their truck's name in the song, or if maybe Toyota made him pay to use the name. Everybody's dipping their beak these days.


"Blue Tacoma, California
Rays of gold are shining on ya

Wheels rolling on an old Toyota
Twist top on a Sunkist soda
Your brown hair in the west coast wind
If heaven is anywhere
The night is here it's at the top of our lungs
Shuffling in and gonna steal the one
Missing turns 'cause that's our song
If heaven is anywhere

It's in a blue Tacoma, California
White magnolia in your hair
Rays of gold are shining on ya
Ooh, if heaven is anywhere
It's never running out of golden road
Always having your hand to hold
It's in a blue Tacoma, California
Ooh, if heaven is anywhere
It's right through the door, California
Rays of gold are shining on ya

Red sun melting to the black top
Dollar shades from a nowhere truck stop
Your kiss and that coast line
If heaven is anywhere
Pull it over to the shoulder
To take it in
Mmh and pull you closer
Loving you longer than I ever did
Going places we never been
'Cause heaven's in

A blue Tacoma, California
White magnolia in your hair
Rays of gold are shining on ya
Ooh, if heaven is anywhere
It's never running out of golden road
Always having your hand to hold
In a blue Tacoma, California
Ooh, if heaven is anywhere
It's right here...."
Dictators, The California Sun The Dictators were a proto punk band from New York City. Some people consider them one of the very first punk bands, but they played their instruments too well to be punk in my opinion, though they had the attitude. This great version of the 1964 Rivieras classic described below is from their first studio album Go Girl Crazy! released in 1975, almost two years before the Ramones released their studio version.
Diesel Sausalito Summer Night This is from Diesel's album "Watts in a Tank" released in 1980. They're a power pop Dutch band, so they probably didn't know that nobody calls it Frisco or that Sausalito is not Frisco, and that you shouldn't need 200 gallons of gas to get from L.A. to Sausalito. That's only about 2 miles per gallon. This song sounds like Steve Miller or early Tom Petty or maybe even the Doobie Brothers, or something as dreadfully 1970s as all that, but I'm fond of it nevertheless because it reminds me of blowing a gasket on the Grapevine once and waiting all day in the only coffee shop for parts to arrive from Bakersfield. Now there's the usual fast food and motel jungle in Grapevine, and there's probably not a Rambler left on the road.


"We left for Frisco in your Rambler
The radiator running dry
I've never been much of a gambler
And had a preference to fly
You said, "Forget about the airline
Let's take the car and save the fare"
We blew a gasket on the Grapevine
And eighty dollars on repairs

All aboard
(Sausalito summer night)
All aboard

Hot summer night in Sausalito
Can't stand the heat another mile
Let's drop a quarter in the meter
And hit the sidewalk for a while

I'll have a burger and a root beer
You feed the heap some of the grape
A shot of premium to boot, dear
We'll get across the Golden Gate

All aboard
(Sausalito summer night)
All aboard
(Sausalito summer night)
All aboard
(Sausalito summer night)
All aboard

Another mile to Frisco
200 gallons from LA
The engine's stomping like a disco
We ought to dump her in the bay...."
Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy California Uber Alles A hip hop version of the Dead Kennedys song that samples their version and adds new lyrics slamming then 80's Republican governor Pete Wilson. I'd love to see a newer version skewering the non-elected (the first time), Governator.
(Well, it's now 2011, so it's too late for that.  Ahnold's Presidential hopes were destroyed as he retired in shame in the middle of a sex scandal -  no surprise, considering all the sexual harrassment complaints that women made against him.)
Dixie Chicks Gaslighter Dixie Chicks are a country group formed in Texas composed of three women. The biggest-selling country group in the U.S.A, the group was blacklisted and boycotted in 2003 for criticizing President George Bush for his plans to start a war in Iraq. Their best-selling 2006 album "Taking the Long Way" won the highest Grammy Awards - Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Record of the Year, but after that the band mostly took a long hiatus until 2020 when they released this song, the first single from their first new album in 14 years.


"Gaslighter
Denier
Doing anything to get your ass farther
Gaslighter
Big timer
Repeating all of the mistakes of your father

We moved to California and we followed your dreams
I believed in the promises you made to me
Swore that night til death do us part
But you lie lie lie lie lied

Hollywood welcomed you with open doors
No matter what they gave you, you still wanted more
Acting all above it when our friends divorced
What a lie lie lie lie lie

You're such a
Gaslighter
Denier
Doing anything to get your ass farther
Gaslighter
Big timer
Repeating all of the mistakes of your father
Gaslighter
You broke me
You're sorry but where's my apology
Gaslighter
You liar

You thought I wouldn't see it if you put it in my face
Give you all my money you'll gladly walk away
You think it's justifiable I think it's pretty cruel
And you know you lie best when you lie to you
Cause boy you know exactly what you did on my boat
And boy that's exactly why you ain't comin' home
Save your tired stories for your new someone else
Cause they're lie lie lie lie lies
Look out you little

Gaslighter
Denier...."
DJ Fenix & Lisa Williams California Sun This is an electronic dance track that was a dance hit in 2017. DJ Fenix is a Russian EDM DJ and producer, and Lisa Williams is an English singer.


"Do you remember
Do you remember the summer
Making love with the California sun
In our eyes

And can you tell me
Can you tell me how we moved on
We never knew that we could be strong
We never knew that we could be strong

Eake me back
Let me go back
In the California sun
Take me back
Let me go back
To the California
California sun
California sun
California sun
In the California sun...."
DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince Yo Home To Bel-Air These guys are a hip hop duo from Philadelphia - Jeff Townes and Will Smith. Yes, that Will Smith, the TV star and then blockbuster movie star. They had a few hits and Grammys, including one with the song Summertime, with Smith doing the rapping. Beginning in 1990, Smith starred for several years in a TV sitcom called The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, about a teenage kid from the streets of Philadelphia man who was forced to move into his uncle's Bel-Air mansion to keep him out of trouble. This was the show's theme song, and it is some really cheezy 90's hip hop, as you would excpect from a sit com theme. It probably has a lot of nostalgic value for kids who watched the show.


"Now, this is a story all about how
My life got flipped-turned upside down
And I'd like to take a minute
Just sit right there
I'll tell you how I became the prince of a town called Bel Air

In west Philadelphia born and raised
On the playground was where I spent most of my days
Chillin' out maxin' relaxin' all cool
And all shootin some b-ball outside of the school
When a couple of guys who were up to no good
Started making trouble in my neighborhood
I got in one little fight and my mom got scared
She said 'You're movin' with your auntie and uncle in Bel Air'

I begged and pleaded with her day after day
But she packed my suit case and sent me on my way
She gave me a kiss and then she gave me my ticket.
I put my Walkman on and said, 'I might as well kick it'.

First class, yo this is bad
Drinking orange juice out of a champagne glass.
Is this what the people of Bel-Air living like?
Hmmmmm this might be alright.

But wait I hear they're prissy, bourgeois, all that
Is this the type of place that they just send this cool cat?
I don't think so
I'll see when I get there
I hope they're prepared for the prince of Bel-Air

Well, the plane landed and when I came out
There was a dude who looked like a cop standing there with my name out
I ain't trying to get arrested yet
I just got here
I sprang with the quickness like lightning, disappeared

I whistled for a cab and when it came near
The license plate said fresh and it had dice in the mirror
If anything I could say that this cab was rare
But I thought 'Nah, forget it' - 'Yo, holmes to Bel Air'

I pulled up to the house about 7 or 8
And I yelled to the cabbie 'Yo holmes smell ya later'
I looked at my kingdom
I was finally there
To sit on my throne as the Prince of Bel Air"
John Doe Alone in Arizona

This is John Doe's cover of a song written by his former bandmate in X, Exene Cervenka, off his 2016 album "The Westerner." Doe calls the album his "psychedelic, soul record from the Arizona desert."

John Doe (featuring Kathleen Edwards) Golden State This is one of my favorite California songs. It's an upbeat guitar rocker with nice hooks and harmonies and a great chorus. (Doe said in a 3/15 interview with Marc Maron on his WTF podcast that it was the closest thing to a hit song that he's recorded.)

"The Golden State" has been the official California State Nickname since 1968. John Doe is a singer-songwriter, actor from LA, member of the LA punk band X, The Knitters, and has recorded many solo and collaborative albums. Kathleen Edwards is a Canadian singer-songwriter. (Her 2012 album Voyageur has some nice cuts on it - check out "Change the Sheets.")


"You are the hole in my head
I am the pain in your neck
You are the lump in my throat
I am the aching in your heart

We are tangled
We are stolen
We are living where things are hidden You are something in my eye
And I am the shiver down your spine

You are on the lick of my lips
And I am on the tip of your tongue

We are tangled
We are stolen
We are buried up to our necks in sand We are luck
We are fate
We are the feeling you get in the golden state
We are love
We are hate
We are the feeling I get when you walk away….
Walk away..."
Dom Dolla San Frandisco Dom Dolla is an Australian house music producer. This is dance track from 2019 that I can not criticize for rhyming "San Francisco" with "disco" because it's about the dance club scene in the city, with spoken-word descriptions. And, of course, the title says it all.


"San Francisco, where's your disco?
San Francisco, where's your disco?

I was supposed to go out there for like a semester of college and I ended up never leaving. It's that energy on the dance floor that I think has helped house music completely thrive from there. There is definitely the leftover hippie vibe from the '60s and '70s I think. It's just a great place to go out, there's something going on every night of the week, the people there are fun and just,
yeah, I love it.

San Francisco, where's your disco?

I first moved there in 1999. I was supposed to go out there for like a semester of college and I ended up never leaving. It's that energy on the dance floor that I think you know has helped house music completely thrive from there. There is definitely the leftover hippie vibe from the '60s and '70s I think. It's just a great place to go out, there's something going on every night of the week, the people there are fun and just, yeah, I love it.

San Francisco, where's your disco?
San Francisco, where's your disco?"
Dollyrots, The California The Dollyrots are a pop punk band with a female vocalist that is from Florida and settled in LA in 2002. This song is from their 2010 release "A Little Messed Up."


"It's a place where the skies are blue
Not a cloud cloud in the sky to speak of
Everyone's swimming in the surf
And palm trees line the streets you walk on

Showing off your brand new fan says
Bleach blond hottie get their ditches
And walking down the Walk of Fame 'cause
Sunset Strip's where you do your business

Meet me in California
Where you can have it all, yeah
We'll be in California
The sun is shining bright
And well it starts tonight

Yeah, yeah, tonight
Can I give it a try

Going swimming in your pool, yeah
The view from the Hills is so so gorgeous
Everyone's got their brand new boards for
Day and night they walk the carpet

Meet me in California
Where you can have it all, yeah
We'll be in California
The sun is shining bright
And well it starts tonight.
... ... ... ...
Yeah, you've got California dreams
Coz the west is best, always forever"
Dollyrots, The California Beach Boy Another song from 2010's "A Little Messed Up."


"Went down to Venice Beach
Dirty Converse walking down the street
Never thought I'd look his way
oh no oh no oh no

Said baby whats your name
Now I'm falling for his cheesy game
But were totally not the same
oh no oh no oh no

My friends tell me I've gone crazy
Oh, no, here I go
Fell in love with a California beach boy
Oh, no, here I go
What am I thinking it's so wrong
I'm in love with a California beach boy

He drives a Mercedes
Abercrombie head down to his feet
You must wonder what I see
oh no oh no oh no
But he holds the door for me
Like he invented chivalry
To my heart he holds the key
oh no oh no oh no

My friends tell me I've gone crazy
Oh, no, here I go
Fell in love with a California beach boy
Oh, no, here I go
What am I thinking it's so wrong
I'm in love with a California beach boy"
The Doobie Brothers Ukiah The Doobie Brothers are a rock band from San Jose, Calfornia. Most of their success was in the 1970s, including a couple of #1 hits, and they are still performing (as of 2019). This song is from the band's 1973 album "The Captain and Me."


"People rushin' everywhere
If they'd only slow down once
They might find something there
Green trees and timber land
People workin' with their hands
For sure a different way to live
Gonna keep my cabin at hand
Retreat and live off the land
All around Ukiah, wo
The mountain streams that rush on by
Show the fish a jumpin'
And reflect the open sky
The fresh clean smell of the pines Symbol of unchanging times
All around this sacred land
Strangely, though, I've found my way
Right here I'm gonna stay
In this land Ukiah, wo wo
Ooooh Ukiah,
Ooooh Ukiah...."
Doors, The L.A. Woman The Doors were an experimental rock band formed in Los Angeles in and fronted by Jim Morrison. They were one of the most controversial, influential, and successful bands of their era - 1965-1973. In this song from the album "L.A. Woman," released in 1971, L.A. is a lonely woman with freeways, midnight alleys and hair like a wildfire. (Now 35 years later, she also has a lot of tattoos.) "Mr. Mojo Risin'" is an anagram for Jim Morrison.


"Well, I just got into town about an hour ago
Took a look around, see which way the wind blow
Where the little girls in their Hollywood bungalows

Are you a lucky little lady in the City of Lights?
Or just another lost angel?
City of Night, City of Night,
City of Night, City of Night

L.A. Woman, L.A. Woman
L.A. Woman Sunday afternoon
L.A. Woman Sunday afternoon
L.A. Woman Sunday afternoon
Drive through your suburbs
Into your blues, into your blues, yeah
Into your blues Into your blues

I see your hair is burnin'
Hills are filled with fire
If they say I never loved you
You know they are a liar
Drivin' down your freeways
Midnight alleys roam
Cops in cars,
The topless bars
Never saw a woman...
So alone, so alone
So alone, so alone

Motel, money, murder, madness
Let's change the mood from glad to sadness

Mr. Mojo Risin', Mr. Mojo Risin'
Mr. Mojo Risin', Mr. Mojo Risin'
Got to keep on risin'
Mr. Mojo Risin', Mr. Mojo Risin'
Mojo Risin', gotta Mojo Risin'
Mr. Mojo Risin', gotta keep on risin'
Risin', risin'
Gone risin', risin'
I'm gone risin', risin'
I gotta risin', risin'
Well, risin', risin'
I gotta, wooo, yeah, risin'
Whoa, oh yeah

Well, I just got into town about an hour ago
Took a look around, see which way the wind blow
Where the little girls in their Hollywood bungalows

Are you a lucky little lady in the City of Light
Or just another lost angel?
City of Night, City of Night,
City of Night, City of Night, whoa, c'mon

L.A. Woman, L.A. Woman
L.A. Woman, you're my woman
Little L.A. Woman, Little L.A. Woman
L.A. L.A. Woman Woman
L.A. Woman c'mon"
Doors, The Peace Frog This song is from the Doors' fifth studio album "Morrison Hotel," released in 1970. It consists of poetry written by Jim Morison that was added to music that was already recorded, which might explain why these gory lyrics accompany a fast upbeat song.


"There's blood in the streets, it's up to my ankles
She came
Blood in the streets, it's up to my knee
She came
Blood in the streets in the town of Chicago
She came
Blood on the rise, it's following me
Think about the break of day

She came and then she drove away
Sunlight in her hair

She came
Blood in the streets runs a river of sadness
She came
Blood in the streets it's up to my thigh
She came
Yeah the river runs red down the legs of a city
She came
The women are crying red rivers of weepin'

She came into town and then she drove away
Sunlight in her hair

Indians scattered on dawn's highway bleeding
Ghosts crowd the young child's fragile eggshell mind

Blood in the streets in the town of New Haven
Blood stains the roofs and the palm trees of Venice
Blood in my love in the terrible summer
Bloody red sun of Phantastic L.A.

Blood screams her brain as they chop off her fingers
Blood will be born in the birth of a nation
Blood is the rose of mysterious union

There's blood in the streets, it's up to my ankles
Blood in the streets, it's up to my knee
Blood in the streets in the town of Chicago
Blood on the rise, it's following me"
Dr. Dre & Snoop Doggy Dogg Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang This is a duet from two great California rappers off Dr. Dre's classic 1992 debut album "The Chronic." It was #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was named one of the 500 songs that shaped rock and roll by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


"One, two, three and to the fo'
Snoop Doggy Dogg and Dr. Dre is at the do'
Ready to make an entrance, so back on up
(Cause you know we 'bout had to rip s**t up)
Gimme the microphone first, so I can bust like a bubble
Compton and Long Beach together, now you know you in trouble
Ain't nothin' but a G thang, baby!
Two loc'ed out G's so we're crazy!
Death Row is the label that pays me!
Unfadable, so please don't try to fade this (Hell yeah)
But, uh, back to the lecture at hand
Perfection is perfected, so I'm 'a let 'em understand
From a young G's perspective
And before me dig out a bitch I have ta' find a contraceptive
You never know she could be earnin' her man,
And learnin' her man, and at the same time burnin' her man
Now you know I ain't wit that s**t, Lieutenant
Ain't no pussy good enough to get burnt while I'm up in it
(yeah) And that's realer than real-deal Holyfield
And now you hookas and ho's know how I feel
Well if it's good enough to get broke off a proper chunk
I'll take a small piece of some of that funky stuff

It's like this and like that and like this and uh
It's like that and like this and like that and uh
It's like this and like that and like this and uh
... ... ... ...
Yeah, and ya' don't stop
I told you I'm just like a clock when I tick and I tock
But I'm never off, always on, 'til the break dawn
C-O-M-P-T-O-N, and the city they call Long Beach
Puttin' the s**t together
Like my nigga D.O.C., no one can do it better...."
Dresden Dolls, The Shores of California The Dresden Dolls are a duo from Boston formed in 2000 including Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione. They describe their style as "Brechtian punk cabaret" and are part of the "Dark Cabaret" movement. This song is from their 2006 album "Yes Virginia"


"He's been trying with limited success
To get this girl to let him get into her dress
But every time he thinks he's getting close
She threatens death before he gets a chance

And that's the way it is in Minnesota
And that's the way it is in Oklahoma
That's the way it's been since protozoa
First climbed onto the shores of California

And she's been trying with limited success
To get him to turn out the lights and dance
Cause like any girl all she really wants
That fickle little bitch romance
That fickle little bitch romance

And that is why a girl is called a tease
And that is why a guy is called a sleaze
And that's why god made escort agencies
One life to live and mace and GHB

And that's the way it is in Minnesota
And that's the way it is in Oklahoma
That's the way since the animals and Noah
First climbed onto the shores of California"
Dressy Bessy California This is a one of those indie rock songs that sounds like everyone in the band is singing and playing their instruments for the first time and couldn't care less about the song. It's a skill that probably took them years to master. The band was formed in Denver in 1996 and has a female lead vocalist.


"Free ride, sea side
Tell me what they're doing in California
In the moonlight is so bright
Tell me what they're doing in California
Singing ah ah ah la la la

Where's that sunhat
Pack it for the weather in California
And the streelights run all night.
Tell me what they're doing in California

Can we go there this summer i'll wear a flower in my hair
If we go there this summer i'll walk right to that summer
Can we go there this summer?

Ah ah ah la la la

Where's my sunshine
All are free and friendly in California
In the moonlight, it don't feel right
Ah la la la
Tell me what they're doing in California..."
Drinkard Sisters Dress Yrself in Gallantry The Drinkard Sisters are an acoustic contry/folk group from Michigan. This song is from their 2018 album "Enough Already."


"She's [gone] I-84
Walking in the headlights
The only thing upon her skin now
That cold western night
And the police gonna stop her
But they ain't slowin' down to help no
They only come to carry her over
The state line of Idaho

She'll drive to San Francisco
Take the voyage out
She will not rest for weariness
And will not rest for doubt
And she will not talk to strangers
Strangers talk so loud
She'll dress herself in gallantry
Whether within or without

She's [gone] the evening dew
They're laughing at a picture
Discover of a [peak] soul
A wild-hearted sister
And the world don't take too kind
To a woman fond of ramblin'
They'll lock her up and tie her down
To keep her feet from travelin'

She'll drive to San Francisco
Take the voyage out
She will not rest for weariness
And will not rest for doubt
And she will not talk to strangers
Strangers talk so loud
She'll dress herself in gallantry
Whether within or without

It's always easier to stay
It's always easier to stay
Get all that out of your way
Just take off runnin'

It's always easier to stay
It's always easier to stay
Get all that out of your way
Just take off runnin'

I'll drive to San Francisco
Take the voyage out
I will not rest for weariness
I will not rest for doubt
And I will not talk to strangers
Strangers talk so loud
I'll dress myself in gallantry
Whether within or without"
Bob Dylan California Bob Dylan is a Nobel-Prize-winning guitar player from Minnesota who has written and sung a lot of songs since 1961, including this one from 1972. It's a piano/harmonica blues tune that perpetuates the myth that California only has one weather season, which is just not true. It has four like everywhere else - there's the wet season, mudslide season, the dry season, and fire season.


"I'm goin' down south,
'neath the borderline.
I'm goin' down south,
'neath the borderline.
Some fat momma
Kissed my mouth one time.

Well, I needed it this morning
Without a shadow of doubt.
My suitcase is packed,
My clothes are hangin' out.

San francisco's fine,
You sure get lots of sun.
San Francisco is fine.
You sure get lots of sun.
But I'm used to four seasons,
California's got but one.

Well, I got my dark sunglasses,
I got for good luck my black tooth.
I got my dark sunglasses,
And for good luck I got my black tooth.
Don't ask me nothin' about nothin',
I just might tell you the truth."
Bob Dylan San Francisco Bay Blues This is Dylan's version of the 1954 Jessie Fuller song. It's from one the earliest recordings of Dylan - "The Minneapolis Party Tape" recorded in 1961 and released in 2012.
(The lyrics are shown under Jesse Fuller.)

E
E-40 (featuring Dam-Funk & Ariel Pink) California E-40 is an American rapper from Vallejo who has been recording since 1986. This jazzy hip-hop song, featuring Dam-Funk & Ariel Pink, is from the compilation album "Welcome to Los Santos" released in 2015 by hip-hop producers The Alchemist and Oh No.


[E-40]
"Throwin’ up the upside down M (the upside down M)
E-40, the W, like the hotel
West Coast! Y’all picked the right person to bring this s**t to life
California
I’mma speak some real s**t
This how that s**t go down
I’m the soul narrator

It’s zany on these dumping grounds
Don’t be slippin’ with your pants down
They got some big s**t hundred rounds
That’ll knock you out your shoes and spin your neck around
Crooked cops, crooked dice, crooked streets
Dark guns, dark alleys, dark reefs
Don’t get fooled by the palm trees and the beach
They wake your ass up, put the pistol to your teeth
Where the safe at? Where the shoe box? Where your duffel, patna?
Lost souls, they don’t believe in karma
The fast lane, fast cars, fast cash
Bad bitches, big t**ties, big ass (who out here?)
Celebrities and socialites
Pimps, gangstas, and hustlas under the streetlights
They’ll run up on ya, make sure you with some real ones
When you come in California

[Ariel Pink]
Even when it’s flying high
Watching the weather
Up above, the city skies
And gettin’ it together
California, California

[E-40]
Cali, the land of opportunity
San Quintin and Silicone Valley
Where they learn to play the corner
Where they play with drumsticks that’ll go through body armour
In the Pacific to be specific (what they like to do?)
Where they’ll follow you on the freeway
Catch you gettin’ off an exit when you least expect it
Unexpected, in the middle of the daylight where the traffic hectic
Bold, cold, these judges ain’t plannin’ on gettin’ old, old
Got hit now he layin’ up in the road, road
His mama outside up in her robe, robe (her robe?)
(Where you from?) West Coast!
You sick out this bitch, as I squash like this
The fog and the mist (West Coast!)
I yell that s**t out, that’s all that I know, that’s how that s**t go

[Ariel Pink]
Even when it’s flying high
Watching the weather
Up above and try hard to
Get it together
California, California

Up above the sunny skies in California
And soon they'll be flying high in California
In California"
Eagles, The Hotel California I have no idea what this 1977 mega hit is really about, or if it's even about California. Some guy drives through the desert to a decadent hotel in the desert full of beautiful people, were you can check out but never leave. The best thing about it is the guitar solo.


"Her mind is tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes Benz
She got a lot of pretty, pretty boys, that she calls friends
How they dance in the courtyard, sweet summer sweat.
Some dance to remember, some dance to forget

So I called up the captain,
’please bring me my wine’
He said, ’we haven’t had that spirit here since nineteen sixty nine’
And still those voices are calling from far away,
Wake you up in the middle of the night
Just to hear them say...

Welcome to the hotel California
Such a lovely place
Such a lovely face
They livin’ it up at the hotel California
What a nice surprise, bring your alibis"
J. D. Edwards West Coast Blues I can't find out much information about J. D. Edwards. Someone on YouTube says he was "more than likely a musician on the 1950's Houston, TX. blues scene." Edwards shouts out this mid-tempo blues along with electric guitar, drums, and a stand up bass that never stops.


"On my way to California
I guess I'll be on my way
On my way to California
I guess I'll be on my way
I'm tellin' everybody
This time I'm goin' to stay

Got a woman in California
That's as sweet as she can be
Woman in California
That's as sweet as she can be
Yes, she'll be waiting there for me"
Billie Eilish All the Good Girls Go to Hell Billie Eilish is a singer-songwriter from L.A. This song is from her first album "When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?" which was released in 2019 when she was 17 years old and debuted at number one on the Billboard albums chart. ['m back here in February, 2020 to add that this album has deservedly won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Eilish won the other top three Grammy Awards, too.]

This song will fit nicely on a playlist of songs about California wildfires. It's probably no coincidence that six months before this song was released large parts of California were burning in the worst fire season ever recorded in the state. [I'm back here in October, 2020 to say that this year's fire season was even worse!]


"My Lucifer is lonely

Standing there, killing time
Can't commit to anything but a crime
Peter's on vacation, an open invitation
Animals, evidence
Pearly gates look more like a picket fence
Once you get inside 'em
Got friends but can't invite them

Hills burn in California
My turn to ignore ya
Don't say I didn't warn ya

All the good girls go to Hell
'Cause even God herself has enemies
And once the water starts to rise
And Heaven's out of sight
She'll want the Devil on her team

My Lucifer is lonely

Look at you needing me
You know I'm not your friend without some greenery
Walk in wearing fetters
Peter should know better
Your cover up is caving in
Man is such a fool
Why are we saving him?
Poisoning themselves now
Begging for our help, wow!

Hills burn in California
My turn to ignore ya
Don't say I didn't warn ya...."
Cass Elliot California Earthquake Cass Elliot, also known as Mama Cass, was a pop/rock singer, best known for being a member of the Mamas and the Papas. This song is from her 1968 solo album "Dream a little dream." It was written by John Hartford but Elliot released her version of the song first.


"I heard they exploded the underground blast
What they say's gonna happen, gonna happen at last
That's the way it appears

They tell me the fault line runs right through here
So that may be, that may be, what's gonna happen, gonna happen to me
That's the the way it appears

They tell me the fault line runs right through here

Atlantis will rise, Sunset Boulevard will fall
Where the beach use to be won't be nothin' at all
That's the way it appears

They tell me the fault line runs right through here
So that may be, that may be, what's gonna happen gonna happen to me
That's the way it appears

They tell me the fault line runs right through here
They tell me the fault line runs right through here"
Anita Ellis (voice) Rita Hayworth - on-screen performer Put the Blame on Mame From the classic 1946 film "Gilda," this song must have been written by some of the top seismologists in the state because it gives the most realistic version of the origin of the great San Francisco earthquake I've heard. In her nightclub act, Gilda (Rita Hayworth) ignites the screen with her dancing and singing in a strapless black dress and long black gloves which she slowly peels off like a stripper and tosses into the crowd. Beware: you might need to make a dash for a doorway when you watch her perfomance because it could easily set off a dangerous seismic event of at least 8.0.


"When they had the earthquake in San Francisco
Back in 1906
They said that old mother nature
Was up to her old tricks
That's the story that went around
But here's the real low down

Put the blame on Mame boys
Put the blame on Mame

One night she started to shimi and shake
That brought on the Frisco quake

So you can put the blame on Mame boys
Put the blame on Mame...."
Robert Ellis California Robert Ellis is an American singer-songwriter from Texas whose music is a mix of genres as many songs are these days. This song is off of his 2016 album "Robert Ellis" It's another song about escaping to California as promised land where you can start a new life.


"It was a long way to go
From Louisiana to Laredo
With everything that they own
Boxed up in the back of a van

She would've gone to the moon
If that's what it took to follow him
It's funny what love makes you do

Standing alone
There in the kitchen she's packing up plates again
Standing alone
She is remembering every fight with him
Thinking alone
"What am I doing here in this ghost town?"
Now that he's gone
There isn't a reason for me to stick around

And she says,
Maybe I'll move to California
With the unbroken part of my heart
I still have left
Maybe I'll fall in love again some day
I'm not gonna hold my breath
I'm not gonna hold my breath

Which way to go
When every road leads away from the things you wanted
Which way you go
When every memory is built like a home that's haunted
Closing your eyes
Dream of a place where things turn out the way you planned it
Everything dies
Dream of a place where the living resides again

And she says,
Maybe I'll move to California
With the unbroken part of my heart
I still have left
Maybe I'll fall in love again some day
I'm not gonna hold my breath
I'm not gonna hold my breath..."
EMA California From her 2011 album "Past Life Martyred Saints," this one is from a young but very bitter California Girl.  Beware the expletives.


"F**k California, you made me boring
I've bled all my blood out
But these red pants they don't show that
My old friends though they know that
But when I sold them I sold that
… … … … …
You're bleeding from the fingertips
You rubbed me raw, you rubbed me wrong
And I hear you and I think of you

Oh California Now you've corrupted us all with your sexuality
Tried to tell me love was free…
Tried to tell me love was free
I said them? Maybe you you you you you and me "
Eminem Say Goodbye to Hollywood Detroit native Marshall Mathers raps about his troubled life again, from his 2002 album "The Eminem Show."


"Bury my face in comic books, cause I don't want to look
At nothin', this world's too much
I've swallowed all I could
If I could swallow a bottle of tylenol I would, and end it for good
Just say goodbye to Hollywood
I probably should, these problems are piling all at once
Cause everything that bothers me, I got it bottled up
I think i'm bottomin' out
But i'm not about to give up, I gotta get up
Thank God, I got a little girl
And I'm a responsible father
So not a lot of good, i'd be to my daughter layin' in the bottom of the mud
Must be in my blood cause I don't know how I do it
All I know is I don't want to follow in the footsteps of my dad
Cause I hate him so bad
The worst fear that I had was growin' up to be like his ****
If you could understand why I am the way that I am
What do I say to my fans, when I tell 'em i'm...

Sayin' goodbye, sayin' goodbye to Hollywood
Sayin' goodbye, sayin' goodbye to Hollywood
Sayin' goodbye, sayin' goodbye to Hollywood
Sayin' goodbye, sayin' goodbye to Hollywood
Sayin' goodbye, sayin' goodbye to Hollywood..."
Estelle (featuring Kanye West) American Boy Estelle is a British singer/songwriter/rapper and Kanye Kardashian-West is a rapper from Chicago. This was a hit disco-funk song from Estelle's 2008 album "Shine" that won a Grammy Award and charted at #1 in the UK and #9 on the Billboard Hot 100.


".....Take me on a trip, I'd like to go some day.
Take me to New York, I'd love to see L.A.
I really want to come kick it with you.
You'll be my American boy.

He said "Hey, Sister.
It's really, really nice to meet you."
I just met this 5 foot 7 guy who's just my type.
I like the way he's speaking, his confidence is peaking.
Don't like his baggy jeans but I'mma like what's underneath them.
And no I ain't been to MIA
I heard that Cali never rains and New York's heart awaits.
First let's see the west end.
I'll show you to my brethren.
I'm liking this American boy, American boy

Take me on a trip, I'd like to go some day
Take me to New York, I'd love to see L.A.
I really want to come kick it with you.
You'll be my American boy, American boy

Can we get away this weekend?
Take me to Broadway.
Let's go shopping, baby, then we'll go to a café.
Let's go on the subway.
Take me to your hood.
I never been to Brooklyn and I'd like to see what's good.
Dress in all your fancy clothes.
Sneakers looking fresh to death, I'm loving those Shell Toes.
Walking that walk.
Talk that slick talk.
I'm liking this American boy, American boy.

Take me on a trip, I'd like to go some day
Take me to New York, I'd love to see L.A.
I really want to come kick it with you.
You'll be my American boy
... ... ... ...
Take me on a trip, I'd like to go some day
Take me to Chicago, San Francisco Bay.
I really want to come kick it with you.
You'll be my American boy, American boy
You'll be my American boy.
Be my American boy!
American boy...."
Melissa Etheridge California This is from Etheridge's 2007 album "The Awakening." It's another song about someone who went west to rescue herself. I hope she brought plenty of water...


"Raised up on mid-western dreams
Only a few shall get
What everyone shall need
I took my family's burden
Strapped it to my chest
A few hundred bucks,
And a kiss for luck
And I pointed my dreams west

To California
Come rescue me
California
I am almost free

I kept on driving to the setting sun
Galaxies of angels
Welcome everyone
I took my heart out of its box
Attached it to my sleeve
Well, I will be here every night
Because that's what I believe

In California
Come rescue me
California
I am almost free

I will find my love
I will know my peace
I will seek my truth
I am almost free
I am almost free..."
Melissa Etheridge Miss California

This is from her 2010 album, "Fearless Love." Since Etheridge has been openly gay since the early 1990's, I'd guess that one of the propositions that makes the singer feel so cold is proposition 8, the 2008 ballot proposition that outlawed same sex marriage. It was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013, so maybe she's made up with Miss California now.


"Miss California what did I do wrong ?
It seems I've loved you
For just a little too long
You've gone and left me
For some preacher's way
Now you act like you never knew me
And you can't hear a word I say

Miss California did I get in your way?
Did the neighbors warn you
What would happen some day?
Like a love like mine
Was never good anyway
They said think about your reputation now
Before you get carried away

Don't you know what's good for me can be good for you?
Don't you know what's good for me can be good for you ?
Don't you know what is good for you
Can be good for me too?
Don't you know what's good for me can be good for you?

Miss California was I a little too proud?
I'm standing in the street now
And I'm screaming out loud
You try to shove me in your closet
With your skulls and your bones
I can be who I am you see
If I want to do it all alone

Yeah yeah yeah

Don't you know what's good for me can be good for you ?
Don't you know what is good for you
Can be good for me too ?
Don't you know what's good for me can be good for you ?

Your sweet seduction led me far from home
Your self-destruction gives me sticks and stones
Your propositions make me feel so cold
When the hand that's trying to hold me down
Is the one I'm trying to hold
I know the hand that's trying to hold me down
Is the one I'm trying to hold
I said the hand that's trying to force me back
Is the one that won't let me go

Miss California
Yeah yeah yeah
Miss California
Yeah yeah yeah ... "

Eve 6 Inside Out Eve 6 is a pop punk band formed in Southern California in 1995. The singer mentions So Cal in the lyrics. This was a hit song for the band, from their first album "Eve 6" released in 1998.


"I would swallow my pride, I would choke on the rinds
But the lack thereof would leave me empty inside
Swallow my doubt turn it inside out
Find nothin' but faith in nothin'
Want to put my tender, heart in a blender
Watch it spin around to a beautiful oblivion
Rendezvous then I'm through with you

I burn, burn like a wicker cabinet, chalk white and oh so frail
I see our time has gotten stale
The tick tock of the clock is painful
All sane and logical, I want to tear it off the wall
I hear words and clips and phrases
I think sick like ginger ale
My stomach turns and I exhale

I would swallow my pride, I would choke on the rinds
But the lack thereof would leave me empty inside
I would swallow my doubt turn it inside out
Find nothin' but faith in nothin'
Want to put my tender, heart in a blender
Watch it spin around to a beautiful oblivion
Rendezvous then I'm through with you

So Cal is where my mind states
But it's not my state of mind
I'm not as ugly, sad as you
Or am I origami, folded up and just pretend
Demented as the motives in your head

I would swallow my pride, I would choke on the rinds
But the lack thereof would leave me empty inside
I would swallow my doubt turn it inside out
Find nothin' but faith in nothin'
Want to put my tender, heart in a blender
Watch it spin around to a beautiful oblivion
Rendezvous then I'm through with you
(Rendezvous)

I alone am the one you don't know
You need take heed, feed your ego
Make me blind when your eyes close
Sink when you get close, tie me to the bedpost
I alone am the one you don't know
You need, you don't know you need me
Make me blind when your eyes close
Tie me to the bed post...."
Everclear Like a California King Singer, songwriter Art Alexakis grew up in L.A., but formed the rock band Everclear in Portland. This song's from the album "So Much for the Afterglow" released in 1997. It's not about a California King bed or a California Kingsnake, it's just more of the same intense brooding rock that made this album the band's most commercially successful.


"I see you have made yourself a brand new life
Such a cool blue star with a bright new shine
I see you wear your checkered past
Just like a shining suit of gold
I know you think you look so special
I am told you have found yourself a brand new time
Watch the world stand still as years go by
I know you think you are so new and different
But it makes no sense to me
There is nothing new about you
Just another self-made man
There is nothing new that I see
Enjoy it while you can
I know you think you look so special
What makes you think you are so special?
What makes you think you are unique?
I see you smile and I get angry
As I watch you go colossal
Like a California king
...
What makes you think you are better than me?
What makes you think you are better?
What makes you think you are so complete?
What makes you think you are the only one immune to falling down?
Why can't you see?
I see you fall and I get happy
I will watch you burn like fire
I will watch you burn like a California king
I will watch you burn like a California king"
Everclear Santa Monica This is from Everclear's 1995 album "Sparkle and Fade."
Technically the song doesn't mention a specific place in California except in the title, but when you consider that as a teenager Art Alexakis the writer/singer of this song, filled his pockets with heavy stuff then jumped off the Santa Monica Pier to kill himself, it's a pretty good guess that imagery of death and the ocean refer to the beach at Santa Monica.


"I am still living with your ghost
Lonely and dreaming of the west coast
I don't want to be your downtime
I don't want to be your stupid game

With my big black boots and an old suitcase
I do believe I'll find myself a new place
I don't want to be the bad guy
I don't want do your sleepwalk dance anymore
I just want to see some palm trees
I will try and shake away this disease

We can live beside the ocean
Leave the fire behind
Swim out past the breakers
Watch the world die

We can live beside the ocean
Leave the fire behind
Swim out past the breakers
Watch the world die

I am still dreaming of your face
Hungry and hollow for all the things you took away
I don't want to be your good time
I don't want to be your fall-back crutch anymore

I'll walk right out into a brand new day
Insane and rising in my own weird way
I don't want to be the bad guy
I don't want to do your sleepwalk dance anymore

I just want to feel some sunshine
I just want to find some place to be alone

We can live beside the ocean
Leave the fire behind
Swim out past the breakers
Watch the world die

We can live beside the ocean
Leave the fire behind
Swim out past the breakers
Watch the world die

... ... ... ...

Yeah watch the world die
Yeah watch the world die
Yeah watch the world die
Yeah watch the world die"
F
Fall, The L.A. I really don't care if they're singing about the city of L.A. Their video seems to think so. I love this song. The music is hard and driving but sparse and minimal in that 80's post-punk way in this1985 release from the great UK band.


"Odeon
Sky
Uncanny
Bushes are in disagreement with the heat
L.A.
Uncanny
Person
They have filled boulevards with white snow, scum-ball
L.A.
This is my happening and it freaks me out"
Fantastic Negrito The Last Days of Oakland (Intro) Fantastic Negrito is a rootsy blues & r&b singer-songwriter out of Oakland. This is only a short intro piece from the album of the same name, but the whole album is worth a listen, and it was even awarded a Grammy.


“The Last Days of Oakland
(The Black Panthers)
It's the end of something
(Crack cocaine)
and the beginning of something
(Hells Angels)
The Last Days of Oakland
(East Bay Dragons)
Ah, there's good in the old Oakland
(Free speech)
there's good in the new Oakland
(I love the new Oakland. New nice places.)
Let's make a sandwich
(It’s so expensive)
Let's make a new baby
(Just to survive?)
The seeds were planted long ago
Let's watch the tree grow.”
Jay Farrar and Ben Gibbard Big Sur Jay Farrar, of the pioneering Alt Country/No Depression band Uncle Tupelo (that he started in Illinois with his neighbor Jeff Tweedy, later the frontman of Wilco) and later with the band Son Volt, and Ben Gibbard, leader of Death Cab For Cutie and The Postal Service, got together and made an album in 2009 titled "One Fast Move or I'm Gone: Keroac's Big Sur" with lyrics based on Keroac's 1962 novel "Big Sur."  This one is a beautiful slow steel-guitar drenched country folk number. I definitely need to hear some more of this album.


"This whole surface of the world
As we know it know
Will be covered with the silt of a billion years in time

I see as much as doors will allow
A long way from
The Beat Generation
Here comes the nightly mark to his nightly death
In Big Sur
In Big Sur

The best thing to do is not be false
Rocks of the valley
Have left no hall of complaints
I'm just a sick clown, and so is everybody else
In Big Sur
In Big Sur"
Jay Farrar and Ben Gibbard California Zephyr Another song from the 2009 album "One Fast Move or I'm Gone: Keroac's Big Sur" with lyrics based on Keroac's 1962 novel "Big Sur."


"Up the Hudson Valley across New York state
To Chicago then the plains
All so easy and dreamlike
Crashing the salt flat day break
I hear "I'll take you home again Kathleen"
Sad in fogwinds out there that blow
Across the rooftops of eerie old hang over San Francisco
Now I'm transcontinental
3000 Miles from my home
I'm on the California Zephyr
Watching America roll by"
Jay Farrar and Ben Gibbard San Francisco And another song from the 2009 album "One Fast Move or I'm Gone: Keroac's Big Sur" with lyrics based on Keroac's 1962 novel "Big Sur."


"The church is blowing a sad windblown “Kathleen”
On the bells of the skid row slums
I wake up goopy and woebegone
At the Mars Hotel on 4th and Howard
Do you remember dancing girls in St. Louis

Stan Getz on the hi-fi under midnight kitchen bulbs
We all agree it’s too big to keep up with
That we’re surrounded by life – that we’ll
Never understand it
The great magical city of the Gandharvas
Of San Francisco"
Jay Farrar, Will Johnson, Anders Parker, Jim James (New Multitudes Album) Do Re Mi See Woody Guthrie below.
Fatboy Slim (featuring Lateef) Wonderful Night Fatboy Slim is the stage name of Norman Cook, an English music producer who has used many other aliases (including my favorite - Margaret Scratcher.) This is a Big Beat electronica dance track, featuring Lateef (from Oakland) on vocals, from his 2004 album "Palookaville." I often don't bother listing songs like this that barely mention California, but this is such a great track, I couldn't leave it off the list.


"...It's a wonderful night
Go ahead and release
It's a wonderful night

Come on and break it on down

You know the music search engine need a tuneup
Soon as they out the gate they all a wanna hear da corner, uh-huh
Well that was cool but now but then I heard a rumor, uh-huh
Your crew was ridin' for the White Cliffs of Dover

Uh let me tell ya how we do it in California
We'll have you on the run just like a puma
If it don't move us
Ain't paid ya dues and it ain't gonna get our roosers
We gonna lose ya to the consumer solution c'mon

It's a wonderful night
You've gotta take it from me
It's a wonderful night...."
Fatboy Slim Kalifornia This is from Fatboy's 1998 big beat electronica album "You've Come a Long Way Baby." It consists of a robotic computerized voice droning the same words over and over again inside some heavy beats for about six minutes.


California is druggy, druggy, druggy, druggy
(repeat)

Down by law, right from the core
(repeat)

California is druggy, druggy, druggy, druggy
(repeat)

Down by law, right from the core
(repeat)
Father John Misty Hollywood Forever Cemetary Sings Father John Misty is the pseudonym of singer/songwriter Josh Tillman, originally from Maryland. This is a slow dirge about sex, drugs, and folk rock at the cemetary, I guess, from his 2012 album "Fear Fun."


"Jesus Christ, girl
What are people gonna think?
When I show up to one of several funerals
I've attended for Grandpa this week

With you
With me
But someone's gotta help me dig
Someone's gotta help me dig

Jesus Christ, girl
It hasn't been long so it seems
Since I was picking out an island and a tomb for you
At the Hollywood Cemetery

You kiss
On me
But we should let this dead guy sleep
We should let this dead guy sleep

Jesus Christ, girl
I laid up for hours in a daze
Retracing the expanse of your American back
With Adderall and weed in my veins

You came
I think?
'Cause the marble made my cheeks look pink
But I'm unsure of so many things

But someone's gotta help me dig
Someone's gotta help me dig
Someone's gotta help me dig"
Father John Misty Leaving L.A. This long, slow, probably autobiographical, acoustic folk rock story song, from Tillman's 2017 album "Pure Comedy," is sung by a man who moves out of a post-apocalyptic L.A. to New Orleans. Tillman and his wife did move from L.A. to New Orleans, but they eventually moved back to L.A. where the phonies, bullsh*t bands, and billboard queens, which must not have been so objectionable after all.


"I was living on the hill
By the water tower and hiking trails
And when the big one hit I’d have a seat
To watch masters abandon their dogs and dogs run free
Oh baby, it’s time to leave
Take the van and the hearse down to New Orleans
Leave under the gaze of the billboard queens
Five-foot cheeks with parted lips selling sweatshop jeans

These L.A. phonies and their bullsh*t bands
That sound like dollar signs and Amy Grant
So reads the pulled quote from my last cover piece
Entitled "The Oldest Man in Folk Rock Speaks”
You can hear it all over the airwaves
The manufactured gasp of the final days
Someone should tell them ‘bout the time that they don’t have
To praise the glorious future and the hopeless past

A few things the songwriter needs
Arrows of Love, a mask of Tragedy
But if you want ecstasy or birth control
Just run the tap until the water’s cold
Anything else you can get online
A creation myth or a .45
You're going to need one or the other to survive
Where only the armed or the funny make it out alive

... ... ... ...

My first memory of music's from
The time at JC Penney's with my mom
The watermelon candy I was choking on
Barbara screaming, "Someone help my son!"
I relive it most times the radio's on
That "tell me lies, sweet little white lies" song
That's when I first saw the comedy won't stop for
Even little boys dying in the department store

So we leave town in total silence
New Year's Day, it's 6 o'clock AM
I've never seen Sunset this abandoned
Reminds me predictably of the world's end
It'll be good to get more space
God knows what all these suckers paid
I can stop drinking and you can write your script
But what we both think now is..."
Leah Felder California Christmas A very nice tropical style Christmas song with Hawaiian steel guitar and ukelele from her 2012 album "California Christmas." Make sure to leave a mai tai out for Santa.


"Have you ever been down on Santa Monica Boulevard
When the Christmas lights are swingin' over the cars?
You forget about the sunset calling on the way to stars
Yuletide cash from cheap motels
tattoo parlors and jingle bells
Ain't it swell

Well it's another hot December in the western state
From the San Diego Beaches to the Golden Gate
It's Christmas time in Calfornia
It's Christmas time again

All the little children try to stay awake
To see Santa come callin' in that open sleigh
It's Christmas time in California
It's Christmas time again.

Have you ever been kissed right there
under the Hollywood sign?
And tinsel town is lit up in glitter tonight.
You forget about the sand still rubbin in between your toes
Oh Feliz Navidad Happy Holidays
Deck the palm trees and jingle all the way"
José Feliciano California Dreamin' A great cover of the Mamas and the Papas classic 1966 song, with classical guitar accompaniment from his 1968 album "Feliciano!"
Fergie (featuring YG) L.A. Love (La La) (Remix) Fergie is a singer/songwriter/actress originally from southern California who is known for her solo work and her work with the Black Eyed Peas. This song was originally released in 2014 and ended up on her second solo album Double Dutchess (2017.)


"La la la la
...
Uh, tell 'em where I'm from
Finger on the pump make the sixth straight jump from SoCal
Hollywood to the slums
Chronic smoke get burnt by the California sun
On the west side east coast where you at
Just got to New York like a net on a jet
To London, to Brazil, to Quebec
Like the whole damn world took effect to Ferg
Tell 'em

Laid back, slow down
Better represent when we come to your town
So lay back, slow down
What you represent when we come to your town
Say

Get in with the business
I'ma be there in a minute
I just booked a Paris ticket
Thinking Russia need a visit
I'ma run it to the limit
And be on my way to Venice

L.A. got the people saying la la la la la
Brooklyn saying la la la la la
Hacienda saying la la la la la
Vegas saying la la la la la
Rio saying la la la la la
Tokyo saying la la la la la
Down under saying la la la la la
Miami saying la la la la la
Jamaica

Every city, every state, every country you know
All around the globe
Every city, every state, every country you know
This is how it goes

Uh tell em where I'm at
From the plaques to the uh uh
Everything phat
Got Mustard on a track
My girls all stack
When I roll down the window, let me know where you're
Atlanta, North South Cac-ill-ac
Texas grill, Cadillacs through Miami then back
To London, Jamaica then France
The whole damn world took effect to Ferg, tell 'em

Laid back, slow down
Better represent when we come to your town
Laid back, slow down
What you represent when we come to your town
Say

Get em with the business
When I come from Kansas City
Hit Manila 'til it's Christmas
Out to India I’ll visit
Puerto Rico it's exquisite
Then my people back to Venice

L.A. got the people sayin' la la la
Moscow sayin', la la la la la
España, la la la la la
Kingston sayin' la la la la la
San Diego sayin' la la la la la
Chi-Town sayin' la la la la la
Germany sayin' la la la la la
La Puente sayin' la la la la la
Ibiza

W-E-S-T S-I-D-E
Where you from? I'm from west side California baby
Brought her and f****d in our back yard, the minute it ain't hard
My mama be like "YG you so brazy"
Have you ever seen a gangsta nigga make a billion dollars?
Dre did it, he from L.A. so pop yo collar
The LAPD be all over me
Tryin' to ban me from my own bity
But for no reason the cops just killed that
Home of the Rodney King riots this s**t been wild
I hit the club and party like I scored a touchdown
I pop a bottle and all the models wanna f**k now
We jammin' on Pico, bustin' hoes on Sunset
I could take you to Venice Beach and watch the sun set
Or I could take you to the Blippers game, court seat, floor side
Eatin' on Roscoe's chicken wings

L.A. got the people sayin' la la la la la
Amsterdam, sayin', la la la la la
Frisco sayin', la la la la la
Switzerland sayin', la la la la la
Sao Paulo sayin', la la la la la
Joburg sayin', la la la la la
Mexico sayin', la la la la la
Stockholm sayin', la la la la la
Jamaica

You on that Cali s**t
Puff it, feel whatever
You like to like it
We legalizing it
Yes you can join us now
We like to love it
We like to love it
We like to love it"
Bryan Ferry San Simeon Bryan Ferry is a singer-songwriter from England. And he's a vampire. I'm pretty sure he wouldn't show up in a mirror. This song is from his 2002 album "Frantic." Careful - don't let Ferry's crooning vampire vocals mesmerize you or you'll have a sore neck in the morning. Maybe he wrote these lyrics after a visit to Hearst Castle. That place would make a great vampire lair. It probably has a big dark basement. And lots of fresh blood visiting on tour busses every day.


"Walk up the driveway endlessly curving
Go through the front door, it's so inviting
Baronial great hall once so exciting
Haunted by shadows faces in hiding
Chair by the fire, I feel a tremor
Silent reminder you used to be there
You are the princess, my wand doth wake you
Fantasy playmate candlelight lover

San Simeon
San Simeon


Teasing in French lace, exotic promise
So undemanding, yet understanding
Each wall a picture some of his best work
Delicate touches, they're simply charming
Coffee table culture full color pages
Props archetypal floral arrangement
Stereogram cabinet, walnut veneer
True reproduction no one can hear

San Simeon
San Simeon


Tiger skin rug love I stroke you bite me
Executive leather upholstered tightly
Bar in the next room, cocktails at seven
Soft lights, sweet music lounge through eleven
Let's walk in the garden, French windows open
Patio paving concrete and crazy
Roses in blossom, they're doing well this year
Geranium pattern shrub topiary
Lie on your lush lawns, waterfall bubbles
Drink at my fountain, forget all your troubles.
Forget all your troubles, forget all your troubles.

San Simeon
San Simeon
..."
Fifth Dimension, The California Soul The Fifth Dimension is a pop group from L.A. formed way back in 1965. This song is from their 1968 album "Stoned Soul Picnic."
For the lyrics, see Marlena Shaw's version.
Fight Fair California Kicks Fight Fair is a pop punk band from San Diego, based in San Francisco. This song is off their 2010 album "California Kicks." They lyrics are full of abbreviations and names that are guaranteed to keep old guys from me from understanding what on earth they're trying to say.


"Hit the beach because I can California Kicks,
Grab the boards cuz the plan is to score some chicks!

Cram the buds in the van cuz we need out fix of Del Taco,
Or maybe some In-n-out,
Double Double Whole Grill, Animal Fries, YEAH!

From S.B. to S.D. at the clubs all night,
Hollywood,
VIP,
Paparazzi lights,

Watch Entourage on TV,
But its out real life at Teddy's inside of the Roosevelts,
Bottle service at the club all night, UHH!
... ... ... ...
I hit the beach because I can California Kicks,
Grab the boards cuz the plan is to score some chicks!
Cram the buds in the van cuz we need out fix,
We need out fix,
I hit the beach because I can California Kicks,
Grab the boards cuz the plan is to score some chicks!
Cram the buds in the van cuz we need out fix,
We need out fix,
Yeah we need out fix! (Del Taco)"
First Class, The Beach Baby This is a pop song reminiscent of The Beach Boys that was a top ten hit. It's nostalgia for L.A. of the 1960s made in 1974 by a British band who probably had never been to California.


"Do you remember back in old L.A.
When everybody drove a Chevrolet
Whatever happened to the boy next door
The sun-tanned crew-cut all-american male

Remember dancin' at the high school hop
The dress I ruined with the soda pop
I didn't recognize the girl next-door
The beat up sneakers and the pony tail

Beach baby, Beach Baby give me your hand
Give me somethin' that I can remember
Just like before we can walk by the shore in the moonlight
Beach baby, Beach baby there on the sand
From July 'till the end of September
Surfin' was fun, we'd be out in the sun every day

Mmmm, I never thought that it would end
and I was everybody's friend
Long hot days
Cool Sea haze
Juke box plays
But now it's fading awaaaaay

We couldn't wait for graduation Day
We took my car and drove to San Jose
That's where you told me that you'd wear my ring
I guess you don't remember anything

Beach baby, Beach Baby give me your hand (give me your hand)
Give me somethin' that I can remember (give me something to remember)
Just like before we can walk by the shore in the moonlight
Beach baby, Beach baby there on the sand (there on the sand)
From July 'till (from July) the end of September (to September)
Surfin' was fun, we'd be out in the sun every day"
Five for Fighting Disneyland Five for Fighting is the stage name of hockey-brawl fan Vladimir Ondrasik the 3rd, from Los Angeles, known best for his piano-based rock songs. This song is from his 2004 album "The Battle for Everything." He had a hit song named "Superman (It's Not Easy)" in 2001, that must be the song the crocs in his Disneyland dream are singing.


"I Woke up got my lazy ass out of bed
I Watered all the rocks growing in my head
I Had a thought...and fell asleep on you...

There I was somewhere West of Tomorrowland
Flying through the stars just like Peter Pan
I said...Damn this looks too good to be true...

There she goes... my heart again (would you mind rolling over)
I can feel it in the air (something's coming down)
I don't know and I don't care that it's a small world

It's a nice day if you wake up in Disneyland...
It's a nice day when you wake up in Disneyland...

In my dream everybody's got a little house
A dog, a bank account managed by Mickey Mouse
And the only thing we fight about is the Lakers...

In my dream all the pirates down in Neverland
Never get the Hook... they just get a hand
While the crocs sing Superman till we just can't take it...

There she goes... my heart again (do you mind rolling over)
I can feel it in the air (something's coming down)
I don't know and I don't care if it's a small world

It's a nice day when you wake up in Disneyland...
It's a nice day if you wake up in Disneyland...

We can fly away...."
Flash and the Pan California Flash and the Pan was an Australian band formed in 1976, probably best known for their great moody college radio classic "Walking in the Rain" which comes from the same album as this song, "Flash and the Pan," released in 1979. You can tell the singer of this song about obliterating the state with a missle is not from California, because nobody there says "South California." It's SoCal or Southern California, mate.


"Up above the sunny skies in South California
There's a wounded rocket flying high, heading homeward
It came from a hollow, under a hill
And soon there'll be nobody left to kill
In California

Last night captain Black went dancing at the Whiskey A-Go-Go
When a well-known groupie knocked him back, busted his ego
Stoned out of his head, he crawled off to bed
The following morning he went to the pad
The missile was standing pointing to the skies of California

The red balloon was flying high, watching the weather
Captain Black was trying hard to get it together
Immediate names came into his brain
A rocket from China, a Russian plane
He pushed the wrong button and soon there'll be no place called
California"
Foals, The London Thunder The Foals are an English indie rock band formed in 2005. This song is from their 2015 release What Went Down. There's only one mention of San Francisco, and they rhyme it with "disco" which should immediately disqualify any song from inclusion on this list, but it's not the first time I've heard that rhyme in a song, and it's a song I like a lot, so here it is.


"I'm on the red eye flight to nowhere good,
how about you?
I've been in the air for hours,
meteor showers by the pool
So one last drink for summer
always leaving, never you
Come back to London thunder,
the sound of sorrows in my room,
yeah

And now the table's turned, it's over
And with my fingers burned I start anew
And now I've come back down, I'm older
I look for something else to hold on to

There is no way to realign,
upholster skin I take back every line
Lost my mind in San Fransisco,
in a worn out disco when tempers cooled
There is no water, there is no sound
Will you come around? Will you come around?
There is no space, there is no time
Where'd you draw the line?...."
Folk Implosion, The E.Z. L.A.

Heavy beats and spacy guitars under dreamy vocals, typical of this Boston band, give us a litany of complaints about the usual California natural disasters on this song from their 1999 album "One Part Lullaby."


"Here I am, never thought I'd be
Among the drifters and directors, a place for me
It's nothing like I thought it was after all

Feel the ground it's always moving
Down a mountain through a valley watch it all collide

Hear the other ocean churning
Helicopters up above
While another canyons burning
Rain could wash the hill away

Easy LA, it's another beautiful day
LA, alright, cold like the desert at night
Cold like the desert at night

Without the seasons will I know how to change
Are we helpless to the wind?
Give me something to blame
For broken promises, smile like the ruthless sun

Did the money cut the city in pieces
Take the water from wherever it flows
Feel the ground, it's always moving
Down a mountain through a valley
Watch it all collide

Hear the other ocean churning
Helicopters up above
While another canyons burning
Rain could wash the hill away

Easy LA, it's another beautiful day
LA, alright, cold like the desert at night
Cold like the desert at night"

Four Preps, The 26 Miles (Santa Catalina) The Four Preps were four wholesome clean-cut former Hollywood High School students who backed up Ricky Nelson on Ozzie and Harriet and Sandra Dee in the Gidget movies. The kind of guys parents loved. This is their big hit from 1958 with 4-part harmony and a bouncy accompaniment and a lot of romance, romance, romance, romance.


"Twenty- six miles across the sea
Santa Catalina is a-waitin' for me
Santa Catalina, the island of romance, romance, romance, romance

Water all around it everywhere
Tropical trees and the salty air
But for me the thing that's a-waitin' there-romance

It seems so distant, twenty-six miles away
Restin' in the water serene
I'd work for anyone, even the Navy
Who would float me to my island dream

Twenty- six miles, so near yet far
I'd swim with just some water-wings and my guitar
I could leave the wings but I'll need the guitar for romance, romance, romance,
romance

Twenty- six miles across the sea
Santa Catalina is a-waitin' for me
Santa Catalina, the island of romance…"
Foxygen San Francisco Foxygen is an neopsychedelic indie pop folk rock whatever duo formed in 2005 in southern California when they were 15. This is the second single from their second album "We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic" released in 2013. (The third single "No Destruction" is even better.) Yes, I'm going to make the obvious comparison between the chorus of this song and "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" but I'm not sure why.


"Up in San Francisco where the forest meets the bridge
I thought I saw you standing there and then you fell into the well
But that was many years ago and I am so much older now
My brother is a soldier now
I can't see them anyhow, I moved up in the wind
And you swimming up tide or just tuning in radio stations

I left my love in San Francisco
That's okay, I was bored anyway
I left my love in the room
That's okay, I was born in L.A.

I left my love in San Francisco
That's okay, I was bored anyway
I left my love in a field
That's okay, I was born in L.A.

And we're restating on this hill
That Jesus came from Israel
Isaac followed the sacred cow
So not to wake a sparrow splashing mud

But that was many years from now
And I hope from here on now
That I always seem to want to shout
Your eyes are like a cup of tea
You're sending to the sun with me

You swimming upstream or just tuning into the new sensations
I was broken, you were broken..."
Jesse Fuller San Francisco Bay Blues Jesse Fuller was an American one-man band musician originally from Georgia who settled in Oakland in 1929. He didn't try to make a living as a musician until the 1950s. He is best known for this song which he first recorded in 1954. It has been covered by many musicians, including Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Bob Dylan, Jim Kweskin, The Weavers, The Brothers Four, Richie Havens, Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Hot Tuna, Janis Joplin, Peter, Paul, and Mary, Phoebe Snow, and Mungo Jerry.


"I got the blues from my baby
left me by the San Francisco Bay,
Ocean liner, and she gone so far away.
Didn't mean to treat her so bad,
Best gal I ever has had.
Said good bye, she like to make me cry
I Wanna lay down and die.
Ain't got a nickel, I ain't got a lousy dime,
She don't come back, Lord, I think I'm gonna lose my mind.
She ever comes back an' stay,
Be another brand new day,
Walkin' with my baby down by San Francisco Bay.

Sit down, lookin' through my back door,
Wonder which way to go.
That woman I'm so crazy about,
She don't want me no more.
I Think I take me a freight train
Cause I'm a-feelin' blue,
Ride on up to the end of the line
Thinkin' only of you.

Say while livin' in the city
Just about to go insane,
Sounds like I heard my baby
The way she could call my name.
She ever come back to stay,
Be another brand new day,
Walkin' with my baby down by San Francisco Bay."
G
Galantis (feat. Sofia Carson) San Francisco This is an electronic dance track from 2018. Galantis is two Swedish dance producers. The featured vocalist Sofia Carson is an American singer & actress. Because the song does not rhyme San Francisco with "disco," I will let them get away with some gross inaccuracies in the lyrics - that you can climb the Golden Gate Bridge, that you can stay in a bar all night, and that the sun shines in the Summer in San Francisco.


"I met you in a bar in San Francisco
Said you used to have a car before the repo
Smokin' lucky cigarettes, I think the smoke went to my head
And now that summer night plays on repeat

We climbed the Golden Gate Bridge just to watch the stars collide
And played that Stevie Wonder song a couple thousand times
I'm kinda scared to say it was the best night of my life
But I know I won't forget San Francisco
No, I know I won't forget, I know I won't forget
I know I won't forget that night in San Francisco

In San Francisco
In San Francisco

I met you in a bar in San Francisco
But when the sun came out, we had to let go
When you took that Greyhound bus, thought it was the end of us
But now you're all I dream of when I sleep

We climbed the Golden Gate Bridge just to watch the stars collide
And played that Stevie Wonder song a couple thousand times
I'm kinda scared to say it was the best night of my life
But I know I won't forget San Francisco
No, I know I won't forget, I know I won't forget
I know I won't forget that night in San Francisco

In San Francisco
In San Fran
In San Francisco
In San Fran
In San Fran
In San Francisco"
The Game (featuring 50 Cent) Hate it or love it From The Documentary, released in 2005. The Game is a rapper who had such a tough life growing up in Compton, where they use wood for coffins instead of school books, he didn't even have 50 cents when his Grandmomma died, but in this song he's so rich he not only has 50 Cent rapping with him, he also goes back to Cali weaing a Jacob - a very expensive watch.


"....On the grill of my lowrider
Guns on both sides right above the gold wires
I'll fo-five em
Kill a nigga on my song but really do it
Thats the true meaning of a ~ghostwriter~
10 g'z will take ya daughter out of Air Forces
Believe you me homie i know all bout losses
I'm from Compton where the wrong colors be cautious
One phone call will have ya body dumped in Marcy
I stay strapped like car seats
Been bangin since my lil nigga Rob got killed for his Barkley's
That's 10 years I told Pooh in 95' I'd kill you if you try me for my Air Max 95s
Told Banks when i met him imma ride
And if I gotta die rather homicide
I ain't have 50 Cent when my Grandmomma died
Now i'm goin' back to Cali with my Jacob on
See how time fly?

From the beginnin to the end
Losers lose, winners win
This is real we ain't got to pretend
The cold world that we in
Is full of pressure and pain
Enough of me nigga now listen to Game

Used to see 5-0 throw the crack by the bench
Now i'm f****n with ~5-0~ it's all startin to make ~sense~
My moms happy she ain't gotta pay the rent
And she got a red bow on that brand new Benz
Waitin on Sha Money to land sittin in the Range
Thinkin how they spend 30 million dollars on airplanes
When there's kids starvin
Pac is gone and Brendas still throwin babies in the garbage
I wanna know what's goin on like i hear Marvin
No school books they use that wood to build coffins
Whenever I'm in the booth and i get exhausted
I think what if Marie Banker got that abortion
I love ya Ma' "
Art Garfunkel 99 Miles From L.A. Art Garfunkel is a singer and actor from New York best known for being one half of the great Rock-and-Roll-Hall-of-Fame-inducted duo Simon and Garfunkel. This song is from his 1975 solo album "Breakaway." The song was written by Hal David and Albert Hammond, who also performed it and released it as a single in 1975. You can see the lyrics under Albert Hammond.
Judy Garland On The Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe This song, sung by lead vocalist Judy Garland, the American actress/singer from The Wizard of Oz and all those other movies, won the Oscar for best song for its use in the movie The Harvey Girls in 1945. There's hardly any mention of the state, but the train is on its way to Califor-ni-ay, so here it is.


"Do you hear that whistle down the line?
I figure that it's Engine Number 49
She's the only one that'll sound that way
On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe

See the ol' smoke risin' 'round the bend
I reckon that she knows she's gonna meet a friend
Folks around these parts get the time of day
From the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe

Here she comes
(Ooh, ooh, ooh)
Hey, Jim, you better get the rig
(Ooh, ooh, ooh)
She's got a list of passengers that's pretty big
And they'll all want lifts to Brown's Hotel
'Cause lots o' them been travelin' for quite a spell

On the way to Califor-ni-ay
On the Atchison, Topeka
On the Atchison, Topeka
On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe...."
Gatlin Brothers, The  All the Gold in California The Gatlin Brothers are a country trio formed in 1973 that later became Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers. I'll bet the other two brothers were not happy about that. This #1 country song is from their album "Straight Ahead" released in 1979. It's a cautionary message about California fame and fortune.
Also covered by Nick Cave.


"All the gold in California,
is in a bank in the middle of Beverly Hills,
in somebody else's name.
So if you dreaming,
about Californias,
it don't matter at all,
where you've played before.
California is a brand new game.

Tryin'to be a hero,
winding up a zero,
can scar a man forever,
right down to your soul.
Living on the spotlight,
can kill a man outright.
'Cause everything that glitters is not gold."
G-Eazy (with Blueface, ALLBLACK, & YG) West Coast G-Eazy and ALLBLACK are rappers from Oakland, Blueface and YG are rappers from L.A. and Compton. This is from 2019. There are a lot of words in this. Maybe hip-hop should cap the word total like Twitter. My favorite line - "I got more bitches than PetCo." He must be referring to one of their adoption events because they don't sell dogs.


"Six million ways to mob, choose one
(Some-some-something about the West coast)
It's something in the water
(Something about the West coast)
Ayy, ooh, ayy, ooh (it makes me wanna ride)

[G-Eazy]

You can't imagine the way that this cash feelin' (ooh)
Don't know what’s harder, the first or the last million (which one?)
My last album took care of my grand children (ayy)
You try to win, cracked you head on the glass ceiling (ow)
What it is, sick wit' it, it is
The way this money look, I'll be signed to Sony for years
Micro-dosing 'shrooms and I might just go pop a thizz
They see that black 'Rari, they know that it's one of his
Ooh, realest in the room (room)
Could fill a pool with all the alcohol that I consume (ooh)
I'm coming this summer, yeah, it's safe to assume (what?)
I'm finna clean up using Golden State's broom
West Coast, real town business (ayy, ooh)
Puma check just got cleared, merry Christmas
More sales, you catching more L's
I drove here in a Scraper playin' this on four 12's

[Chorus]

Something about the West coast
It makes me wanna ride
Shake it Westside
Throw ya hands up, let's ride
To the city of the scene
Put it on the one, get ya body on the dance floor
It's all love, yeah, and it's never bad, look
Something about the West coast
It makes me wanna ride
Shake it Westside
Throw ya hands up, let's ride
To the city of the scene
Put it on the one, get ya body on the dance floor

[Blueface]

Blueface, baby (uh)
(Yeah) yeah aight (aight)
It's the face of the West Coast
Been mackin', and I got more bitches than PetCo (been mackin')
VVSs breakin' and bustin' like the Metro (bustin')
West Side Yankees, Midtown business (town business)
Yeah aight, schoolyard to the children (to the children)
Used to be broke, Cash Money got me healin' (wet)
You can't show me how to make a mil' 'til you make a mil'
Welcome to the West Coast, this the best coast (West coast)
You can find the best hoes and the best dro
Doin' the dash in the Aston up and down Pico (ooh)
Freak ho, my pants saggin' 'til the meat shows (ooh)
Yeah aight, welcome to the meatshow (to the meatshow)
Two dicks, big pisser and the Glicko (uh)
(Blueface, baby) (big pisser and the Glicko)
Yeah aight, I like my money in blue faces, baby
I like f****n', all my bitches call me F***er
We can't f**k if you can't take the rug burn
(Blueface, baby)....

[Chorus]

[ALLBLACK]

Is it Lake Merritt on Sunday or a game at the Oracle?
Is it them Too $hort type Gary Payton players from the Big O?
Is it that timeless tycoon style like Shakur and Mac Dre?
That's what they askin' when they hear ALLBLACK in they stereo
Corner store white tee's and a fifth of that dog water to go
Slappin' "Saturday Love," goin' dumb up out the window
I got Dirty Harry, no L's, I ain't stopping for Five-O (No L)
Chase some s**t through Oakland, San Jose, Vallejo, and Frisco
Book your flight to this motherf***er and come feel the love
Gangbangin', sideshow swingin', home of the Bloods and Cuz (ALLBLACK)
I be with rich white boys you could've sworn was bums (That's me)
Spread the gang, feed your people, and come f**k with a thug
Can't nan nigga take the credit for the plays I run
Lendin' my wicked, face tatted like Jacob Nugs
Ain't hella tall, but I still bop on s**t like Spud
That Black Panther, slash Doberman Pinsch' from the Dubs
BLACK

[Chorus]

[YG]

West, west, west, west, west, west (West)
The bitty on my back, got a hunnid racks on my chest (Yes)
You is now rockin' with the boolest nigga, instant flex (The boolest)
My socks like a cholo, and my shoes got Nike checks (Nike checks)
Z-z-z-z, pull the Sup' up to the 'jects
Z-z-z-z, as I chug up this Hen
Z-z-z-z, gotta keep this s**t west (Bounce, bitch)
They like, "Damn, how YG and Blueface connect?" (Bounce, bounce, bounce)
'Cause Bompton ain't playin' with you
Inglewood ain't playin' with you (Bang)
Long Beach ain't playin' with you (Nah)
Them game ties stayin' with you (They stayin')
This game don't stop, nigga, you can't blow no damn whistle
(Uh-uh)
This s**t forever, so I'll forever walk around with my pistol (4-Hunnid)
I'm the type to pull up on your bitch on her lunch break (On your bitch)
I'm the type, she see I wanna f**k, I got a f**k face (On your bitch)
I'm somewhere big boolin' on a Sunday (With your bitch)
Then it's white socks and hard bottoms and brazy girls on Monday
Ooh, west

Y'all niggas know what it is (4-Hunnid)
Westside s**t, nigga
Westside, nigga (Westside)
Pac voice
G-Eazy, what's happening, from the Bay to LA, nigga, yeah"
Gin Blossoms California Sun Gin Blossoms is an alternative rock band formed in 1987 in Arizona. This song is from their 2006 album "Major Lodge Victory."


"Just three days and I'm missing you more than I thought I would
I'm missing you more than i like to say
I'm hanging on a hope swinging from a rope
it's all a shame
my biggest mistake was letting you get away.

Oh baby

California sun
so bright and beautiful, yea but that was yesterday
California sun
how'd you slip away
California sun.

Been about a week and I finally fall asleep as the sun comes in
through the broken blinds
laying all alone
sinking like stone
wish you were here
can't sleep you of my mind…."
Gipsy Kings Hotel California A 1999 cover of the Eagles classic in Spanish with Flamenco guitars.
Globelamp Washington Moon Globelamp is a music project by American singer-songwriter Elizabeth Le Fey, who was formerly associated with the band Foxygen. The song is from her 2015 album release "Orange Glow." Her southern California roots and connections with Olympia, Washington are apparent in the chorus of this song. It's a desire that maybe only someone who has lived in both California and Washington can understand.


"Acid rain on sunny days
map the stars inside my brain
a palm tree is a satellite
what thoughts keep you up at night, my dear?
come near to me

I want a California sun and a Washington moon
in the same room, at the same time
I can't be in two different places
although I've tried

There was a rainbow in your room
so I got up to dance with you
if we kick off our muddy shoes
forget about our heavy blues
I saw colors under the covers

I want a California sun and a Washington moon
in the same room, at the same time
I can't be in two different places
although I've tried

It rains for days and days
I can't complain
when I wanted it this way
when I made it this way
credits"
Go-Go's, The La La Land The Go-Go's are a rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1978. This song is from "God Blss the Go-Go's" released in 2001. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines "La-La Land" as:
1: a euphoric, dreamlike mental state detached from the harsher realities of life
2: used as a nickname for Los Angeles, California.
Since the band is from L.A., I think this song is using both definitions - living in la-la land in la-la land. If not, at least I finally put a Go-Go's song on this list. Their great 1981 song "This Town" is clearly about L.A., but never mentions it.


"C'mon everybody do you want something real?
Can't seem to get ahead but it's no big deal
Floating like a feather in a wide open space
Landing in a perfect happy place

Hello world we're here again
Living life in la la land

I hear what I wanna here living on cloud nine
Jumping on a bed of flowers chasing the time
"Oh it's a hard road" says everyone I meet
We can't trust the ground beneath our feet

Hello world we're here again
Living life in la la land
Hello world we're here again
Living life in la la land

Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah

Lalalalalala land lalalala land
Lalalalalala land lalala laland


Hello world we're here again
Living life in la la land
Hello world we're here again
Living life in la la land"
Gomez California Gomez is an English indie rock band formed in 1997. This song is from their 1999 album "Liquid Skin."


"California got her right
You will have to wait
Calling from the Golden Gate

Sentimental sparrows
Keeping me awake
Funny how the morning's late
Funny how the morning's late

Come around with your heavenly smile
Come around and drag me out again
After a while we can sit and watch them all rush by
Come around and drag me out again
Come around and drag me out again

Always wanted to leave
Always felt that I'd get stopped
But I could never see myself
In anybody else's arms
In anybody else's arms…."
Lesley Gore California Nights When she wasn't singing about crying at her own party, or pre-feminist anthems like "You Don't Own Me", Lesley Gore sang this 1967 pop song about how much she likes nights in California.


"Along the sand,
Let's walk the shore together, now, just hand in hand.
It's gonna be fair weather, now,
When the stars come out, stop to count them in the sky.

Love California nights,
When I'm walkin' with you hand in hand by the shore,
Yes, I love California nights,
At the beach where we'd swim with the tide rolling in.

And there will be beneath the midnight sky above
Just you and me, and we will whisper words of love
While the fire light softly flickers in the sand.

Warm California nights,
With the breeze blowin' in - time for love to begin.
I would miss California nights if I went on my way,
Thinkin' now that I'll stay."
Gorillaz California and The Slipping of the Sun From "The Fall" released in 2010. This song starts with a message delivered over an airport PA system, which then fades underneath some sung lyrics about California. Maybe the singer is taking a plane to L.A.


"... ... ...

California
Oh ocean, now I come again before you
Rode along with you
In the slipping of the sun

Sun on dreamers
Repeat the faithful once again
Like water off the mountains and
It's the slipping of the sun

Money is pouring
Three days to go
This autumn begins to focus
North claims the imperial [Incomprehensible] totem

Fantastic
Trees, lakes
Mountains
Fantastic"
The Gotobeds Cold Gold (L.A.'s Alright) The Gotobeds are a post-punk band from Pittsburgh. This song is from their 2016 album "Blood // Sugar // Secs // Traffic." It reminds me a little bit of Pavement and other indie rock bands from 20 years ago. I suppose there's nostalgia for that now, too. There's a brief snarky reference to L.A. as a place where people don't move on, they just move. (I don't see a problem with that if you can afford the rent.) There's also a nice reference to a Blue-tongued Skink in the third line.


"Dateline, she's got my gold in her mouth
Cold gold, I don't know where to look!
Suffering like a skink, whose tongue is black not blue
Turn around, I'll see the real face of you

I don't try to lead where it won't go
I don't know where the f*ck it goes
I don't try to lead where it won't go
I don't know where the f*ck it goes
Ba ba bada dada
Ba dada dada bada
I don't know where it goes
Ba ba bada dada
Ba dada dada bada
I just don't know where it goes

Update! We're separate strands of this cloth
Cold gold, it leaves a taste in my mouth
I'm from America, where we don't move on just move
You ever seen L.A.? they're non-living proof
... ... ... ...

I don't try to lead where it won't go
I don't know where the f*ck it goes
I don't try to lead where it won't go
I don't know
I just never cared to look"
Ariana Grande Snow In California Ariana Grande is a very successful pop singer with an amazing four octave vocal range. This is from her Christmas Kisses EP that was released in 2013. I hate to be the one to break it to her, but I'm pretty sure that Santa is not the person who makes it rain. (Guys in strip clubs usually do that...or so I've heard....) Nevertheless, since this was released in the middle of a record-setting drought, I want to applaud her for using her talent to encourage some Cali precipitation.


"Dear Santa,
It's me Ariana
I know it's been awhile but I really need
Your help this year
Let me make this clear

See I really love him
And it's been kinda tough cause
He's only in town for the holidays
Tomorrow he's flying away
Away from me

I don't need another gift
I just have one wish
This year can you

Just make it snow in California
I'll even settle for rain
Don't want him to go tomorrow morning
Give me something to make him stay
Wrapped in his arms by the fireplace
Will be the perfect gift
Let it snow let it snow let it snow
Let it snow
In Cali-for-ni-a...."
Grateful Dead Estimated Prophet The Grateful Dead is a rock band formed in Palo Alto in 1965, becoming probably the most successful and longest lasting band of the San Francisco Acid Rock era. This is from the band's 1977 album "Terrapin Station."


"My time coming, anyday, don't worry about me, no
Been so long I felt this way, I'm in no hurry, no
Rainbows and down that highway where ocean breezes blow
My time coming, voices saying they tell me where to go.

Don't worry about me, nah nah nah, don't worry about me, no
and I'm in no hurry, nah nah nah, I know where to go.

California, preaching on the burning shore
California, I'll be knocking on the golden door
Like an angel, standing in a shaft of light
Rising up to paradise, I know I'm gonna shine.

My time coming, anyday, don't worry about me, no
It's gonna be just like they say, them voices tell me so
Seems so long I felt this way and time sure passin' slow
Still I know I lead the way, they tell me where I go.

Don't worry about me, no no no, don't worry about me, no
and I'm in no hurry, no no no, I know where to go.

California, a prophet on the burning shore
California, I'll be knocking on the golden door
Like an angel, standing in a shaft of light
Rising up to paradise, I know I'm gonna shine....."
Grateful Dead Friend of the Devil This is from the Dead's album "American Beauty" released in 1970. There's a single mention of the California city of Chino. That's not a great reason for me to put the song on this list, but I do it for two reasons: my brother used to have a wife in Chino so I've been there a lot; and this is my favorite Grateful Dead song - the studio version - not one of the probably hundreds of live versions that Deadheads collect. Obviously, I'm not a Deadhead. (BTW, I don't think the town Cherokee mentioned is the place in California, which is very small.)


"I lit out from Reno, I was trailed by twenty hounds
Didn't get to sleep last night 'till the morning came around.

Set out runnin' but I take my time
A friend of the devil is a friend of mine
If I get home before daylight, I just might get some sleep tonight.

Ran into the devil, babe, he loaned me twenty bills
I spent the night in Utah in a cave up in the hills.

Set out runnin' but I take my time, a friend of the devil is a friend of mine,
If I get home before daylight, I just might get some sleep tonight.

I ran down to the levee but the devil caught me there
He took my twenty dollar bill and vanished in the air.

Set out runnin' but I take my time
A friend of the devil is a friend of mine
If I get home before daylight, I just might get some sleep tonight.

Got two reasons why I cry away each lonely night,
The first one's named Sweet Anne Marie, and she's my hearts delight.
The second one is prison, babe, the sheriff's on my trail,
And if he catches up with me, I'll spend my life in jail.

Got a wife in Chino, babe, and one in Cherokee
The first one says she's got my child, but it don't look like me.

Set out runnin' but I take my time,
A friend of the devil is a friend of mine,
If I get home before daylight, I just might get some sleep tonight."
Grateful Dead Standing on the Moon This is from the Dead's 1989 studio album "Built to Last."


"Standing on the moon
I got no cobweb on my shoe
Standing on the moon
I'm feeling so alone and blue
I see the Gulf of Mexico
As tiny as a tear
The coast of California
Must be somewhere over here - over here

Standing on the moon
I see the battle rage below
Standing on the moon
I see the soldiers come and go
There's a metal flag beside me
Someone planted long ago
Old Glory standing stiffly
Crimson, white and indigo - indigo

I see all of Southeast Asia
I can see El Salvador
I hear the cries of children
And the other songs of war
It's like a mighty melody
That rings down from the sky
Standing here upon the moon
I watch it all roll by - all roll by

Standing on the moon
With nothing else to do
A lovely view of heaven
But I'd rather be with you

Standing on the moon
I see a shadow on the sun
Standing on the moon
The stars go fading one by one
I hear a cry of victory
And another of defeat
a scrap of age-old lullaby
Down some forgotten street

Standing on the moon
Where talk is cheap and vision true
Standing on the moon
But I would rather be with you
Somewhere in San Francisco
On a back porch in July
Just looking up to heaven
At this crescent in the sky

Standing on the moon
With nothing left to do
A lovely view of heaven
But I'd rather be with you - be with you"
Jackie Green Freeport Boulevard This is a honky-tonk blues song about drinking by a singer-songwriter from Sacramento. It's from Greene's 2002 album "Gone Wanderin'" which won an award for best blues/roots album in 2003.

Freeport Boulevard is a long road in south Sacramento. Someone from that city suggested I put this song on my list, and when I looked up the name, it made me remember that, speaking of drinking, waaaay back in the day we used to drive (but not in a Cadillac) up Freeport to go to a Tiki bar called the Zombie Hut, which was built in 1945. When it was new, it was way out in the boondocks with nothing else around it. They had a picture on the wall that showed just how isolated it was when it was built. That was long before it was gradually swallowed up by the inevitable suburban sprawl and closed down, living only in memories and on phony t-shirts sold to Tiki culture hipsters.


"All my good friends live down Freeport Boulevard
Yes all my good friends live down Freeport Boulevard
They get into trouble, no matter where they are
Sometimes we drink whiskey, sometimes we drink wine
Sometimes we drink whiskey, sometimes we drink wine
As long as we're drinking, we'll be feeling just fine
They won't send you no flowers, they won't send you no greeting cards
Oh no flowers or no greeting cards

But they'll send your ass down walking, down the boulevard
Get on back to your porch swing, get on back to your car
Get on back to that porch swing, get on back to your car
If it ain't a Cadillac, it don't belong down the boulevard"
Norman Greenbaum California Earthquake Norman Greenbaum is a rock singer/songwriter from Massachusetts, best known for his 1969 hit song "Spirit in the Sky." He moved to L.A. in 1965. I'm sure he was inspired to write this song by the 1971 San Fernando earthquake which hit at 6 in the morning, like the quake in the song. It knocked my ass out of bed too. This single was released later that year.


"Well you're out in California digging the sun
Writing home to everyone
Six in the morning and here it comes
It come and hit ya

Don't let that California earthquake scare you away
Don't let that California earthquake scare you away

The ceiling came down and knock you out of bed
You try to stand up but have rubber for legs
Earthquakes just ain't good for your head
Especially when they hit ya

Don't let that California earthquake scare you away
California earthquake, don't let it scare you away

My advice to you is to keep your feet off the ground
As long as you're flying you won't tumble down
California's still the best place around

Don't let that California earthquake scare you away
California earthquake‚ don't let it scare you away

California earthquake‚ don't let it scare you away"
Adam Gregory She's So California Here's a country singer who likes to objectify "California" girls, and country girls who look like they could be from California. At least he's not a hater. Of course, he's Canadian, and they're always nice and polite. This song's from 2006, two years before Gary Allan's country song with the same title, and the same appreciation for bleached blondes.


"Bleached blonde hair and no tan lines
at least that's what I dream at night.
Star dust eyes that shine Pacific blue.
From her toes to her halo she's been blessed
with a body you would have to buy out west .
She walks and talks a different attitude.
Her smile is so much brighter than this stupid place.
You can almost hear Hollywood calling her name.
She's so California.

She should have a star on Hollywood blvd.
drive around in a Lamborghini sports car.
Summer sun clear yeah she's sexy.
She's so Sunset Strip teases me.

Here right there on the front porch swing
I swear I hear the Beach Boys sing.

Peach street sign just like Rodeo Drive.
Tight tank top and low rise jeans.
Now I know what earthquake means.
She really makes this small town come alive.
When she walks into church in her summer dress
Oh even the preacher has to confess.
She's so California."
Grimes California Claire Boucher is a Canadian musician/artist whose stage name is Grimes, named after the style of music known as Grime in the UK. Her own style is an eclectic mix. This song is from her 2015 release titled "Art Angels."


"This, this music makes me cry
It sounds just like my soul, oh
Oh I'm not ready to win
Oh lord cause I don't wanna know what they say
Cause I get carried away
Commodifying all the pain

The things they see in me, I cannot see myself
When you get bored of me, I'll be back on the shelf
And when the ocean rises up above the ground
Baby I'll drown in...

California
You only like me when you think I'm looking sad
California
I didn't think you'd end up treating me so bad

Oh, I, I, I
Come Monday, it's a dream
Oh, I, I, I
Broken my own heart again
Chasing something beautiful
Oh, but I don't understand what they say
Cause I get carried away
Commodifying all the pain

The things they see in me, I cannot see myself
When you get bored of me, I'll be back on the shelf
And when the ocean rises up above the ground
Baby I'll drown in...

California
You only like me when you think I'm looking sad
California
I didn't think you'd end up treating me so bad...."
Guns N' Roses One in a Million Guns 'N Roses is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame multi-million-record-selling hard rock band formed in L.A. in 1985. This song is from their second album "GN'R Lies" released in 1988. Axl Rose wrote it about his experience of getting hustled in the Greyhound bus station when he first arrived in L.A. The song caused a lot of controversy because of the homophobic, racist, anti-immigrant, and anti-police sentiments of the character singing the song.


"One, two, one, two, three, four
Yes I needed some time to get away
I needed some peace of mind
Some peace of mind that'll stay
So I thumbed it, now it's six in L.A.
Maybe a Greyhound could be my way

Police and n****rs, that's right
Get outta my way
Don't need to buy none of your
Gold chains today
Now don't need no bracelets
Clamped in front of my back
Just need my ticket 'till then
Won't you cut me some slack

You're one in a million
Yeah that's what you are
You're one in a million babe
You're a shooting star
Maybe some day we'll see you
Before you make us cry
You know we tried to reach you
But you were much to high
Much too high
Much too high
Much too high

Immigrants and faggots
They make no sense to me
They come to our country
And think they'll do as they please
Like start some mini-Iran
Or spread some f**king disease
And they talk so many God damn ways
It's all Greek to me

Well some say I'm lazy
And others say that's just me
Some say I'm crazy
I guess I'll always be
But it's been such a long time
Since I knew right from wrong
It's all the means to and end I'm
I keep it moving along
Hey, hey, hey, yeah

You're one in a million
You're a shooting star
You're one in a million babe
You know that you are
Maybe some day we'll see you
Before you make us cry
You know we tried to reach you
But you were much to high
Much too high
Much too high
Much too high

Radicals and racists
Don't point your finger at me
I'm a small town white boy
Just tryin' to make ends meet
Don't need your religion
Don't watch that much TV
Just makin' my livin' baby
Well that's enough for me

You're one in a million
Yeah that's what you are
You're one in a million babe
You're a shooting star...."
Margo Guryan California Shake An earthquake song from a 60's pop/folk/jazz singer-songwriter, whose songs were recorded by several well-known pop singers. She's known mainly for her 1968 album "Take A Picture". This song comes from a 2001 release "25 Demos," and as far as I can tell, it was also recorded in the late 60's but it holds up very well and doesn't sound too dated. And I don't know of any other song where Earthquake sounds get to accompany the band.


"Melon-rising California sun
Drifting in a day not yet begun
Six o'clock and peaceful and serene
Floating in a Technicolor scene

Something nearly peaceful in the sound
Rising from the San Andreas ground
Overground, it starts to feel strange
Underground, it starts to rearrange

You'd better get up
And run for a doorway

No time for thinking
Your life is at stake
Everyone's doing
The California Shake
California Shake"
Arlo Guthrie Comin' into Los Angeles

This folk rock classic was released in 1969 on the album "Running Down the Road." Arlo's esteemed father Woody Guthrie sang folk songs about dust bowl refugees migrating to California to find work while Arlo Guthrie sang about smuggling drugs into Los Angeles.
(It would ruin the joke to mention that Arlo also sang songs about social injustice...)

This song makes me nostalgic for the good old days of flying, before the terrorists ruined it and now we have to raise our arms inside x-ray machines and wait in long lines to take our shoes off and all those other nuisances that seem unnecessary until you think about the possibility that the guy next to you might have a bomb in his shoe or a ceramic knife. Besides the lax security, in those glory days of aviation flight attendants were called stewardesses and they were all young women dressed in mini skirts and hot pants who were fined if they gained weight. Yes sir, that was some classic vintage sexism, the kind that put a big smile on your grandfather's face, at least until grandmother burned her bra and stopped shaving, but that's another song.

Also, now that marijuana is legal in California, there has been a large increase in arrests in 2019 of people smuggling the drug OUT of LAX to sell it at a profit in states where it is still criminalized. I think we need a re-make of this song to reflect the changing times:
"Going out of Los Angeles,
Bringin' out a couple of keys,
Don't touch my bags if you please mr. or ms. Transportation Security Administration person."


"Coming in from London, from over the pole
Flyin' in a big airliner
Chicken flyin' everywhere 'round the plane
Could we ever feel much finer?

Comin' into Los Angeles
Bringin' in a couple of keys
Don't touch my bags if you please, mister customs man

Yeah, there's a guy with a ticket to Mexico
No, he couldn't look much stranger
Walkin' in the hall with his things and all
Smilin', said he was the Lone Ranger

Comin' into Los Angeles
Bringin' in a couple of keys
Don't touch my bags if you please, mister customs man

Hip woman walkin' on the movin' floor
Trippin' on the escalator
There's a man in the line and she's blowin' his mind
Thinkin' that he's already made her

Comin' into Los Angeles
Bringin' in a couple of keys
Don't touch my bags if you please, mister customs man

Comin' in from London, from over the pole
Flyin' in a big airliner
Chicken flyin' everywhere 'round the plane
Could we ever feel much finer?

Comin' into Los Angeles
Bringin' in a couple of keys
Don't touch my bags if you please, mister customs man

Yeah, alright "

Woody Guthrie Do Re Mi Woody Guthrie was a great American singer-songwriter and folk musician from Oklahoma. "This machine kills fascists" was written on Guthrie's guitar, which he used to sing many songs about injustice and hard times. He wrote a number of songs about the great 1930's dust bowl and its refugees, including this one, where he warns that the Promised Land has a steep cover charge. (Even steeper today.) He cautions migrants to stay where they are because there isn't enough work and too many refugees. I'm not sure when it was written, but it was included on his 1940 album "Dust Bowl Ballads" so it's at least that old.
It has been covered by Ry Cooder, Nanci Griffith, Ani DiFranco, Dave Alvin, Bob Dylan, and many others.


"Lots of folks back East, they say, is leavin' home every day
Beatin' the hot old dusty way to the California line
'Cross the desert sands they roll, gettin' out of that old dust bowl
They think they're goin' to a sugar bowl but here's what they find

Now the police at the port of entry say
"You're number fourteen thousand for today"

Oh, if you ain't got the do re mi folks you ain't got the do re mi
Why you better go back to beautiful Texas
Oklahoma, Kansas, Georgia, Tennessee

California is a garden of Eden, a paradise to live in or see
But believe it or not you won't find it so hot
If you ain't got the do re mi

You want to buy you a home or a farm that can't deal nobody harm
Or take your vacation by the mountains or sea
Don't swap your old cow for a car, you better stay right where you are
You better take this little tip from me

'Cause I look through the want ads every day
But the headlines on the papers always say

If you ain't got the do re mi boys you ain't got the do re mi
Why, you better go back to beautiful Texas
Oklahoma, Kansas, Georgia, Tennessee

California is a garden of Eden, a paradise to live in or see
But believe it or not you won't find it so hot
If you ain't got the do re mi"
Woody Guthrie The New Year's Flood Woody Guthrie announces this song as "The New Year's Flood" but there are versions with different lyrics on the internet titled "Los Angeles New Years Flood." Maybe Guthrie wrote more than one version, but I can't find one with him singing the alternate lyrics. The song is about a real incident that happened in Los Angeles County just after midnight on New Years Day 1934 when a massive rainfall of more than 7 inches in a day trigged a massive flood with rock and mudslides twenty feet high racing down from the western San Gabriel Mountains, destroying more than 300 houses and killing at least 40 people and probably many more itinerant workers who were never reported as missing. The flood prompted flood-control projects in the area to avoid a repeat of the catastrophe.


"Kind friend, do you remember?
That fatal New Year's night
The lights of old Los Angeles
Were a flick'ring, oh, so bright
A cloud burst hit the mountains
And swept away our homes;
And a hundred souls were taken
In that fatal New Years flood

'Twas in the early springtime of 1934
The waters filled the canyon
Through the city poured
Our little tot was sleeping
And the town was bright and gay
We could not see the sorrow
Of that dawning New Year's Day

The little towns of Montrose, Glendale and Burbank too
From Flintridge to Tujunga
Along that mountain blue
They all were struck light lightning
Down that mountain rolled
The wild Los Angeles river
In that fatal New Years flood

The news that rocked the nation
As of that story told
A million hearts was grieving
For the dear ones that they loved
This world will long remember
The dear ones that we loved
That crossed that golden river
In that fatal new years flood"
Woody Guthrie Old L.A. The lyrics to this song were written by Woody Guthrie, but apparently he never wrote music to them, similar to the songs on the great Mermaid Avenue album made by Billy Brag and Wilco. The music was written by Anders Parker and the song was recorded and released on the album "New Multitudes," a
Woody Guthrie tribute album released in 2012.


"I’ve been beatin’ my way around
In and out of a thousand towns;
But, old L.A. looks good to me.
L.A. sweetheart sweeter than honey;
Works all day and gives me the money
That’s why L.A. looks good to me.

Old L.A., it’s a pretty fair place to be
Old L.A., it’s a pretty fair place to be
Looks good to me, looks good to me
When I kiss you and you kiss me,
Makes me glad we both agree
That’s why L.A. looks good to me

It’s hey, hey, hey and ho, ho, hooo;
Our kids just like this town will grow;
That’s why L.A. looks good to me"
Woody Guthrie Pastures of Plenty Here's another folk song from the great Woody Guthrie about migrants working in orchards around the west, written in 1941. It has been covered by many singers, including Odetta in 1960.


"It's a mighty hard row that my poor hands have hoed
My poor feet have traveled a hot dusty road
Out of your Dust Bowl and Westward we rolled
And your deserts were hot and your mountains were cold

I worked in your orchards of peaches and prunes
I slept on the ground in the light of the moon
On the edge of the city you'll see us and then
We come with the dust and we go with the wind

California, Arizona, I harvest your crops
Well its North up to Oregon to gather your hops
Dig the beets from your ground, cut the grapes from your vine
To set on your table your light sparkling wine

Green pastures of plenty from dry desert ground
From the Grand Coulee Dam where the waters run down
Every state in the Union us migrants have been
We'll work in this fight and we'll fight till we win

It's always we rambled, that river and I
All along your green valley, I will work till I die
My land I'll defend with my life if it be
Cause my pastures of plenty must always be free"
Woody Guthrie This Land is Your Land This is his Guthrie's best-known song, written in 1940 and recorded in 1944. It was revived and recorded by many folk singers in the 1960s, including Bob Dylan, The Kingston Trio, Trini Lopez, Peter, Paul and Mary, The Seekers and Pete Seeger.


"This land is your land This land is my land
From California to the New York island;
From the redwood forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and Me.

As I was walking that ribbon of highway,
I saw above me that endless skyway:
I saw below me that golden valley:
This land was made for you and me.

I roamed and rambled and I followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts;
And all around me a voice was sounding:
This land was made for you and me.

When the sun came shining, and I was strolling,
And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling,
As the fog was lifting a voice was chanting:
This land was made for you and me...."
H
Merle Haggard A Friend in California Merle Haggard was a celebrated country singer-songwriter from Oildale, California, which is just north of Bakersfield, whose career extended from 1963 to his death in 2016. He sings about missing a friend in Texas in this song from his 1986 album "A Friend in California."


"L.A. traffic is bad this time of year
But there's a friend of yours in California
Sure wishes you were here
And as you lay your head on your pillow tonight just remember
There's a friend of yours in California sure misses you

You've got a friend in California that misses you
You've got a friend in California that sure misses you

Fort Worth can get cold this time of year
But this southern California sun is warm
You should be here
And as you lay your head on your pillow tonight just remember
There's a friend of yours in California sure misses you

You've got a friend in California that misses you
You've got a friend in California that sure misses you

You've got a friend in California that misses you
You've got a friend in California that sure misses you"
Merle Haggard Beer Can Hill This song, from Haggard's 1996 album titled "1996," is about Beer Can Hill outside of Bakersfield, where Mr. Haggard learned how to walk, run, fight, dance, make romance, pick a little cotton and a lot of guitar, and also to do a little jail time. (When I visited the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville in the 80s, the pardon from prison given Haggard by Governor Ronald Reagan was on display, near the pictures of Elvis and Nixon and down the hall from a collection of Dolly Parton's enormous wigs.) The town of Oildale has named a street after Merle. I hope that's not all they've done to honor him. Maybe the line from the song "You could do better, but you won't do bad in Bakersfield" should be used as the city's motto.


"Well, I learned how to walk and I learned how to run in Bakersfield
Should've done time over things I'd done in Bakersfield
I tasted my first taste of romance in Bakersfield
I learned how to fight and I learned how to dance in Bakersfield

Dancin' on Beer Can Hill
Overlookin' Bakersfield
Remembering my first thrill
Dancin' on Beer Can Hill

I made part of my livin' in a honky tonk bar in Bakersfield
Picked a little cotton and a lotta guitar in Bakersfield
Well you couldn't do better but you won't do bad in Bakersfield
Slow dancin' out here is sort of a fad in Bakersfield

I drank a lot of beer since I was a kid in Bakersfield
Did a little time over things I did in Bakersfield
Ten years later made me of the year in Bakersfield
And I'm duckin' and dodgin' and dancin' out here in Bakersfield"
Merle Haggard California Blues
(Blue Yodel #4)
A country blues with lots of slide guitar. Recorded by Jimmy Rogers in 1928 and many others, including Lefty Frizell and Doc Watson.


"Well I'm goin' to California
Where they sleep out every night
I'm goin' to California
Where they sleep out every night
I'm leaving you, mama
'Cause you know you don't treat me right

Let me tell you somethin'
Mama, that you don't know
Let me tell you somethin'
Good gal, that you don't know
Well, I'm a do right papa
And got a home everywhere I go

Yeah
I got the California blues and I'm
Sure gonna leave you here
Lord, Lord
I got the California blues and I'm
Sure gonna leave you here
I may ride the blind
I aint got no railroad fare..."
Merle Haggard Here in Frisco This is from Haggard's 1975 album "Keep Movin' On." I don't find it odd that he calls San Francisco "Frisco." But it is odd that he sings "trolley cars" when everybody knows they're called "cable cars."


"It's four a.m. in New York City three a.m. in Dallas
The night is still early here in Frisco
Market street's still going the same old shows are showing
And I'm still all alone here in Frisco.

They say it's raining in Chicago and it's cold and clear in Denver
Been windy all night long here in Frisco
Trolley cars are clinging, the big Bay Town's swinging
And I'm still all alone here in Frisco.

The way I feel tonight I won't be staying long
But when I leave I leave my heart just like in a famous song
Trolley cars are clinging, the big Bay Town's swinging
And I'm still all alone here in Frisco.

And I'm still all alone here in Frisco.
And I'm still all alone here in Frisco..."
Merle Haggard If We Make it Through December This song, from "Merle Haggard's Chrsitmas Present" released in 1973, went to #1 on the country charts.


"If we make it through December
Everything's gonna be all right, I know
It's the coldest time of Winter
And I shiver when I see the falling snow
If we make it through December
Got plans to be in a warmer town come summertime
Maybe even California
If we make it through December, we'll be fine

Got laid off down at the factory
And their timing's not the greatest in the world
Heaven knows I been working hard
Wanted Christmas to be right for daddy's girl
I don't mean to hate December
It's meant to be the happy time of year
And my little girl don't understand
Why daddy can't afford no Christmas here

If we make it through December
Everything's gonna be all right, I know
It's the coldest time of Winter
And I shiver when I see the falling snow
If we make it through December
Got plans to be in a warmer town come summertime
Maybe even California
If we make it through December, we'll be fine"
Merle Haggard Kern River Another California song by this country music legend about a love one who drowned in the Kern River. When you're driving up to Lake Isabella from Bakersfield, where the road enters the narrow rocky entrance to Kern Canyon where the "Killer" Kern River flows into the valley, there's a sign that says "Danger. Stay Out. Stay Alive" with a tally of how many people have drowned in the river. The number was 250 when I last remember seeing it, and it's probably much higher now.


"I'll never swim Kern River again.
It was there that I met her.
It was there that I lost my best friend.
And now I live in the mountains.
I drifted up here with the wind.
And I may drown in still water,
But I'll never swim Kern River again.
I grew up in an oil town,
But my gusher never came in.
And the river was a boundary,
Where my darlin' and I used to swim.
One night in the moonlight,
The swiftness swept her life away.
And now I live on Lake Shasta,
And Lake Shasta is where I will stay.

There's the South San Joaquin,
Where the seeds of the dust bowl are found.
And there's a place called Mount Whitney,
From where the mighty Kern River comes down.
Now, it's not deep nor wide,
But it's a mean piece of water, my friend.
And I may cross on the highway,
But I'll never swim Kern River again."
Merle Haggard Kern River Blues This is the last song Haggard ever recorded. It's about leaving his home town of Oildale. He wrote it while in the hospital fighting the pneumonia that finally killed him and recorded it in early 2016. R.I.P. Hag.


"Well I’m leaving town tomorrow getting’ my breakfast in the sky
Well I’m leavin’ in the early morning eat my breakfast in the sky
Be a donut on a paper drink my coffee on the fly

Cause I’m flyin’ out on jet plane gonna leave this town behind
I’m flyin’ out on jet plane gonna leave this town behind
They done moved the city limits out by the county line

Put my head up to the window watched the city fade away
Put my head close to the window watch Oildale fade away
Now the blues back in the 30’s just like the blues today

There used to be a river here runnin’ deep and wide
Well they used to have Kern River runnin’ deep and wide
Then somebody stole the water another politician lied

When you close down all the honky tonks the city died at night
When you close down all the honky tonks the city died at night
When it hurt somebody’s feelings well the wrong ain’t never right

Well I’m leavin’ town forever kiss an old boxcar goodbye
Well I’m leavin’ town forever kiss an old boxcar goodbye
I dumped my blues out in the river before Kern River’s dry"
Merle Haggard Okie From Muskogee This was a huge hit for Haggard in 1969 that made him a symbol of the enemy to the counterculture in the '70s. The song sets up a contrast between the hippies in San Fancisco and the squares in Muskogee, dissing the long-haired draft-card-burning drug-using hippies by comparing them with the more upstanding flag-waving boot-wearing, boozing Okies. Haggard said he wrote the song to support the troops in Viet Nam. He later said that the song expressed who he was in 1969 when most of America was under the same foolish assumptions that he was about the war and that he later sang it with a different attitude. The song actually became popular with the drug-using hippies that the song disses. I remember hearing an edited parody version played on KSAN, the hip "underground" commercial radio station in San Francisco. Another pardoy of the song is "Hippie From Olema" by The Youngbloods.


"We don't smoke marijuana in Muskogee;
We don't take no trips on LSD
We don't burn no draft cards down on Main Street;
We like livin' right, and bein' free.

I'm proud to be an Okie from Muskogee,
A place where even squares can have a ball
We still wave Old Glory down at the courthouse,
And white lightnin's still the biggest thrill of all

We don't make a party out of lovin';
We like holdin' hands and pitchin' woo;
We don't let our hair grow long and shaggy,
Like the hippies out in San Francisco do.

And I'm proud to be an Okie from Muskogee,
A place where even squares can have a ball.
We still wave Old Glory down at the courthouse,
And white lightnin's still the biggest thrill of all.

Leather boots are still in style for manly footwear;
Beads and Roman sandals won't be seen.
Football's still the roughest thing on campus,
And the kids here still respect the college dean.

We still wave Old Glory down at the courthouse,
In Muskogee, Oklahoma, USA."
Merle Haggard Return to San Francisco This is a slow country song with a nice mix of fiddles and mariachi horns from Haggard's 55th studio album "Haggard Like Never Before" released in 2004. That's right, 55. Double nickles. And he made 11 more after it.


"Should we ever lose each other somewhere along the way
Return to San Francisco, I'll be somewhere by the bay
Climb the bridges, comb the beaches, ride the trolley cars again
Roam the hillsides of the city, count the seagulls in the wind

But return to San Francisco, always keep this vow to me
Return to San Francisco, we'll make one more memory

But return to San Francisco, always keep this vow to me
Return to San Francisco, we'll make one more memory"
Merle Haggard Tulare Dust Haggard wrote this song which is from his 1971 album "Someday We'll Look Back."


"Tulare dust in a farm boy's nose
Wondering where the freight train goes
Standin' in the field by the railroad track
Cursin' this strap on my cotton sack

I can see mom and dad with shoulders low
Both of 'em pickin' on a double row
They do it for a livin' because they must
That's life like it is in the Tulare dust

The California sun was something new
That when we arrived in '42
And I can still remember how my daddy cussed
The tumbleweeds here in the Tulare dust

The wally fever was a comin' fate
To the farmworkers here in the Golden State
And I miss Oklahoma but I'll stay
If I must and help make a livin' in the Tulare dust

The Tulare dust in a farm boy's nose
Wondering where the freight train goes
Standin' in the field by the railroad track
Cursin' this strap on my cotton sack"
HAIM Summer Girl HAIM is an alternative pop band made up of three sisters surnamed Haim who grew up in L.A. This very cool song was released as a single in August 2019, and it will be on their upcoming LP also called "Summer Girl." It has a lot in common with Lou Reed's 1972 classic "Walk on the Wild Side" - doot do doot lyrics, a jazzy mid tempo rhythm, speak singing, a glissando bass, and a saxophone, but the melody is different so it's not a cover and it doesn't sample any part of the song, so let's just call it an homage to Lou Reed and hope his lawyers don't get greedy. There's only one mention of L.A., but it's a California song because there are also some indirect references to things associated with California - earthquake drills, a freeway overpass, crashing waves ... uh ... the sky, lightning, a girl, sunglasses? maybe I'm reaching too hard now....


"L.A. on my mind, I can't breathe
You're there when I close my eyes, so hard to reach
Your smiles turn into crying, it's the same release
And you always know, and you always know

I'm your summer girl
I'm your summer girl
I'm your summer girl
I'm your summer girl

Doot, do, doot, do, doot, do, doot, do, do
Doot, do, doot, do, doot, do, doot, do, do
Doot, do, doot, do, doot, do, doot, do, do
Doot, do, doot, do, doot, do, doot, do, do

Lightning in your eyes, you can't speak
Falling from the sky, down to me
I see it in your face, I'm relief
I'm your summer girl
... ... ... ...
Peer around the corner at you
From over my shoulder I need you
I need you to understand
These are the earthquake drills that we ran
Under the freeway overpasses
The tears behind your dark sunglasses
The fears inside your heart as deep as gashes
You walk beside me, not behind me
Feel my unconditional love

And I can see the angels coming down (Doot, do, doot, do)
Just like a wave that's crashing on the ground (Doot, do, doot, do)
I can see the angels coming now (Doot, do, doot, do)
Like a wave that's crashing on the ground (Doot, do, doot, do)
And I can see the angels coming down
Like a wave that's crashing on the ground

Du-du, du-du-du-du
Du-du-du-du, du-du-du-du-du...."
Halsey (feat. Big Sean & Stefflon Don) Alone (Remix) Halsey is the stage name of a singer/songwriter originally from New Jersey. This song was a dance club hit off her 2017 album "Hopeless Fountain Kingdom." There's a brief mention of the singer's house in California that she sadly fills with strangers because she doesn't have time to live there. I find all the songs like this about the troubles of celebrities and one-percenters to be so discouraging that I have made a vow to remain an unknown 99 percenter. So far, I've been successful.


"Said he tried to phone me, but I never have time
He said that I never listen, but I don't even try
I got a new place in Cali, but I'm gone every night
So I fill it with strangers so they keep on the lights
She said she told you she knows me, but the face isn't right
She asked if I recognized her and I told her I might

See, everywhere I go
I got a million different people tryna kick it
But I'm still alone in my mind, yeah

I know you're dying to meet me
But I can just tell you this
Baby, as soon as you meet me
You'll wish that you never did
(You'll wish that you never did)...."
Halsey Bad at Love This song is from Halsey's album Hopeless Fountain Kingdom (2017). The singer has boys, and girls, from all over the country, but I'm not exactly sure what she means by "California eyes." Maybe it's that look of terror you see in so many Californians with skyrocketing rent payments who live surrounded by homeless people.


"Got a boy back home in Michigan
And it tastes like Jack when I'm kissing him
So I told him that I never really liked his friends
Now he's gone and he's calling me a bitch again
There's a guy that lives in the Garden State
And he told me that we'd make it 'til we graduate
So I told him that the music would be worth the wait
But he wants me in the kitchen with a dinner plate

I believe, I believe, I believe, I believe
That we're meant to be
But jealousy, jealousy, jealousy, jealousy
Get the best of me
Look, I don't mean to frustrate,
But I always make the same mistakes, yeah
Always make the same mistakes 'cause...

I'm bad at love, ooh-ooh
But you can't blame me for tryin'
You know I'd be lyin' sayin'
You were the one, ooh-ooh
That could finally fix me
Lookin' at my history
I'm bad at love

Got a girl with California eyes
And I thought that she could really be the one this time
But I never got the chance to make her mine
Because she fell in love with little thin white lines
London girl with an attitude
We never told no one but we look so cute
Both got way better things to do
But I always think about it when I'm riding through

I believe, I believe, I believe, I believe
That I'm in too deep
And jealousy, jealousy, jealousy, jealousy
Get the best in me
Look, I don't mean to frustrate,
But I always make the same mistakes, yeah
Always make the same mistakes 'cause...."
Albert Hammond It Never Rains in Southern California Altert Hammond is an English singer/songwriter who has written many hits for other artists (but nothing for his son, the lead guitarist for The Strokes.) This is his biggest hit, from his album "It Never Rains in Southern California" released in 1972.

Hammond must have visited Southern California in the winter of a non-drought year if he got poured on. Actually, while the song seems like a nice twist on the myth of California as a land of constant sunshine where the grass is always greener, it's actually a sad song about an actor who moves to Hollywood but fails to make it. The song did make it - all the way to #5 on the Billboard Hot 100.


"Got on a board a west bound 747
Didn't think before deciding what to do.
All that talk of opportunities, TV breaks and movies
Rang true, sure rang true.

Seems it never rains in Southern California
Seems I've often heard that kind of talk before
It never rains in California
But girl, don't they warn ya
It pours, man it pours.

Out of work, I'm out of my head
Out of self respect, I'm out of bread
I'm under loved, I'm under fed
I wanna go home.

It never rains in California
But girl don't they warn ya,
it pours, man it pours."
Albert Hammond 99 Miles From L.A. Albert Hammond and Hal David wrote this soft rock song and Hammond had a hit with it in 1975. Another song about rain in California.... Keep writing them, Hammond, maybe it will come true. A lot of other people have recorded the song, including Julio Iglesias, Johnny Mathis, Dionne Warwick, Nancy Sinatra, and Art Garfunkle.
Thanks to Mary McGhee for introducing me to this and many other great California songs.


"Keeping my eyes on the road, I see you
Keeping my hands on the wheel, I hold you
99 miles from L.A.
I kiss you, I miss you, please be there

Passing a white sandy beach, we're sailing
Turning the radio on, we're dancing
99 miles from L.A.
I want you, I need you, please be there

The windshield is covered with rain, I'm crying
Pressing my foot on the gas, I'm flying

Counting the telephone poles, I phone you
Reading the signs on the road, I write you
99 miles from L.A.
We're laughing, we're loving, please be there

The windshield is covered with rain, I'm crying
Pressing my foot on the gas, I'm flying

Counting the telephone poles, I phone you
Reading the signs on the road, I write you
99 miles from L.A.
We're laughing, we're loving, please be there

99 miles from L.A...."
Albert Hammond Jr.lo 101 A nice upbeat rocker off his debut solo album "Yours to Keep" from 2006. Hammond is a member of The Strokes and the Son of Albert Hammond who sang It Never Rains in Southern California (Discussed above.) Highway 101 runs along the entire west coast of the USA, but I'm going to assume this song is about the section of the highway in California, since Hammond grew up in L.A.


"Though it took me by surprise
One by one I realized
There was something I could do

I lost my way.
That's what she said
Back to the 101
If we don't know
Somewhere to go
Back to the 101

I never said to feel relaxed
I never said to love me back
What was I next to you?

In my mind it all goes back
Lost control of what I had
All my thoughts left one by one "

I lost my way.
That's what she said
Back to the 101
Back to the one
I never won
Back to the 101 "
Emmylou Harris California Cotton Fields Emmylou Harris is a country/folk singer songwriter from North Carolina and Virginia.
This is from her album "Pieces Of The Sky" released in 1975.
For some lyrics, see Gram Parsons 1973 version, which she sings on.
Richard Harris MacArthur Park

Written by Jimmy Webb (who also wrote By the Time I Get to Phoenix), first recorded by Richard Harris in 1968, and recorded by more than 50 other musicians, including big band versions, a disco version by Donna Summer in 1978, and a country version by Waylon Jennings in 1969, this classic pop song set in a Los Angeles park has also been called one of the worst songs ever written, and I agree, its high up on that list.


"Spring was never waiting for us, girl
It ran one step ahead
As we followed in the dance
Between the parted pages and were pressed,
In love's hot, fevered iron
Like a striped pair of pants

MacArthur Park is melting in the dark
All the sweet, green icing flowing down...
Someone left the cake out in the rain
I don't think that I can take it
'cause it took so long to bake it
And I'll never have that recipe again
Oh, no!
… … … … …

I will take my life into my hands and I will use it
I will win the worship in their eyes and I will lose it
I will have the things that I desire
And my passion flow like rivers through the sky.
And after all the loves of my life
After all the loves of my life
I'll be thinking of you
And wondering why.

MacArthur Park is melting in the dark
All the sweet, green icing flowing down...
Someone left the cake out in the rain
I don't think that I can take it
'cause it took so long to bake it
And I'll never have that recipe again
Oh, no!"

Beth Hart L.A. Song
(Out of This Town)
Beth Hart is a singer-songwriter from Los Angeles who is hard to categorize. This 1999 song brought her some fame. It's about a woman who didn't have much luck with men, so she leaves L.A., finds another loser somewhere else, then says she's gotta get back to L.A. I have a feeling there have been many such round trips with her. The way she sings it at the very end, "L.A." has about 92 syllables in it. Now that's talent.


"She hangs around the boulevard
She's a local girl with local scars.
She got home late, she got home late
She drank so hard the bottle ached.

And she tried and she tried, she tried and she tried,
But nothing's clear in a bar full of flies.
So she takes and she takes, she takes and she takes,
She understands when she gives it away,

She says, man I gotta get out of this town
Man I gotta get out of this pain.
Man I gotta get out of this town,
Out of this town, and out of L.A.
… … … … … …

So she took a train, she took a train,
To a little old town without a name.
She met a man, he took her in,
But fed her all the same bulls***t again.

'Cause he lied and he lied, he lied and he lied,
He lied like a salesman sellin flies.
So she screamed and she screamed, she screamed and she screamed,
It's a different place but the same old thing.

It's all I love, Its all I hate,
It's all to much for me to take
I can't be sure where it begins,
Or if the good life lies within.

She says, man I gotta get out of this town
Now I gotta get back on that train.
Man I gotta get out of this town,
I'm out of my pain, so I'm goin back to L.A.
Back to L.A.
Back to L.A.
I'm goin back to L.A.
I'm goin back to L.A."
Beth Hart My California This is the lead-off track from her 2010 album "My California."
I couldn't get this one out of my mind when I first heard it, so beware - Earworm Alert!


"Calling California is there anybody home
Hello California won't you please pick up the phone
I wanna say I love you but I'm a million miles away
And I am thinking of you I miss you and L.A.

For you and you alone I'll lay my monsters down
And we'll watch the sun come up over California
For you and you alone I'll find my way back home
And I'll love you like the sun loves California
You're my California

I have made you suffer left you waiting in the rain
While I was chasing demons in the deserts of my pain
You know me better than the poison in my veins
So my love remember when God forgets my name

For you and you alone I'll lay my monsters down
And I'll watch the sun come up over California
For you and you alone I'll find my way back home
And I'll love you like the sun loves California"
John Hartford California Earthquake John Hartford was a country/folk singer/songwriter best known for his Grammy-winning song "Gentle on My MInd" which became a huge hit when it was covered by Glen Campbell. This song is from his 1968 album "Gentle on My Mind and Other Originals By John Hartford." He wrote the song, but Cass Elliot released her version first in 1968. You can see his lyrics under Cass Elliot.
PJ Harvey and John Parish Leaving California Polly Jean Harvey is a well-known singer-songwriter-instrumentalist from England. In 1988 she joined a band with John Parish, who has produced and collaborated with her since. They collaborated on "A Woman A Man Walked By" in 2009 that included this song. PJ can really shred the speakers when she wants, but this one is slow with minimal accompaniment and she sings the chorus in a very high-pitched screech guaranteed to bother most people but I think this song is a brilliant as most of her work.


"California
Leaving
California
California
Leaving
California

No one but me is walking
under palms that give no shade
I'm leaving you today
... ... ...

California
Killed me
California
California
Killed me
California I think it's time to leave
I think it's time to leave
I told no one I'd stay
I think it's time to leave
Ooh"
Colin Hay Oh California An acoustic solo song from the smoky-voiced Australian singer from the 80's band Men at Work. Released in 2009.


"Thought I’d never reach the water
Had to cross the desert and the great divide
Drinking only golden promises
With white lines in my eyes
Oh, California
It’s the one big love that you cannot end
Oh, California
Yeah I can’t leave you now
Oh, California"
Hawk Nelson California A 2004 pop punk tune that shows that even Christian Rockers from Ontario Canada can fall for the California as a sunshine and surfing paradise myth. What do all these people have against a few clouds and some rain, anyway?


"...I'm so tired of everything here,
The sun is calling me to the west,
Everyone's having fun out there,
My bags are packed as I'm looking out the window,
Everything is so outdated here,
I wanna move west where the sun is shining,
I want my friends to all be there,

Let's pack up and move to California,
She's got lots of friends out there,
We'll never get bored cause we can go boardin',
Let's let the sunshine take us there
...
Let's pack up and move to California,
Hop on board before we get older,
Raise your hand and shout for California"
Head and the Heart, The Down in the Valley This is such a great song I had to include it here. It mentions California only as a place the singer hasn't been to (I think) but the way he sings the words California and Oklahoma make these two places sound like paradise. It's an indie folk-pop song from a Seattle band, released in December 2010, with lots of great harmonies, piano, acoustic instruments, and great percussion.


"I wish I was a slave to an age-old trade Like ridin' around on railcars and workin' long days

Lord have mercy on my rough and rowdy ways
Lord have mercy on my rough and rowdy ways

Call it one drink too many
Call it pride of a man
But it don't make no difference if you sit or you stand

'Cause they both end in trouble and start with a grin
Yeah they both end in trouble and start with a grin

We do it over and over and over again
We do it over and over and over again
............
I am on my way
I am on my way
I am on my way back to where I started

California, Oklahoma
And all of the places I ain't ever been to but
Down in the valley with
Whiskey rivers
These are the places you will find me hidin'
These are the places I will always go
These are the places I will always go"
Hem Not California A 2006 song from the Indie folk rock group from Brooklyn, with Sally Ellyson on vocals. This song was also recorded by Elizabeth Cook in 2010, by this might be the original (I can't find out who wrote it.)


"Who's the girl inside of the blue-screen light
The sun is just pouring out
And everything is out of sight

Turn around the room is just black and white
She's whispering
Na na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na

And it's not true
And it's not fair
And it's not you
And it's not California here...."
Jimi Hendrix California Night A straight blues number from 1965 before Jimi got big.


"Nobody loves me
Nobody cares for me at all
Nobody loves me
Nobody cares for me at all
That's why I'm on my way to Calfornia
and I won't be back 'till late Fall

On my way west(?)
I got a friend I used to know
On my way west(?)
Yes I got a friend I used to know
She lives out in Louisiana
Way down in the Gulf of Mexico…"

She wiggles when she walks
and she's built up from the ground
She wiggles when she walks, baby
and she's built up from the ground..."
John Hiatt Adios to California In this 2011 country rocker, Hiatt seems to recall his time trying to make it in LA in the 80s, stuggling with alcoholism, and his wife's suicide which left him with nothing to do but turn around and return to Nashville.


"Smoky room and a thin blue light
Her arms were pale as white
Trying to outlast the night
Howling at the moon
Living in the Canyon Inn
Hangdown Hanna and Whiskey Jim
Dirty jeans and mudslide hymns
It all began with [soon]

So, adios to California
Nothing to do but turn around
Always thought there's someone coming for you
Only way you'd leave this town."
Robyn Hitchcock & the Venus 3 A Man's Gotta Know His Limitations, Briggs Robyn Hitchcock is an English singer-songwriter known for his solo carrer and for his bands The Soft Boys in the late 1970s, The Egyptians in the mid 1980s, and The Venus 3, formed in 2002. This song is from the 2006 album Ole Tarantula.


"A man's gotta know his limitations, Briggs
Or he will just explode
You lived in your imagination, Briggs
You blew up in the road
I'm talking to you
and to you over there
and to you over there

You were riding in your car in San Francisco
You were riding through the weather and the rain
You were riding in your car in San Francisco
But you're never gonna ride that way again.

A girl's gotta know her situation, Clint
Or she will just move on
So if you have some information, squint
Through the keyhole or down the barrel of your gun
I'm talking to you
and I'm listening too
so you've got no excuse

I was riding in your car in San Francisco
I was riding through the weather and the rain
I was riding in your car in San Francisco
But I'll never ride with you again

A boy's gotta go just where you put him, Mel
Or he will turn to steel
And if he dies you must forget him, Mel
Unless you want him crawling through your dream

And I'm talking to you
I can talk
I can hear
Well what more do you want?

We were riding in your car in San Francisco
We were riding through the weather and the rain
Riding in your car in San Francisco
But we're never gonna ride that way again

We both got a Briggs in us
Somewhere down the road
I don't know bout you folks but
This Briggs will explode

A man's gotta know his limitations, Briggs."
The Hold Steady Modesto is Not That Sweet The Hold Steady is a rock band from Brooklyn fronted by Craig Finn from Minnesota. This is from the band's first studio album "Almost Killed Me" released in 2004.


"I can't believe I was worried about hurting you.
I should have kicked it with your cousin when I had the opportunity.
I was at some party and she said she had to talk to me and then she didn't say anything.
I can't believe I worried about hurting you while you were banging around the bars trying to scratch up something new.
You left me fifty bucks and nothing much to do but think about getting back at you.

I heard that you've been back around the neighborhood.
You might be still strung out but you still look pretty good.
I heard that kid from California turned out to be an asshole.
I think I could have told you.
You left with burning bridges but you never saw the beach.
You had stars in your eyes but Modesto's not that sweet.
When you only know one guy and he disappears for days at time.

I can't believe I was worried about hurting you.
I should have kicked it with your cousin when I had the opportunity.
I was at some party and she said she had to talk to me.
She didn't say much of anything."
Hole Celebrity Skin Hole is an alternative rock band formed in L.A. in 1989 by Courtney Love, an artist/actress/singer/songwriter. This song, from their third album "Celebrity Skin," released in 1998, is the band's most successful commercial single.

The song deals with the ups and downs of celebrity. Courtney Love wrote the song, named after a porno magazine, with help from Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins after she took some time off from the band to sell her pound of flesh in Hollywood, making "The People vs. Larry Flynt," which is probably her best known role.


"Oh make me over
I'm all I wanna be
A walking study
In Demonology

Hey, so glad you could make it
Yeah, now you've really made it
Hey, so glad you could make it now

Oh look at my face
My name is might have been
My name is never was
My name's forgotten

Hey, so glad you could make it
Yeah, now you've really made it
Hey, there's only us left now

When I wake up in my makeup
It's too early for that dress
Wilted and faded somewhere in Hollywood
I'm glad I came here with your pound of flesh
No second billing 'cause you're a star now
Oh, Cinderella, they aren't sluts like you
Beautiful garbage, beautiful dresses
Can you stand up or will you just fall down?

You better watch out
Oh what you wish for
It better be worth it
So much to die for

Hey, so glad you could make it
Yeah, now you've really made it
Hey, there's only us left now

When I wake up in my makeup
Have you ever felt so used up as this?
It's all so sugarless, hooker/waitress
Model/actress, oh, just go nameless!
Honeysuckle, she's full of poison
She obliterated everything she kissed
Now she's fading somewhere in Hollywood
I'm glad I came here with your pound of flesh

You want a part of me?
Well, I'm not selling cheap
No, I'm not selling cheap"
Hole Malibu This song from the album "Celebrity Skin," released in 1998, has the ocean, angels, driving down the coast highway, all those typical California references, but with added images of self destruction, suffering and suicide - all of which Courtney Love certainly understands better than most of us.


"Crash and burn
All the stars explode tonight
How'd you get so desperate
How'd you stay alive
Help me please
Burn the sorrow from your eyes
Oh, come on be alive again
Don't lay down and die
Hey, hey
You know what to do
Oh, baby, drive away to Malibu
Get well soon
Please don't go any higher
How are you so burnt when
You're barely on fire
Cry to the angels
I'm gonna rescue you
I'm gonna set you free tonight, baby
Pour over me
Hey, hey
We're all watching you
Oh, baby, fly away to Malibu"
Hole Pacific Coast Highway This is from Hole's album "Nobody's Daughter" released in 2010.


"I knew a boy who came from the sea
He was the only boy who ever
Knew the truth about me

I'm overwhelmed and undersexed
Baby, what did you expect?
I'm overwrought and so disgraced
I'm too ashamed to show my face
And they're coming to take me away now
What I want I will never have

I'm on the Pacific Coast Highway
With your gun in my hand"

I knew a boy who left me so ravaged
Do you even know the extent
Of the damage

My dirty little secret died
In between the sheets
And the promises that killed me
From your eyes

I'm bloody and totally bound
I don't know what to do with my hands now
I surrender, I give in
I'll kick down your door if you don't let me in

And I've lost myself completely
I look to you, my true desire
I'm on the Pacific Coast Highway
My god how did you fall so far?

Your whole world is in my hands
Your whole wide world is in my hands"
Jolie Holland Goodbye California Jolie Holland, also a member of the Be Good Tanyas, is a singer from Texas who performs a mixture of folk, jazz and blues. In this song, the singer seems to be saying goodbye to California because she's contemplating suicide - to the accompaniment of a fairly upbeat band which includes a musical saw...


"Goodbye, goodbye, California
Goodbye and I’ll be moving on
I sang you my songs
I know i’m wrong
Fare thee well
And I’ll be moving on

When I’m dead and gone
My immortal home
Will hold me in its bosom
Safe and cold
No more desires
Will light their fires
Or disturb my immaculate calm
And the birds of the air
And the beasts of the soil
And the fishes of the desperate seas
Will know who I am
And our substance will expand
As part of everything

As part of everything, my God
As part of everything
And the clouds will roll
And the wind will blow
And the beautiful birds will sing

Goodbye, goodbye, California
Goodbye to your waving trees
To you succulent wind
And all my friends
Fare thee well
Goodbye
So be it
Amen
Amen."
Hollywood Undead Bottle and a Gun Hollywood Undead is a rock rap group from L.A. who wear cool masks like those anarchists you see smashing store windows on TV. This song is from the band’s debut album “Swan Songs” released in 2008. It has all the rap tropes - Sex, drugs, guns, tricked-out luxury automobiles, pop culture name-drops, plus interesting new uses for the Hollywood sign and for time travel. (I hope they save B.I.G. too.)


“ It was once a dark lonely summer's eve
On the lonely streets of Sunset
When the lord called upon seven crazy m.c's
J Dog, Charlie Scene, Johnny 3 Tears, Da Kurlzz, and The Producer
Hey, uh, man you forgot the homie funny man, c'mon

And I can show you how to hump without making love
The way you look at me, I can tell that you're a freak
And I'll be laying in the sun, bottle and a gun
The way you look at me, I can tell that you're a freak

My clothes are always retro
Sexual like I'm hetero
And I play a b***h like Nintendo (Zelda)
Take her for ride in my Benzo
Funny as f***, I should do stand up
Bust caps at the crowd like I don't give a f*** (f*** you)
Got a gold ass grill
Hit me on the sidekick if you wanna chill
Hop in the ride, let's roll
I'm a baritone with a voice so low
It'll make your speakers explode
And I'll drop your panties to the floor (ah)
Let me bend you over, let me lay you sideways
Hop in the back girls, freaky Fridays
If you got beef, then you better step up bitch
Hollywood Undead ain't nothin' to f*** with

…. …. …. …. …. …

Girl, come and smoke my pole like a Marlboro
Introduce me to your mom as Charles
It's Charlie Scene, Shake your ass to the bass
Wait till you see my face, hey b***h
Wear them tight jeans that show your a** crack
My first name gives Vietnam flashbacks
I get drunk and do the same old, same old
Take three girls home and call them Charlie’s Angels
What'chu gonna do after we get signed?
I'm gonna lose my mind
Get 30 inch spinners and pimp my ride
Go back in time, be there that night and save 2Pac's life
Then pay my fine for getting caught f***ing on the Hollywood sign
I got the game on lock
I'll have a bottle and a glock
With biceps like The Rock
Buy Tom's soul back from Rufford Murdock (hey)….”
Hollywood Undead California This song is all about booze and women and macho territorial swagger, subjects not exactly foreign to rap or rock music. It's from their debut album “Swan Songs” released in 2008.


"California show me love
Get buzzed, let's get f***** up
California
So high, we'll ride all night

Comin' straight outta Cali, what? The 818 valley, what?
323, f*** horse night alley
And from Highland to Clayton, all these b****** are hatin'
'Cause the s*** that we're saying is the s*** that they're playin'
… … … ...
I'm a pirate on the streets of California
Movin' and cruisin', we're boozin' all night to the mornin'
So from dust 'till dawn, you know Undead is always on
Hit it once like a bomb, hit it twice and then I'm gone

California show me love
Get buzzed, let's get f***** up
California throw it up
Get buzzed, let's get f***** up"
Lightnin' Hopkins California Mudslide Some country blues from the great Texas bluesman off his 1969 abum "California Mudslide (and Earthquake)"  After the fires of the summer of 1968 that denuded many of the hills in Southern California came the heavy rains of 1968 and 1969 which led to some epic mudslides which must be what Hopkins is singing about.


"Take me outta this bottom, take me outta this bottom, baby,
Little girl, fore this water rise.
Take me outta this bottom, take me outta this bottom,
Little girl, fore this water rise.
You know I musta been born by the devil,
Po' Lightnin don't wanna be baptised.

See, it's rainin in ole California's the reason I said it,
The houses slidin down off the hill.
Many, many many friends have lost their home.
Just because the water was falling so hard,
And the mudslide had taken their home.
And I said.
Lettin ya know how it's happenin now.

Take me outta this bottom, take me outta this bottom, baby,
Po' Lightnin can't feel satisfied.
Take me outta this bottom, take me outta this bottom,
Po' Lightnin just can't feel satisfied.
Just you know many friends of mine lost they home,
By that old mudslide.

Don't take me to be wrong people,
Forgive me for my mistake.
You know, please, please, please,
Forgive me for my mistake.
Well, after all that flood come in California, do you know,
The good Lord old ground begin to shake?
That's that earthquake that was comin.
Have mercy."
Lightnin' Hopkins California Showers More country blues from the great Texas bluesman off his 1969 abum "California Mudslide (and Earthquake)" It's hard to believe here during the great drought of 2015 but once upon a time it used to rain in California.


"Just take a look at the weather
It keep rainin' all the time
Just take a look at the weather
It keep rainin' all the time
You know it be rainin' this minute and the next minute
You look up and you'll see sunshine

Tell me why there's rain
Why it storm in California all the time
Tell me why do it rain
Why it storm in California all the time
I don't want the rain
But you still have plenty sunshine

You know it keeps on rainin'
You know this poor man can't make no time
You know if it keeps on rainin'
You know this poor man can't make no time
You know if I can't go to my job
How I'm gonna feed this family of mine?

You know the poor children are runnin' "I'm hungry"
When I don't have a lousy dime
Poor children runnin', cryin' "Daddy I'm hungry"
And I don't have a lousy dime
That's the reason I was singin' when it started rainin' in California
Why do it keep rainin' all the time?

You know it was dark and cloudy
Raindrops settled on my window pane
You know it was dark it was cloudy
The raindrops settled on my window pane
You know my children didn't have nothin' to eat
Now peoples ain't that a cryin' shame
My poor wife walkin'
Tellin' the children this is a cryin' shame
My poor wife walkin'
Tellin' the children this is a cryin' shame

Yeah we all goin' down starvation I do believe
But your daddy ain't to blame
That's all right, that's all right
You don't have to worry no more
That's all right, that's all right
Children you don't have to worry no more
You know the sun is shinin"
Lightnin' Hopkins My California "I'm goin back out in California, California
Going just to do my little run around
You know I'm goin back out in California, California
Going to do my little run around
So when I wake up the next morning
you know the news ain't over town

Yeah you know I'm goin back out in California
I'm going to make out there my home
Can't you see I'm getting ready
I won't be here long

California
Yes I'm going to make it my home
You know I'm almost ready now,
and I ain't gonna be here long

Yeah you know I'm going to Los Angeles
Walk down 6th Avenue
Reason I'm going to do it is those people
don't care hardly about what you do

I'm going back to
make out there my home
You know I'm just about ready now
boy and I ain't going to be here long"
Lightnin' Hopkins Los Angeles Blues More country blues from the great Texas bluesman off his 1969 abum "California Mudslide (and Earthquake)"


"Hello Los Angeles
I be out making my own
Well since things
All my friends feel like it's wrong
But hello Los Angeles
I still may make you my home

You know one morning
Just about the day begin to break
People all told me if you go to Los Angeles
Lightnin' you making a sad mistake
But I hollered hello Los Angeles
I believe I'll be on my way
Yes if you stop having those mudslides out there
I may make that my home and I may stay

I woke up this morning
Los Angeles on my mind
I couldn't do nothin but break down
And begin to crying
When I heard about Los Angeles was underwater
Ain't nobody got no time
They didn't have no time to lose

Ever get lucky
In this world again
I want you to know poor Los Angeles
Is still my friend
But everybody been wondering
Where has poor Lightnin' been"
Hot Chelle Rae Tonight Tonight Hot Chelle Rae is an American dance-rock band from Nashville. This is their most successful single, from their album "Whatever" released in 2011. I have no idea what a "California dime" is, but the image of dancing on the edge of the Hollywood Sign reminds me of the failed actress who killed herself by jumping off the "H" in 1932.


"It's been a really really messed up week
Seven days of torture, seven days of bitter
And my girlfriend went and cheated on me
She's a California dime but it's time for me to quit her

La la la, whatever, la la la, it doesn't matter, la la la, oh, well, la la la

We're going at it tonight tonight
There's a party on the rooftop top of the world
Tonight tonight and we're dancing on the edge of the Hollywood sign
I don't know if I'll make it but watch how good I'll fake it
It's all right, all right, tonight, tonight

I woke up with a strange tattoo
Not sure how I got it, not a dollar in my pocket
And it kinda looks just like you
Mixed with Zach Galifianakis (Huh!)

La la la, whatever, la la la, it doesn't matter, la la la, oh, well, la la la

We're going at it tonight tonight
There's a party on the rooftop top of the world
Tonight tonight and we're dancing on the edge of the Hollywood sign
I don't know if I'll make it but watch how good I'll fake it
It's all right, all right, tonight, tonight

You got me singing like, whoa,
Come on, oh,
It doesn't matter, whoa,
Everybody now, oh

Just don't stop let's keep the beat pumpin'
Keep the beat up, let's drop the beat down
It's my party dance if I want to
We can get crazy let it all out...."
Ronnie Hudson and the Street People West Coast Poplock Ronnie Hudson is an American recording artist from D.C. This funky song has been his most popular, partly because it was used as part of 2Pac's big hit "California Love" in 1995.


"Now wait a minute
California knows how to party
California knows how to party
In the city, of L.A.
In the city, of good old Watts
In the city, city of Compton
They're Poplockin'
WOOOO

Poplockin' in Rolls-Royce, Cadillac, Lincoln and Mercedes Benz
Poplockin' in Howard Johnson's, Sheraton
Poplockin' at the Holiday Inn
Poplockin' in Hollywood, it's understood
While listening to the Mac
Poplockin' on Broadway, everyday
To the Preacher's rap

So rough, so tough, out here baby
So rough, so tough, out here

California knows how to party
California knows how to party
In the city, of L.A.
In the city, of good ol' Watts
In the city, city of Compton
They're poplockin'

Dance, dance disco style
It's all on the West Coast
Living good and playing hard
Cruising the Boulevard
Leaning, fiending
And you won't be dreaming
That's what it's all about

So rough, so tough, out here baby
So rough, so tough, out here baby
So rough, so tough, out here baby
So rough, so tough, out here baby

Lock it up baby
WOOOO, YAH
Lock them shoulders
Lock them arms
Now lock that neck

Just raise those fingers in the air
I swear it's getting mighty funky out there
There's a party over here
There's a party over there
Can I get a "Right On" cuz?

Playboys
That's cool, clean and mean
Can I get a "Right On" cuz?
Right on!

So rough, so tough, out here baby
So rough, so tough, out here
California knows how to party
California knows how to party
In the city, of L.A.
In the city, of good ol' Watts
In the city, city of Compton
They're poplockin'...."
Huey Lewis and the News The Heart of Rock & Roll Huey Lewis and the News are an American pop band based in San Francisco that had a bunch of hit singles in the 1980s and early 1990s. This song, which received a Grammy nomination for song of the year, comes from the band's album "Sports" released in 1983. It name checks a lot of places around the U.S.A. including L.A., Hollywood and the Sunset Strip and San Francisco.


"New York, New York is everything they say
And no place that I'd rather be
Where else can you do a half a million things
And all at a quarter to three
When they play their music, ooh that modern music
The like it with a lot of style
But it's still that same old back beat rhythm
That really drives them wild

They say the heart of rock and roll is still beating
And from what I've seen I believe 'em
Now the old boy may be barely breathing
But the heart of rock and roll is still beating

L.A., Hollywood and the Sunset Strip is something everyone should see
Neon lights and the pretty, pretty girls all dressed so scantily
When they play their music, that hard rock music
They like it with a lot of flash
But it's still that same old back beat rhythm
That really kicks 'em in the

They say the heart of rock and roll is still beating
And from what I've seen I believe 'em
Now the old boy may be barely breathing
But the heart of rock and roll is still beating

D.C., San Antone and the Liberty town, Boston and Baton Rouge
Tulsa, Austin, Oklahoma City, Seattle, San Francisco, too
Everywhere there's music, real live music, bands with a million styles
But it's still that same old rock and roll music that really drives 'em wild

They say the heart of rock and roll is still beating
And from what I've seen I believe 'em
Now the old boy may be barely breathing
But the heart of rock and roll is still beating

In Cleveland
Detroit, heart of rock and roll"
I
I See Hawks In L.A. California Country A 2006 alternative country song from the L.A. group founded in 1999. Anybody who has lived in the state for a while will sympathize with the singer.


"I am a child of the Golden State, grew up in the orchards and fields
Seen farm towns become commuter alleys
Seen shopping malls eat up the trees
Sometimes I wish for a simpler time
When you could drink right out of the stream
The loneliness around me
freeways just surround me
I’m thirty miles from a field of green

But I’m still standing in California Country

My dad moved us to Victorville in June of ’82
All summer long I traversed the Mojave, went swimming in the river water pool
On a beautiful farm sloping down to the river, September I was back in school
The bulldozers stripped the topsoil
Little flags marked the mile
I never crossed that river again

But I’m still standing in California Country
But I’m still standing in California Country

Here I land with no plan
And only now I understand
that I could never leave this land
I’m a California man

Well the radio announced the annual meteor shower starting late tonight
so we drove up the 2 to the Angeles Crest to get out of the city light
the traffic jam started down in Glendale
lit the mountains bright as day
we turned the car the other way
headed back to L.A.
disappeared into the streets

But I’m still standing in California Country
But I’m still standing in California Country"
Ice Cube How to Survive in South Central Ice Cube is the stage name of O'Shea Jackson Sr, a rapper, songwriter, actor, and producer, originally from South Central L.A. This song is from the soundtrack of his first movie, the enormous hit about growing up in South Central Los Angeles, "Boyz N The Hood." The movie and song were released in 1991 during the period when life in the African American neighborhoods of L.A. was prominently featured in movies, in the news, in the Rodney King incident and the continual TV coverage of the the L.A. Riots of Spring 1992, and especially in L.A. Gangsta Rap, which became extremely lucrative by describing the chaos and horrors of life and crime in inner-city L.A.


"And now, the wonderous world of.."
"Hey, come to Los Angeles!
You and your family can have peace and tranquility.
Enjoy the refinement.."
"Hey Bone, hey nigga where you at though?"
"Hello, my name is Elaine --
And I'll be your tour guide through South Central Los Angeles"

How to survive in South Central (what you do?)
A place where bustin a cap is fundamental
No, you can't find the s**t in a handbook
Take a close look, at a rap crook
Rule number one: get yourself a gun
A nine in your ass'll be fine
Keep it in your glove comparment
Cause jackers (yo) they love to start s**t
Now if you're white you can trust the police
But if you're black they ain't nothin but beasts
Watch out for the kill
Don't make a false move and keep your hands on the steering wheel
And don't get smart
Answer all questions, and that's your first lesson
On stayin alive
In South Central, yeah, that's how you survive

"Hi this is Elaine again.
Are you enjoying your stay in South Central Los Angeles,
Or is somebody taking your things? Have you witneesed a driveby?
Okay, make sure you have your camcorder ready
To witness the extracurricular activities on blacks by the police,
So you and your family can enjoy this tape, over and over again."
"This is Los Angeles." "This is Los Angeles."

Rule number two: don't trust nobody
Especially a bitch, with a hooker's body
Cause it ain't nuttin but a trap
And females'll get jacked and kidnapped
You'll wind up dead
Just to be safe don't wear no blue or red
Cause most niggaz get got
In either L.A., Compton or Watts
Pissed-off black human beings
So I think you better skip the sight-seeing
And if you're nuttin but a mark
Make sure that you're in before dark
But if you need some affection mate
Make sure the bitch ain't a section eight
Cause if so that's a monkey-wrench hoe
And you won't survive in South Central
"Now you realize it's not all that it's cracked up to be.
You realize that it's f**cked up!
It ain't nothin like the s**t you saw on TV.
Palm trees and blonde bitches?
I'd advise to you to pack your s**t and get the f**k on;
Punk motherf**ker!"
And you need your ass straight smoked
Yo I wanna say whassup to DJ Chilly Chill
Sir Jinx, aiyyo Cube these motherf**kers don't know what time it is
So show these motherf**kers what's happenin
Tell these motherf**kers, don't fuck around in South Central
God damnit!

Rule number three: don't get caught up
Cause niggaz are doing anything that's thought up
And they got a vice
On everything from dope, to stolen merchandise
We discern
Cause South Central L.A., is one big yearn
Waitin for a brother like you to catch a disease
And start slangin keys
To an undercover or the wrong brother
And they'll smother, a out of town motherf**ker
So don't take your life for granted
Cause it's the craziest place on the planet
In L.A. heroes don't fly through the sky of stars
They live behind bars
So everybody's doin a little dirt
And it's the youngsters puttin in the most work
So be alert and stay calm
As you enter, the concrete Vietnam
You say, the strong survive
S**t, the strong even die, in South Central
Yeah you bitches, you think I forgot about your ass,
You tramp-ass hoes? You better watch out.
And for you so called baller-ass niggaz,
You know what time it is. South Central ain't no joke.
Got to keep your gat at all times motherf**kers.
Better keep one in the chamber and nine in the clip god damnit.
You'll sho' get got, just like that.
This ain't no joke motherf**ckers.
Now I wanna send a shout-out to E-Dog, the engineer,
Puttin his two cents in..
"This is Los Angeles."
Ice Cube It Was a Good Day This song is probably Ice Cube's most successful single, off of his 1992 album "The Predator." It describes a good day in South Central L.A. while reminding us how easily it could have been a bad day.


"Just wakin up in the mornin gotta thank God
I don't know but today seems kinda odd
No barkin from the dog, no smog
And momma cooked a breakfast with no hog (damn)
I got my grub on, but didn't pig out
Finally got a call from a girl I wanna dig out
(Whassup?) Hooked it up for later as I hit the do'
Thinkin will I live, another twenty-fo'
I gotta go cause I got me a drop top
And if I hit the switch, I can make the ass drop
Had to stop, at a red light
Lookin in my mirror and not a jacker in sight
And everything is alright
I got a beep from Kim, and she can f*** all night
Called up the homies and I'm askin y'all
Which park, are y'all playin basketball?
Get me on the court and I'm trouble
Last week d***** around and got a triple double
Freakin niggaz everyway like M.J.
I can't believe, today was a good day (s***!) Drove to the pad and hit the showers
Didn't even get no static from the cowards
Cause just yesterday them fools tried to blast me
Saw the police and they rolled right past me
No flexin, didn't even look in a nigga's direction
as I ran the intersection
Went to $hort Dog's house, they was watchin Yo! MTV Raps
What's the haps on the craps?
Shake 'em up, shake 'em up, shake 'em up, shake 'em
Roll 'em in a circle of niggaz and watch me break 'em
with the seven, seven-eleven, seven-eleven
Seven even back do' Lil' Joe
I picked up the cash flow
Then we played bones, and I'm yellin domino
Plus nobody I know got killed in South Central L.A.
Today was a good day (s***!)
... ... ...
Today I didn't even have to use my A.K.
I got to say it was a good day...."
Ice Cube Life in California Ice Cube took some time away from his acting to drop this 2010 rap, proving that he's still a gangsta, even if he also has a sitcom. Also see songs he made with NWA and Public Enemy.


"Dough We Get That Dough
Ooh We Got To Get More
Living Just Another Day
AK Gun Play
L.A. To The Bay
Living Life In California
Dough We Get That Dough
Ooh We Got To Get More"
Ice Cube My Summer Vacation This is from Ice Cube's 1991 album "Death Certificate." There's too much competition in L.A., so the rapper and his dope-slinging crew take their business to St. Louis where they triple their profit. He teaches the police there that L.A.'s not all surf and sun by importing California gang warfare, too, and he ruins it for everybody.


"[Airport announcement]
This is the final boarding call for flight 1259
departing from Los Angeles, final destination to St. Louis
Thank you.

Damn G, the spot's gettin hot
So how the F**k am I supposed to make a knot?
Police looking at niggaz through a microscope
In L.A. everybody and they momma sell dope
They trying to stop it
So what the F**k can I do to make a profit?
Catch a flight to St. Louis
That's cool, cause nobody knew us
We stepped off the plane
Four gang bangers, professional crack slangers
Rented a car at wholesale
Drove to the ghetto, and checked in a motel
Unpacked and I grab the three-eighty
Cause where we stayin, niggaz look shady
But they can't fade South Central
Cause bustin a cap is fundamental
Checkin out every block close
Seein which one will clock the most
Yeah this is the one no doubt
Bust a U Bone, and let's clear these niggaz out

Ay ay man, whassup nigga?
Yo, well this Lench Mob nigga!
[gun shots]

Now clearin em out meant casualties
Still had the L.A. mentality
Bust a cap, and out of there in a hurry
Wouldn't you know, a driveby in Missouri
Them fools got popped
Took their corner next day, set up shop
And it's better than slangin in the Valley
Triple the profit makin more than I did in Cali
Breakin off rocks like Barney Rubble
Cause them mark-ass niggaz don't want trouble
And we ain't on edge when we do work
Police don't recognize the khakis and the sweatshirts
Getting bitches and they can't stand a
Nineteen-ninety-one Tony Montana
Now the s**t's like a war
of gang violence, where it was never seen before
Punks whirl when the gat bust
Four jheri curl niggaz kickin up dust
And some of them are even lookin up to us
Wearing our colors and talkin that gang fuss
Giving up much love
Dyin for a street, that they ain't even heard of
But other motherf**kers want to stand strong
So you know the phrase, once again it's on

[TV Announcer]
Top of the news tonight, gangs from South Central
Los Angeles which are known for their driveby shootings
have migrated into East St. Louis
leaving three dead and two others injured
No arrests have been made
Police say this is a nationwide trend
with similar incidents occuring in Texas, Michigan, and Oklahoma
(female voice repeating in background:
"If it can happen here, it can happen anywhere")...."
Ice Cube You Know How We Do It West Coast hip-hop from Ice Cube's Lethal Injection album released in 1993.


"Yeah... yeah!
Fool -- you know how we do it

West Side
Comin from the West Side
Nothin but the West Side

Ain't nuttin goin on but the bomb-ass rap song
Hittin all night long
Just like me on the black and white ivory
Gettin six on artillery, you don't want to see a G
Break yo' ass like dishes
Buster-ass tricks, sleep with the fishes
Runnin from Lennox, up at Venice
They wanna have me in stripes, like Dennis the Menace
But that ain't poppin, ain't no stoppin
Fo'-hoppin, ass droppin, Coupe DeVille
My truth can, ill - fool I got skills
So, back on up 'fore I check that chin
Down as f**k and I'm full off Henn'
You gets no love and I thought you knew it
Fool, you know how we do it

Comin from the West Side
West Side, comin from the West Side

Chillin with the homies, smellin the bud
Double parked and I'm talkin to Dub
about who got a plan, who got a plot
whom got got, and who got shot
Cause everybody knows that he got the info
Crazy Toones hangin out the window
Fool I got them bomb-ass tapes
Da Lench Mob, Planet of the Apes
I'm down with Eiht, and Watts Up
Kam is solo, they got nuts
When Ice Cube write a sentence
I want "The Bomb," just like George Clinton
S-K-D is down to catch a body
Put on "Knee Deep" we'll turn out your party
You gets no love and I thought you knew it
Fool, you know how we do it

You know how we do it

Jack B. Nimble, and Jack B. Quick
if you wanna jack me on a lick, cause
I'm that fool from South Central
You think you stuck yourself, with a number 2 pencil
That's how I poke hot lead in yo' ass
With "Mo' Bounce to the Ounce" in the dash
Mash up, Ve-nice, headed for the West
Everything is great, slow down for the dip
On a 100 and 8th and keep mashin
Don't drink and drive to keep the fo' from crashin
Stashin a glock and I thought you knew it
You know how we do it

Comin from the West Side, West Side
Nuttin but a West Side
It's hittin on the West Side
Fool, you know how we do it"
Enrique Iglesias California Callin' Enrique Iglesias is an American pop singer and actor who sings in Spanish and English. His father was the famous Spanish singer Julio Iglesias. This song is from his 2003 album "7".


"Driving through the night,
Tears are running down my face,
I start to realise, all the things that i once said,
I promised you the world
It's nothing more than you deserve
It's killing me inside, to know I put you through this hell,

Take away my heart,
It doesn't wanna work no more
I never meant to make you cry,

California calling 20 miles to go,
And I don't, I don't know,
Should I turn around or should I leave you alone?
No I don't, I don' t know
I don't know,
No I don't know...

I'm on the road and it feels so cold outside,
It's driving me insane, to know how much you hurt tonight,
Take away my heart, it doesn't wanna work no more,
I never meant to make you cry

California calling 20 miles to go,
And I don't, I don't know,
Should I turn around or should I leave you alone?
No I don't, I don' t know
I don't know,
No I don't know...

Gotta keep on moving on,
Gotta keep on moving on,
Gotta keep on moving on,
California calling, California calling...."
Iron & Wine The Desert Babbler Iron & Wine, aka Samuel Beam, is an American singer-songwriter in the acoustic folky style, originally from the Southeast, but based in Austin, TX. This song is from his 2013 album Ghost on Ghost. I have no idea at all what it's about, but I'll make sure I'm never in Barstow on New Year's Eve.


"It's New Year's Eve
And California's gonna kill you soon
The Barstow boys
Bug eyes in the shadow of the moon

Black houses in the hills and roadside haunts
Dying for a place to fall apart
Who knew what you could learn to live without
Mother Mary's lying in your mouth, now

Back home the kitchen's warm with Christmas wine
And every girl has got an axe to grind
You live to look for hell, man
But you're far from the hard light tonight

So quietly we lost another year
The desert put a babbler in your ear
He will find a way to not miss you again
Barstow boys all spit into the wind

Back home the hammer always has to fall
Cross is barely hanging on the wall
Some day I know you'll never leave me
But we're far from the hard light tonight"
Chris Isaak San Francisco Days Chris Isaak is a singer-songwriter and actor, originally from Stockton, active from the early 1980s, with layers of Ricky Nelson, Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley, surf music, and rockabilly in his music. This is a moody light rock tune from 1993, sung by a man who is happy to return to his home in don't call it Frisco. (Call it Sanfcisco, like everyone else does.)


"I still love you, I still want you
I still need you, don't hang up and say goodbye

Walking on the beach last night, hoping things would be all right
My baby lying on her bed, it's you I saw instead
Thinking of the one I love, you're know what I'm thinking of
San Francisco days, San Francisco nights

I met a girl in Mexico I should of told her then I know
That I still think of you, we never will be through
San Francisco days, San Francisco nights
San Francisco days, San Francisco nights

I still love you, I still want you
I still need you, don't hang up and say goodbye

Walking down to Market street feeling my heart skip a beat
To see someone who looks like you, I guess that I'm not through
Dreaming of the one I love, you know what I'm dreaming of
San Francisco days, San Francisco nights

I'm heading for that Golden Gate hoping I won't be too late
To find the one that I still love
It's you I'm dreaming of
San Francisco nights

San Francisco days, San Francisco nights
San Francisco days, San Francisco nights
San Francisco
San Francisco
San Francisco nights
San Francisco
San Francisco
San Francisco"
Chris Isaak We Lost Our Way This is from the album "Mr. Lucky" released in 2009.


"We started Walkin'
And then we learned to run
I still don't know what
We're runnin' From
You said you loved me
But you couldn't stay

Oh we lost our way
In California
Down in L.A.
They never warn ya

It just all goes wrong,
It all turned bad
You said that love
Was a funny thing
And you'd move faster
Without a ring

Oh we lost our way
In California
Down in L.A.
Nobody warns ya
It just all goes wrong,
It all turns bad

We searched for something
We could not find
And somehow somewhere
Love got left behind

Yeah we lost our way
In California
Down in L.A.
They barely warn ya
It all goes wrong
Oh it all turns bad

I don't look back
Cause it hurts too much
To see everything that
We just gave up

Oh we lost our way
In California
Down in L.A.
Nobody warns ya
Oh we lost our way
In California

And it all went wrong
It all turned bad
It all went wrong
It all turned bad"
J
Jack's Mannequin (featuring Pras) Miss California A 2008 song from an Orange County rock band. In this song, it seems like the singer is stalking Miss California and plotting to take her and hider her away somewhere. Pretty creepy....


"...I'm gonna take you to my boxcar on the beach
And I'm gonna hang the sun above your bed
And soak your hair in bleach

You'll be missed Miss California
You'll be kissed by only me
When they can't find you you'll turn into a mystery
But you're no mystery to me, Miss California

I called Jesus but he heard I hurt
His little girl, yeah,
With my reckless stare, I've been so unfair
Misplacing my affections
She had a reason not to take me back into her care
Oh, I'm just a stray dog now, I can't beg or bow
Just give me some direction.

And I'm gonna take you to the mansion where I hide
and I'm gonna paint a diamond on your hand
And you will be my bride
You'll be missed Miss California
You'll be kissed by only me
When they can't find you you'll turn into a mystery
But you're no mystery to me, Miss California
Miss California
I'll be around, I'll be around.

You'll be missed Miss California.
You'll be kissed by only me.
When they can't find you you'll turn into a mystery
But not to me."
Jan & Dean Dead Man's Curve Jan & Dean were a vocal duo formed in Los Angeles in the late 1950s. They were pioneers of the Southern California surf sound. This hit song from 1964 is a combination of a car song and a "teenage tragedy" song, both popular styles at that time.

According to the lyrics, Dead Man's Curve is on Sunset Boulevard somewhere west of Doheny Drive in West Hollywood, which is at the western end of the Sunset Strip. The turn just west of Doheny is not very sharp, but that's the generally-accepted location of the curve in the song. With tragic irony, in 1966 Jan Berry was almost fatally injured when he crashed his Corvette Stingray (the same make of car the singer is driving in the song) near Sunset Blvd. Claims have been made that the accident was at the same Deadman's Curve mentioned in the song. A Snopes fact-checking article determined that this claim is false, and that the actual Deadman's Curve is much farther west on Sunset Blvd., just above the campus of the University of California at Los Angeles. (There were so many accidents on that curve that eventually the city modified the road to make it safer.) Snopes claims that Jan & Dean put the curve in their song closer to the Sunset Strip so they could mention landmarks such as Schwab's and Sunset and Vine that would be more familiar to listeners. But some people claim that the curve is located farther west on Sunset, including one location that makes a lot of sense to me. It's about two miles west of Doheny, where westbound Sunset makes a sharp right turn just past Whittier Drive. That's a bit far, but it's not entirely out of range of the lyrics or the drag racers. Coincidentally, Whittier Drive near Sunset is also where Jan crashed his Stingray. Wherever the curve is supposed to be, it's no place to play, so you'd best keep away!


"I was cruisin' in my Stingray late one night
When an XKE pulled up on the right
He rolled down the window of his shiny new Jag
And challenged me then and there to a drag

I said "You're on buddy, my mill's running fine
Let's come off the line now at Sunset and Vine
But I'll go you one better, if you've got the nerve
Let's race all the way to Dead Man's Curve"

(Dead Man's Curve) is no place to play
(Dead Man's Curve) you'd best keep away
(Dead Man's Curve) I can hear 'em say
Won't come back from Dead Man's Curve

The street was deserted late Friday night
We were buggin' each other while we sat out the light
We both popped the clutch when the light turned green
You should've heard the whine from my screamin' machine

I flew past La Brea, Schwab's and Crescent Heights
And all the Jag could see were my six tail lights
He passed me at Doheny then I started to swerve
But I pulled her out and there we were at Dead Man's Curve

(Dead Man's Curve) is no place to play
Dead Man's Curve

' Well, the last thing I remember, Doc
I started to swerve
And then I saw the Jag slide into the curve
I know I'll never forget that horrible sight
I guess I found out for myself that everyone was right '

Won't come back from Dead Man's Curve

(Dead Man's Curve) is no place to play
(Dead Man's Curve) you'd best keep away
(Dead Man's Curve) I can hear 'em say
Won't come back from Dead Man's Curve

(Dead Man's Curve) is no place to play
(Dead Man's Curve) you'd best keep away
(Dead Man's Curve) I can hear 'em say
Won't come back from Dead Man's Curve...."
Jan & Dean The Little Old Lady From Pasadena Jan & Dean were a vocal duo formed in Los Angeles in the late 1950s. They were pioneers of the Southern California surf sound. This is one of their hits, from 1964. (FYI, Colorado Boulevard is the main thoroughfare through Pasadena. It's part of Historic Route 66, and home to the Rose Bowl Parade.)


"The little old lady from Pasadena
Go granny, go granny, go granny go
Has a pretty little flower bed of white gardenias
Go granny, go granny, go granny go
But parked in her rickety old garage
Is a brand new shiny red Super Stock Dodge

And everybody's saying that there's nobody meaner
Than the little old lady from Pasadena
She drives real fast and she drives real hard
She's the terror of Colorado Boulevard

It's the little old lady from Pasadena

If you see her on the street don't try to choose her
Go granny, go granny, go granny go
You might drive a goer but you'll never lose her
Go granny, go granny, go granny go
Well, she's gonna get a ticket now sooner or later
'Cause she can't keep her foot off the accelerator"
Jamey Johnson California Riots A country tune from 2010. I think all country singers now are required to do a California song, just like rock groups. In this one, Mr. Johnson is not a fan of the perfect California girls. And I hope he never gets caught in the dark in when half of Alabama riots....


"Well I pulled off the gravel, with my California dreams.
Leaving everything I ever loved behind.
Well I left Alabama, but it never once left me.
And it's still the only refuge in my mind.

Where you gonna be when half of California riots,
where you gonna run to when the lights go out.
Well I won't be hangin' out in California, I won't try it.
Buddy I'll be up and headed south.

All the women here look perfect, and it hardly ever rains,
and for some folks here I'm sure it's paradise.
Well I'll dabble with the fortune, rub elbows with the fame.
But I'll be damned if this is where I'm gonna die."

Jayhawks, The Nevada, California The Jayhawks are an American alt/country band from Minneapolis that had some hits with "Blue," "Bad Time," and "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me"  This one is from their 1992 album "Hollywood Town Hall." The singer should probably invest in a good GPS navigator because there is no such place as Nevada, California. Maybe he wants to find Nevada City, CA, maybe Nevada County, CA. Maybe he's asking California to help him find Nevada. (Just drive east.) We'll never know for sure.


"Left his day job behind
Every fool dies trying to give his back
Kicked around on the bum
Like a child I scolded for broken toys

Can you help me to find Nevada, California?
The last thing I did was I tried to hold her

The stationmaster is gone
And I'm your lovesick cousin that never wins
First you twist, then you turn
You're on life's icy mountain, dear passenger

Can you help me to find Nevada, California?
Can you help me to find Nevada, California?
The last thing I did was I tried to hold her

Nevada, California
Nevada, California

The stationmaster is gone
Behind the lies you wonder, there lies a jewel
Could it be something's wrong?
The love that won't talk to you but seldom wins

Can you help me to find Nevada, California?
Can you help me to find Nevada, California?
Nevada, California
The last thing I did is I tried to hold her"
Mason Jennings Big Sur Mason Jennings is a folk singer-songwriter who started his career in Minneapolis in 1997. This upbeat acoustic tune is from his first album "Mason Jennings" released in 1997.


"Just let the disc play
This is a song to give you hope
I wouldn't have it any other way
This is a song to give you hope
When you say
Honey I'm afraid to sleep at night, sleep at night
Honey Im afraid to sleep at night, sleep at night

Well, I wish I had my arms around you
This is a song to give hope
Just let this thing surround you
This is a song to give you hope
When you say
Honey I'm afraid to sleep at night, sleep at night
Honey I'm afraid to leave tonight, leave tonight

I said go, go on
Go, go on
I said I, I love you truly
So go, go on
And get jump on the finer things

This is a song to give hope
You never know what the past will bring you
This is a song to give you hope
When you say
Honey I'm afraid to sleep at night, sleep at night
Honey I'm afraid to leave tonight, leave tonight

I said go, go on
Go, go on
I said I, I love you truly
So go, go on

Forty miles south of Monterey and the Santa Lucia hills
The sunshine shone me to sleep, and I dreamt I was alive

I sang myself a song, it went, know what you know,
Stay when you stay, and go when you go

And I call it intuition, flowers bloom and hummingbirds fly
Yes, I call it intuition, it gets me by
Sailing on a silver ship out to the open

Lonely and realizing that our friendship's been broken
And the funny thing to me is how quickly it slips away

And leaves you thinking of the things that were never spoken
And you know loving me is not enough
And I know future is as future does
Sailing on a silver ship out to the open

Lonely and realizing that our friendship's been broken
And the funny thing to me is how quickly it slips away

And leaves you longing for the things that were never spoken
And you know loving me is not enough
And I know future is as future does"
Mason Jennings California This is another song from "Mason Jennings" released in 1997. The singer is singing to someone he loves who is leaving for California and leaving him behind.


"Don't you know baby I'm a leading man
I dig down deep when I say I love you
And I can hold my own with the best of them
I guarantee you, you will never see nothing like this again
California, I hope that it wakes you
From all of the darkness
That I couldn't break through
'cause I'm gonna miss you, I'm gonna miss you
I'm gonna miss you, I'm gonna miss you
Don't you know that I did the things I could
I rubbed your back when you were sleeping
But all along baby it was understood
That you were leaving, absolutely
Since the very first day we met
California, I hope that it wakes you
From all of the darkness
That I couldn't break through
'cause I'm gonna miss you, I'm gonna miss you
I'm gonna miss you, I'm gonna miss you
Like I miss the ocean
When I go to sleep
Man, it's gonna break my heart"
Carly Rae Jepsen L. A. Hallucinations Carly Rae Jepsen is a Canadian pop singer who shot to stardom with her huge hit single "Call Me Maybe" in 2011. This is from her 2015 album "E*MO*TION"


“I remember being naked
We were young freaks just fresh to L.A.
Never cared about the fake kids
We would write and sing and wear whatever

But money makes your whole world spin
Til everything is dizzy and suddenly

Planes I'm hopping
Cards I'm dropping
No shop can fill me up
There's a little black hole in my golden cup so
You pour and I'll say stop
Planes I'm hopping
Cards I'm dropping
No shop can fill me up
There's a little black hole in my golden cup
So you pour and I'll say stop

Take me into your arms again
Shake me from L.A. hallucinations

Haven't seen the boy in ages
Used to stay up all night he and I
Filling up each of these pages
But the teeth come out when the camera flashes

We said we'd always be the same
But we lost each other in the game cause suddenly

Planes I'm hopping
Cards I'm dropping
No shop can fill me up
There's a little black hole in my golden cup so
You pour and I'll say stop
Planes I'm hopping
Cards I'm dropping
No shop can fill me up
There's a little black hole in my golden cup
So you pour and I'll say stop

Take me into your arms again
And shake me from L.A. hallucinations

Buzzfeed buzzards and TMZ crows
What can I say that you don't already know?
Buzzfeed buzzards and TMZ crows
If I just lie here then will you let me go?….”
Billy Joel Say Goodbye to Hollywood Somehow the New Jersey piano man snuck into tinseltown and populated it with characters from a Bruce Springsteen song in a Phil Spector arrangement. Nice end lyrics...


"Bobby's drivin' through the city tonight
Through the lights in a hot new rent-a-car
He joins the lovers in his heavy machine
It's a scene down on Sunset Boulevard
Say goodbye to Hollywood
Say goodbye, my baby
Say goodbye to Hollywood
Say goodbye, my baby
...  ...   ...   ...   ...  

Movin' on is a chance you take
Any time you try to stay - together
Whoa
Say a word out of line
And you find that the friends you had
Are gone forever
Forever

So many faces in and out of my life
Some will last
Some will just be now and then
Life is a series of hellos and goodbyes
I'm afraid it's time for goodbye again
Say goodbye to Hollywood
Say goodbye, my baby
Say goodbye to Hollywood
Say goodbye, my baby"
Elton John Tiny Dancer Sir Elton Hercules John is one of the best-selling music artists in the world so that's all I need to say. In this song, lyricist Bernie Taupin celebrates the California Girls he met when he moved to L.A. in 1970. It's from John's " Madman Across the Water" album released in 1971. Everybody forgot about this song until it was used so memorably in the 2000 movie "Almost Famous" which by now everybody has forgotten about.


"Blue jean baby, L.A. lady, seamstress for the band
Pretty eyed, pirate smile, you'll marry a music man
Ballerina, you must have seen her dancing in the sand
And now she's in me, always with me, tiny dancer in my hand

Jesus freaks out on the street
Handing tickets out for God
Turning back she just laughs
The boulevard is not that bad

Piano man he makes his stand
In the auditorium
Looking on she sings the songs
The words she knows the tune she hums

But oh how it feels so real
Lying here with no one near
Only you and you can hear me
When I say softly slowly

Hold me closer tiny dancer
Count the headlights on the highway
Lay me down in sheets of linen
You had a busy day today

Hold me closer tiny dancer
Count the headlights on the highway
Lay me down in sheets of linen
You had a busy day today...."
Robert Johnson Sweet Home Chicago Robert Johnson was a Delta blues singer-songwriter from Mississippi who died at 27 in 1938. He's the guy who supposedly sold his soul to the devil at the crossroads you've probably heard about. There's even a monument at the highway intersection in Clarksdale Mississippi commemorating it. After his music was released on albums in 1961, it had a huge influence on rock music of the 60s, especially his guitar style.

The lyrics "Back to the land of California to my sweet home Chicago" are a bit confusing, but at the end says he's going from California to Iowa so he's probably going back to California then to Chicago, which makes sense. Eric Clapton sings "Back from the land of California" which could be the correct lyrics, it's hard to tell, although Johnson definitely says "to California" once in the song. (Why he's counting, and if that means anything other than just setting up a rhyme - I have no idea.)


"Oh
Baby, don't you want to go
Oh
Baby, don't you want to go
Back to the land of California
To my sweet home Chicago

Oh
Baby, don't you want to go
Oh
Baby, don't you want to go
Back to the land of California
To my sweet home Chicago

Now one and one is two
Two and two is four
I'm heavy loaded baby
I'm booked, I gotta go
Cryin', baby
Honey, don't you want to go
Back to the land of California
To my sweet home Chicago

Now two and two is four
Four and two is six
You gon' keep on monkeyin' 'round here friend-boy
You gon' get your
Business all in a trick
But I'm cryin', baby
Honey, don't you want to go
Back to the land of California
To my sweet home Chicago

Now six and two is eight
Eight and two is ten
Friend-boy, she trick you one time
She sure gon' do it again
But I'm cryin', hey
Baby, don't you want to go
To the land of California
To my sweet home Chicago

I'm goin' to California
From there to Des Moines, Iowa
Somebody will tell me that you
Need my help someday, cryin'
Hey, hey
Baby, don't you want to go
Back to the land of California
To my sweet home Chicago"
Freedy Johnston California Thing Freedy Johnston is a singer-songwriter originally from Kansas based in New York City. This is an upbeat power pop song from his 1992 album "Can You Fly."


"High off the roof we rise
Flying to a hand up in the sky
All the bells in the city ring
I'm doing my California thing

It was a la, a la, a la
It was a lie, a lie, a lie
I'm doing my California thing
It's happening

My house down on the rocks
The waves stood up and began to walk
All the bells in the valley sing
I'm doing my California thing"
Al Jolson Avalon Avalon is a town on Santa Catalina Island. This song was such a hit back in 1920 that you could hear it blasting the woofers of every Escalade, Mercedes, and Range Rover on the road. It's been recorded by lots of other artists, including Cab Calloway, Red Nichols, Benny Goodman, Harry James, and Coleman Hawkins. Unfortunately for Jolson, the opening melody was found to resemble part of Puccini's opera Tosca, so a year later a judge awarded Puccini and his publishers all subsequent royalties and 25 thousand dollars, which would be worth more than ten times that in 2016.


"I found my love in Avalon
Beside the bay.
I left my love in Avalon
And I sailed away.
I dream of her in Avalon
From dusk till dawn.
So I think I'll travel on
To Avalon.

Every morn' my memories stray
Across the sea where flying fishes play.
And as the night is falling
I find that I'm recalling
That blissful all-enthralling day.

Beside the bay.
And I sailed away.
I dream of her in Avalon
From dusk till dawn.
So I think I'll travel on
To Avalon."
Al Jolson
California Here I Come Al Jolson was an American singer, comedian, and stage and film actor, known for starring in the first talking picture "The Jazz Singer" in 1927, which really has very little talking and would be better described as the first singing picture. This song written for the 1921 musical Bombo that starred Jolson who recorded it in 1924. It's campy and dated, and it's hard not to associate Jolson with the offensive blackface makeup he sometime used, but this is still one of the best coming back home songs ever written.

This song has been covered my many other singers, including Fats Waller.



"When the wintry winds starts blowing
And the snow is starting in the fall
Then my eyes went westward knowing
That's the place that i love best of all

California i've been blue
Since i've been away from you
I can't wait 'till i get blowing
Even now i'm starting in a call

California, Here I Come
Right back where I started from
where bowers of flowers
bloom in the spring
each morning at dawning
birdies sing at everything
a sunkissed miss said, "Don't be late!"
that's why I can hardly wait
open up that golden gate
California, Here I Come

California, Here I Come (yeaaaaaah!)
Right back where I started from
where bowers of flowers
bloom in the spring
each morning at dawning
birdies sing at everything
a sunkissed miss said, "Don't be late!"
that's why I can hardly wait (come on!)
open up (open up! open up!) that golden gate
California, Here I Come"
Jonas Brothers Feelin' Alive The Jonas Brothers were a pop rock band of brothers from New Jersey. This song is from their 2010 Disney TV show “Jonas L.A.”


“Hey!
This is the night!
This is the night!
Hey!
I'm feeling alive
I'm feeling alive

My heart goes boom as the stars go blue,
Like a sea of cell phone lights,
The moon gets light as the sun goes down,
Somewhere behind the Hollywood sign,
Have you ever felt like your living in the shadows?
Have you ever felt kept down?
I know sometimes that it feels like a battle,
But it can turn around,

Hey!
This is the night!
This is the night!
Hey!
I'm feeling alive
I'm feeling alive

The kick drum starts as the boulevard,
Fills up with all the boys and girls
From Jersey Town to the L.A. Crowd,
They hear us all over the world,
Have you ever felt like standing on a rooftop,
Have you ever wanted to scream?
Everybody dance, burn it up till we blastoff,
Just like a rockin machine (Yeah!)….”
Montel Jordan This is How We Do It Montell Jordan is an American singer songrwriter producer from South Central Los Angeles. This was a #1 Billboard Hot 100 hit in 1995. It's an upbeat hip-hop song about a party in South Central that's so great, the gang bangers forgot about the drive-by.


"This is how we do it
La ra ra ra ra ra...

This is how we do it.
It's Friday night, and I feel all right
The party is here on the West side
So I reach for my 40 and I turn it up
Designated driver take the keys to my truck
Hit the shore 'cause I'm faded
Honeys in the street say, "Monty, yo we made it!"
It feels so good in my hood tonight
The summertime skirts and the guys in Kani
All the gang bangers forgot about the drive-by
You gotta get your groove on, before you go get paid
So tip up your cup and throw your hands up
And let me hear the party say

I'm kinda buzzed and it's all because
(This is how we do it)
South Central does it like nobody does
(This is how we do it)
To all my neighbors you got much flavor
(This is how we do it)
Let's flip the track, bring the old school back
(This is how we do it)

This is how we do it, all hands are in the air
And wave them from here to there
If you're an O.G. mack or a wanna-be player
You see the hood's been good to me
Ever since I was a lower-case G
But now I'm a big G. The girls see I got the money
Hundred-dollar bills y'all...."
Journey Lights Journey is one of the best-selling rock bands of all time. (I wonder how long statistics like this will mean anything, since these days nobody buys music, they just rent it.) This is a rock love ballad about San Francisco from the band's album "Infinity" released in 1978. It never mentions the city, but I present the following evidence: Journey was formed in San Francisco; some locals call SF "The City" (or they used to in the '70s, anyway, a holdover from back in the days when Berkeley and Oakland were cow pastures, I assume); and "the bay" mentioned in the song is obviously the San Francisco Bay, so don't try to tell me the song is about another city by a bay. (I'm talking to you, Arcata!) According to Wickipedia, Steve Perry started writing the song in L.A. and it was going to be about L.A. but after he went to San Francisco to join Journey he turned it into a song about SF that was not successful at first, but grew in popularity until it became impossible to avoid at SF sporting events, tourist areas, and in local commercials.


"When the lights go down in The City
And the sun shines on the bay
Ooh, I wanna be there in my City
Ooh, ooh

So you think you're lonely
Well, my friend, I'm lonely too
I want to get back to my City by the bay
Ooh, ooh

It's sad, oh, there's been mornings out on the road without you
Without your charms
Ooh, my, my, my, my

When the lights go down in The City
And the sun shines on the bay
Ooh, I wanna be there in my City
Ooh, ooh...."
Jungle Heavy, California Jungle is "an English modern soul musical collective" according to the WickiP. This song is a single from 2018.


"Running baby, dying' to meet ya
They all tell me, I don't need ya now
Running baby, hold on
I'll be here for you

Just hold me, I'm a lonely heart
You've been miles away
Just hold me, I won't ever get hurt
You've been miles away

So heavy, California
I will love you, can't afford you
They say heaven's waiting for you
So I'm headed for California

Oh Lord
California

Miss the sunlight, I was saying
Your love is amazing, so hold on to it for me
Come on baby, hold on
I'll be here for you

So heavy, California
I will love you, can't afford you
They say heaven's waiting for you
So I'm headed for California

Oh Lord
California

Just hold me, I'm a lonely heart
You've been miles away
Held up at the border
Just hold me, I won't ever get hurt
You've been miles away

So heavy, California
I will love you, can't afford you
They say heaven's waiting for you
So I'm headed for California

Oh Lord
California
Oh Lord
California

California"
Jungle House in L.A. This is another single from 2018 from the English collective.
Thanks to videos like the one for this song tourists always think that every house in L.A. is up in the hills with a view of city lights and the ocean.


"House in L.A.
You be the sunshine and it's alright now
House in L.A.
You be the sunshine and it's alright now

House in L.A.
You be the sunshine and it's alright now
Ask me to stay
But you won't say it like that
House in L.A.
You be the sunshine and it's alright now
House in L.A.
Truly you care if I'm getting on that plane
So ask me to stay
Oh God, in the hope that you can heal my pain

I feel alive in the sunlight
All my fears are only real life
Yeah, I feel alive in the sunlight now
Two whole years on the rewrite
Tell my friends I'm gonna be right there
House in L.A.

House in L.A.
You be the sunshine and it's alright now
Ask me to stay
But you won't say it like that

Cut through the haze
Lost in a camera and the whole night changed
Lost in L.A.
But you won't care about that
Eyes full of rain
You be the sunshine and it's alright now
I should've stayed
Woke up in the hope that you can heal my pain

I feel alive in the sunlight
All my fears are only real life
Yeah, I feel alive in the sunlight now
Two whole years on the rewrite
Tell my friends I'm gonna be right there

House in L.A.

House in L.A.
You be the sunshine and it's alright now
Ask me to stay
But you won't say it like that
Ride (house in L.A.) down Sunset Boulevard
Try to find out who you are (house in L.A.)
Ride down Sunset Boulevard
Try to find out who you are (house in L.A.)"
Gary Jules DTLA Gary Jules is a singer-songwriter born in Fresno, who is probably best known for his cover of "Mad World" used in the movie Donnie Darko. This song is from his second album "Trading Snakeoil for Wolftickets" released in 2001.


"Towers floating on sea of ghosts;
Downtown Los Angeles.
Saw the Parthenon on cotton clouds
coming over the hill.

Ride - Downtown Los Angeles
Ride - Downtown Los Angeles

Trapped a dragon west of Chinatown for fire-eaters up in Hollywood
My little sister took a picture of God and floated away

Ride - Downtown Los Angeles
Ride - Downtown Los Angeles

When your hands are broken
When your words are slipping
Put your arms around him
And go ... down

Hide your money in the other hand
(Observations of a regular)
Towers floating on a seat of ghosts...
It's always the same, I told you

Ride - Downtown Los Angeles
Ride - Downtown Los Angeles

Downtown Los Angeles
Downtown Los Angeles
Downtown Los Angeles...."
K
Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground Oh Lord, I Hate You California A 2010 indie rock tune from a Seattle band whose genre on their Myspace page is listed as Alternative/Experimental/Lounge. As far as I can tell, and I could be wrong, the singer is talking to his father who lives in Portland and is moving to Santa Cruz to get out of the rain.


"I'm always tryin' to call ya papa so Portland sounds aren't all ya know
But I'm a 21st century hang-up who can hardly use his phone
Oh no we don't mean nothin' by it
Your boys will all be fine
S**t I should hit I-5 south one hundred and eighty miles instead of droppin' you a line
Well I used to shake a finger at my friends who up and went and moved
Dude I am sympathizing with you more for seein' some new hues
But oh lord I hate you California I guess give me Santa Cruz

And I know it's rainin' outside and it's damn near end of June
Damn if this old dope could go rope the sun
Well I'd yank it over you
And the dogs all howl behind me
In front the cats they claw and hiss
And I guess I'm blessed to know my place is right here sittin' in the mist
And that is why I got no reason to get on up and move
Dude I can understand your rationale for seein' some new hues
But oh lord I hate you California but please give me Santa Cruz"
Al Kealoha Perry and his Singing Surfriders Hawaiian Cowboy This is a fast hula from 1947 with a great deep vocal that's almost like a fast rap at times, and swingin' steel guitars. It seems to be a love song about a horse, and maybe the horsewoman at the end. Al Kealoha Perry was a singer and music director active from 1929 who had a Hawaiian radio show and made extensive recordings in the 1930s and 40s and possibly in later decades - I can't find out much about him. There's another slower and smoother version of the song without the English lyrics about San Francisco that I like better. You can hear it here. Most of the song is sung in Hawaiian. This is a Translation I found online.


"Trot (my) wreath, o wreath of lehua
Lehua wreath, o wreath of lehua
Lehua wreath, o wreath of lehua
The wreaths, the beautiful lei

You are a fine horse, Lehua is your name
Magnificent one of Hawai?i
Your ride is smooth like the bonefish
You crouch, work the knees, and you post
Listen you, oh horsewoman
Beautiful blossom of Hawai?i
The love of the Hawaiian cowboy

Trot (my) garland, o garland of roses
Heavenly rose, o heavenly rose
Heavenly rose, o heavenly rose
The garlands, the beautiful lei

You are a fine horse, Roselani is your name
Majestic one of Maui
Your ride is smooth like the bonefish
You crouch, work the knees, and you post
Listen you, oh horsewoman
Beautiful blossom of Maui
The love of the Hawaiian cowboy

Trot (my) wreath, o wreath of ?ilima
?Ilima wreath, o wreath of ?ilima
?Ilima wreath, o wreath of ?ilima
The wreaths, the beautiful wreaths

I depart from Honolulu
Coming back to foreign lands
Mounting a California steed
Lehua said "don't do that"
A horse of many colors has
The foreign land
In San Francisco by the Golden Gate
Who loves the Hawaiian cowboy

Tell the refrain of
Garland of lehua, roses
Tell the refrain
Of the wreaths, the beautiful wreaths

I'm heading for the last roundup
Listen you, oh horsewoman
Your ride is smooth like the bonefish
You crouch, work the knees, and you post
Listen you, oh horsewoman
You are the beautiful blossom of Hawai?i
The love of the Hawaiian cowboy"
Ruston Kelly Faceplant Ruston Kelly is a singer, songwriter, and a pretty good ice skater from South Carolina, a state which is not known for earthquakes. This song is from his album "Dying Star" released in 2018. It has an alt country/folk rock feel with a harmonica solo straight out of Dylan or Neil Young. The singer/narrator of the song is from California - which we know from the great line "I was born and raised in an earthquake state, so I'm better on a shaky ground." It's not Alaska because he mentions that he's in the City Of Angels which is Los Angeles, California. Sure there's a list of other cities in the world on Wickipedia with the same nickname, but there's no way this guy is refering to Bangkok or Puebla.


"Took too many pills again
I took too many pills again
Blacked out for a week
Didn't eat, didn't sleep
Came to, did it all again

She's probably gonna be pissed
She's probably gonna be pissed
Throw my s**t in the yard or key my car
If I show up to her house like this

Oh it was a dark December
Not even angels came around
And I was too stoned to remember
I've come too far to turn back now
I've come too far to turn back now

I feel like I'm gonna fall down
I feel like I'm gonna fall down
I was born and raised in an earthquake state
So I'm better on a shaky ground

What the hell am I gonna do now
The hell am I gonna do now
Gotta half lit smoke
Good god I'm broke
But gotta make it back to Germantown

Oh it was a dark December
Not even angels came around
And I was too stoned to remember
I've come too far to turn back now
I've come too far to turn back now

Baby won't you take me back
Baby won't you take me back
It ain't like I'm tricking on the corner for crack
Baby won't you take me back

Oh it was a dark December
In the City Of Angels I was coming down
And I was too stoned to remember
I've come too far to turn back now
Come too far to turn back now"
Ruston Kelly Son of a Highway Daughter This is another nice song from Kelly's 2018 album "Dying Star" with a brief nod to the Golden State.


"I'm a son of a highway daughter
Born in gasoline
I traced the steps of my foolish father
And danced with the devil in Gallilee
It was a cold winter, ice above the water
And nails stuck between my toes
So I pried out and I buried my doubt
And all the women along the road

And I went to Dublin county
Where I found God in a bottle of wine
And I headed up north thinking I did fine
And he worked, for peace of mind
Nobody sells that around here too much anymore

I woke up stoned with a bag of bones
Laying in my bed
She was breathing fire, I was a worn out tire
Trying to brush her ash outside of my head
It was an easy game, nothing in the chest
Needed something just a little more cold
So I traded her in for a bag of sin
And I headed on down the road

And I got lost in California
Where I'd been waiting on the days to rain
But I was looking to find any reason to hide
But no reason ever came
And all of the lonesome sounds of the streetlight
Pushing strangers along their way

That town kept calling me
That town kept calling me
That town kept calling me...."
Killers, The Christmas in L.A. The Killiers is a very successful rock band formed in Las Vegas in 2001.
This song is from the band's 2016 iTunes Christmas album "Don't Waste Your Wishes," a compilation of the Christmas singles they released every year since 2006, the profits from which go to charity. I think it's about another young actor trying to make it in Tinseltown - a slang nickname for Hollywood that might just come from Christmas tree tinsel. (Dan Tana's is a restaurant in West Hollywood.)


"Woke up to sun streaming in my room
Warm beachfront palm December afternoon
You close your eyes
Another year blows by
Somewhere in the wind
Just another life

My parents sent a Christmas card and tennis shoes
"We understand you’re staying
And we’re proud of you"
There’s a well-rehearsed disinterest in the atmosphere
I don’t know if that’s what this time gave me
Or if it led me here

And I played so many parts
I don’t know which one’s really me
Don’t know if I can take

Another Christmas in L.A.
Another pitcher of Sangria
In an empty beach café
Another Christmas in L.A.
Hold me tighter Carmelita
I don’t know how long I can stay

Left a girl behind in my old man’s truck
Sometimes I wonder where she ended up
Maybe she got married, had a couple of kids
Who do you think you’re fooling man?
Of course she did

I’m walking in Dan Tana's bar
Try and talk with Harry Dean
I don’t know if I can take

Another Christmas in L.A.
Another casting call on Thursday
For a job that doesn’t pay
Another Christmas in L.A.
Another burnout in a tank top
It seems your basket is the case
A fat protagonist in flip flops
With an extensive resume
From Echo Park to Catalina

Dreaming of a white Christmas
The one I used to know
Tree tops glisten, children listen
To sleigh bells in the snow

Another Christmas in L.A...."
Carole King Back to California Carole King is a New York-born composer and singer-songwriter. She wrote or co-wrote more than a hundred top 100 pop hits and has recorded at least 25 solo albums. This song is from her 1971 album "Music."


"I've been feelin' down in Atlanta
Immobile in Alabama
I'd rather be in traction
Than to be here where I am
Oh, you Georgia red clay
And green Virginia pines
I've got to make it home somehow
Before I lose my mind

So won't you carry me back to California
I been on the road too long
Take me to the West Coast, daddy
And let me be where I belong

Hey now, Philly, you street city
Been down by the railroad track
I know you can be a sweet city
But I won't soon be back
Haystack towns and smokestack cities
Are nothin' I want to see
My own house on high ground
Is the only place I want to be

So won't you carry me back to California
I been on the road too long
Take me to the West Coast, daddy
And let me be where I belong"
Elle King Ex's & Oh's Elle King is a singer-songwriter and actress originally from L.A. (She's also the daughter of Rob Schneider, the comedian from Saturday Night Live and star of movie masterpieces such as Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo, The Waterboy, and The Longest Yard - but don't hold that against her.) This was a hit single on the alternative and rock charts that received two Grammy nominations and comes from her 2015 debut album Love Stuff. It's a rock song about the singer's ex-boyfriends, including a California Boy who she dumped for a guy in the UK in what must have been a moment of extremely bad judgement on her part.


"Well, I had me a boy, turned him into a man
I showed him all the things that he didn't understand
Whoa, and then I let him go

Now, there's one in California who's been cursing my name
'Cause I found me a better lover in the UK
Hey, hey, until I made my getaway

One, two, three, they gonna run back to me
'Cause I'm the best baby that they never gotta keep
One, two, three, they gonna run back to me
They always wanna come, but they never wanna leave

Ex's and the oh, oh, oh's they haunt me
Like gho-o-osts they want me to make 'em all
They won't let go
Ex's and oh's...."
Kings of Leon California Waiting He's upset about losing his lonely life or something. I don't get it, but it's a great upbeat rootsy rock song from 2003. And it's another song that references "Crimson and Clover."


"Little Mona Lisa laying by my side
"Crimson and Clover" pullin' overtime
Seem too close to be losin' touch
By givin' in, what am I givin' up
Am I losin' way too much

Hey
California waiting
Every little thing's gotta be just right
Say
While you're tryin' to save me
Can't I get back my lonely life"
The Kinks Celluloid Heroes A 1972 maudlin nostalgic classic from one of England's best and most influential bands.


"Everybody's a dreamer and everybody's a star
And everybody's in show biz, it doesn't matter who you are.

And those who are successful,
Be always on your guard,
Success walks hand in hand with failure
Along Hollywood Boulevard.

I wish my life was a non-stop Hollywood movie show,
A fantasy world of celluloid villains and heroes,
Because celluloid heroes never feel any pain
And celluloid heroes never really die.

You can see all the stars as you walk along Hollywood Boulevard,
Some that you recognise, some that you've hardly even heard of,
People who worked and suffered and struggled for fame,
Some who succeeded and some who suffered in vain.

Oh celluloid heroes never feel any pain
Oh celluloid heroes never really die."
Haley Kiyoko Curious Hayley Kiyoko is a singer, dancer, and actress from L.A., formerly with the girl group The Stunners. This is a pop song from her 2018 album "Expectations." The singer is a woman who's jealous of her girlfriend because she's seeing a man and taking him to the pier in Santa Monica.


"Yeah
I need a drink, whiskey ain't my thing
But s**t is all good
I can handle things-like I wish that you would
You've been out of reach, could you explain?
I think that you should
What you been up to-who's been loving you good?

I'm just on the floor, I'm like a model
Been looking through the texts and all the photos
But don't you worry, I can handle it
No don't you worry, I can handle it

If you let him
Touch ya touch ya touch ya touch ya touch ya touch ya (yeah)
The way I
Used to used to used to used to used to used to (yeah)

Did you take him to the pier in Santa Monica?
Forget to bring your jacket wrap up in him cause you wanted to?

I'm just curious, is it serious?
I'm just curious, is it serious?

Calling me up, so late at night
Are we just friends?
You say you wanted me-but you're sleeping with him


You think of me, I'm what you see
When you look at the sky
I don't believe you-you ain't been loving me right (yeah)

I'm just on the floor, I'm like a model
Been looking through the texts and all the photos
But don't you worry, I can handle it
No don't you worry, I can handle it

If you let him
Touch ya touch ya touch ya touch ya touch ya touch ya (yeah)
The way I
Used to used to used to used to used to used to (yeah)

Did you take him to the pier in Santa Monica?
Forget to bring your jacket wrap up in him cause you wanted to?

I'm just curious, is it serious?
I'm just curious, is it serious?
Haley Kiyoko Palm Dreams This is another song is from Kiyoko's 2018 album "Expectations."


"Cruising down the only road
That leads me to a place that I know, I know
Traveled far, I've traveled wide
I had to go away to find home, I'm home

All the palm trees have the money
Watching from above the endless party
California, just a bad dream
I will hang around until you want me

From the hillside (they can party with us)
To the valley (they can party with us)
Watch the sun come up and warm my body
California (they can party with us)
Just a bad dream (they can party with us)
I will hang around until you break me

Star, stars
I'll make it to the top
I'm shining like their cars and rings
The palms see everything
Star, stars
They watch you like a hawk
I'll try to keep 'em company
The palms see everything...."
Klaatu California Jam Klaatu was a Canadian rock band formed in 1973, named after the humanoid alien in The Day the Earth Stood Still. (No, not the Keanu Reeves version, the original.) This is a psychedelic fun-in-the-sun beach song with a doomsday earthquake lurking in the background, from the band's album "3:47 E.S.T." released in 1976.


"Hodad made the scene
Totin' a six-pack of cold cola
A stogie smokin' in hand
A groovin' in his sandals

California's on my mind
Surf and sand setting in the sun
California's on my mind
One day you're gonna be
A place in our memory

When Woody hit the dunes
Flying foxtails and Old Glory
Rubber ripped the sand
He gunned a souped-down Stingray

Ah, California
She's in mythical Malibu
Sitting on the ocean
Goodbye mythical Malibu
The San Andreas misfortune
Will claim the lives of sons and wives
The headlines will fill page after page

California's on my mind
Surf and sand setting in the sun
In the sun, in the sunshocked
In the setting sun

One day you're gonna be one sweet memory
Oh yeah, California
Swinging on the beach
To the sounds of their time
Yeah, yeah, yeah"
Gladys Knight & the Pips Midnight Train to Georgia This R&B song was a huge hit in 1973. It's the flip side of all those songs about going to California to find a better life. The singer's boyfriend went to Los Angeles and failed to become a star, so he's taking the midnight train back to Georgia where he came from.


"L.A. proved too much for the man
(Too much for the man, he couldn't make it)
So he's leaving a life he's come to know
(He said he's going)
He said he's going back to find
(Going back to find)
Ooh, what's left of his world
The world he left behind not so long ago

He's leaving
(Leaving)
On that midnight train to Georgia, yeah
(Leaving on the midnight train)
Said he's going back
(Going back to find)
To a simpler place and time, oh yes he is
(Whenever he takes that ride, guess who's gonna be right by his side)
I'll be with him
(I know you will)
On that midnight train to Georgia
(Leaving on a midnight train to Georgia, woo woo)
I'd rather live in his world
(Live in his world)
Than live without him in mine
(Her world is his, his and hers alone)

He kept dreaming
(Dreaming)
Ooh, that some day he'd be a star
(A superstar, but he didn't get far)
But he sure found out the hard way
That dreams don't always come true, oh no, uh uh
(Dreams don't always come true, uh uh, no, uh uh)
So he pawned down his hopes
(Woo, woo, woo-woo)
And even sold his old car
(Woo, woo, woo-woo)
Bought a one way ticket back to the life he once knew
Oh yes he did, he said he would..."
Knitters, The Dry River The Knitters are a roots rock (or even alt/country) band formed in 1982 by John Doe, Xene Cervenka, and DJ Bonebrake, 3 of the 4 four members of the punk group X, along with Dave Alvin of The Blasters, and stand up bassist Jonny Ray Bartel. They put out one album, then waited more than 20 years to release their second one "The Modern Sounds of the Knitters," where this song comes from. Sure "the river" could be any river, but the Knitters are from L.A. so I'm sure this river is the L.A. river, which is usually mostly dry and star of many movie car chase scenes that take place on a wide cement river in the middle of L.A.


"I was born by the river
it was paved with cement.
I was born by the river
it was paved with cement.

Still I'd stand in that dry river
and dream that I was soakin' wet.

Some day it's gonna rain
Some day it's gonna pour
Some day that old dry river
It won't be dry any more.
... ... ... ...
Fell in love with a woman
but she did not fall for me.
I fell in love with you baby
but you did not fall for me

Now I'm dry as that old river
and I'm as dead as those old trees"
Kool & The Gang Hollywood Swinging This was a hit song in 1974 for the American funk band from New Jersey. It's about a musician making it in the city of stars, movies, women, and cars. The song was covered by Jamirouai in 1997 and has been sampled in a bunch of rap songs.


"Hey, hey, hey
What ya got to say?
Hey, hey, hey
What ya got to say?
Hollywood
Hollywood swinging
Hollywood
Hollywood swinging

I remember not too long ago
I went to the theater
And I saw the Kool in the gang show
I always wanted
To get into a band
To sing my songs, sing my songs
And become a bad piano playing man
So here I am, here I am in this Hollywood city
The city of the stars, movies, women and cars
Well I guess, I guess I have to stay

... ... ... ...

Yea yea, Hollywood, that's how they're doin' it, Hollywood
I've figured all the swinging down, down in Hollywood
Moving, swinging down say, say, I like to do it
And Kool's got the swinging of the dance
Get down, get down in Hollywood
You know that Hollywood is swinging down, yea
You know that, you know that, you know that, you know that
Hollywood is swinging down

Hollywood, Hollywood, Hollywood, now swinging
Hollywood, Hollywood, Hollywood, now swinging
Hollywood, Hollywood, Hollywood, now swinging
Hollywood, Hollywood, Hollywood, now swinging
Hollywood is swinging down
Hollywood is swinging down
Hollywood is swinging down...."
Diana Krall California Dreamin' This 2015 version of the Mamas and the Papas classic is a slow and moody jazz vocal version.
Kris Kristofferson Me and Bobby McGee His girlfriend Janis Joplin made it a hit, but Kristofferson wrote it and sings it best, I think. After thumbing a ride across the country, singing songs and all that, he goes and lets his girl Bobby get away somewhere near Salinas. I always wondered why she picked Salinas. Why not nearby Monterey, maybe, or Big Sur? Maybe she was a Steinbeck fan. There's a good Steinbeck museum in Salinas.


"From the coal mines of Kentucky to the California sun,
Bobby shared the secrets of my soul,
Standin' right beside me through everythin' I done,
And every night she kept me from the cold.
Then somewhere near Salinas, lord, I let her slip away,
She was lookin' for the love I hope she'll find,
Well I'd trade all my tomorrows for a single yesterday,
Holdin' Bobby's body close to mine."
Kyle & Lil Yachy ISpy Kyle is a musician and rapper from Ventura and Lil Yachty is a musician and rapper from Atlanta. This is a fun feel-good hip-hop song from 2016 that was a #4 hit. Don't miss the video, which features the rappers as little kids with adult heads in a sandbox and lots of women in swimsuits. You'll need a coaster.


“….I ain't been gettin' high...
Well, maybe a little, baby, I don't wanna lie
I know when you text me girl, I don't always reply
Well, you're not an angel either, you can't even fly
I notice, you think that you know s***
All this shade that's coming at me, I wonder who throws it
They can't see the vision, boy, they must be out of focus
That's a real hot album, homie, I wonder who wrote it, oh, s***
Otay, pray them niggas go away
Always hella clowns around it look like Cirque Du Soleil
This is not the album either, these are just the throwaways
This s*** still so cold when it drop, it's gonna be a motherf****** snow day
Aye, boy is good and he knows it, he don't say it, he shows it
I am just like DeRozan, if I shoot it, it goes in
I am in Cali just coastin', get 'em so wet they need coasters
I got a selfie with Oprah, I just ain't never post it
And I'm in my happy place posted, I ain't frown since '06
I ain't cried since '01, my pad like Six Flags and your house is no fun
You can come back to mine though, your friend ain't cute, but it's fine though
We gon' end on a high note

I spy with my little eye
A girlie I can get 'cause she don't get too many likes
A curly-headed cutie I can turn into my wife
Wait, that means forever, ever, hold up, never mind
Oh, I...I spy with my little eye
A girlie I can get 'cause she don't get too many likes
A curly-headed cutie I can turn into my wife
Wait, that means forever, ever, hold up, never mind….”
L
Lady Gaga Always Remember Us This Way Lady Gaga is an award-winning best-selling singer, songwriter, and actress from New York City who wears dresses made of meat and a machine gun bra. I'm not making this up. This is from the soundtrack to A Star Is Born, released in 2018, in which she starred and won an Oscar for best original song for the song "Shallow."


"That Arizona sky burning in your eyes
You look at me and, babe, I wanna catch on fire
It's buried in my soul like California gold
You found the light in me that I couldn't find

So when I'm all choked up
And I can't find the words
Every time we say goodbye
Baby, it hurts
When the sun goes down
And the band won't play
I'll always remember us this way

Lovers in the night
Poets trying to write
We don't know how to rhyme
But damn we try
But all I really know
You're where I wanna go
The part of me that's you will never die

So when I'm all choked up
But I can't find the words
Every time we say goodbye
Baby, it hurts
When the sun goes down
And the band won't play
I'll always remember us this way...."
Ladybug Transistor, The California Stopover A song from 2007 by a Brooklyn based Indie pop band with some country twang. I have no idea what the chorus means.


"Tell me there's no room left to reason
And say it now if you dare.
Lies, all these lies
But I do hope that you still care.
Time, precious time
That I do hope that you can spare.

California, stop on over
California, stop on over
California, stop on over
California"
La Luz California Finally La Luz is a "surf noir" band from Seattle formed in 2012.
This song is from their third album "Floating Features" released in 2018.


"In the morning, in the morning
I do what I want I do what I want I do what I want I do

One endless summer after another
I do what I want I do what I want I do what I want I do

I made up my mind some time ago
No one's gonna tell me where I can go
California finally my golden dream
Feels so good walking down the street

Sun-eye swollen across the ocean
I do what I want I do what I want I do what I want I do

I made up my mind a long time ago
No one's gonna tell me where I can go
California finally my golden dream
Feels so good walking down the street

In the morning, in the morning
I do what I want I do what I want I do what I want I do"
Kendrick Lamar
(featuring Dr. Dre)
The Recipe This is some great West Coast hip hop from Compton phenomenon Kendrick Lamar off his 2012 album "good kid, m.A.A.d. city. Lamar expands the oft-sung concept that people visit California for the women and the weather by adding weed into the mix. These days I prefer the wine, the weather, and the wildlife, but to each his own.


[Dr. Dre]
"Every morning when I wake up
Uh, money on my mind
Good times and get caked up
Sunshine coming through my blinds, I'm living but
Really though, it's never enough
10 million, that's a must
Living in California, everybody wanna visit for...

[Hook]
Women, weed and weather
They come for
Women, weed and weather
For the women, weed and weather
From all around the world for the
Women, weed and weather
Women, weed and weather

... ... ...

[Kendrick Lamar]
You might catch me in Atlanta looking like a boss
New Orleans and then Miami
Party in New York
Texas I be screwed up, chi town I be really pimpin'
But nothing like my hometown I'm forever living

[Hook:]
Women, weed and weather
They come for
Women, weed and weather
For the women, weed and weather
From all around the world for the
Women, weed and weather
Got that women, weed and weather
Yo, it sound clever, come and play
Wha-Wha-what more can I say
Welcome to L.A."
Adam Lambert Ghost Town Adam Lambert is a singer-songwriter from San Diego who rose to fame after his appearance on American Idol. This is the title track from his 3rd album The Original High released in 2015, and it's part simple strummed guitar, and part the kind of metallic beats and atonal synthesized farts and burps that are popular in pop and dance music these days. I'm not sure exactly what's going on in the lyrics, but it seems to be about L.A. - Hollywood sold out, James Dean and Elvis are dead, and the singer is wandering through a rusty ghost town full of vampires.


"Died last night in my dreams
Walking the streets
Of some old ghost town
I tried to believe
In God and James Dean
But Hollywood sold out

Saw all of the saints
Lock up the gates
I could not enter
Walked into the flames
Called out your name
But there was no answer

And now I know my heart is a ghost town
My heart is a ghost town
My heart is a ghost town
My heart is a ghost town

Died last night in my dreams
All the machines
Had been disconnected
Time was thrown at the wind
And all of my friends
Had been disaffected

Now, I'm searching for trust
In a city of rust
A city of vampires
Tonight, Elvis is dead
And everyone's spread
And love is a satire

And now I know my heart is a ghost town
My heart is a ghost town
My heart is a ghost town
My heart is a ghost town...."
Miranda Lambert California Maria Lambert is a country superstar from Texas. This is a country ballad about the California boy who left her. It's a bonus track off her 2005 album "Me and Charlie Talking."


"I met him on the edge of a goodbye.
I was standing there with no place left to fly.
I was young but never green, a little wiser than my time it seemed.
He told me about the places he could hide.

Wild and kinda crazy most the time.
My heart was hanging on his every lie.
I memorized his every thought,
But the walls he had could never be brought down,
And now he's not around.
Guess I'm just a face left in the crowd.

Oh California, please come back to me....
Oh California, you're who I want to be...
Live inside of me...

Vivid picture plays inside my head.
Of things he swore we'd never do again.
He put on that L.A. face
And left me with a bittersweet taste of life.
And that's enough to keep me alive.
Langhorne Slim Say Yes Langhorne Slim is Sean Scolnick, a singer-songwriter from Pennsylvania. This is an upbeat neo-folk song from his album Be Set Free released in 2009.


"Darling, nobody plans it this way.
We're floating or falling
We're gonna land either way.

Put on your blue lipstick
and I'll put on my Venus boots.
We're in California
But it might as well be the moon.

Say yes
Say yes
Say yes"
Led Zeppelin Going to California This is the folksy acoustic side of Zeppelin from 1971. The singer is looking for a new start with one of those California girls with flowers in her hair. Some say it's about Joni Mitchell.


"Spend my days with a woman unkind
Smoked my stuff and drank all my wine
Made up my mind, make a new start
Goin' to California with an achin' in my heart
Someone told me there's a girl out there
With love in her eyes and flowers in her hair"
Ben Lee Catch My Disease Ben Lee is an Australian musician and actor. From Lee's 2005 album Awake Is The New Sleep, this is an Indie pop song with an infectious (sorry) stomp clap beat about a guy who wants to spread his STDs. (OK, maybe not.) It mentions a woman the singer meets backstage in Pomona who who drinks beer and coke (yuck) and tells him about the Santa Ana winds. Ignore the last verse - I first heard song on the radio in 2005, so they do play him.


"My head is a box filled with nothing
And that's the way I like it
My garden's a secret compartment
And that's the way I like it
And that's the way I like it
Your body's a dream that turns violent
And that's the way I like it
And that's the way I like it
The winter is long in the city
And that's the way I like it

So please
Baby please
Open your heart
And catch my disease

I was backstage in Pomona
And that's the way I like it
She drank beer with Coca-Cola
And that's the way I like it
And that's the way I like it
She told me about the winds from Santa Ana
And that's the way I like it
And that's the way I like it
She told me she'd love me like fireworks
And that's the way I like it

So please
Baby please
Open your eyes
And catch my disease

So please
Baby please
C'mon
And catch my disease


They play Good Charlotte on the radio
And that's the way I like it
They play Sleepy Jackson on the radio
And that's the way I like it
And that's the way I like it
I hear Beyonce on the radio
And that's the way I like it
And that's the way I like it
They don't play me on the radio
But that's the way I like it

So please
Baby please
Open your heart
And catch my disease...."
Tom Lehrer I'm Spending Hanukkah In Santa Monica Tom Lehrer is a very witty singer-songrwriter from New York City, who is best known for the humorous songs he recorded in the 1950s and '60s, including songs about pollution, smut, nuclear war, and the vatican. This song is from a box set of his complete songs along with some unreleased songs released in 2000 "The Remains of Tom Lehrer."


"I'm spending Hanukkah, in Santa Monica,
Wearing sandals lighting candles by the sea.
I spent Shavuos, in East St. Louis,
A charming spot but clearly not the spot for me.

Those eastern winters, I can't endure 'em,
So every year I pack my gear
And come out here to Purim.

Rosh Hashona, I spend in Arizona,
And Yom Kippa, way down in Mississippa.
But in December, there's just one place for me.
Amid the California flora,
I'll be lighting my menorah.
Like a baby in his cradle
I'll be playing with my dreidl.
Here's the Judas Maccabeas
Boy if he could only see us
Spending Hanukkah
In Santa Monica
By the sea."
Less Than Jake Hell Looks a Lot Like L.A. Less Than Jake is a third wave ska punk band from Florida, formed in 1992. This is from their "Borders & Boundaries" album released in 2000. Apparently, Hell has traffic jams and fast food jobs, and probably a lot of palm trees, too. Listening to this song again I forgot how much I like ska punk. Maybe it's time for a fourth wave.


"He got in his car and told himself to drive
Gotta leave it all behind if he wants to feel alive, yeah
Nineteen and lost and never thought he'd ever leave this place
Vacant mind from endless grind so what's to lose anyways?
Another fast food job?
Another 8 to 5 day?

Ten minutes and two miles
Is just a mile too many today
You can see why it's easy to say
You know that Hell looks a lot like L.A.

Six months ago was the last she felt alive
Moved down from the north and told herself she'd try, yeah
Eighteen and lost and never thought this place would change
Ignored and bored with the same feelings as yesterday
She said it's way too much more than she could take

Ten minutes and two miles
is just a mile too many today
You can see why it's easy to say
One less car that's in the way
You know that Hell looks a lot like L.A."
Jenny Lewis Hollywood Lawn Jenny Lewis is a singer-songwriter and actress who grew up in L.A. Formerly the lead singer for Rilo Kiley, she's now making solo records, including this song from "On the Line" released in 2019.


"On a Hollywood lawn today
Slip and slide, watching the kids play
You know that I love you, babe
Dozin' off watchin' the channels change

I been searching for the heart to tell you somethin'
I could get down on my knees
I've had it with you trippers and drama queens
If I click my ruby slippers like Don Quixote
Long lost like Rockefeller drifting out to sea

On a Hollywood lawn today
Suckin' back some Beaujolais
Rememberin' better days
Lookin' up at the chem trail haze

And you keep dreamin', keep dreamin', alright
If you keep dreamin', keep sleepin' through the night
'Cause your demons got reason to fight
And you keep dreamin', yeah, yeah

Rode down a Kingston highway
Eureka moment come my way
You know that I love you, babe
I just cannot stay

I been searching for the heart to tell you somethin'
I could get down on my knees
I've had it with you trippers and drama queens
If I click my ruby slippers, would you forgive me?
Long lost like Rockefeller drifting out to sea

And you keep dreamin', keep dreamin', alright
If you keep dreamin', keep sleepin' through the night
'Cause your demons got reason to fight
And you keep dreamin', yeah, yeah

Your demons got reason to fight
Your demons got reason to fight
Your demons got reason to fight
We keep dreamin', yeah, yeah"
Lil Nas X (featuring Billy Ray Cyrus) Old Town Road Remix
Lil Nas X is Montero Lamar Hill, a rapper from Georgia who is so far best known for this song which, in August 2019, set a record for the longest-running Billboard Hot 100 #1 song in history at 19 weeks. It features vocals by Billy Ray Cyrus, a country music singer, songwriter and actor originally from Kentucky, who's probably best known for two things he helped create in 1992 - the hit song Achy Breaky Heart, and his daughter Miley.

Cyrus adds lyrics to the original song that move us from the Country life to the cliche California materialistic rockstar lifestyle. He turns Lil Nas X's Old Town Road into a street with fancy stores for the rich. Cowboy fashion becomes luxury women's wear, a horse and tractor are turned into an expensive Italian sports car, and a bull-riding rodeo becomes the B.S. of Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. It's no wonder he wishes he was back on the old town road.


(Billy Ray Cyrus)

"Yeah, I'm gonna take my horse to the old town road
I'm gonna ride 'til I can't no more
I'm gonna take my horse to the old town road
I'm gonna ride 'til I can't no more
Kio, Kio

(Lil Nas X)

I got the horses in the back
Horse tack is attached
Hat is matte black
Got the boots that's black to match
Ridin' on a horse, ha
You can whip your Porsche
I been in the valley
You ain't been up off that porch, now

Can't nobody tell me nothin'
You can't tell me nothin'
Can't nobody tell me nothin'
You can't tell me nothin'

Ridin' on a tractor
Lean all in my bladder
Cheated on my baby
You can go and ask her
My life is a movie
Bull ridin' and boobies
Cowboy hat from Gucci
Wrangler on my booty

Can't nobody tell me nothin'
You can't tell me nothin'
Can't nobody tell me nothin'
You can't tell me nothin'

Yeah, I'm gonna take my horse to the old town road
I'm gonna ride 'til I can't no more
I'm gonna take my horse to the old town road
I'm gonna ride 'til I can't no more

(Billy Ray Cyrus)

Hat down, cross town, livin' like a rockstar
Spent a lot of money on my brand new guitar
Baby's got a habit: diamond rings and Fendi sports bras
Ridin' down Rodeo in my Maserati sports car
Got no stress, I've been through all that
I'm like a Marlboro Man so I kick on back
Wish I could roll on back to that old town road
I wanna ride 'til I can't no more...."
Lil Wayne (featuring Tyga) California Love Lil Wayne is a hip hop artist from New Orleans who got signed when he was only 9 years old. He is one of the best-selling artists of all time and in 2012 he surpassed Elvis Presley as the male artist with the most songs that have charted on the Billboard Hot 100, including songs on which he was a featured artist. (The comparison isn't really fair, though, since it's easier to chart now than it was in Elvis' day since streaming and digital sales now drive the charts more than airplay and physical sales.)

This 2008 rap is another song about California girls. Lil Wayne lets us know what it’s like to go on a date with him and what kind of cologne he likes to wear, while Tyga rhymes morals with oral. And he's not rapping about going to the dentist.



“We met at City Walk, Universal Studio
Uhh so beautiful
Truly cold
Shawty need a movie role
I am not an actor but I'm stickin to da script
Tony Montana had me stickin to da blimp
But now I got an actress stickin to my hip
And she hit with me with her fubbb
You can roll the credits and
Shawty is my fetish.
And you know I like em reddish and shawty is reddish
U kno I like em fast and shawty is da last number on my dash
Speedin like a cop behind me
Tryna catch up with this girl like sum 57 Heinz
And u deserve lobster mami
So how bout I make reservations at crustaceans for 9?
Table for two
Just me and you
Some drinks and some food
Couple yeah I kno's couple of jokes
Uh couple plies uh couple girl I kno lour lines.
Cup of patron
Cup of Dom Perignon
Cup of hound
Cup of moans
Couple groans
And we hit our couple on and her goodies so good I can't make a bad sound
And her pussy so good wish I could wear it for cologne
And her pussy so wet I wish I slip and break my neck
And I take her to Rodeo
She shopped all day-o
And I f***ed her Hollywood a** like she was from Vallejo
I wish dey could be California girls (California ca ca California)
Man I wish dey could be California girls (California ca ca California)

She my California love
My California love
Dat girl my California love
... ... ...

[Tyga:]
Uhhh my Caliz consist from Compton to da valley
A few stallions and Rancho Cucamonga
So run those they say waitin patiently like a drumroll
From my area codes got em all from 213, 310, 323
I got a bad one up in Carson soon as we met her heart stuck
She gorgeous
I'm fallin
Can't fall though, never been in my morals
Just plenty oral
I'm young though so before we start get ready to bounce like a 64
Yo wants yo info? sexy text me like usin a pencil and your friends been know
I'm real g yung money baby no rental
But before it all end though
Just remember:
I'm that uhhh
You exited on now
tell your friend to enter
Tyga man.”
Mark Lindsay Arizona Mark Lindsay was the lead singer for Paul Revere and the Raiders, a rock band that originated in Idaho in 1958. This song, a hit in 1969, is named after the singer's girlfriend, not the state. It was written by Kenny Young, who is probably best known for the song he co-wrote "Under the Boardwalk."


"She must belong to San Francisco
She must have lost her way
Postin' a poster of Poncho and Cisco
One California day
She said she believes in Robin Hood and brotherhood
And colours of green and grey
And all you can do is laugh at her
Doesn't anybody know how to pray?

Arizona, take off your rainbow shades
Arizona, have another look at the world
My myyy
Arizona, cut off your Indian braids
Arizona, hey won'tcha go my way

Mmmm strip off your pride you're acting like a teeny-bopper run away child
And scrape off the paint from the face of a little town saint
Arizona, take off your hobo shoes
Arizona, hey won'tcha go my way

Follow me up to San Francisco
I will be guide your way
I'll be the Count of Monte Cristo
You'll be the Countess May
And you can believe in Robin Hood and brotherhood and rolling the ball in the hay
And I will be reading you an Aesop's fable
Anything to make you stay-ay-ay"
Little Feat

Willin'

Little feat is a rock band formed in L.A. in 1969. It's leader Lowell George died in 1979. This alt country truck driving classic was released in 1971 on the band's "Little Feat" album, then again in a faster more successful version with more instruments on their "Sailin' Shoes" album released in 1972. It only mentions the city of Tehachapi briefly in a list of T-cities, but that's enough for me.
Linda Ronstadt also had success with a cover of the song in 1974.


"I been warped by the rain
Driven by the snow
I'm drunk and dirty, don't you know
And I'm still... willin'

And I was out on the road late at night
I seen my pretty Alice in every headlight
Alice, Dallas Alice

I've been from Tucson to Tucumcari
Tehachapi to Tonapah
Driven every kind of rig that's ever been made
Driven the back roads
So I wouldn't get weighed
And if you give me weed, whites, and wine
And you show me a sign
I'll be willin'... to be movin'

Well, I've been kicked by the wind
Robbed by the sleet
Had my head stoved in
But I'm still on my feet
And I'm still... willin'

I smuggled some smokes
And folks from Mexico
Baked by the sun
Every time I go to Mexico
And I'm still...

And I been from Tuscon to Tucumcari
Tehachapi to Tonapah
Driven every kind of rig that's ever been made
Driven the back roads
So I wouldn't get weighed
And if you give me weed, whites, and wine
And you show me a sign
I'll be willin'... to be movin'"
LL Cool J Going Back to Cali LL Cool J is the stage name of a rapper, actor, author, etc. from Queens. Before appearing on sit coms and Sesame Street, and NCIS Los Angeles, he made this hard-boiled jazzy horn-filled hip hop hit in 1989. It still sounds as good today as it did then. J's Califorinia is all about shiny black Corvette convertibles and beautiful girls in small bikinis and tall heels. No wonder he's going back.
Notorious B.I.G. made his own very X -rated version of this song, too.


"I'm going back to Cali, Cali, Cali
I'm going back to Cali.. hmm, I don't think so
I'm going back to Cali, Cali, Cali
I'm going back to Cali.. I don't think so

Going back to Cali, stylin, profilin
Growlin, and smilin, while in the sun
The top is down, on the black Corvette
And it's fly, cause it's sittin on Dayton's
Laurents steering wheel, plushed out, gold-leaf phantom top
and three girls waiting
VRRRROOM engine's blowin, the chrome, is shining
Passing all the cars on the way
Movement of the wind, back wheels spin
Pop in a cassette and push play

I'm going back to Cali, Cali, Cali
I'm going back to Cali - yea y'all, I don't think so
I'm going back to Cali, Cali, Cali
I'm going back to Cali.."
Local H California Songs Finally, a song about how there are too many California songs!
I totally agree. At least, there are too many bad California songs, a lot of them listed here, just for fun. This song is from 2004 and the band is from Chicago, so they even throw in a gratuitous dig at New York. Bicoastal haters is what they are.


"Well I got your late night call
You're in the center of it all
You're havin’ a ball
And your really doin’ fine
A west coast time
And I believe you

But here’s one for the coast
The people with the most
The pretty, pretty folks
The west coast folks
Yeah here’s one for the coast
The people with the most
The pretty, pretty folks
The west coast folks

And here we go again
It’s never gonna end
We’re all so sick of California songs
Yeah we know you love L.A.
There’s nothing left to say
Please no more California songs
And f**k New York too

Yeah your heaven is a lie
Just more s**t that I don’t buy
Well they're headin’ for the coast
They’re movin’ out in droves
Sendin’ back reports on the radio
The message is the same
It’s getting pretty lame
California dreamin’s on the radio."
Rebecca Loebe California Wickipedia 11/13: "Rebecca Loebe is an itinerant American folk/pop singer/songwriter based in Atlanta, Georgia."
This song - just acoustic guitar and her voice - is from her 2010 album "Mystery Prize." After 6 weeks in an LA Hotel, appearing on "The Voice," it's no wonder she doesn't want to stay in Cali.


"Fell asleep in Hartsfield,
Woke up in LAX,
A bloody mary balanced on my knee.
Studied my reflection
Caught between two panes of glass
Right there on the plane.
California, I warned you I can't stay.

Alcohol and nicotine,
Caffeine and Hollywood.
Funny how they wear us down in time.
In the roughest of your water
The smallest of my stones
Grow smooth in every way.
California, I warned you I can't stay.
California, I warned you I can't stay.

How many stars
Align beneath your sun?
All of them ours but one?

California, how could I be more clear?
I was born for rocky soil
A coast away from here.
California, you're with me every day.
But I warned you, I warned you I can't stay.
California, I warned you I can't stay."
Julie London I Left My Heart in San Fracisco Tony Bennett owns this song, but others have recorded it, including Julie London, who was a singer, actress, and model from Santa Rosa California. She made several movies then signed a record contract, becoming famous for the song "Cry Me a River" in 1955. Her sexy album covers, and her sultry style and husky voice made her a popular torch singer and sex symbol but eventually she had to change with the times and record sixties hits such as "Yummy Yummy Yummy." (Her version of this song is not to be missed.) This song is from her 1963 album "The End of the World."


"The loveliness of Paris seems somehow sadly gray
The glory that was Rome is of another day
I've been terribly alone and forgotten in Manhattan
I'm going home to my City by the Bay

I left my heart in San Francisco
High on a hill, it calls to me
To be where little cable cars climb halfway to the stars
The morning fog may chill the air, I don't care

My love waits there in San Francisco
Above the blue and windy sea
When I come home to you, San Francisco
Your golden sun will shine for me"
Lost Kings (featuring Sevyn Streeter & Luh Kel) L.A. & The Parties
Lost Kings are a DJ duo based in Los Angeles, active since 2014. They're known for their remixes as well as their original music. This song is from their 2019 album "Los Angeles."


"Don't need your money
I got fifty cars I bought 'em all myself, whoa
Don't be surprised
I'm not impressed by everything
Just bring yourself, whoa
Yeah, nothing like the little things
Oh, yeah, yeah
I just want the little things around
Yeah, nothing like the simple things
And I just want the realest things around

I just need somebody
I'm tired of L.A. and the parties
I just need someone to hold me
Catch me when I'm lonely
Coming when I'm calling
Catch me when I'm falling
Ooh, sorry, I'm sick of L.A. and the parties
I just need someone to hold me
Catch me when I'm lonely
Coming when I'm calling
Catch me when I'm falling, ooh

I'm sick of L.A. and the parties
I'm sick of L.A. and the parties...."
Demi Lovato La La Land Demi Lovato is a singer and actor from New Mexico and Texas. This song is from her debut studio album "Don't Forget" released in 2008, when she had just turned 16. She said the song is about the pressure of fame, a serious subject for a 15-year-old to have to deal with.

La La Land is a longstanding nickname for Los Angeles, especially Hollywood and the entertainment business. It's also slang for being out of touch with reality, due to bliss or ignorance, which is also a very good description of the Hollywood machine.


"I am confident but
I still have my moments.
Baby, that's just me.

I'm not a supermodel,
I still eat McDonald's.
Baby, that's just me.

Well, some may say I need to be afraid
Of losing everything.
Because of where I
Had my start and where I made my name
Well everything's the same
In the la-la land machine, machine.

Who said I can't wear my converse with my dress?
Well, baby, that's just me!

And who said I can't be single
And have to go out and mingle
Baby, that's not me, no, no.

Well, some may say I need to be afraid
Of losing everything.
Because of where I
Had my start and where I made my name
Well, everything's the same
In the la-la land.

Tell me do you feel the way I feel
'Cause nothing else is real
In the la-la land appeal

Some may say I need to be afraid
Of losing everything
Because of where I
Had my start and where I made my name
Well, everything's the same
In the la-la land machine

Well, I'm not gonna change
In the la-la land machine
I will stay the same
In the la-la land...

Machine
Machine
Machine

I won't change anything in my life
(I won't change anything in my life)
I'm staying myself tonight
(I'm staying myself tonight)

La la la la la...."
Lyle Lovett L.A. County This is a country song from Lovett's 1987 album "Pontiac."
I think of it as his violent take on the ending wedding scene of The Graduate, but with his coal black .45 doing the talking instead of Dustin Hoffmann.


"She left Dallas for California
With an old friend by her side
Well he did not say much
But one year later
He'd ask her to be his wife

And the lights of L.A. County
Look like diamonds in the sky
When you're driving through the hours
With an old friend at your side

One year later I left Houston
With an old friend by my side
Well it did not say much
But it was a beauty
Of a coal black .45

And the lights of L.A. County
Look like diamonds in the sky
When you're driving through the hours
With an old friend at your side

So I drove on all the day long
And I drove on through the night
And I thought of her a'waiting
For to be his blushing bride

And the lights of L.A. County
They looked like diamonds in the sky
As I drove into the valley
With my old friend at my side

And as she stood there at the altar
All dressed in her gown of white
Her face was bright as stars a'shining
Like I'd dreamed of all my life

And they kissed each other
And they turned around
And they saw me standing in the aisle
Well I did not say much
I just stood there watching
As that .45 told them goodbye

And the lights of L.A. County
Look like diamonds in the sky
When you're kneeling at the altar
With an old friend at your side

And the lights of L.A. County
Are a mighty pretty sight
When you're kneeling at the altar
With an old friend at your side"
Low California California is not all sandy beaches and palm trees, but there aren't many songs about California when it's cold and wet. Low is an indie rock slowcore band, but this 2005 tune has a little more energy and tempo than much of their music.


"See your reflection in the mind
You keep your revelations wide
They knew just where to draw the line
You let them got you every time

Though it breaks your heart
We had to sell the farm
Back to California where it's warm"

It fell around you like the stars
You picked up everything they dropped
And though it breaks you like a song
You had some secrets of your own

And though it breaks your heart
We had to sell the farm Back to California where it's warm"
Lowell (featuring Icona Pop) Ride Lowell is a female Canadian singer-songwriter so far known mostly for this song which features Icona Pop, a female Swedish electropop duo. This song was featured in the 2016 film Nerve.


"Yo, kiss me
You know that you miss me
Get on the bike and go (Ride!)
Ride it like you stole it, floor it
I don't like the road, I adore it

I can see you got stars in your eyes
I can see you got stars in your eyes
I can see you got stars in your eyes
Stars in your eyes, love is in the air

Speed demon, my little angel
Pick up the pace like danger (Ride!)
Let's go to Hollywood, burn down the disco
Break away to San Francisco

I can see you got stars in your eyes
I can see you got stars in your eyes
I can see you got stars in your eyes
Stars in your eyes, love is in the air

(Ride, ride, ride!) Break the windows (Ride, ride, ride!)
Shout it out tonight
Have a bitch fit, we don't give a s**t
Love is in the air, hey, hey
(Ride, ride, ride!) Break the windows (Ride, ride, ride!)
Shout it out tonight
Have a bitch fit, we don't give a s**t
Love is in the, love is in the air...."
Luna California (All the Way) Upbeat guitar pop, the opening track on 1994's Bewitched, the second album from the now defunct Indie pop band fronted by Dean Wareham formerly the leader of Galaxie 500.


"Well, she followed him from Phoenix out to California
and then she passed out on the bed
and all the little things he never even asked her for
she simply smiled and shook her head

why can't we smile just like we used to
why don't you figure anymore
why has my sympathy now turned to malice
it doesn't matter any more

and now i realize i'm livin' like a trucker does
although i haven't got the belly
and though she followed me to California all the way
i only wanna watch the telly."
Lyrics Born The Bay Lyrics Born (formerly known as Asia Born) is a Tokyo born rapper/songwriter who eventually ended up in Berkeley. This is from a 2005 album. The bay is the defining feature of The Bay Area, but for most people it's just an obstacle they have to travel on or over or under in order to get anywhere.


"Ladies and Gentlemen,
We will soon touch down in the beautiful Bay area,
Please lean your seats back, cut your turn tables up,
and always hold a firm and forthright position.
We ask that you permanently stow all of your baggage behind you.
With temperatures about like this, with a slight ocean breeze,
with crisp highs and deep lows.
It's been our pleasure serving it, and we appreciate you riding high for the team.
Ladies and Gentlemen, it's a new day in the Bay.

Where the people are intelligent, articulate, eloquent,
artistic, hard-working and diligent, both progressive and politically spirited(ed), definitely in possession of the ill-latent element, we hella independent,
more than a little bit critical of the political system,
and nobody bulls***tin' the Bay, that aint the way we livin',
women got that smart-ass charm, so uninhibited,
they always catch us men off guard, but cool to kick it with.
We hold a certain love for our own, known as Bay-love,
but if push comes to shove we won't hesitate to raise up,
we aint afraid of funk, the bay was made of funk,
they say we help create the funk, baby take it from this native son.
I dedicate this one to every neighborhood on every side of each bridge,
Globally we known for bein' soulfully distinct, culturally rich, totally unique, emotionally I'm linked to the place I'm from,
that's why I named this one:

The Bay... The Bay...
The Bay... The Bay…"
M
Jeanette MacDonald San Francisco This is the old chestnut from the classic 1936 movie "San Francisco" starring Jeanette MacDonald, Clark Gable, and Spencer Tracy, where it is played for what seems like half the movie, until the 1906 earthquake puts an end to it. It's a movie you should see at least once because it's very good up until the end when it becomes too cheesy, even for a mouse.


"It only takes a tiny corner of
This great big world to make a place you love.
My home up on the hill
I find I love you still.
I've been away but now I'm back to tell you

San Francisco
Open your golden gate
You let no stranger wait outside your door.
San Francisco
Here is your wandering one
Saying I'll wander no more.

Other places only make me love you best.
Tell me you're the heart of all the golden west.

San Francisco
Welcome me home again
I'm coming home
To go roaming no more."
Madonna Hollywood Madonna is a singer, songwriter & actress from Michigan who has been performing since the 1970s. This is a dance pop song (with acoustic guitar) from her 2003 album American Life. Like just about any song now that uses the word "Hollywood," this song evokes the illusory dreams of wealth and fame that bring people to the entertainment capital, where most of them fail. This was a minor hit by one of the wealthiest and most famous entertainers in the world who used Hollywood to provide her with a large part of that success, so its hard to sympathize with her complaints. (Music stations always play the same songs all over the world, not just in Hollyweird.)


"Everybody comes to Hollywood
They wanna make it in the neighborhood
They like the smell of it in Hollywood
How could it hurt you when it looks so good

Shine your light now
This time it's gotta be good
You get it right now
Yeah
'Cause you're in Hollywood

There's something in the air in Hollywood
The sun is shining like you knew it would
You're riding in your car in Hollywood
You got the top down and it feels so good

Everybody comes to Hollywood
They wanna make it in the neighborhood
They like the smell of it in Hollywood
How could it hurt you when it looks so good

I lost my memory in Hollywood
I've had a million visions
Bad and good
There's something in the air in Hollywood
I tried to leave it but I never could
... ... ...
Music stations always play the same songs
I'm bored with the concept of right and wrong
... ... ...
'Cause you're in Hollywood
'Cause you're in Hollywood
In Hollywood
In Hollywood
In Hollywood

Push the button
Don't push the button
Trip the station
Change the channel...."
Madonna I Love New York In this dance pop hit from her 2005 album “Confessions on a Dance Floor,” Madonna channels her inner cranky old man screaming "get off my street." She loves New York, but not so much Paris, London, Texas, or Los Angeles, and she makes it clear that New Yorkers are angry with an attitude, probably because they’re sleep deprived, unlike the well-rested people of L.A.


“I don't like cities
But I like new york
Other places make me feel like a dork
Los Angeles is for people who sleep
Paris and London
Baby you can keep

Other cities always make me mad
Other places always make me sad
No other city ever made me glad except New York
I love New York
I love New York
I love New York

If you don't like my attitude
Then you can F off
Just go to Texas
Isn't that where they golf

New York is not for little pussies who scream
If you can't stand the heat
Then get off my street

I love New York
Get off my street”
The Magnetic Fields California Girls

The woman who sings this indie song from 2008 has a fewissues with the standard media images of women that she associates with California. She has a brand new battle ax that she wants to use on them. I'd watch that if it was on TV...


"See them on their big bright screen
tan and blonde and seventeen
Eating nonfood keeps them mean
but they're young forever
If they must grow up
they marry dukes and earls
I hate California girls
… … ...
So
I have planned my grand attacks
I will stand behind their backs
with my brand-new battle ax
Then they will they taste my wrath
They will hear me say
as the pavement whirls
"I hate California girls..."
The Magnetic Fields Come Back From San Francisco One of 1999's "69 Love Songs" from Stephin Merritt, in which a woman begs a man to come back from San Francisco,  and not get distracted by pretty boys in discos. Sounds like maybe he's discovered the Castro and she's barking up the wrong tree...


"Come back from San Francisco.
It can't be all that pretty,
when all of New York City misses you.
Should pretty boys in discos distract you from your novel,
remember I'm awful in love with you.

You need me like the wind needs the trees to blow in.
Like the moon needs poetry, you need me.

Come back from San Francisco and kiss me; I've quit smoking.
I miss doing the wild thing with you.
Will you stay? I don't think so,
but all I do is worry, pack bags, call cabs, and hurry home to me."
Mamas and the Papas, The California Dreamin' This is the 1965 folk pop hit sung with lots of harmonies, tambourines, and even a flute solo. The original version was released by Barry McGuire with backing vocals by the Mamas and the Papas, but shortly afterwards the Mamas and the Papas used the same music to make their own version.

The song has been covered by a lot of musicians, some of which are also found on this list including:

America,
American Music Club,
The Beach Boys
,
George Benson,
Calix,
The Carpenters,
Lana Del Rey,
The Faction,
Jose Feliciano,
Hi Standard,
Fontaine Ivory,
The Four Tops,
Freischwimmer,
Diana Krall
,
Melanie,
Hugh Masakela.
Wes Montgomery,
Leo Moracchioli,
Lee Moses,
No Clue, Queen
Latifah,
REM,
Tommy Shaw & Jack Blades,
Sia,
Nancy Sinatra,
Wilson Phillips,
Bobby Womack.


"All the leaves are brown and the sky is grey
I've been for a walk on a winter's day
I'd be safe and warm if I was in L.A.
California dreaming on such a winter's day

Stepped into a church I passed along the way
Well, I got down on my knees and I pretend to pray
You know the preacher likes the cold he knows I'm gonna stay
California dreaming on such a winter's day

All the leaves a brown and the sky is grey
I've been for a walk on a winter's day
If I didn't tell her I could leave today
California dreaming on such a winter's day
On such a winter's day, on such a winter's day"
Mamas and the Papas, The Creeque Alley This song from the 1967 album "Deliver," tells the story of the formation of The Mamas and The Papas, with references to other folk artists and bands of the time. After the success of their huge hit "California Dreamin'" which is mentioned in the last line of the song, the band was no longer "broke, busted, disgusted" and forced to survive on credit.


"John and Mitchy were gettin' kind of itchy
Just to leave the folk music behind
Zal and Denny workin' for a penny
Tryin' to get a fish on the line
In a coffee house Sebastian sat
And after every number they'd pass the hat
McGuinn and McGuire just a-gettin' higher
In L.A., you know where that's at
And no one's gettin' fat except Mama Cass

Zally said "Denny, you know there aren't many
Who can sing a song the way that you do, let's go south"
Denny said "Zally, golly, don't you think that I wish
I could play guitar like you"
Zal, Denny and Sebastian sat (At the Night Owl)
And after every number they'd pass the hat
McGuinn and McGuire still a-gettin higher
In L.A., you know where that's at
And no one's gettin' fat except Mama Cass

When Cass was a sophomore, planned to go to Swarthmore
But she changed her mind one day
Standin' on the turnpike, thumb out to hitchhike
"Take me to New York right away"
When Denny met Cass he gave her love bumps
Called John and Zal and that was the Mugwumps
McGuinn and McGuire couldn't get no higher
But that's what they were aimin' at
And no one's gettin' fat except Mama Cass

Mugwumps, high jumps, low slumps, big bumps
Don't you work as hard as you play
Make up, break up, everything is shake up
Guess it had to be that way
Sebastian and Zal formed the Spoonful
Michelle, John, and Denny gettin' very tuneful
McGuinn and McGuire just a-catchin' fire
In L.A., you know where that's at
And everybody's gettin' fat except Mama Cass
Di-di-di-dit dit dit di-di-di-dit, whoa

Broke, busted, disgusted, agents can't be trusted
And Mitchy wants to go to the sea
Cass can't make it, she says we'll have to fake it
We knew she'd come eventually
Greasin' on American Express cards
It's low rent, but keeping out the heat's hard
Duffy's good vibrations and our imaginations
Can't go on indefinitely
And California dreamin' is becomin' a reality"
Mamas and the Papas, The Pacific Coast Highway This is from the group's 1971 album "People Like Us."


Rollin' along Pacific Coast Highway
Bummin' along to my radio
Saw a blonde hitchin' my way
Rolled up and said "How far do you want to go?"
She'd been hummin' thumbin' hitchin' and wishin'
For a good day on Pacific Coast Highway.

Looked in at me and when I could see her
She seemed to be somebody I ought to know
Opened the door, sat down beside me
Then with a roar, we started to roll
She'd been hummin' thumbin' hitchin' and wishin'
For a good day on Pacific Coast Highway.

Looked like a swan, but brown as Chuck Berry
A summer's dawn, yeah, light as a fairy
We got to town, she said her name was Mary.
She'd been hit, she'd been whipped,
She'd been hummin' she'd been bummin' all her life.
(On the highway...on and on)
(On the highway...on and on)
Mamas and the Papas, The Twelve Thirty (Young Girls Are Coming to the Canyon) This is from the band's fourth album "The Papas & The Mamas" released in 1968, though it had previously appeared on a greatest hits compilation "Farewell to the First Golden Era" when the band was temporarily broken up. The canyon of the song is Laurel Canyon, a neighborhood of Los Angeles above Hollywood, where the songwriter John Phillips lived. According to Wickipedia "A popular interpretation is that girl "groupies" would party into the night at the homes of show business types in the canyon and wander home the next morning, passing the house and engaging the songwriter in conversation as they went." 


"I used to live in New York City
Everything there was dark and dirty
Outside my window was a steeple
With a clock that always said twelve thirty

Young girls are coming to the canyon
And in the mornings I can see them walking
I can no longer keep my blinds drawn
And I can't keep myself from talking

At first so strange to feel so friendly
To say good morning and really mean it
To feel these changes happening in me
But not to notice till I feel it

Young girls are coming to the canyon
And in the mornings I can see them walking
I can no longer keep my blinds drawn
And I can't keep myself from talking

Cloudy waters cast no reflection
Images of beauty lie there stagnant
Vibrations bounce in no direction
And lie there shattered into fragments

Young girls are coming to the canyon
(Young girls are in the canyon)
And in the mornings I can see them walking
(In the mornings I can see them walking)

I can no longer keep my blinds drawn
(Can no longer keep my blinds drawn)
And I can't keep myself from talking"
Aimee Mann Freeway This is from Mann's 2008 album @#%&*! Smilers. The song mentions Orange County, and I know there is also an Orange County in New York State, home to that old TV show about choppers, but New Yorkers call their toll-free multi-laned controlled-access higways "expressways," not "freeways," which we call them in California, so I'm going to declare that Mann is singing about the O.C. in SoCal and stick this great song on my list. Please don't run me over with your freaky looking motorcycle.


"You've got a lot of money but you can't afford the freeway
The road to Orange Country leaves an awful lot of leeway
Where everyone's a doctor or a specialist in retail
They'll sell you all the speed you want if you can take the blackmail

You know it
I know it
Why don't you
Just show it
You got a lot of money but you can't afford the freeway
You got a lot of money but you can't afford the freeway

You've got a lot of money but you cannot keep your bills paid
The sacrifice is worth it just to hang around the arcade
You found yourself a prophet but you left him on the boardwalk
Another chocolate Easter bunny, hollowed out by your talk

You know it
I know it
Why don't you
Just show it
You got a lot of money but you can't afford the freeway
You got a lot of money but you can't afford the freeway...."
Aimee Mann Patient Zero Aimee Mann is a singer/songwriter originally from Virginia. This song is from her 2017 album "Mental Illness." Though it never specifically mentions the city, it is totally an L.A. song. According to Mann, in a Song Exploder Podcast interview where she breaks down how the song was made, it's about an artist who comes to Hollywood to make a movie but gets chewed up and spit out by corrupt influences. She wanted to evoke the L.A. of Nathanael West's "Day of the Locust" & of Raymond Chandler: "...the version of Los Angeles that's darker, and more noir, and more disturbing." The song mentions a screen test and focus pulling on a movie camera and it references Chandler's L. A. novel and movie "The Big Sleep" in which Carmen Sternwood is a character who is mixed up in a shooting, as well as Nathanael West's dark novel set in Hollywood about the American dream turning into a nightmare.


"They served you champagne like a hero
When you landed, someone carried your bag
From here on out, you're patient zero
Smelling ether as they hand you the rag

Life is good
You look around and think
I'm in the right neighborhood
But, honey, you just moved in
Life is grand
And wouldn't you like
To have it go as planned?
Go as planned

Hip hip hooray, hocus pocus
With some magic you can fly through the air
But when you're the guy pulling focus
There are people who will wish you weren't there

Life is good
You look around and think
I'm in the right neighborhood
But, honey, you just moved in
Life is grand
And wouldn't you like
To have it go as planned?
Go as planned

Go west, young man
Go west, take a real screen test
Doesn't count as a job well done
The locust have their day
The suckers pay in a bay
Carmen Sternwood probably pull that trigger for fun

And in the hills, where all the sunshine, constant companion
Close enough to almost touch the lights of the canyon
The lights of the canyon

But news filtered out of the transom
That a villain ended up with a part
You paid your respects like a ransom
To a moment that was doomed from the start

Life is good
You look around and think
I'm in the right neighborhood
But, honey, you just moved in
Life is grand
And wouldn't you like
To have it go as planned?
Go as planned

And in the hills, where all the sunshine, constant companion
Close enough to almost touch the lights of the canyon
The lights of the canyon...."
Marilyn Manson The Mephistopheles of Los Angeles This is from the 2015 album "The Pale Emperor."
Marilyn Manson is the stage persona of Brian Warner, a singer etc. from Ohio. Mephistopheles is a demon who works for the devil by collecting the souls of those who are already damned. That's gotta be a mighty big job in the City of Angels. I hope Brian has a lot of helpers.

You have to like someone who sings "Loss Ann-ja-leeze" instead of "Loss Ann-ja-liss." I enjoy the old timers who completely ignored the city's Spanish roots and pronounced it "Los Ang-gah-iiss" or "Los Ang-gah-leez" with a hard G. Mayor Yorty did that.


"I don't know if I can open up
I've been opened enough
I don't know if I can open up
I'm not a birthday present
I'm aggressive regressive
The past is over
And passive seems so pathetic

I was fated, faithful, fatal
I was fated, faithful, fatal

I feel sole and alone like a heretic
Ready to meet my maker
I feel sole and alone like a heretic
I'm ready to meet my maker
Lazarus has got no dirt on me
Lazarus has got no dirt on me
And I'll rise every danger
I'm the Mephistopheles of Los Angeles
Of Los Angeles

Don't know if I can open up
I been opened too much
Double cross glossed over in my pathos

I was fated, faithful, fatal
I was fated, faithful, fatal

I feel sole and alone like a heretic
Ready to meet my maker
I feel sole and alone like a heretic
I'm ready to meet my maker
Lazarus has got no dirt on me
Lazarus has got no dirt on me
And I'll rise every danger
I'm the Mephistopheles of Los Angeles
Of Los Angeles...."
Mark-Almond Band The City The Mark-Almond Band was an English jazz-rock group from 1970-1981, formed by Jon Mark and Johnny Almond. This song is from the album "Mark-Almond" released in 1970. The long version is ten and a half minutes long. Eventually, Almond lived in the SF Bay Area, but I think the band was still in England when this song was written. The only California mention in the song is the redwood tree. There are redwood trees in Oregon, also, but they are more commonly associated with California, where the band was eventually based.


"Well, I slept last night in the open
Down by a redwood tree
Yes, I slept last night in the open
Just to let, just to let, just to let my soul free
I don't want to know, I don't want to go
I don't want to go back into the city
It's just a long long long lonely taxi ride
Going nowhere
Well, I slept last night in the open
(It gets so hot in the city)
Down by a redwood tree
(It gets so hot in the city)
Yes, I slept last night in the open
Just to let, just to let, just to let my soul free
I don't want to know, I don't want to go
I don't want to go back into the city
It's just a long long long lonely taxi ride
Going nowhere"
Mates of State
California This is another song about driving and about returning to California.
It's a moody 2006 cover of Phanton Planet's theme song to the TV show "The OC."


"On the stereo
Listen as we go
Nothing’s gonna stop me now
California here we come
Right back where we started from
Pedal to the floor
Thinkin’ of the roar
Gotta get us to the show
California here we come
Right back where we started from

California!
Here we come!"
John Mayall California A wonderful 9-minute-plus jazzy blues number with a great hypnotic bass line and a sax solo. Recorded live in 1969.

This is the sort of free-form music I first heard on the pioneer California "underground" FM stations - KSAN in San Francisco and KPPC in Pasadena during their few years of great independent programming before the corporations took control again in the late 60's and early 70's. Fortunately in 2011 we have stations like KEXP, WMFU, NPR, and others that can be listened to online, so non-commercial radio music programming is still breathing, and with Youtube, hundreds of independent music podcasts, and the streaming sites, it's much easier to discover good music today than ever before.


"Goin' back to California,
so many good things around.
Don't wanna leave California,
the sun seems to never go down...

California,
so many things to be free,
California,
that's where I wanna be."
John Mayer Queen of California John Mayer is a Connecticut born singer-songwriter, who is also known for his guitar playing and for being a staple of the gossip tabloids because of his many famous girlfriends. This song is from his 2012 album Born and Raised.


"Goodbye cold, goodbye rain
Goodbye sorrow, goodbye shame
I'm headed out west with my headphones on
Boarded a flight with a song in the back of my soul
And no one knows

I just found out her ghost left town
The Queen of California is stepping down, down

Hello beauty, hello strange
Hello wonder, what's your name?
Looking for the sun that Neil Young hung
After the gold rush of 1971

I just found out her ghost left town
The Queen of California is stepping down, down

If you see her say, "Hello"
Just don't tell me, "I told you so"
Joni wrote Blue in her house by the sea
I gotta believe there’s another color waiting on me
To set me free

I just found out her ghost left town
The Queen of California is stepping down, down"
(Frankie Beverly &) Maze Look At California Frankie Beverly relocated from Philadelphia to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1971 and his group Maze, playing a mellow soul style sometimes called "quiet storm," released their first album "Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly," which includes this song, in 1977. Samples have been used in a few hip hop versions including those by Mr. Shadow, The Scrayper Boyz, and Young Thugg.


"Look at California Look at California
Look at California Look at california

The rollin' hills seem to do something for you
It seems they're meant to be looked on by you
And when the sunshine is doing it's thing
Then you know that all you see is true
Every day every night the same old groovy feelin'
People that live a lot love a lot
And everything there is so good

Look at California
Look at California

All the flowers are bloomin' all about
Every kind you and I could think of
And if you see anything that's missin'
Then they make it up to you with love
Whether up or whether down
It don't even mean a thing
Look at the things around
The peace you've found
And all that you feel is so real Look at california

Look at California
Look at California
Look at California"
Mazzy Star California Mazzy Star is an alternative rock band from Santa Monica best known for their slow and dreamy 1993 hit song "Fade into You" sung by Hope Sandoval. With mostly acoustic guitar and atmospheric vocals, this song is from "Seasons of Your Day", released in 2013, the band's first album since 1996.


"I think I'm going back to California
Somewhere distant and it's all far away
It's so far, it's so far far away

I think I'll drift across the ocean now
Clouds look so clear in your eyes
Let me dream all my, let me dream all my friends

I think I'll fly across the ocean
I can watch the sky turning grey
I think I'm going back, I think I'll go back

I think I hear the whisper of my own best friend
I think I hear the bells ringing in the square
California, California"
Chuck McCabe I'd Rather Be in Redding According to a web site about him, before Chuck McCabe died in 2010, he was a musician and author who wandered and played music all over the country and spent most of his adult life in the San Jose area. This song is from his 2008 CD "Creatures of Habit." I can't find anything besides this song that connects him to Redding, but the town obviously made a big impression on him. Either that or the song was commissioned by a coalition of the Redding Chamber of Commerce and Indian casinos. I don't know if they do that sort of thing, but if they do, they got their money's worth.


"Beyond the almonds and the olives
and the truck stops on I-5
There's a little piece of heaven
makes it almost worth the drive

I've been to cities by the ocean
and the city by the bay
but I'd rather be in Redding
and it's oh so far away

Where the Sacramento River
runs through one side of town
and a freight train through the other
how I miss that mournful sound

Where the Siskiyous rise up
and the logging trucks roll down
I'd rather be in Redding
than the place I'm stuck in now

All the bright lights up in Reno
may be a big deal for some
but an Indian casino's
more my idea of fun

Where the blackjack, dice, and Cuervo
is all part of the game
I think I'd rather be in Redding
where the cops all know my name

And from Weaverville to Shingletown
we sang a song and drank around
Shasta Lake to Anderson
the barbecue at old Oak Run
Post Office Grill and old City Hall
the disappearing downtown mall
happy hour to last call
they've been like home to me

Where the blossoms and the buzzards
drift together on the breeze
and mosquitoes sing as sweetly
as the birds up in the trees

If I ever get to heaven
I would tell Saint Peter please
I'd rather be in Redding
when it's 99 degrees"
Reba McEntire (featuring Ronnie Dunn) Does the Wind Still Blow in Oklahoma?
Reba McEntire is an American country music artist and actress from Oklahoma who made her first record in 1976. This song is from her 2007 album "Reba: Duets." It's a slow traditional country love duet with Ronnie Dunn, formerly with the very successful country duo Brooks & Dunn.


[Reba:]
"L.A.'s a fast horse Daddy
Everybody rides
I'm sorry I haven't called home lately
Out here time flies

I met a boy a few weeks back
He plays in a band
He's a whole lot like you daddy
you're gonna like him, he's a good man

At times lonely sneaks up on me
But I'm getting by
Yeah I know what you've always told me
Cowgirls don't cry

[Chorus:]
But does the wind still blow in Oklahoma
Out here the Hollywood stars sure shine bright
It's such a long way from home here in California
Missin' you and that blue wide open sky

[Ronnie:]
Out here it's all freeway fast cars
Cold concrete
You won't believe all the crazy people
Valley girls, Sunset freaks

I met a girl you're gonna like her Mama
She has your hair
Red as that Tahlequah sunset
Seems like an angel I swear

I can't say I don't get lonesome
But I'm alright
Cowboys kinda go with homesick
Like blue moons and whippoorwill nights

[Chorus:]
But does the wind still blow in Oklahoma
Out here the Hollywood stars sure shine bright
It's such a long way from home here in California
Missin' you and that blue wide open sky...."
Tim McGraw California Tim McGraw is an American country singer-songwriter and actor. This is from his "Damn Country Music" album released in 2012. It's about a woman hungry for the California Dream and the lure of stardom who is willing to leave the singer behind to achieve it. (I wonder if it isn't the promise of fame and fortune that lures all these people to L.A. - maybe they just want to get away from where they're at and who they're with. That's a song I'd love to hear a guy sing.) There's even a Nissan Altima product placement in the song. I know that's a hip-hop thing, but I didn't know it had spread to country.


"It's a 3 day drive if she drives all night
Says she's leavin' at the crack of dawn
Well she might still be lyin' here with me
But in her heart she's already gone
Already packed up, the Altima's gassed up
She's done put the map up there on the dash
I'm all tore up just tryin' to man up
Dammin' these tears up but can't hold 'em back

Cuz she's in love with California
And that west coast sunshine dream
These ain't no Hollywoods
And these hills ain't Beverly
Ain't no beaches on these backroads
No sunset on the boulevard
She's in love with California
And breakin' my heart

Got a waitress job waitin' in an Ihop
Throw a rock and hit Universal City
Got a glamour shot in her hip pocket
Hopin' somebody'll think she's pretty
By this time tomorrow she'll hit Colorado
I'll be drownin' my sorrow in a bottle of Beam
Before she hits Flagstaff maybe she'll backtrack
But I wouldn't bet that if I was me

Cuz she's in love with California
And that west coast sunshine dream
These ain't no Hollywoods
And these hills ain't Beverly
Ain't no beaches on these backroads
No sunset on the boulevard
She's in love with California
And breakin' my heart

Well she was all mine
Now it's go time

She's in love with California
And that west coast sunshine dream
These ain't no Hollywoods
And these hills ain't Beverly
There ain't no beaches on these backroads
No sunset on the boulevard
She's in love with California
And breakin' my heart
She's in love with California
And breakin' my heart
Oh she's breakin' my heart"
Bonnie McKee California Winter Bonnie McKee is a singer-songwriter who has co-written a lot of songs with Katy Perry, including "California Gurls" and a bunch of other number-one hit songs with other artists. She put this song online in 2014.


"Dreaming of palm trees tonight
This is the season, the city is sleeping
Gleaming and glistening white
But it’s always summer with you

Outside, it’s cold and gray
All the streets shine like silver lakes
And the stop lights are blinking red and green
Like something in a movie scene
Snow babe, it’s in the air
And I’m frozen but I don’t care
Cuz I’m golden as long as I’m with you

Cuz when I’m in your arms it’s like a California winter
Yeah, your love can keep me warm
When it’s storming outside
And you’re holding me tight
It’s like you take me to paradise
California winter
Yeah, your touch is like sunshine
And on my holiday
Feels like I’m in L.A.
Cuz I’m yours and I know you’re mine, yeah baby
(California-California winter, California-California winter)
When it’s storming outside
And you’re holding me tight
It’s like you take me to paradise

Dark skies, December hail
But I’m bright eyed and bushy tailed
Like I’m pool side and soaking up the sun
Even though my toes are numb
You are my angel wings
You are my North star, watch over me
And when it gets dark you always light me up

Cuz when I’m in your arms it’s like a California winter
Yeah, your love can keep me warm
When it’s storming outside and you’re holding me tight
It’s like you take me to paradise
California winter
Yeah, your touch is like sunshine
And on my holiday
Feels like I’m in L.A.
Cuz I’m yours and I know you’re mine, yeah baby
(California-California winter, California-California winter)
When it’s storming outside
And you’re holding me tight
It’s like you take me to paradise ...."
Scott McKenzie San Francisco This is the 1967 pop song that gave San Francisco bound travelers an important floral fashion tip. The song never sounded as hip as the era it described, but it was a massive hit and is credited with bringing lots of young people to the city. (It was also used as an anthem during Czechoslovakia's 1968 uprising against the Soviet Union. Who knew such wimpy pop could be so revolutionary?)


"If you're going to San Francisco
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair
If you're going to San Francisco
You're gonna meet some gentle people there

For those who come to San Francisco
Summertime will be a love-in there
In the streets of San Francisco
Gentle people with flowers in their hair"
The Mekons Lawrence of California The Mekons are a band formed in the late 1970s in the UK. This song is from their 2019 lP "Deserted." This is probably a reference to Lawrence of Arabia, but who knows? The great thing about song lyrics is that they don't always have to make sense. (I tried that line once in an English paper when I couldn't understand a poem. It didn't work then, either.)


"Lawrence of California
Get out of the van and disappear
Hello, teeth flash yellow
Over your shoulder as the dusty walls move in
And nothing is near
Get out of the van and disappear
Every seed is a weapon here
And soon I'll be the king

I will be the king
Yeah, I will be the king
Lawrence of California

Take the bottom of the sea
And turn it ninety-five degrees
Shady groves and ancient tip-toe
Stubborn silence grows
Flat on your back in the dark
Red thorns burst through fossil bark
To clutch and to cling
But soon I'll be the king

I will be the king
Yeah, I will be the king
Lawrence of California (Hey, woo-woo, ha-haha)

Barbs and burs to clutch and cling
And soon I'll be the king
Spreading over everything
A million at a time
Draw a line and see
How much good that will do for ye
How much good
Soon I'll be their king

Oh, I will be the king
I will be the king
Lawrence of California (Hey)
I will be the king
I will be the king
Lawrence of California (Hey, hey, ow)"
Johnny Mercer and the Pied Pipers (featuring June Hutton) The Hills of California This swing vocal with orchestral acompaniment was given new exposure from its use in the 2013 movie "Gangster Squad." Johnny Mercer was an Academy-Award-winning American singer-songwriter and a co-founder of Capitol Records who was active mostly from the mid-1930's through the mid-1950s, but he didn't write this song. It was written in 1947 by robert Hayward and Robert Staver.


"The hills of California
Are something to see
The sun will kind of warm ya
Then drop in the sea

Though we've overworked terrific
The blue Pacific
Is all Balboa claimed
That it would be

The hills of California
Will give you a start
I guess I better warn ya
'Cause you'll lose your heart

You'll settle down forever
And never stray from the view
The hills of Cali-for-ni-a
Are waitin' for you

The hills of California
Are something to see
The sun will kind of warm ya
And then drop in the sea

We've overworked terrific
But that Pacific
Is all Balboa claimed
That it would be

The hills of California
Will give you a start
I guess I better warn ya
'Cause you'll lose your heart

You'll settle down forever
And you'll never stray from the view
The hills of California
You can see to San Berdoo
California
Ooh, what a righteous view
They're waitin'
They're waitin' for you"
Natalie Merchant San Andreas Fault Natalie Merchant is a singer-songwriter from New York, who joined the band 10,000 Manicacs in 1981 and went solo in 1993. This song is from her 1995 album "Tigerlily." Since the San Andreas Fault is almost entirely in California I'm logging this as a Calfornia earthquake song / California Dream becomes a nightmare song. It seems to be about going to paradise to become a star but finding the fragile rags-to-riches dream shattered like a house in an earthquake. Time to bolt the foundation, brace the walls, and earthquake retrofit that dream, girl.


"Go west
Paradise is there
You'll have all that you can eat
Of milk & honey over there

You'll be the brightest star
The world has ever seen
Sun-baked slender heroine
Of film & magazine

Go west
Paradise is there
You'll have all that you can eat
Of milk & honey over there

You'll be the brightest light
The world has ever seen
The dizzy height of a jet-set life
You could never dream

Your pale blue eyes
Strawberry hair
Lips so sweet
Skin so fair

Your future bright
Beyond compare
It's rags to riches
Over there

San Andreas Fault
Moved its fingers
Through the ground
Earth divided
Plates collided
Such an awful sound

San Andreas Fault
Moved its fingers
Through the ground
Terra cotta shattered
And the walls came
Tumbling down

O, promised land
O, wicked ground
Build a dream
Tear it down

O, promised land
What a wicked ground
Build a dream
Watch it all fall down"
Joe Dee Messina Heads Carolina, Tails California This was the debut song and first big hit back in 1996 for this female country singer from Massachusetts, but it wasn't her last. She's had several number one hits since then.

I always flip a coin when I'm thinking of driving thousands of miles, don't you? I also like to spin a globe and stop it with my finger pointing to where ever I want to go before buying a plane ticket, like I've seen someone do in the movies.


"Heads, Carolina Tails, California.
Somewhere greener, somewhere warmer.
Up in the mountains, down by the ocean.
Where? It don't matter, as long as we're goin'
Somewhere together. I've got a quarter.
Heads, Carolina Tails, California."
Joe Dee Messina You're Not in Kansas, Anymore This is another hit from Messina's self-titled first album released in 1996.


“He said "I grew up in Wichita
In a Mayberry kind of town"
He never liked overalls
Or haulin' hay 'til sundown
He said he dreamed about L.A.
As he plowed away the day on an old John Deere
I said "Boy let me warn you
In southern California there's some fast trains here"

You're not in Kansas anymore
Can't be too careful that's for sure
City lights will led you on
Morning comes and they'll be gone
So write my number on your wall
You can call me anytime at all
I'm so happy now boy
You're not in Kansas anymore

He said do you know where Carson lives
So we drove up to Malibu
Cruisin' down Sunset Strip
I let him steal a kiss or two
Under the Hollywood sign
I tried to hide a smile as I whispered low
I wanna be the first to tell you
Here we say ro-day-o, not ro-dee-o

You're not in Kansas anymore
Can't be too careful that's for sure
City lights will lead you on
Morning comes and they'll be gone
So write my number on your wall
And call me anytime at all
I'm so happy now boy
You're not in Kansas anymore

I'm so happy now boy
You're not in Kansas anymore”
Metro Station California Another let's-get-in-the-car-and-drive-to-California song from this L.A. pop rock band's 2007 album.


"What do you say we leave for California?
If we drive all night, we can make it by the morning
And, no one else will know if we decide to go, oh
What do you say we leave for California?

We could leave our friends
And we could be together
We could leave this town
If only for the weather

I could drive
And you could sleep
While the radio collides
To the sound of our heartbeats

What do you say we leave for California?
If we drive all night, we can make it by the morning
And, no one else will know if we decide to go, oh
What do you say we leave for California?"
Middle of the Road Sacramento (A Wonderful Town) Middle of the Road is a Scottish pop group active since the early 70s that has been most popular in Europe and Latin America. With its bubblegum sound, this song was a million-selling single off their thierd album "The Best of Middle of the Road" released in 1972.

I'm not saying Sacramento is not a wonderful town - don't send me hate mail - but it's hard to imagine what inspired a group of foreigners to sing a song praising a city which is not exactly on the tourist circuit, though it's possible the lyricist had visited the city. Harold "Lolly" Stott, a British singer/songwriter who also wrote Middle of the Road's biggest hit, co-wrote the song with three Italian songwriters, which still doesn't explain the connection with Sacramento. Maybe he just picked the name off a map, or maybe it was commissioned by the Sacramento Chamber of Commerce. I guess we'll never know.
Thanks to Steve Martarano for introducing me to this and other great California songs.


"There's something about the weather
That everybody loves
They call it the Indian spring of Sacramento
And when the sun is up in the sky
The wind is blowin' by the riverside most everyday
You're in Sacramento a wonderful town
Sing sing sing din din din

There's something about the people
That everybody knows
That gives you a tender feelin' of confusion
You're feelin' lonely but you don't know
Until this other feelin' here inside you starts to grow
You're in Sacramento, a wonderful town
Sing sing sing din din din

Now that spring is here again
And you're thinkin' if only you were not so lonely ooh ooh
But you can ease your restless mind
Ease your restless mind
All the people are a lovin' kind,
In Sacramento

There's something about the weather
That everybody loves
They call it the Indian spring of Sacramento
You're feelin' lonely, but you don't know
Until this other feelin' here inside you starts to grow
You're in Sacramento, a wonderful town
Sing sing sing din din din

Sacramento
Sacramento
Sacramento
Sacramento
Sacramento
Sacramento
Sacramento
Sacramento"
Bette Midler White Christmas This is the classic nostalgic Christmas song written by Irving Berlin in the early 1940s. Bing Crosby's 1942 recording of the song became a smash hit with help from its popularity with American GI's fighting overseas during World War 2. According to the Guiness World Records it's the best-selling single of all time. But the version Crosby sings omits the opening verse which shows that the singer longing for snow is in Beverly Hills on a sunny Christmas eve. Bette Midler sings the opening verse in her version as do a few other singers including Barbara Streisand. This is from Midler's 2006 release Bette Midler - Cool Yule.


"The sun is shining, the grass is green,
The orange and palm trees sway.
There's never been such a day
In Beverly Hills, L.A.
But it's December the 24th,
And I'm longing to be up north

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know.
Where the treetops glisten,
And children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow.

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write.
May your days be merry and bright.
And may all your Christmases be white.

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write.
May your days be merry and bright.
And may all your Christmases be white."
Thee Midnighters Whittier Blvd. This is a mostly instrumental blend of surf rock, r&b, and Mexican music from a Chicano band once called "East L.A.'s Beatles." It's an anthem to East L.A.'s famous cruising street in the 1960s.
There are no lyrics, but it begins with someone shouting
"Let's take a trip down Whittier Boulevard!"
Then we hear a parody of the Mexican mouse cartoon character Speedy Gonzales: "Arriba arriba!" followed by wild laughter.
Mighty Mighty Bosstones, The To California A 2007 song from the Ska-Core band from Massachusetts. In this one, a guy decided to take the California trip, ran into some obstacles, but got there anyway, only to end up in the L.A. County jail.


"...To California.
He said that's where he'd find his fortune.
And where it's warmer
The weather's warmer and the girls are scorching hot.

He quit his job down at the diner.
And then he loaded up his SUV.
Just like a modern 49er.
Except for the Schlager and the PCP.

To California.
He said he'd make it there come hell
Or come high water.
He isn't doing very well.
He made it to Atlantic City.
To try to double what he brought.
Lost it to a voodoo girl named Kitty.
Totaled the truck out in the parking lot.

So he decided
He was determined not to turn back. No way.
So guess what he did?
Well he snuck aboard an Amtrak Train.

To California.
He said that's where he'd find his fortune.
And where it's warmer.
The weather's warmer and the girls are scorching hot.

To California.
Just got a postcard in the mail.
"Just to inform ya.
I'm the LA County Jail. Right now."
Miguel Leaves Miguel is a singer-songwriter-producer from L.A. who is usually placed among the curent new wave of R&B artists, although he also incorporates rock, psychedelic, electronic, funk, and hip hop styles in his music. He's another great musician who proves that genres are no longer very relevant. This song is off his 2015 album, Wildheart.


"The leaves don't change you
The leaves don't change you, so I never saw it coming
Went to hit me, Hiroshima, where did the Sun go?
Just the cruel rain pouring, you say that it's over
How could it be over, when I never saw it coming?

Sweet California, sour California
Sweet California, bitter California
Sweet California
I should've known better, I should've known better
Cause the leaves don't change here

Heart caught in a rift, cold Pacific waters
Keep on pulling me under. drowning in my sorrows
Eager waves keep on crashing, you say that it's over
How could it be over? I never saw it coming

Sweet California, sour California
Sweet California, bitter California
Sweet California
I should've known better, I should've known better
The leaves they don't change here

You know I'm from here, I never saw it coming
Where did the summer go, when you loved me?
Where did the summer go, when you loved me?
You say it's over now, how could it be over?
I never saw it coming

Sweet California, sour California
Sweet California, bitter California
Sweet California oh, I should've known better
Should've known better
The leaves they don't change here"
Miguel Hollywood Dreams This is another song off Miguel's 2015 album, Wildheart, that's about a woman with dreams of Hollywood fame and with a coke habit.


"Lost angel with an urgent subtle
Jaded eyes, and this empty fixation
Sweet Hollywood sign, you're my salvation
Cokey scenes full of pipe dreams
Palm trees and a numb sensation
Chasing, uh-huh
Vivid schemes, put my name on a marquee, alright
Still waiting for my big break (big break), for fame sake, alright

And we could be better than heroes baby, alright
We could fly higher than spaceships baby, all night
Said could you ever find the magic man (magic man)
He can make it all happen (happen), alright
Lost Hollywood dreams
Lost Hollywood dreams

Say wow, up fame, became your religion woman
You need 'cause all your faith is coming
Now the walk of shame woman
It's reputation, cheap thrills, fake friends, coke binge
What a numb sensation
Then he said, "honey I can put your face on the big screen
Well aren't you looking for your big break (big break)?
Come here, for fame sake" (yeah)

And we could be better than heroes baby, alright (alright)
We could fly higher than spaceships baby, all night (all night)
Girl you're looking at the magic man
I can make it all happen (all happen)
Lost Hollywood dreams (yeah)

And we could be better than heroes baby, alright (alright)
We could fly higher than spaceships baby, all night (all night)
Said could you ever find the magic man (magic man)
He can make it all happen (all happen), alright
Lost Hollywood dreams

(Up and down Hollywood and Sunset)
(Up and down... ... ... )
Lost Hollywood dreams"
Miguel The Valley Another song from his 2015 album, Wildheart. The lyrics are a bit too explicit for me to show many here. It's about a man who ants to enjoy his time with his lover like they're "filming in the valley,' a reference to making a pornographic film in the San Fernando Valley, the heart of that branch of the film industry.
Ronnie Milsap Santa Barbara Ronnie Milsap is a CMA and Grammy-winning country music artist from North Carolina. He has made 35 #1 country singles and some of his hits have also crossed over to the pop charts. This is from his 1978 album "Only One Love in My Life."


"Crowded streets, speeding cars
Buildings that are so tall that they hide the stars
Just for now we must stay
But I'll take you back where you belong someday

What Santa Barbara is to you
The golden sand, the silver sea
What Santa Barbara is to you
You are to me, you are to me

I took you far from home
While I'm out there working you're left all alone
Bear with me for a while
I'll put that California sun back in your smile

What Santa Barbara is to you
The golden sand, the silver sea
What Santa Barbara is to you
You are to me, you are to me

What Santa Barbara is to you
The golden sand, the silver sea
What Santa Barbara is to you
You are to me, you are to me

What Santa Barbara is to you
The golden sand, the silver sea
What Santa Barbara is to you
You are to me, you are to me"
Minutemen History Lesson - Part II Minutemen was a seminal early 80's punk band from San Pedro. The opening line of this song inspired the title of the definitive book about 80's American indie underground music. This song is from their great 1984 double album Double Nickles On the Dime.


"Our band could be your life
Real names'd be proof
Me and Mike Watt, we played for years
Punk rock changed our lives.

We learned punk rock in Hollywood
Drove up from Pedro
We were f***ing corndogs
We'd go drink and pogo

Mr. Narrator,
This is Bob Dylan to me
My story could be his songs
I'm his soldier child

Our band is scientist rock
But I was E. Bloom, Richard Hell,
Joe Strummer and John Doe
Me and Mike Watt, playing guitar"
Missing Persons Walking in L.A. 80's New Wave female vocals meet Hair Metal guitars in this 1983 American pop hit about someone who is shocked to see a pedestrian while driving in LA:


"Walkin' in L.A., nobody walks in L.A.
Could it be that the smog's playing tricks on my eyes
or is it a rollerskater in some kind of headphone disguise
Maybe somebody who just ran out of gas,
Making his way back to the pumps the best way he can.
Walkin' in L.A.
Walkin' in L.A., nobody walks in L.A."
Joni Mitchell California Joni Mitchell is a singer-songwriter originally from Alberta, Canada, who has made music since the 1960s, achieving commercial success, winning awards, and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She's regarded as an important, influential, and independent recording artist, writing her own songs, producing her own records, and designing her own album covers.

This is from Mitchell's 1971 album "Blue" which was rated the 30th best album ever made by Rolling Stone Magazine in 2012. I think it's one of the best California songs ever made, too.


"Sitting in a park in Paris, France
Reading the news and it sure looks bad
They won't give peace a chance
That was just a dream some of us had
Still a lot of lands to see
But I wouldn't stay here
It's too old and cold and settled in its ways here.

Oh, but California
California I'm coming home
I'm going to see the folks I dig
I'll even kiss a Sunset pig
California I'm coming home.

I met a redneck on a Grecian isle
Who did the goat dance very well
He gave me back my smile
But he kept my camera to sell
Oh the rogue, the red red rogue
He cooked good omelettes & stews
And I might have stayed on with him there

But my heart cried out for you, California
Oh California I'm coming home
Oh make me feel good rock'n roll band
I'm your biggest fan
California, I'm coming home

Oh it gets so lonely
When you're walking
And the streets are full of strangers
All the news of home you read
Just gives you the blues
Just gives you the blues

So I bought me a ticket
I caught a plane to Spain
Went to a party down a red dirt road
There were lots of pretty people there
Reading Rolling Stone, reading Vogue
They said, "How long can you hang around?"
I said a week, maybe two
Just until my skin turns brown

Then I'm going home to California
California I'm coming home
Oh will you take me as I am
Strung out on another man
California, I'm coming home...."
Joni Mitchell Ladies of the Canyon This is from Mitchell's third album "Ladies of the Canyon," which was released in 1970. The canyon is Laurel Canyon, in the hills above Hollywood.


"Trinna wears her wampum beads
She fills her drawing book with lines
Sweing lace on widows weeds
And filagree on leaf and vine
Vine and leave are filagree
And her coats a second hand one
Trimmed in antique luxury
She is a lady of the canyon

Annie sits you down to eat
She always makes you welcome in
Cats and babies round her feet
And all are fat and none are thin
None are thin and all are fat
She may bake some brownies today
Saying, you are welcome back
She is another canyon lady

Estrella circus girl
Comes wrapped in songs and gypsy shalws
Songs like tiny hammers hurled
At bevelled mirrors in empty halls
Empty halles and bevelled mirrors
Sailing seas and climbing banyans
Come out for a visit here
To be a lady of the canyon

Trinna takes her pains and her threads
And she weaves a pattern all her own
Annie bakes her cakes and her breads
And she gathers flowers for her home
For her home she gathers flowers
And Estrella, dear companion
Colors up the sunshine hours
Pouring music down the canyon
Coloring the sunshine hours
They are the ladies of the canyon"
Joni Mitchell Trouble Child This jazzy pop song is from Mitchell's 1974 album "Court and Spark."


"Up in a sterilized room
Where they let you be lazy
Knowing your attitude's all wrong
And you got to change
And that's not easy
Dragon shining with all values known
Dazzling you, keeping you from your own
Where is the lion in you to defy him
When you're this weak
And this spacey

So what are you going to do about it
You can't live life and you can't leave it
Advice and religion, you can't take it
You can't seem to believe it
The peacock is afraid to parade
You're under the thumb of the maid
You really can't give love in this condition
Still you know how you need it

They open and close you
Then they talk like they know you
They don't know you
They're friends and they're foes, too
Trouble child
Breaking like the waves at Malibu

So why does it come as such a shock?
To know you really have no one
Only a river of changing faces
Looking for an ocean
They trickle through your leaky plans
Another dream over the dam
And you're lying in some room
Feeling like your right to be human
Is going over too
Well, some are going to knock you
And some'll try to clock you
You know it's really hard
To talk sense to you
Trouble child
Breaking like the waves at Malibu"
Keb Mo House in California Keb Mo, or Kevin Moore, is a Nashville-based blues guitarist whose been around for a while. This is off his 2004 Grammy Award-winning album "Keep it Simple." I don't think he'd have written the same lyrics after the housing bubble burst in 2008, especially in So Cal. More references here to good weather and earthquakes...


"He said, 'boy you got to be a big time actor or a corporate lawyer,
if you want to buy a house in California!'

Cause it don’t snow and it don’t rain,
ever’ day looks the same,
and before you pack your thangs,
let me warn ya’,
It’s the land of milk and honey,
but you better have good money,
If you’re lookin’ for a house in California!
Well I got me a job, my wife’s got two,
kids flippin’ burgers at the local drive-thru,
We all doin’ everything we can,
we savin’ for a house in California.
Then one day the bank starts shakin’,
the sky went dark and the earth was a quakin’
Then o’r night, it became alarmin’,
how the price dropped on a house in California!
Well it needs a roof and it needs a floor,
yeah yeah, it’s a real fixer-upper,
Friends back east said somebody should have warned ya,
about buyin’ my big house in California."
Van Morrison St. Dominic's Preview This is a classic Van Morrison song from his1972 album with same title as the song. He names several locations from different times in his life, including San Francisco, where the album was recorded. "St. Dominic's" is also a Catholic church in San Francisco.
Another song on the album "Redwood Tree" is about taking shelter under a redwood tree, maybe one in Marin County where Morrison was living at the time.


"Shammy cleaning all the windows,
Singing songs about Edith Piaf's soul.
And I hear blue strains of "no regredior"
Across the street from Cathedral Notre Dame.

Meanwhile back in San Francisco
We're trying hard to make this whole thing blend,
As we sit upon this jagged
Storey block, with you my friend.

And it's a long way to Buffalo.
It's a long way to Belfast city too.
And I'm hoping the choice won't blow the hoist
'cos this town, they bit off more than they can chew.

As we gaze out on, as we gaze out on
As we gaze out on, as we gaze out on
Saint Dominic's Preview
Saint Dominic's Preview
Saint Dominic's Preview...."
Bill Morrissey Barstow Bill Morrissey was a folk singer based in New Hampshire. This is from his first album "Bill Morrissey" released in 1994.


"Well here comes Parks and he's found another bottle
He tips it up like a trumpet: he takes a drink and passes it on
And every man 'round the fire takes a course on the bottle
It ain't much, it ain't good, but it'll get us through 'til dawn

Don't the freight yards sound like a drunk in a metal shop?
I can't believe it gets this cold in Barstow
And I can't believe I pissed my twenties away
Well if ya take me back this time, baby I promise you I'll stay

Then Parks takes another drink and he starts to sing off key
There's not a man big enough 'round the fire to shut him up
An in the cold morning he's sayin' "Hey Okie tell Arkie, Texas found a job in California
And everybody around the fire cracks up...."
Motels, The So L.A. The Motels is an L.A. new wave band that had some hits in 1982 and 1983 and eventually was re-formed with the name Martha Davis and The Motels. This song, drenched in cheezy 80's synthesizer sounds, is from their third album "All Four One" released in 1982.


"Walk of the town on a sunburned night
Keep in mind the dream so nice
Walk of the night that seemed so new
All of it is up to you

Jimmy cracked when he came out here
Precious dream never seemed so clear
Now he practiced a thousand times
The city that should have been his that night

And the man on the corner got something new
And something new is good for you tonight
Oh, oh, it's so so L.A.

Walk of the woman that came to say
She come and walk there every day
Her speciality was you, and she
Dreamed the same but incomplete

And the man on the corner got something new
And something new is good for you tonight
Oh, oh, it's so so L.A.

Walk of time as time goes on
Walk of pain as pain's prolonged
And the dream and the woman and the time and you
Are all very welcome to Hollywood

Cause the man on the corner got something new
And something new is good for you tonight
Oh, oh, it's so so
Oh, oh, it's so so L.A."
Mothers of Invention, The Who Needs the Peace Corps? Frank Zappa and the other Mothers released this song about fake hippies in the Haight on their 1968 classic album "We're Only in it for the Money." I was reminded of it after hearing it in the 1969 film set during the 1968 Chicago Riots "Medium Cool."



"What's there to live for?
Who needs the peace corps?
Think I'll just drop out
I'll go to Frisco
Buy a wig & sleep
On Owsley's floor
Walked past the wig store
Danced at the Fillmore
I'm completely stoned
I'm hippy & I'm trippy
I'm a gypsy on my own
I'll stay a week & get the crabs &
Take a bus back home
I'm really just a phony
But forgive me
'Cause I'm stoned
Every town must have a place
Where phony hippies meet
Psychedelic dungeons
Popping up on every street
Go to San Francisco. . .
How I love ya, How I love ya
How I love ya, How I love ya Frisco!
How I love ya, How I love ya
How I love ya, How I love ya
Oh, my hair is getting good in the back!
Every town must have a place
Where phony hippies meet
Psychedelic dungeons
Popping up on every street

Go to San Francisco . . .
Hotcha!
First I'll buy some beads
And then perhaps a leather band
To go around my head
Some feathers and bells
And a book of Indian lore
I will ask the Chamber Of Commerce
How to get to Haight Street
And smoke an awful lot of dope
I will wander around barefoot
I will have a psychedelic gleam in my eye at all times
I will love everyone
I will love the police as they kick the s**t out of me on the street
I will sleep . . .
I will, I will go to a house
That's, that's what I will do
I will go to a house
Where there's a rock & roll band
'Cause the groups all live together
And I will join a rock & roll band
I will be their road manager
And I will stay there with them
And I will get the crabs
But I won't care
Because . . ."
Mötley Crüe Girls, Girls, Girls Mötley Crüe are an enormously commercially successful heavy metal band formed in L.A. in 1981. But boy do I hate 80s glam metal spandex hair bands, and their videos. This song is from the band's album of the same name, released in 1987. It's an ode to the tremendous contributions made to society by brilliant and successful women all over the world. OK, no it's not. It's just a stupid song about female strippers that, according to Wickipedia, mentions several L.A. strip clubs on the Sunset Strip - The Tropicana, The Body Shop, and Seventh Veil.


"Friday night and I need a fight
My motorcycle and a switchblade knife
Handful of grease in my hair feels right
But what I need to make me tight are

Girls, girls, girls
Long legs and burgundy lips
Girls, girls, girls
Dancin' down on Sunset Strip
Girls, girls, girls
Red lips, fingertips

Trick or treat, sweet to eat
On Halloween and New Year's Eve
Yankee girls you just can't be beat
But you're the best when you're off your feet

Girls, girls, girls
At the Dollhouse in Ft. Lauderdale
Girls, girls, girls
Rocking in Atlanta at Tattletails
Girls, girls, girls
Raising Hell at the Seventh Veil

Have you read the news
In the Soho Tribune
Ya know she did me
Well then she broke my heart

I'm such a good good boy
I just need a new toy
I tell you what, girl
Dance for me
I'll keep you overemployed
Just tell me a story

You know the one I mean
Crazy Horse, Paris, France
Forgot the names, remember romance
I got the photos, a menage a trois
Musta broke those French's laws with those
Girls, girls, girls
At the Body Shop and the Marble Arch
Girls, girls, girls
Tropicana's where I lost my heart
Girls, girls, girls"
Mötley Crüe Saints of Los Angeles This song is from their 2008 album "Saints of Los Angeles."


"Tonight
There's gonna be a fight
So if you need a place to go
Got a two room slum
A mattress and a gun
And the cops don't never show

So come right in
Cuz everybody sins
Welcome to the scene of the crime
You want it, believe it,
We got it if you need it
The devil is a friend of mine

If you think it's crazy
You ain't seen a thing
Just wait until we're goin down in flames

We are, we are the saints
We signed our life away
Doesn't matter what you think
We're gonna do it anyway
We are, we are the saints
One day you will confess
And pray to the saints of Los Angeles

Red line, tripping on land mines
Sippin at the Troubador
Girls passed out, hangin in the back lounge
Thinking everybody's gonna score

She's jacked up, down on her luck
You wan't it, you need it the devil's gonna feed it
Don't cha say it's crazy, you don't know a thing
Just wait untill we're going down in flames

We are, we are the saints
We signed our life away
Doesn't matter what you think
We're gonna do it anyway
We are, we are the saints
One day you will confess
And pray to the saints of Los Angeles...."
Mountain Goats, The Birth of Serpents The Mountain Goats are a band formed in Claremont, California in 1991 by John Darnielle. This song from "All Eternals Deck" released in 2011 includes references to both herps and California. I think we've all seen those rooms with heat lamps and plastic containers full of breeding snakes.


"Let the camera pull back till the fullness of the frame is clear and plain
Peer into the screen until you see it all like a vision in a crystal ball
Let it all fill with smoke
Is this somebody's idea of a joke?

Let the fixer work until the silver's washed away
And take the picture from the tray
Look hard at what you see and then remember you and me
And let the truth spring free
Like a jack-in the box
Like a hundred-thousand cuckoo clocks
From the Oregon corners to the Iowa corn
To the rooms with the heat lamps where the snakes get born

Crawl through the tunnel and follow, follow the light north west
See that young man who dwells inside his body like an uninvited guest
See the tunnel twist
Clutch your birth rite in your fist
Let the camera do its dirty work down there in the dark
Sink low, rise high, bring back some blurry pictures to remember all your darker moments by
Permanent bruises on our knees
Never forget what it felt like to live in rooms like these
From the California coastline to the Iowa corn
To the rooms with the heat lamps where the snakes get born"
Mountain Goats, The Going to Chino This song that sounds like it was commissioned by the Chino City Council comes from "The Hound Chronicles" a cassette-only release from 1992.


"I'd like to say hello to all our friends from Chino
To the people of Chino, hello
I'd like to say hello to all our friends from Chino
To the people of Chino, hello

I know how hard it is down in Chino
I know how you struggle just to get by
I know they got farm fresh eggs down in Chino
And track homes reasonably priced

I'd like to say hello to all our friends from Chino
To the people from Chino, hello
I'd like to say hello to all our friends from Chino
To the people of Chino, hello

Convenient exit to the 60 freeway
Acredited medical care down at Chino Valley Hospital
A unified school system the likes of which you won't find elsewhere
And friendly people

I'd like to say hello to all our friends from Chino
To the people from Chino, hello
I'd just like to say hello to all our friends from Chino
To the people of Chino, hello"
Mountain Goats, The Going to Norwalk This is from "Hot Garden Stomp" a 1993 cassette-only release. I have no idea what these lyrics have to do with Norwalk, but these are the lyrics.


"At one thirty on a Thursday night
I saw a pair of raccoons heading to the gutter
They stopped at the storm drain
Their tails hung down and out of sight
They looked up at me
Their eyes were shining
I thought of you

And I can't stand the way the moon expands and fills out
The corners of your California sky
I can't stand it

The old buildings stood tall against the sky
The windows had old sheets hanging over them doubling as curtains
And the silhouettes moving in the bright lights behind the curtains
Looked like you
I stopped moving momentarily

The world will
Stand still on nights like these
Without any kind of warning
And I can't stand it."
Mountain Goats, The San Bernardino This song is from "Heretic Pride" released in 2008. A man's voice and an acoustic guitar are all that are needed in this sweet song about a couple driving to San Bernardino to give birth in a hotel bathtub.


"We got in your car and we hit the highway
Eastern sun was rising over the mountains
Yellow and blood red bits
like a kaleidoscope

And flaming swords may guard the garden of Eden
But we consulted maps from earlier days
Dead languages on our tongues
Holding on to our last hope And the day was bright and fine
And the highway sign said, 'San Bernardino welcomes you'

I checked us into our hotel and filled the bathtub
And you got in the warm warm water
I pulled petals from my pocket
I loved you so much just then

And it was hard but you were brave, you are splendid
And we will never be alone in this world
no matter what they say
We’re gonna be okay

We were safe inside
and our new son cried,
San Bernardino welcomes you”
Mountain Goats, The This Year From "The Sunset Tree" released in 200, this is an upbeat indie rock song that is great to listen to when you feel like giving up - just sing along with the chorus and try to survive another day.

Mills Avenue is a street in Claremont California, where the singer John Darnielle went to high school, so maybe this song is somewhat autobiographical.


"I broke free on a Saturday morning
I put the pedal to the floor
Headed north on Mills Avenue
And listened to the engine roar

My broken house behind me
And good things ahead
A girl named Cathy
Wants a little of my time
Six cylinders underneath the hood
Crashing and kicking
Aha! Listen to the engine whine

I am going to make it through this year
If it kills me
I am going to make it though this year
If it kills me

I played video games in a drunken haze
I was seventeen years young
Hurt my knuckles punching the machines
The taste of Scotch rich on my tongue

And then Cathy showed up
And we hung out
Trading swigs from a bottle
All bitter and clean
Locking eyes
Holding hands
Twin high maintenance machines

I am going to make it through this year
If it kills me
I am going to make it though this year
If it kills me

I drove home in the California dusk
I could feel the alcohol inside of me hum
Pictured the look on my stepfather's face
Ready for the bad things to come

I down shifted
As I pulled into the driveway
The motor screaming out
Stuck in second gear
The scene ends badly
As you might imagine
In a cavalcade of anger and fear
There will be feasting and dancing
In Jerusalem next year

I am going to make it through this year
If it kills me
I am going to make it though this year
If it kills me"
Move, The California Man The 1972 song by The Move (Roy Wood's band that became The Electric Light Orchestra) with a bunch of classic boogie rock nonsense lyrics about a party where the jive is really cool and he's a California man and can't stop dancing. Or something like that. A hit for Cheap Trick in 1978.


"Goin' to a party,
Meet me on after school.
Well we're goin to a place
Where the jive is really cool.

And if the band stops a playin'
There's a jukebox down the hall.
And with your blue dress on, your folks all gone.
You're sure to give the guys a ball.

Get that real guitar boy shakin',
I'm a California man,
Dance right on till the floors are breakin'
I'm a California man."
Mr. Shadow Look At California This version samples the Maze song.
Mr. Shadow is a Chicano rapper from San Diego.
Mr. T. Experience, The Gilman Street An upbeat fun punk classic from Frank Portman and his Berkeley pop punk band. 924 Gilman Street is an all-ages, not for profit, collective music club started in 1986 in Berkeley where no racist, homophobic, misogynistic, or major label bands are allowed, that was still in operation 26 years later when I put it on this list. The song documents and parodies typical Berkeley grass roots democracy at the same time "you can vote on whether you're gonna vote," and turns it all into an anthem for all young punks and socially conscious do-it-yourselfers everywhere.


"Seems like it was only yesterday
nothing to do and nowhere to play
but we could go down to Gilman Street
and see Op Ivy every week
no violence drugs or alcohol
just maximum rock and roll
at Gilman Street
it's the place to be
it's the seat of the punk rock scene
cause we got the beat
and we don't eat meat
it's a club it's a place it's a thing

and if the band is hell of rad
Tim will start to bounce his head
all the kids will jump up on the stage
and they'll hit the microphone in your face
and you will get a fat lip
you will get a fat lip in the pit

at Gilman Street
it's a safe retreat
for a zillion punk rock bands
cause they've got the club
and it's not enough
but at least it's not Bill Graham
it's Gilman Street

Radley does the sound
Honey watches the door
and James McKinney
sweeps the floor
Isocracy made a mess
we demand nothing less

and if you've got nothing better to do
there's a meeting every Sunday afternoon
you can talk about skinheads at the shows
you can vote on whether you're gonna vote
and you can make a speech
you can rant you can rave
you can preach
at Gilman Street
it's democracy
it's just one big family
it's a bunch of geeks
it's a load of freaks
it's a club it's a place it's a thing
it's Gilman Street."
Shawn Mullins Lullaby Shawn Mullins is an American singer-songwriter originally from Georgia. This talky rock song was a big hit in 1998. It’s all about a girl in LA, but my favorite line describes the city as “Nashville with a tan.”


“She grew up with the children of the stars
In the Hollywood hills and the boulevards
Her parents threw big parties
Everyone was there
They hung out with folks like Dennis Hopper and Bob Seger and
Sonny and Cher

She feels safe now in this bar on Fairfax
And from the stage I can tell that she can't let go and she can't relax
And just before she hangs her head to cry
I sing to her a lullaby
I sing:

Everything's gonna be all right
Rock-a-bye, rock-a-bye
Everything's gonna be all right
Rock-a-bye, rock-a-bye, rock-a-bye

She still lives with her mom outside the city
Down that street about a half a mile
And all her friends tell her she's so pretty
But she'd be a whole lot prettier if she smiled once in a while
'Cause even her smile looks like a frown
She's seen her share of devils in this angel town

Everything's gonna be all right
Rock-a-bye, rock-a-bye
Everything's gonna be all right
Rock-a-bye, rock-a-bye, rock-a-bye

I told her I ain't so sure about this place
It's hard to play a gig in this town and keep a straight face
Seems like everybody's got a plan
It's kind of like Nashville with a tan

Everything's gonna be all right
Rock-a-bye, rock-a-bye
Everything's gonna be all right
Rock-a-bye, rock-a-bye, rock-a-bye”
My Morning Jacket One Big Holiday One of the best from this great great band from Kentucky, from their 2003 lp, "It Still Moves."


"Wakin' up feelin' good and limber
when the telephone it ring.
Was a bad man from California
tellin' of a stone he'd bring
and of better days.
From this town, we'd escape.
If we holler loud and make our way
we'd all live one big holiday."
N
Leona Naess Charm Attack Leona Naess is a singer-songwriter from the UK. This is from her debut album "Comatised" which was released in 2000.


"He's the kind of guy who's always passin' by
And never has time to spend
And he'll take you for a spin
And won't look within to find out who you are
And he numbs himself with weed, he's from the coldest breed
Who judge by what they see
And I thought he was smart enough to know that the girl on his arm will
Never calm his storms

Watch out! He'll charm you.
Smoother than the L.A. weather, that's how he holds himself together
He's colder than the winter, I wrap my coat around to better
Counteract his charm attack that leaves me hungry well,
I'm no savior, but I tried to save you
Ooh... my... love
It's raging high inside

And he has his minions with no real opinions
‘cause they only walk on glass
And your lies become the truth
And give me proof that you really care
And with your gorgeous friend you have the world so dim
Believe an and everything you say

Watch out! He'll charm you.

Smoother than the L.A. weather, that's how he holds himself together
He's colder than the winter, I wrap my coat around to better
Counteract his charm attack that leaves me hungry well,
I'm no savior, but I tried to save you
Ooh... my... love
It's raging high inside...."
Narrative, The California Sun The Narrative is an indie pop rock band formed in Long Island in 2008. This song is from their 2016 album "Golden Silence." The singer of this song is upset that his friend took a trip to California and isn't coming back. He thinks that everybody in California spends all day shootin' off their guns, drugged up, passed out in the sun by a pool full of women at a big house in the hills with a fancy car in the driveway. Oh come on!
Sure, that's an amazingly accurate description of my life, but not everybody in California lives that way!


"California sun
I wish I was relaxing there with you
California sun
We're just swimmin' in women and shootin' off our guns

And I wish I could be someone else
I wish I could be anyone else but me sometimes I do
And I wish I could be like you
I wish I could be drugged up passed out by the pool
Just like you

Ahh

I bet a twenty dollar bill
I bet a twenty dollar bill you don't come home
No, I bet a hundred dollar bill
I bet a hundred dollar bill you don't come home
'cause you won't

And I could use a fancy car
I could use a big old house up on the hills
And sugar let me tell you I could definitely sell you on this
If you will listen to me still
And you will

Ahh

But I won't waste my energy
'cause these words won't buy me anything
And even if I close my eyes
The California sun will rise

Ahh

It feels good with the sun in your life
The good vibes and the golden silence
It feels good to be good to your vice
Burn it into the back of your eyelids"
Matt Nathanson Kinks Shirt Matt Nathanson is a singer-songwriter from Massachusetts who has been recording since the early 1990's. This song was released in 2013. I assume he lives or lived in San Francisco based on the oddly specific intersection he mentions which is in the Sunset district a block south of Golden Gate Park and includes a Starbucks, a gas station, a Bank, a deli, a flower shop, a Pizza joint, a Vietnamese noodle house, and a nail salon. I'm guessing he wants to meet at the nail salon to fix those chipped red fingernails.


"Rent love, run in circles.
Sweet fiction silhouette.
Meet me at 9th and irving,
Let’s do things we can both regret.

It’s all there in your chipped red fingernails.
It’s all there in the twist of your pigtails.

It’s the way she walks,
The way she talks,
Can’t stop thinking
About the girl in the kinks shirt.
Take me home, San Francisco.
Can’t stop thinking about the girl in the kinks shirt.
You and my imagination,
You and my imagination,
You and my imagination,
Can’t stop thinking about the girl in the kinks shirt.

Sidewalk mariachis,
I see you in your party dress.
Played out sid and nancy,
Bring on the apocalypse.

Don’t need no songs playing on the radio,
Get my truth from your thrift store halo.

Getting what you want can break your heart.

It’s the way she walks,
The way she talks,
Can’t stop thinking
About the girl in the kinks shirt.
Take me home, San Francisco.
Can’t stop thinking about the girl in the kinks shirt...."
National, The Pink Rabbits The National is a critically acclaimed indie rock band from Cincinnati formed in 1999 that found their way to Brooklyn like so many bands. This song is from their sixth studio album "Trouble Will Find Me" released in 2013. It doesn't seem to be about California but it does name check Los Angeles.


"I couldn't find quiet
I went out in the rain
I was just soakin' my head to unrattle my brain
Somebody said you disappeared in a crowd
I didn't understand then
I don't understand now

Am I the one you think about when you're sitting in your faintin' chair drinking pink rabbits?
Am I the one you think about when you're sitting in your faintin' chair drinking pink rabbits?
... ... ... ...

You didn't see me I was falling apart
I was a white girl in a crowd of white girls in the park
You didn't see me I was falling apart
I was a television version of a person with a broken heart
You didn't see me I was falling apart
I was a white girl in a crowd of white girls in a park
You didn't see me I was falling apart
I was a television version of a person with a broken heart

And everybody was gone
You were standin' in the street 'cause you were trying not to crack up
And bona drag was still on
Now I only think about Los Angeles when the sun kicks out
Now I only think about Los Angeles when the sun kicks out..."
Neighborhood, The Sweater Weather They use the British spelling of "neighborhood" but this Indie Pop band is from California. The song, from their 2013 album "I Love You," was a #1 hit on the Billboard Alternative chart.


"All I am is a man
I want the world in my hands
I hate the beach
But I stand
In California with my toes in the sand
Use the sleeves of my sweater
Let's have an adventure
Head in the clouds but my gravity's centered
Touch my neck and I'll touch yours
You in those little high-waisted shorts, oh

She knows what I think about
And what I think about
One love, two mouths
One love, one house
No shirt, no blouse
Just us, you find out
Nothing that I wouldn't wanna tell you about, no

'Cause it's too cold
For you here and now
So let me hold
Both your hands in the holes of my sweater...."
Willie Nelson and Lee Ann Womack Mendocino County L