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Wednesday, 20 November 2019

State of the Union - Massachusetts

George writes

Thank the dear lord, the “band” Boston’s first album, called Boston, does not have a song on it called Boston. For some idiotic reason I would have felt duty-bound to include it here. And you’re not getting the obvious dirgey drivel from the Bee Gees. Instead, here it is by one of our now-favourite Czech singers, Václav Neckář:

If there was a place called Staying Alive I would have posted that song (is there a catchier riff anywhere in the entirety of popular music?)
Massachusetts claims to be the place that invented throwing a ball through a hoop suspended ca. 3m off the ground. And in Holyoke, Willie Morgan, many, many years before he played for Manchester United, invented a less rough game than basketball that was intended for older members of his local YMCA. A version of this game is on occasion played on some beaches in Brazil, for example, by exceptionally scantily-clad people.

You might now be able to discern, thanks to my witterings (as CC himself refers to them) that there will be no Massachusetts ICA. Such is the dearth of decent songs it might turn to be a Massachusetts 4-track EP. 

There is this, though,  by our new favourite Estonian singer Jaak Joala:

And there is this piece of jangly americana:

Some readers might be too young to remember the next group:

And this is not a country song  despite the performer having a name that suggests otherwise:

This is track 8 on the Become What You Are album:

Allegedly Ms Hatfield is a fan of the music of Olivia Newton-John (well, who isn’t?) and The Police (utterly preposterous). 

And there it is, the Massachusetts EP.

And saving the best ‘til last, Betty Chung warbles away in mandarin

You’re not getting the Ervinna version, it’s in a language we can all understand.

The state motto is something do with seeking peace using a sword.

Another state next week.

CC writes:
Are you going to the party?
Are you going to the Boston Tea Party
Or are you Lost in Boston

The Sensational Alex Harvey Band - Boston Tea Party

The Walkmen -Lost in Boston


  1. Alex Harvey on "Top Of The Pops" singing:
    "The king has said he's gonna put a tax on tea
    And that's the reason y'all Americans drink coffee"
    while holding a tomahawk is one of the greatest moments in rock'n roll history.

  2. Lynchie is right, that was a memorable TOTP moment.

    Unlike with Mississippi last week, a real dearth as you say once you get to Massachusetts (tricky to spell unlike the other state mentioned).

    Roadrunner by Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers was written about driving the highways and byways of Mass... as a teen once you'd got your driving licence.

    Massachusetts Avenue by Amanda Palmer was also put up as a suggestion when I went on my journey.

    1. Re spelling
      Probably because it was land that was stolen from the local Native Americans.Connecticutbeing being another one

    2. Yep, their land was stolen but they gave us all those great names for full moons!

  3. Loving the Betty Chung version by the way!

  4. Bee Gees dirgy drivel? Come on! I like these takes, too.

    1. Yes, dirgy drivel. Glad you liked on eof the videos

  5. With reference to your first paragraph
    Now if Chappaquiddick Skyline had a song called Chappaquiddick Skyline

    Q- What did you learn from Chappaquiddick Senator Kennedy?
    A - Don't drive over narrow bridges when you are pissed out of your head

  6. George,
    There was more interest in my Madness post.
    Just saying!

  7. As Alyson mentions, Jonathan Richman is the man when it comes to this state. I humbly submit Twilight in Boston from the I, Jonathan album. He takes you all around the city in that one. It's almost not a song... more like a guy telling a story that happens to have a little bit of guitar in the background.

    1. Brian, I am going to find that song right now

  8. Mass Ave by Willie Alexander would work

  9. Still haven't quite recovered from last week's Nina Simone dis, so no surprises that the Gibb Brothers didn't meet the entry criteria, George.

    Here's a few more tunes I'm sure you'll hate...

    Amanda Palmer - Massachusetts Avenue

    The Dream Syndicate - Boston

    Astrid - Boston

    Willie Nelson - Please Come To Boston

    Steely Dan - The Boston Rag

    Good call on The Walkmen, CC.

  10. Anything to oblige. Alex or Boston.

    Did you know "Dirty Water" by The Standells was about the Charles River and Boston?

    And come on... "Roadrunner" by Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers. Just about driving along Route 44 and Route 128 around Boston. Every version is brilliant. "Massachusetts when it's late at night, with the radio on!!"

  11. Yes some sorry omissions from George there - Tea Party and RoadRunner, what gives man? A little credit restored with the Pernice Brothers though and I've a soft spot for Betty Chung