MixtapeFilter: Geography
August 22, 2009 2:54 PM   Subscribe

I'm making a CD for a party whose theme is "Around the World" and I need ideas. I'm looking for popular songs that would go over well at a party of 20-somethings and are about specific geographical places, preferably outside of the U.S. I know I'm missing some obvious ones.

Some examples:
Men At Work - Land Down Under
Toto - Africa
Murray Head - One Night in Bankok
Animaniacs - Wakko's World
They Might Be Giants - Istanbul
posted by natabat to Media & Arts (60 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
The Clash - London Calling
posted by FishBike at 3:01 PM on August 22, 2009

shout out louds - normandie

fleet foxes - mykonos
posted by freddymetz at 3:01 PM on August 22, 2009

"Werewolves of London" by Warren Zevon.
posted by Jahaza at 3:01 PM on August 22, 2009

One Night in Beijing - Chen Sheng (Chinese but he sings that line in English)
posted by Abiezer at 3:08 PM on August 22, 2009

This might not be exactly what you're looking for, but the Super Furry Animals song "(Drawing) Rings Around the World" would be a great addition. Plus it's great party music.
posted by farishta at 3:09 PM on August 22, 2009

You might also play "Around the World" by Daft Punk, which has no lyrics.
posted by Countess Elena at 3:09 PM on August 22, 2009

Nantes: (by) Beirut
posted by lhude sing cuccu at 3:09 PM on August 22, 2009

Sorry, forgot this link.
posted by farishta at 3:09 PM on August 22, 2009

"Chicago"-Sufjan Stevens
"Lovers in Japan"-Coldplay
"Cemeteries of London"-Coldplay
"Broadway"- Goo Goo Dolls
"Waking Up in Vegas (maybe?)" -Katy Perry
"New York"-U2
"Drops of Jupiter (maybe?)" -Train

(I just noticed you want mostly out of the US, hopefully these still help)
posted by kylej at 3:11 PM on August 22, 2009

Actually, Around the World does have lyrics... well *a* lyric, anyways.

How about Hong Kong by Gorillaz.
posted by martens at 3:13 PM on August 22, 2009

"whole wide world" -Wreckless Eric
posted by newpotato at 3:17 PM on August 22, 2009

"Country Leaver"-Dandy Warhols
posted by newpotato at 3:20 PM on August 22, 2009

Born in the USSR.

I don't care if they're only 20, it's a classic.
posted by SLC Mom at 3:21 PM on August 22, 2009

See The World - The Kooks
Ordinary World - Duran Duran
Leaders of the Free World - Elbow
Fill My Little World - The Feeling
You Held The World in Your Arms - Idlewild
The World We Live In - The Killers
Save The World, Get The Girl - The King Blues
Other Side of The World - KT Tunstall
Around the World - Red Hot Chili Peppers

Paris - Friendly Fires
Moving To New York - The Wombats
Fake Tales of San Francisco - Arctic Monkeys
Munich - Editors
Manhattan - Kings of Leon
California Waiting - Kings of Leon
The District Sleeps Alone Tonight - Postal Service
Oxford Comma - Vampire Weekend
Welcome to Mali - Amadou & Mariam
Haiti - Arcade Fire
Ch-Ch-Check It Out - Beastie Boys (off the album To The 5 Boroughs, so a bit tenuous)
Wisconsin - Bon Iver
posted by djgh at 3:22 PM on August 22, 2009

Panama - Van Halen
posted by Frank Grimes at 3:24 PM on August 22, 2009

Amsterdam - Guster
Cemetaries of London - Coldplay
Lovers in Japan - Coldplay
Paris - Yael Naim

Sorry about all the Coldplay.

Might You Belong to Me work? I like Jason Wade's version.

Also suggesting Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's cover of What A Wonderful World and this totally fun cover of Down Under by the Red Army Choir!
posted by moonshine at 3:26 PM on August 22, 2009

Paul McCartney - Mull of Kintyre
The Tragically Hip - Bobcaygeon
Eric Johnson - Cliffs of Dover
The Arcade Fire - Haiti
Sloan - The N.S.
The Beach Boys - Kokomo
The Beatles -Back in the USSR
CSNY - Marrakesh Express
The Joel Plaskett Emergency - Love This Town
Joe Strummer and Mescalaros - Bhindi Bhagee (the whole Global A Go-Go album probably has a lot of appropriate stuff)
posted by Midnight Rambler at 3:27 PM on August 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

"I've Been Everywhere" by Johnny Cash. It's about places in the U.S. But it covers quite a few.
posted by sacrifix at 3:28 PM on August 22, 2009

Chinese Vacation - Steve Poltz
Hello Bonjour - Michael Franti & Spearhead (not specific, but worldly in its own way)
Back in the USSR - The Beatles
Kokomo - Beach Boys
Rivers of Babylon - The Melodians
Holiday in Cambodia - Dead Kennedys
Turning Japanese - The Vapors
Mexico - The Refreshments
Country Roads - John Denver (a coming home song)

There are tons of others, but that's a pretty good half hour of music if I do say so myself. :)
posted by speeb at 3:29 PM on August 22, 2009

Sahara Electrik - Lem Chaheb and Dissidenten - Algerian rai and Berlin post-punk
posted by Abiezer at 3:30 PM on August 22, 2009

Ohio - Modest Mouse
Mexico - James Taylor
posted by illenion at 3:34 PM on August 22, 2009

I'm too old -- most of these will not hit with yr. average 20-something, but here's a few, anyway:

Little Feat - Time Loves a Hero (mentions Puerto Rico) & New Delhi Freight Train
Michael Nesmith - Rio
The Band - Look Out Cleveland (U.S., I know, but a great song)
David Bowie - The Secret Life Of Arabia
The Clash - Rock The Casbah
Midnight Oil - Stars Of Warburton
Led Zeppelin - Kashmir
Peter Gabriel - Solsbury Hill
The Police - Tea In The Sahara
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:40 PM on August 22, 2009

See the World - Gomez
Girl from Ipanema - Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto
San Francisco - Brett Dennen
New Madrid - Uncle Tupelo (Jeff Tweedy)
Goin' to Acapulco - Bob Dylan (also covered by Calexico)
Denmark Street - The Kinks
Impossible Germany - Wilco
posted by Andy's Gross Wart at 3:42 PM on August 22, 2009

"Katmandu" by Bob Seger
"One Great City! (I Hate Winnipeg)" by the Weakerthans
"Istanbul/Constantinople" cover by They Might Be Giants
"Bermuda" by the Minutemen
"Let's Go to Fuckin' Hawaii" by the Young Canadians
"Anchorage" by Michelle Shocked
"Big in Japan" by Tom Waits
"Mexican Radio" by Wall of Voodoo
"Sudbury Saturday Night" by Stompin' Tom Connors
"Sandinista!" by the Clash
"Finland" by Monty Python :)
"When Yuba Plays the Rumba on the Tuba Down in Cuba" by the Bonzo Dog Band

New Madrid is in Missouri, BTW...
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:45 PM on August 22, 2009

Countess Elena: it has the perfect lyrics!
posted by phrontist at 3:47 PM on August 22, 2009

The Fall have some some suitable cuts:

Australians in Europe
Chicago, Now!
Edinbourough Man
posted by porn in the woods at 3:51 PM on August 22, 2009

The Waifs - London Still
Songs about Melbourne, Australia (links to songs about Sydney, songs about Australia in general).
posted by jacalata at 4:02 PM on August 22, 2009

Just to clarify - I included "20-something" to describe the party rather than the music. Older songs are fine -- we've already put Rock the Casbah, Solsbury Hill, and Back in the USSR on the list, for instance. I'm looking for mostly upbeat, danceable songs (though not necessarily dance songs, if that makes sense).

jacalata - you get bonus points for the Australia songs, since the inspiration for the theme was an upcoming trip there!
posted by natabat at 4:08 PM on August 22, 2009

Several by Eddie from Ohio. Some are upbeat:

You and Me in a Rowboat to Rio
From Dacca

Bleecker to Broadway
Independence, Indiana
Old Dominion

And you cannot overlook the wonderful collection of Randy Newman's songs about American cities:

I Love L.A.
Louisiana 1927
Burn On - (about Cleveland, with the wonderful refrain: "Burn on, big river, burn on")

Waylon Jennings, Luckenbach, Texas
Waylon Jennings, Abilene
posted by megatherium at 4:20 PM on August 22, 2009

I should be shot for promoting this, but... Paris to Berlin totally meets your criteria.

Senor Coconut's cover of Trans Europe Express is quite danceable. Europa Endlos may not be danceable enough, but would be a good chill out track for a party, and Planet of Visions is sort of a paen to globalism.
posted by phrontist at 4:20 PM on August 22, 2009

"And if Venice was sinking" by Spirit of the West
posted by Jahaza at 4:21 PM on August 22, 2009

where have all the good people gone? - Sam Roberts (names quite a few places)

tripoli - Pinback

el salvador - Athlete

postcards from far away - Coldplay (instrumental)

weighty ghost - Wintersleep

les champs-elysees - Joe Dassin (in French)

london town - Jamie Scott & the Town

manitoba - Tapes n Tapes
posted by gursky at 4:25 PM on August 22, 2009

They Might Be Giants -- "Alphabet Of Nations" (starts around 1:00)
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:29 PM on August 22, 2009

How about April in Paris (Ella on YouTube!
posted by amtho at 4:40 PM on August 22, 2009

One Tree Hill - U2 - about the wonderful city of Auckland, NZ (where I am lucky enough)
posted by chairish at 4:47 PM on August 22, 2009

Murray Head – One Night in Bangkok
Screamin' Jay Hawkins – I Love Paris
The Offspring – Tehran
posted by Busithoth at 4:49 PM on August 22, 2009

Leningrad Cowboys and the Red Army Choir -- "Sweet Home Alabama"

Lisa Stansfield-- "Been Around the World"

The Pogues--"South Australia"
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:50 PM on August 22, 2009

We're From Barcelona by I'm From Barcelona?
posted by Knicke at 5:04 PM on August 22, 2009

"Homecoming"- Kanye West (Chicago)
posted by kylej at 5:04 PM on August 22, 2009

Rockapella - "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?"
posted by Diagonalize at 5:10 PM on August 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

Frank Zappa - Montana
posted by Asbestos McPinto at 5:12 PM on August 22, 2009

Aotearoa by Minuit (sample).
posted by shelleycat at 5:25 PM on August 22, 2009

I was starting a list of California songs for a friend of mine. These are all about places in CA, and there are many, many more that mention it.

California - Hollywood Undead
Hotel California - Less Than Jake
California - Metro Station
Los Angeles is Burning - Bad Religion
LAX - Big D and the Kids Table
Hollywood - Cute Is What We Aim For
Meet Me In California - Plain White Ts
California Love - Tupac Shakur
California Dreamin' - The Mamas & The Papas
California Girls - The Beach Boys
Hotel California - The Eagles
Hotel California (cover) - Less Than Jake
posted by bubsy012 at 5:50 PM on August 22, 2009

Paul Kelly: From St Kilda to Kings Cross
Huge list of songs about places in Australia that I just found while looking for an online reference to "Hobart, City of Love", by Rob Clarkson. You could also use his "English Tourists"
posted by pompomtom at 5:52 PM on August 22, 2009

UB40 - Kingston Town
posted by various at 5:57 PM on August 22, 2009

I'm heading off to the party now -- thanks for all the excellent prompt responses!

Diagonalize gets best answer because that's actually the theme of the party and the song that inspired the question.
posted by natabat at 6:01 PM on August 22, 2009

"Funky Kingston" by Toots & the Maytals and their cover of "Take Me Home, Country Roads".
posted by lemonwheel at 6:14 PM on August 22, 2009

Yay! I shoulda figured that'd be filed under "GLARINGLY OBVIOUS OMISSION!"
posted by Diagonalize at 7:12 PM on August 22, 2009

The insanely catchy Around The World by Aqua?
posted by merocet at 7:57 PM on August 22, 2009

oslo in the summertime - of montreal
rome - phoenix
los angeles i'm yours - the decemberists
posted by jus7brea7he at 8:34 PM on August 22, 2009

Lupe Fiasco - Paris, Tokyo
Ben Folds - Adelaide
posted by teem at 1:14 AM on August 23, 2009

International Dateline - Ladytron
posted by lekvar at 2:53 AM on August 23, 2009

The Cramps - Kizmiaz (last.fm preview)
posted by Su at 5:39 AM on August 23, 2009

Roam If You Want To - B52s
posted by The Whelk at 6:43 AM on August 23, 2009

This thread, Songs About Europe, is probably worth looking at.
posted by backwards guitar at 6:54 AM on August 23, 2009

"Amsterdam" by Scott Walker
"Give My Fond Regards to Lonelyville" and "I Heard Your Voice in Dresden" by Elvis Perkins
"Holland 1945" by Neutral Milk Hotel
"Burning Airlines Give You So Much More" by Brian Eno
"Champs Elysee" by Tippy Canoe and Her Paddlemen
"Love Letter To Japan" by The Bird and the Bee
"Palm Desert" by Van Dyke Parks
"Bar Italia" by Pulp
"Venus" by Television
...and several by Sparks, including "Equator", "I Sold the Mississippi River", and of course the deathless "Sextown USA"
posted by pxe2000 at 7:08 AM on August 23, 2009

Goodbye Babylon - The Black Keys
Tokyo - Bruce Cockburn
The Coldest Night of the Year - Bruce Cockburn (set in Toronto, explicitly mentioned)
Mexico - Cake
Moving to Canada - Cloud Cult
Goin' Down to Dunwich - Darkest of the Hillside Thickets (not a real place, but still)
California Uber Alles & Buzzbomb from Pasadena & Viva Los Vegas- Dead Kennedys
Any number of traditional irish tunes (rocky road to dublin, galway bay, fields of athenrye, The Irish Rover, all those by the Dubliners but there's a million versions)
Last Train to London & All Over the World- Electric Light Orchestra
Germans in Mexico - Electric Six (a two-fer!)
A Machine in India - Flaming Lips
Madagaskar-Roumania & Hats off to Kolpakoff - Gogol Bordello (and many more songs)
Canadian Railroad Trilogy & on Yonge Street - Gordon Lightfoot
Alger - Jean Leloup (in french, though)
Hong Kong Cemetry - Johnny Flynn
Diamonds from Sierra Leone - Kanye West
First we take Manhattan - Leonard Cohen (then we take Berlin)
Berlin - Lou Reed
Australia & Cardiff Afterlife - Manic Street Preachers
Russia on Ice - Porcupine Tree
My girlfriend, who lives in Canada - Avenue Q the musical
YYZ - Rush
I Wanna Go Back To Dixie & In Old Mexico & Lobachevsky & (I'm Spending) Hanukkah in Santa Monica - Tom Lehrer
Johnsburg, Illinois & Telephone Call from Istanbul & Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minnesota & Burma-Shave (sort of) & the whole Night on Earth album - Tom Waits
posted by Lemurrhea at 7:55 AM on August 23, 2009

Sweet Home Chicago - Blues Standard
La Grange - ZZ Top
Lodi, Green River - Creedence Clearwater Revival
Helpless - Neil Young
Running Back to Saskatoon - The Guess Who
Ground Control to Major Tom - heh. maybe... Bowie
posted by cmoj at 2:40 PM on August 23, 2009

Barry White - Rio de Janeiro (Basically, Barry went on vacation in Rio and wrote a song about it, and it sounds like he had a marvelous time.)

Jorge Ben - Taj Mahal
Tom Zé - São, São Paulo (although I prefer Marilia Medinha's version, as "São Paulo, Meu Amor")
The Beatles - Back in the USSR
The Impressions - Man oh Man
The Fiery Furnaces - Tropical Iceland
posted by hydrophonic at 9:28 PM on August 23, 2009

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