Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Favorite State Names

Norm has a new poll. He wants votes for our favorite names of American states. Not our favorite states, just the name. And we're supposed to send lyrics to a song (which contains state names).

It is easier than I would have thought to decide on favorites. Norm says up to five. Here's mine: Arizona, Oklahoma, Minnesota, California, and Tennessee.

This poll got me to thinking that here in Kansas and elsewhere in the Midwest it has been commonplace for a while to leave out the state name and just attach it to "America." E.g., folks and signs might say "Larned, America." There is no doubt a grammar of when and where this shortcut is appropriate, though I don't know the intricacies. It's sort of like the finger wag greeting when you meet a friend or neighbor while driving on a country road. You have to be there.

Now for the lyrics. Something old and something new.

Let's start with arguably the greatest road song ever from the pen of Bobbie Troup, Route 66

If you ever plan to motor west,
travel my way, take the highway that's the best.
Get your kicks on Route sixty-six.

It winds from Chicago to LA,
more than two thousand miles all the way.
Get your kicks on Route six-six.

Now you go through Saint Louis
Joplin, Missouri,
and Oklahoma City looks mighty pretty.
You see Amarillo,
Gallup, New Mexico,
Flagstaff, Arizona.
Don't forget Winona,*
Kingman, Barstow, San Bernardino.

Won't you get hip to this timely tip:
when you make that California trip
Get your kicks on Route sixty-six.

Won't you get hip to this timely tip:
when you make that California trip
Get your kicks on Route sixty-six.
Get your kicks on Route sixty-six.
Get your kicks on Route sixty-six.

*Winona is the only city out of order.

By the way, as Norm probably already knows. "Billy Bragg also recorded an "anglicised" version of the song called "A13 (Trunk Road to the Sea)" for a John Peel session. In the song - strummed to the same tune as the original - American place names are replaced by English ones along the route of the A13 motorway."

Now for something new. From Gretchen Wilson's second CD, a reply song to the Beach Boys song.

Well I ain't never had a problem with California
There's a lot of good women, Sacramento to Corona
But them Hollywood types, after a while wear on ya
Strutin' around in their size zeros,
Skinny little girls no meat on thier bones
Never even heard of George Jones

CHORUS
Ain't you glad we ain't no California girls
Ain't you glad there's still a few of us left, who know how to rock your world
Ain't afraid to eat fried chicken and dirty dance to Merle
Ain't you glad we ain't no California girls

There ain't nothing wrong with plastic surgery
Well, Dolly Parton never looked so good to me
Everybody oughta be exactly who they want to be
But that Paris Hilton gets under my skin
With her big fake smile and her painted on skin
Never had a chance at a real man

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