Bonus points for using the phrase "redd up"
March 31, 2010 6:54 AM   Subscribe

Looking for songs that reference Pittsburgh.

Already thought of:

Talking Heads, "Life During Wartime"
Simon & Garfunkel, "America"
James Brown, "Living in America"
posted by Chrysostom to Media & Arts (32 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Not to paint this place in a horrible light or anything, but Pete Seeger's "Pittsburgh Town".
posted by another zebra at 6:56 AM on March 31, 2010

Phish, "Bittersweet Motel"

halfway between erie and Pittsburgh
you put me through hell
on the highway to the bittersweet motel
posted by Perplexity at 6:57 AM on March 31, 2010

Fountains of Wayne - "Radiation Vibe"
posted by cac at 7:01 AM on March 31, 2010

My aunt had 9 year old me convinced that Billy Joel's "It's Still Rock and Roll To Me" referenced Pittsburgh: "gonna cruise the Miracle Mile".

The Miracle Mile is a shopping center in Monroeville, a suburb of Pittsburgh. Probably not the reference Billy was making.
posted by dforemsky at 7:03 AM on March 31, 2010

Chuck Berry, Sweet Little Sixteen: "They're really rocking in Boston, in Pittsburgh, Pa."
posted by chinston at 7:06 AM on March 31, 2010

If you've never heard Ceann, you're missing out. Such gems as "Pittsburgh Makes Me Drunk."
posted by bfranklin at 7:11 AM on March 31, 2010

Nanci Griffith, "The Flyer"
("did I leave my heart in Pittsburgh")

Kool Keith, "New York City"
("Bitch you need to get out the boroughs/and move to Kansas or Pittsburgh or somethin")

Christina Aguilera, "I Will Be"
("all the things that you never expected to see from little old me, this Pittsburgh girl")

Charlie Daniels Band, "In America"
"You just go and lay your hand/on a Pittsburgh Steelers fan/and I think you will finally understand")

Chris Rea, "I Can Hear Your Heartbeat"
("From the mills way down in Pittsburgh/to the clubs of Gay Paree)

Traveling Wilburys, "Margarita"
("It was in Pittsburgh, late one night/Lost my hat, got into a fight")

(Disclaimer: is a beautiful thing)
posted by dlugoczaj at 7:14 AM on March 31, 2010

They Might Be Giants - Pittsburgh (intro by John Hodgman)
posted by namewithoutwords at 7:15 AM on March 31, 2010

Frank Black, "I'm Not Dead (I'm in Pittsburgh)" ("like the weeds in all the cracks/all my memories come back/like some Allegheny smack in the face")
posted by 2or3things at 7:15 AM on March 31, 2010

The Outcasts: I'm in Pittsburgh (And It's Raining) - available here.
posted by ryanshepard at 7:19 AM on March 31, 2010

The Gathering Field's "Lost it in the Sun" has the line "I took a plane from Worcester back to Pittsburgh" in the chorus. They're semi-local though.
posted by librarianamy at 7:23 AM on March 31, 2010

Johnny Cash's "I've been everywhere" and Elvis Costello's "Sulphur and sugarcane" both list Pittsburgh in their lists of cities.
posted by librarianamy at 7:26 AM on March 31, 2010

Depending on how broad of a definition you want to take, The Clarks' song "Cigarette" has:
It houses circus freaks, temptation and the Fayette County Fair
And it reeks of love gone sour, suspicion and big hair

posted by librarianamy at 7:33 AM on March 31, 2010

The Clarks'

They're from Pittsburgh, so I think a lot of their songs reference the area.
posted by backseatpilot at 7:36 AM on March 31, 2010

A Good Man is Hard to Find (Pittsburgh) by Bruce Springsteen.
posted by Houstonian at 7:38 AM on March 31, 2010

Clarks/Gathering Field: Yeah, I guess I should have qualified that, since I'm already familiar with the local guys. And I am kicking myself over Charlie Daniels.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:41 AM on March 31, 2010

Six Days on the Road.
posted by Wordwoman at 7:46 AM on March 31, 2010

Pittsburgh by Mason Jennings.
posted by backwards guitar at 7:47 AM on March 31, 2010

Hem - "Reservoir"

"Just outside of Pittsburgh, it's really not that far
Saw a light come shining 'cross the reservoir"
posted by octothorpe at 7:53 AM on March 31, 2010

Oh man, I have an obscure country song for ya! Pittsburgh Stealers by The Kendalls. It contains the classic lines:

They could call us the Pittsburgh stealers
Stealing happiness and cheating anytime we can
We both know the score but we run back for more

What could be better than a homophone playing off the name of the football team that is synonymous with PGH?!?!
posted by kuppajava at 8:13 AM on March 31, 2010

Oh, and here's an amusing YouTube video of the 45RPM recording of Pittsburgh Stealers playing on a turntable. Seriously!
posted by kuppajava at 8:20 AM on March 31, 2010

John Gorka - "Grand Larceny"
"Pittsburgh has the Steelers and the Pirates and the Thieves"
posted by octothorpe at 8:26 AM on March 31, 2010

Crawlin' Low Band - Butler

I know at least one of their songs has 'redd up' in it but I can't find online versions.

Look for some of the other classic locals like Donnie Iris and Norm Nardini. I would expect they use this and other local colloquialisms in, at least, every third song.
posted by Raichle at 10:01 AM on March 31, 2010

Chuck Berry's "Sweet Little Sixteen".
("They're really rockin' in Boston/ Pittsburgh, PA")
I'm kinda surprised no one's said that one yet.
posted by frodisaur at 11:03 AM on March 31, 2010

There are, of course, different versions of the "Here We Go" Pittsburgh Steelers song. I remember having to sing one of them during music class in 1996.
posted by amicamentis at 11:05 AM on March 31, 2010

My computer's "radio station" just decided to play Memphis Slim's "Harlem Bound". It mentions Pittsburgh. ("All aboard...Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Newark, New Jersey, New York City")
posted by frodisaur at 11:28 AM on March 31, 2010

Well... there's a song called Pittsburgh, by The Lemonheads. Does that count?
posted by 2oh1 at 12:07 PM on March 31, 2010

Here's the Kendalls doing "Pittsburgh Steelers" live.

The Kendalls were great, hard-core country. A father-daughter duo who specialized in cheatin' songs.
posted by timeistight at 1:35 PM on March 31, 2010

Another one I thought of last night - Todd Snider - America's Favorite Pastime, about Doc Ellis' no-hitter.
posted by backwards guitar at 8:13 AM on April 1, 2010

Morrissey - On the Streets I Ran

And when the palmist said
"One Thursday you will be dead"
I said: "No, not me, this cannot be
Dear God, take him, take them, take anyone
The stillborn
The newborn
The infirm
Take anyone
Take people from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Just spare me!"
posted by oreofuchi at 9:38 PM on April 26, 2010

U.S. Steel by Tom Russell (ok, it's Homestead, not Pittsburgh, but it's close)

"Homestead Pennsylvania, the home of U.S. Steel
And the men down at the Homestead Works
Are sharing one last meal
Sauerkraut and kielbasa, a dozen beers or more
A hundred years of pouring slab,
They�re closing down the door
And this mill won�t run no more"
posted by njm at 7:57 PM on May 23, 2010

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