Sounds of the City: Springfield! Springfield!

There are famous cities like New York and London, Tokyo and Shanghai, and then there is perhaps the most absurdly famous of them all: Springfield, USA; or, the hometown of the all-American family, The Simpsons. The fictional city, located somewhere in the United States, is certainly one of the most famous cities in the United States and much of the world even. Characterized by the inaneness of its history (founded by a former pirate named Jebediah Springfield), its lack of culture, the hold a certain billionaire has on the town, the corruption of its mayor, the insanity of its citizens, and the uncompromising pride residents show towards this town (especially when they have to face down the residents of neighbor and rival Shelbyville).

In addition to its fame, Springfield can also boast some of the best music about cities around. This post is an homage to that music, because when it comes down to it, these songs go well beyond being just jokes and satires of American life and pop culture.These songs really speak to the a variety of feelings people develop towards the cities they live in and are from. They’re songs of pride, defense for local institutions, and hopes for the future (be them poorly conceived hopes even).

The songs below, while full of humor, also say something about the special relationships we have with home and the pride we take in our cities because of the good and in spite of the bad. They are songs that honor local institutions, high and low, famous and uncelebrated; these songs poke at the plight of cities looking to rebrand themselves or reinvigorate their economy with grandiose projects, worth it or not; these are songs about cities and everything that is honestly crazy about them.

In the best way possible of course.


 

Springfield! Springfield! (Season 5, Episode 8 – Boy-Scoutz ‘n the Hood)

[youtube.com=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61kHpmenkT8]

We Put the Spring in Springfield (Season 8, Episode 5 – Bart After Dark)

[youtube.com=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TeYyzoONK6U]

Monorail Song (Season 4, Episode 12 – Marge vs. the Monorail)

[youtube.com=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hB1NZqyy9Y]