Friday 27 November 2009


'Copenhagen, you're the end...'
In the small hours of this morning, a World Service report on the Copenhagen summit (of folly?) was heralded by the above snatch of a rather lovely early Scott Walker song. Smart work, I thought - it should be done more often. And thank heavens it wasn't Wonderful Wonderful Copenhagen... Many cities have an all too obvious signature tune for radio producers to wheel out - but this one was inspired. I now look forward to something happening in Andalucia - the old John Cale song is ready and waiting: Andalucia, When can I see ya? When it is snowing out again...
American towns and cities are especially well catered for in terms of signature music; over here our town names seem to lack the requisite glamour. 24 Hours From Peebles anyone? By the Time I Get to Cleethorpes? (Anyone know which old comedy show I nicked those from?)


  1. I get my kicks
    On the A66.

  2. How about 'The Only Living Boy in New Cross' by Carter USM.

    Walker did a nice one about the Lights of Cincinatti, too. US cities seem to have a song-inspiring glamour which ours lack, apart from London (though Sheffield is in at the mo, oddly - Richard Hawley, Arctic Monkeys).

    I liked that Catatonia line...

    London doesn't sleep, it just sucks/
    The life out of me, and the money from my pocket.

  3. I've booked a one way ticket to Scunthorpe

  4. It may have something to do with Willie Rushton & Co.

  5. Gog Magog Spring lacks the glamour of Appalachian Spring.

    As does Chesterfield Rose.

  6. "There is..a Exeter,"
    "They call...the Rising Sun"

    Actually, Brit, as England's leading music critic, you surely are aware that the problem (one of them) is that the names and syllabic emphases of English towns don't lend themselves to insertions in rhyme or meter very well. Are there any English towns that end in A with an emphasis on the preceding syllable? Lots of Indian and Latin-derived names in the States, and you know how those people like to sing and dance. Here too, which is why we've produced such international hits as :

    "Nothing could be finer than to be in ol' Regina in the..morrr-or-or-ning..."

    The other problem I think you have is that Rodney ain't got no rhythm.

  7. The thing is Peter, we didn't have any Red Indians over here, just Jutes, Angels and Celts.
    I note your recognition of Brit as the latter day Brian Matthew, or even Kent Walton.
    Kent Walton, advertised OMO

  8. Ha, Vanlose Stairway is the signature tune for Copenhagen, surely. Then there's Waterloo Sunset for London. These two alone are knock-outs compared to most other songs.

  9. Stop with the whiny excuses, malty. You also have the benefit of the rich artistic legacy of the Vikings. If they can produce such toe-tapping international favourites as Känn ingen sorg för mig Göteborg, what's your excuse?

  10. What rhymes with Birmingham?

  11. Kent Walton was also the commentator on the afternoon wrestling. Happy days...

  12. Peter - ah but that's pronouncing it wrong, ie. the American way: "Ber-ming-ham."

    We pronounce it correctly, ie. Bermingum, or as the locals have it, Beeermeengim.

  13. Kent was a near neighbour of yours Nige, Epsom.

    Peter, the Wikings, as the Norwegians call them, left Scotland spattered with the most unpronounceable place names on the planet, except Tokyo of course.

    Brit, that is arguably the best Brummie accent I have heard in days.

  14. Epsom has much to answer for Malty - not least the Vine bros, Jeremy and Tim...

  15. Indeed, check this out - what a shower! Even James Chuter Ede...