Help with my mix cd while not mocking our musical tastes
March 23, 2007 9:06 AM   Subscribe

Fun roadtrippy songs that mention the states of Louisiana and/or Alabama (or cities therin) prominently? Bonus: showtunes that do so!

I'm going on an Easter road trip between New Orleans and Mobile, Alabama with a friend and her two children.

We would like to make a mix cd for the trip made up of upbeat, child-appropriate songs (no language, not too heavy sounding) that mention either Louisiana or Alabama OR New Orleans or Mobile prominently in their lyrics.

Being musical theatre geeks, I'd also love to include some showtunes that also fit this criteria.

MeFites, please help!
posted by elkerette to Media & Arts (46 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Lots of old Randy Newman songs do, and they're fantastic. A couple that come to mind:

Dixie Flyer

"Dr. King" is a VERY cheesy song by Mason Jennings that mentions Alabama.
posted by ORthey at 9:11 AM on March 23, 2007

There's always that Skynyrd classic, Sweet Home Alabama. More of a redneck anthem than a show tune, sorry.
posted by brain cloud at 9:14 AM on March 23, 2007

"Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man" by Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty
posted by skwm at 9:15 AM on March 23, 2007

Well, there's always Sweet Home Alabama.

You could also include "Ol' Man River" from the musical Showboat, which is about the Mississippi river. Melvin Franklin's version is upbeat.
posted by donajo at 9:16 AM on March 23, 2007

"Jambalaya" Hank Williams
posted by miss lynnster at 9:16 AM on March 23, 2007

"Amos Moses" by Jerry Reed
posted by Uncle Jimmy at 9:17 AM on March 23, 2007

There's that new cover of the skids song "the saints are coming" by U2 and Green Day. Kind of rockier, but still mentions New Orleans. More info here.
posted by jourman2 at 9:19 AM on March 23, 2007

"Crescent City" by Lucinda Williams.
posted by occhiblu at 9:19 AM on March 23, 2007

Janis Joplin's "Me and Bobby McGee" mentions both Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:22 AM on March 23, 2007

A true oldie in which both states figure prominently: Oh Susannah. Works better if you're traveling east to west.
posted by Snerd at 9:24 AM on March 23, 2007

The City of New Orleans! OK, so it's about a train and not the actual city of New Orleans, but hey, it's awesome!
posted by peep at 9:27 AM on March 23, 2007

There's always "Calling Baton Rouge" by Garth Brooks.
posted by oreonax at 9:32 AM on March 23, 2007

Not exactly kid-friendly, and not a showtune, but Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar) by The Doors.

Also, a radio station here once celebrated independence day by playing at least one song for every state. For alabama they played "Stars Fell on Alabama" by Bilie Holliday and "I May not can See" by Blind Boys of Alabama (I don't know if the song actually mentions the state or not). For Louisiana they played "Louisiana Man" by Lucinda Williams and "Goin' to Louisiana" by John Lee Hooker. I'm pretty sure I heard at least one of the Alabama ones, but I don't remember if it was any good. The station generally has good taste, IMO though, so the songs are probably decent.
posted by gauchodaspampas at 9:41 AM on March 23, 2007

Black Water, Doobie Brothers (It mentions Mississippi but it's about the river). Kids usually love the a cappella ending.

More or less the entire BeauSoleil and Buckwheat Zydeco catalogs.

Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans has been covered by many, including Harry Connick, who is a NO native.
posted by jamaro at 9:42 AM on March 23, 2007

There was a song popular 10 or 11 years ago that mentions Lake Pontchartrain in LA, and for the life of me I can't remember the name of it. I recall it being very-sing-alongable. It was a love song, if that helps, played a lot on whatever was the country station in Los Angeles at the time. Male vocalist.
posted by jvilter at 9:43 AM on March 23, 2007

Two songs from Paul Simon's Graceland, "That Was Your Mother" (standing on a corner in Lafayette) and the title track (Mississippi delta was shining like a national guitar) would be on my list.
posted by katemonster at 9:49 AM on March 23, 2007

new riders of the purple sage "louisiana lady"
posted by bruce at 9:50 AM on March 23, 2007

jvilter, are you thinking of Adalida by George Strait?
posted by katemonster at 9:50 AM on March 23, 2007

Dave Matthews Band - Louisiana Bayou

and I would think that Born on the Bayou by CCR would qualify as a Louisiana kind of song.
posted by worker_bee at 9:51 AM on March 23, 2007

Johnny Horton's "Battle of 1814" is a silly song about the Americans fighting the British in New Orleans. Very upbeat and fun for kids (as long as you don't mind the war theme, but this one is no more warmongering than "Yankee Doodle," really).

Son Volt's Windfall is more mellow, and is actually about driving through Louisiana.

Both are favorite road trip songs for my daughter and pals.
posted by pineapple at 9:57 AM on March 23, 2007

your call as to whether it's appropriate, but house of the rising sun is about new orleans, and i liked it as a kid.
posted by lgyre at 10:01 AM on March 23, 2007

Lucinda Williams' Car Wheels on a Gravel Road has songs that feature that part of the country:

Lake Charles (actually East Texas, but mentions Lake Pontchartrain)

Jackson (mentions Lafayette)

The song "Where is my Love" on West mentions Birmingham.

Not show tunes, but great driving music.
posted by hilby at 10:03 AM on March 23, 2007

I don't remember the lyrics (and therefore how kid-friendly they are) but New Orleans makes me think of Oh Streetcar!.
posted by srah at 10:11 AM on March 23, 2007

"Crescent City" by Lucinda Williams.

Also by Lucinda Williams, though some wander into east Texas... NB, these are bluesy. Clean enough for kids, but not upbeat.

Car Wheels on a Gravel Road
*"Concrete and Barbed Wire"
*"Lake Charles"

"Jackson" is also a song about a road trip, sorta.

*"Bus to Baton Rouge"

Happy Woman Blues
*"Louisiana Man"
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:12 AM on March 23, 2007

Pete Seeger's antiwar classic, Waist Deep in the Big Muddy
posted by hortense at 10:13 AM on March 23, 2007

How about not Louisiana?
posted by srah at 10:18 AM on March 23, 2007

Louisiana by the Walkmen
posted by puritycontrol at 10:23 AM on March 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

Thomas Dolby
I love you goodbye

I would never normally go bowling
On a friday morning in New Orleans
But I like to come here to remember
The kind of places you took me
Like the time we stole a Datsun
And drove all night to the everglades
Until we crashed it in a big electric storm
And stood there listening to the bayou rain

The county sheriff had a hair - lip
Louisiana's pride and joy
He said politley as he cuffed me
"I never busted an English boy ...
But I will accept a contribution
To the Opelousas' Charity Ball
But you better drive this dirty Datsun
Into the Gulf of Mexico"

Under a Cajun moon I lay me open
There is a spirit here that won't be broken
Some words are sad to sing
Some leave me tongue-tied
(But the hardest thing to tell you )
But the hardest words I know
Are I love you goodbye
I love you goodbye

Typhoon Pierre delayed my plane till morning
(Jusqu'au matin)
Let the bontemps rouler from your accordion
Under a cajun moon I lay me open
(Y a un esprit partout)
There is a spirit here that won't be broken
(Simple words are sad to sing
Some words are sad to sing
(They leave me tongue-tied)
Some leave you tongue-tied
(But the hardest thing to tell you my friend)
But the hardest words I know
(Is I love you goodbye)
Are I love you goodbye
(Je t'aime, au revoir)
I love you goodbye
(Je t'aime, toujours)
I love you, goodbye
posted by Salvatorparadise at 10:28 AM on March 23, 2007

I think jvilter is talking about New Orleans Ladies by LeRoux

The Chili Peppers mention Louisiana in Dani California
posted by Carbolic at 10:30 AM on March 23, 2007

"She's My Man" by the Scissor Sisters.
posted by radioamy at 10:50 AM on March 23, 2007

Alabama Getaway - Grateful Dead
Promised Land - Chuck Berry
posted by birdsong at 11:03 AM on March 23, 2007

Battle of New Orleans
posted by anaelith at 11:24 AM on March 23, 2007

Maybe a good version of Let the Good Times Roll on there? It's not explictly about New Orleans, but it is in keeping with the general theme. I love the one by Delbert McClinton. It's very upbeat and fun to sing along to.

Anders Osborne has several really great songs about Louisiana. I personally love Ash Wednesday Blues, but it isn't upbeat. Louisiana Rain should fill the bill, though.

Alabamy Bound - Van Morrison, Lonnie Donegan & Chris Barber or other version
Louisiana Road Song - Tish Hinojosa
Down at the Twist & Shout - Mary Chapin Carpenter
Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight - The Oak Ridge Boys
Louisiana Saturday Night - Mel McDaniel or other version
Evangeline - The Band
posted by diamondsky at 11:59 AM on March 23, 2007

"Jambalaya" - Jellyfish Kiss
posted by owhydididoit at 12:13 PM on March 23, 2007

My absolute favorite song about Louisiana is Louisiana 1927, sung by Aaron Neville. It was played a lot after Hurricane Katrina and it is so moving and beautiful. You can hear it on YouTube here.
posted by HotPatatta at 12:55 PM on March 23, 2007

Don't forget the official state song (written by Jimmie Davis, the singing Governor of Louisiana): "You Are My Sunshine."
posted by miss lynnster at 1:38 PM on March 23, 2007

I can't believe (unless I missed it) that nobody's mentioned Dr. John in connection with New Orleans. My favorites from his Goin' Back to New Orleans album (1992): "My Indian Red" and "Goin' Back to New Orleans," (which also features the Neville Bros.). Both songs are upbeat and fun. On a more mellow note, Dr. John's version of "Basin Street Blues," is a beautiful, bluesy (and now somewhat poignant) tribute to the city.

Sorry none of these are show tunes, but other people already mentioned the ones I could think of :)
posted by DiscourseMarker at 1:53 PM on March 23, 2007

Paul Simon's "That was your mother" on Graceland; it's a great roadtrip song too.
posted by B-squared at 5:09 PM on March 23, 2007

Oh, I totally forgot one of my favorites -- Fats Domino's Walking to New Orleans.
posted by katemonster at 6:30 PM on March 23, 2007

Where I'm From - Shelby Lynne
A beautiful song, with bonus patois/cajun lyrics
Heaven knows this ain't no Margaret Mitchell
where the oak trees meet the pines
I know it might sound kinda simple
oh but it's mine oh it's mine

Thought I heard a logman cuttin' timber
down the Mississippi line
I'm up the old Tombigbee river
high as the pines, all the time

Elegamment les batos passant
ben on la flota vec du van
all I'm trying to say is I'm
never far away from an
Alabama frame of mind

Jubilation risin' on the bayou
celebration in the wind
Father Pat gives benediction
cross the Coden bridge again

Crickets spreadin' rumors by the shoreline
with the lonesome lady whine
crab trap full of nothin
I'm high as the tide, all the time

Elegamment les batos passant
ben on la flota vec du van
all I'm trying to say is I'm
never far away from an
Alabama frame of mind
posted by jtajta at 7:02 PM on March 23, 2007

There's "Seven Bridges Road" as recorded by the Eagles It's about a road in Montgomery, but I'm not sure it's going to fit the mood you're seeking.

Same goes for "Hurricane" by Leon Everette, though I always liked it when I was a kid. (Of course, at that age, one of my favorites on long car trips was Roy Clark's rendition of the dueling banjos from "Deliverance," so...)

"Dixieland Delight" by the group Alabama.

""Kaw-liga"" by Hank Williams (Jr. or Sr.; I believe both have recorded it). The name "Kaw-Liga" comes from "Kowaliga," the name of a Creek in Alabama. Plus, the song and the story it tells are very much associated with the state.
posted by Clay201 at 7:29 PM on March 23, 2007

It's kind of a stretch, but "Blues In the Night," the Johnny Mercer song (which I know Judy Garland did, so it's practically a showtune and clearly childsafe), definitely mentions Mobile.
posted by SoftRain at 9:16 PM on March 23, 2007

"Sweet Chalmette" - Johnny Sketch & The Dirty Notes
"Louisiana Saturday Night" has been covered by lotsa folks
"Angel from Montgomery" - John Prine
"Calling Baton Rouge" has been covered by people other than Garth Brooks if you don't like that version
"Lakes of Ponchartrain" - Be Good Tanyas
"Dorraine of Ponchartrain" - Johnny Cash
"Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again" - Bob Dylan
posted by Frank Grimes at 7:51 AM on March 24, 2007

All of the "Southern Rock Opera" by the Drive By Truckers, or if you have to pick, how about "The three great alabama icons" or Birmingham
posted by Brando_T. at 8:57 AM on March 26, 2007

Katemonster, Adalida it is! (runs off to itunes)
posted by jvilter at 6:36 AM on March 28, 2007

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