Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Singing Baltimore’s praises

When Prairie Home Companion impresario Garrison Keillor takes his radio variety show on the road, to venues outside his home base of St. Paul, Minn., he usually writes and sings a song about the city that he’s visiting.

And the broadcast of “A Prairie Home Companion” from the Hippodrome Theatre on Saturday, Oct. 13, was no exception. Keillor composed a catchy song about Baltimore, which perfectly caught the spirit and quirkiness of our city.

Here are the lyrics of the song, which you can hear on the Internet here. (I didn’t recognize the tune, which may be original, although Keillor frequently adapts his songs to other, well-established music.)

Keillor had many nice things to say about Baltimore, and it’s well worth listening on the Internet to the entire broadcast, if you didn’t hear it on Saturday night on National Public Radio (or even if you did).

Baltimore, Baltimore

Lying near the Eastern Shore

Not Washington or New York

Baltimore my Baltimore

Camden Yards and Pimlico

Little houses in a row

Home of Edgar Allan Poe

Baltimore my Baltimore

Baltimore, on the Bay

Crabs fried or sauté

Life is just a big buffet

Baltimore my Baltimore

Gimme a plate of steamed crabs

A pair of pliers, a mallet perhaps

With a napkin in our laps

Baltimore my Baltimore

It’s the city of crustaceans

Fifty different combinations

Baltimore’s crustacean-nation

Baltimore my Baltimore

Waiting for the oyster truck

Hose ’em down and get ’em shucked

And toss the shells on the rug

Baltimore my Baltimore

Let’s go to Fells Point

Dive bars and breakfast joints

The omelets do not disappoint

Baltimore my Baltimore

Babe Ruth’s birthplace is near

John Waters made a great career

Anne Tyler, she lives here

Baltimore my Baltimore

Climb the hill on Charles Street

Hear an autumn melody

From Peabody Conservatory

Baltimore my Baltimore

Mount Vernon, Federal Hill

Looking for a corner grill

Need some crab, I’m hungry still

Baltimore my Baltimore

Baltimore, Baltimore

Lying on the Eastern Shore

Not Washington or New York

Baltimore my Baltimore

In looking up other Baltimore-related songs on the Internet, I came across one, entitled “My Baltimore Song,” which is on a Web site associated with the Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Council. In 1977, songwriter Randy Newman released a song entitled “Baltimore”, which is much less complimentary of Charm City.

Are there other Baltimore-centric songs out there? Which one do you prefer?

-PAUL SAMUEL, Associate Editor


Jerry Johnson said...

Well, there is an hour of my life I can never get back. =)

Not a comprehensive list, but a start...

 · Baltimore, by Bix Beiderbecke
 · Baltimore, by Randy Newman (lyrics)
 · Baltimore, by Lyle Lovette (lyrics)
 · Baltimore, by Sonny James
 · From Baltimore, by David Simpkins
 · Baltimore Oriole, by Hoagy Carmichael (lyrics)
 · Baltimore 5, by Cul de Sac/Damo Suzuki
 · Baltimore, D.C., by Dennis Chambers
 · My Baltimore, by Stay the Dreamlife
 · Oh Baltimore, by Mullyman
 · Baltimore Buzz, by Eubie Blake
 · Baltimore Fire, by New Lost City Ramblers
 · Baltimore Bay, by An Carraig
 · Baltimore Dub, by Scientist
 · Baltimore Fly, by Un Reaper
 · Baltimore Joe, by Cruel Shoes
 · Baltimore Rag, by Ray Ellington
 · Baltimore Sun, by The Jayhawks
 · Raining in Baltimore, by Counting Crows (lyrics)
 · Baltimore Zoo, by Pikesvillain
 · Boy from Baltimore, by Mudbone
 · Bus to Baltimore, by Ronny Cox
 · New Baltimore, by Ken Klimak
 · Off to Baltimore, by Bernard Herrmann
 · Ole Baltimore, by Crow Johnson
 · Streets of Baltimore, by Bobby Bare (lyrics)
 · Back from Baltimore, by Ronnie Dove
 · Back to Baltimore, by Joe E. Daddario
 · Baltimore 2003, by Prince Charming Chazz
 · Baltimore Baby, by Flying Squad
 · Baltimore Johnny, by The Del McCoury Band
 · Baltimore, 1951, by Three Mai
 · Girl from Baltimore, by The Fleshtones
 · King of Baltimore, by Joseph Parsons
 · Lady from Baltimore, by Cliff Aungier
 · Less Baltimore, by Magadog
 · Port of Baltimore, by Gerry Mulligan
 · Road to Baltimore, by Body & Soul
 · Song of Baltimore, by Jane Gillman
 · Baltimore Bounce, by Erskine Hawkins & His Orchestra
 · Baltimore Bounce, by Al Sears
 · Baltimore Blues, by Charlie McCoy
 · Baltimore Blues, by Birdhouse
 · Baltimore Caper, by The Possum Trot Orchestra
 · Baltimore Hotel, by Quinine
 · Baltimore North, by Namefollowedbynumber
 · Baltimore South, by Namefollowedbynumber
 · Baltimore Story, by Al Frazza
 · Baltimore Trees, by Sonya Cotton
 · Baltimore Waltz, by Willy Schwarz
 · Belle of Baltimore, by The Sons of the Pioneers
 · Bound for Baltimore, by John Townley & the Press Gang
 · From Baltimore to Paris, by Go West
 · North of Baltimore, by Nurse & Soldier
 · Trips to Baltimore, by Neil Perry
 · Baltimore Oriele, by Bob Robertson
 · Baltimore to Boston, by Woodpile
 · Baltimore Toledo, by Richard Dowling
 · Baltimore Whores, by Gavin Friday
 · Baltimore, Part 1, by Eva Inca Ore
 · Baltimore, Part 2, by Eva Inca Ore
 · Baltimore, Part 3, by Eva Inca Ore
 · South Baltimore Lullaby, by O'Malley's March (lyrics)
 · Ghosts of Baltimore, by Liars Academy
 · Letter to Baltimore, by The Scholars
 · Return to Baltimore, by Frank Zappa
 · Lady Came from Baltimore, by Johnny Cash
 · Baltimore Brothel, by Diana Ross
 · Baltimore Clipper, by Everett Brown
 · Baltimore or Less, by Jules Verdone
 · Baltimore Reasons, by Arty Hill
 · Baltimore Skyline, by Sue Foley
 · Baltimore Weather, by Vattel Cherry's Bassresponse
 · Tomorrow Night In Baltimore - Roger Miller (lyrics)

Jeff said...

While I can't match jerry's thoroughness, let's throw in The Boss's lines from Hungry Heart: "Got a wife and kids in Baltimore, Jack/I went out for a ride and I never went back."

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