Disease-covered Puget Sound
July 29, 2014 1:47 PM   Subscribe

Can you recommend songs about Washington and/or Seattle that portray it in a non-negative light?

I just moved away from California last month and realized recently that one of the things that makes me most wistful about leaving is that I keep listening to and thinking about songs about my old city and state...just because they happen to be some of my favorite songs.

The only Seattle song I know offhand is "Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle"...not exactly a ringing endorsement. And I visited people in Olympia last weekend and had Hole's "Rock Star" stuck in my head the whole time. I know there have to be some songs out there that portray positive (or, like...at least neutral!) feelings about my new region! Please recommend your favorites.
posted by town of cats to Media & Arts (30 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
It's Perry Como, but: Seattle.
posted by MoonOrb at 1:59 PM on July 29, 2014 [4 favorites]

U.S.E. - Emerald City
posted by troika at 2:15 PM on July 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Sir Mix-a-Lot's ode to his hometown could be seen in a number of different lights, but I prefer to think of it as his love letter to the two oh six: Seattle Ain't Bullshittin'
posted by MoonOrb at 2:19 PM on July 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

It's about Tacoma and it points out some negative points but I have always loved the song for its positive attitude towards the place.
Neko Case - Thrice All American
posted by Seamus at 2:20 PM on July 29, 2014 [9 favorites]

Jeffrey Lewis - Seattle (more neutral than anything else, I guess?)
posted by troika at 2:20 PM on July 29, 2014

Blue Scholars - Joe Metro

Never been to Seattle and not sure this is what you're looking for exactly, but I've been listening to this lately because it's a great song about public transit (of all things) and it includes the refrain "The Northwest fills the lungs, heals the pain in my chest" which always makes me want to take off and go breathe some rainy Seattle air.
posted by sunset in snow country at 2:34 PM on July 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

Also about Tacoma, also awesome: Girl Trouble's "My Hometown".
posted by pdb at 2:38 PM on July 29, 2014

Also, Blue Scholars - North by Northwest

Just about any Blue Scholars really.
posted by humboldt32 at 2:45 PM on July 29, 2014 [3 favorites]

Robyn Hitchcock's "Viva! Sea Tac", assuming that you like computers, coffee and heroin.
posted by ubiquity at 2:51 PM on July 29, 2014 [4 favorites]

Can you handle Macklemore? How about White Walls? I don't know which bridge in Seattle he's talking about, but the beat in those lines perfectly matches the rhythm car tires make when they drive across bridges.
posted by umwhat at 2:51 PM on July 29, 2014

"Viva Seatac" - Robyn Hitchcock ("Viva Seattle-Tacoma, viva viva Seatac")
posted by dayintoday at 2:52 PM on July 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Roll on Columbia is the “official” Washington State Folksong. Woody Guthrie 1941
he Old Settler (a.k.a. Acres of Clams), the “unofficial” Washington State Folksong, Francis Henry of Pierce County around 1874
And more.
posted by Ideefixe at 3:06 PM on July 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Posse on Broadway" is also about Seattle.
posted by grouse at 3:06 PM on July 29, 2014 [4 favorites]

Soundgarden - Sub Pop Rock City
posted by porn in the woods at 3:13 PM on July 29, 2014

You don't even want to know how long I've used Owl City -- Hello Seattle as a cheerful wake up alarm. It also plays in my head when I'm on an airplane heading home.
posted by foxfirefey at 3:14 PM on July 29, 2014 [3 favorites]

Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Posse on Broadway" is also about Seattle.

Indeed, my wife (who moved from Seattle from out of state a few years back) was tickled to realize at one point that she was "rollin' Rainier" like Mix-a-Lot's posse. And then her first job was actually on Broadway.
posted by kindall at 3:47 PM on July 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Neko Case - Red Tide
posted by Foam Pants at 4:12 PM on July 29, 2014

Move to Bremerton by MxPx!
posted by Requiax at 5:31 PM on July 29, 2014

I actually don't recall watching it, it is probably cheezy and teh suck, but It Happened at the World's Fair may have upbeat tunes relating to Seattle. "Elvis swinging higher than the Space Needle." (Now I'll have to go watch it).
posted by Fortnight Bender at 5:52 PM on July 29, 2014

Walk on the Ocean - Toad the Wet Sprocket is about Whidbey Island, north of Seattle.
posted by Lokheed at 5:56 PM on July 29, 2014

Also the state song. (Cough, as a native I got goosebumps)

Washington My Home
posted by Fortnight Bender at 6:00 PM on July 29, 2014

Todd Snider's Talking Seattle Grunge Rock Blues
posted by Pangloss at 6:02 PM on July 29, 2014

I love Volcano by Presidents of the United States of America: it's a fun song that mentions the Puget Sound and, therefore, may or may not be what you're looking for.

I second the Neko Case suggestion and would also recommend the artists on Olympia-based K Records, which has a proud and positive PNW heritage.
posted by smorgasbord at 6:25 PM on July 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Even better: the pop-punk cover of "Washington My Home" by local boys Sicko.
posted by skycrashesdown at 6:36 PM on July 29, 2014

Just a silly PSA song but it is pretty catchy. I love thinking of Washington as a place where people just take the flu vaccine already, dang it!

And a classic for Puget Sound area natives: Do the Puyallup

I grew up in CA but visited the Sea-Tac area every year. It always felt like home.
The Puyallup song fills me with memories: shooting with my grandpa, walking up the mossy stairs to the back door, the musty basement, the toy drawer with 20 to 30 year old toys. Driving with my mom to the Grove of the Ancients. The beginnings of my love affair with thrift shops and old books at the antique store by my grandparents house. No real memories of going to the fair though, ha.

There is also the terrible Seattle hair metal band "Uncle Sam" who took a break from patriotic Ronald Reagan themed metal to record an ode to Seattle called "Seattle (My Hometown)". Thats a soundcloud link. If you're anything like me you'll find yourself spending 10 minutes googling it every time you want to show someone the song, then declining to download it because it's so bad.
posted by kittensofthenight at 6:37 PM on July 29, 2014

On a more self serious tip, Wolves in the Throne room, referred to as a Cascadian metal band, are from Olympia and there music and ethics are strongly associated with the Northwest history of environmental activism/paganism, etc.

This is a classic song: I will lay down my body among the rocks and roots.
posted by kittensofthenight at 6:50 PM on July 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Ideefixe has mentioned Woody Guthrie already, and this song is not focused on the Seattle area, but it's still an awesome song. Guthrie wrote this one for hire for the Bonneville Power Administration.
Grand Coulee Dam
posted by Nerd of the North at 6:54 PM on July 29, 2014

Also, a great song about a Seattle that no longer really exists: Aurora Bridge, by the Young Fresh Fellows.
posted by pdb at 8:22 PM on July 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Catchy theme song (earworm warning!) from a really old TV show: "Here Come The Brides."
The bluest skies you've ever seen, in Seattle. And the hills the greenest green, in Seattle. Like a beautiful child, growing up, free and wild...
posted by evilmomlady at 6:54 PM on July 30, 2014

Don't forget Robyn Hitchcock's other song about Seattle: Belltown Ramble.
posted by jeffamaphone at 2:34 PM on August 5, 2014

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