Small Town

16 05 2010

I was listening to “Penny Lane” today — which, by the way sounds brilliant in remastered stereo! — one of several of the Beatles’ songs that so adeptly look back at the area of their youth.   I wondered if my hometown, in the Detroit suburbs, had a song that described it, at least implicitly.

The first song that came to mind was “Main Street” by Bob Seger.  But other than mentioning “Main Street,” the song bears no resemblance to where I grew up or where I live now (which, coincidentally, are not far from where Bob Seger was raised.)  That songs about the seedy side of town.  Then, of course, there’s “Detroit Rock City,” which really isn’t about Detroit.  It’s more about a vibe.

John Mellencamp’s “Small Town” kind of fits.  My current town is really a small town surrounded the more urban massive “Detroit metropolitan area.”  It’s still a town within miles and miles of city and the people have that “small town” feel, the good kind, not like a bunch of hayseeds.

It seems like English bands have a lot of songs like this.  Lennon and McCartney, as mentioned, were quite good at writing that kind of song.  The Kinks’ entire Village Green Preservation Society album is built around the theme of the then-vanishing 19th century English lifestyle.  My suspicion is that there are more American songs out there to be found.

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16 05 2010

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