Monday, May 4, 2015

Let's get a new State Song, California

If you watch as much TV as I do, you've almost certainly been bombarded with those Jeep ads featuring what sounds like a scratchy 78 of a guy singling/warbling an old timey song.

At first I figured it was just some old song that happened to be about California and the commercial people used it because it's a targeted ad or whatever.

But no, when I bitched about it this weekend on Twitter it led me to do some research and by research I mean using Google on my phone and what do you know, it's the fucking Official State Song of California.  The cover for the sheet music is pretty terrific.

And has since been repurposed by other artists:

From 3 Fish Studios. This is beautiful and you should order a print.
I'm getting sidetracked here.  I don't come to praise "I Love You, California," but to bury it.  It's got a nice heart but it's a little outdated.  Let's trash it just like we do with everything else in the world and get a hip new Official State Song.

Look, here's a handy list of like 5000 songs about California.  Who's got time to listen to all those?  More importantly, why would you willingly listen to a Red Hot Chili Peppers song?  ("Parallel Universe," apparently, is a Song About California.)  No, let's just get to the finalists.

Our first finalist is "Estimated Prophet," by the Grateful Dead.

Hey, nobody said it had to have "California" in the title. Here's the chorus:

California, preaching on the burning shore
California, I'll be knocking on the golden door
Like an angel, standing in a shaft of light
Rising up to paradise, I know, I'm gonna shine

Nice, huh?  Plus it's the fucking Grateful Dead.  Can't get much more California than that.

When this came up on Twitter, several people naturally went to "California Über Alles" by the Dead Kennedys.

Little did the DKs know that when they wrote this in 1979, Jerry Brown would still be governor in 2015. Just not all in a row. Anyway, I'm not sure it'll work because it has a lot of dated references.  The song should be timeless.  Still a fucking kickass song.  Uber should use it in their ads!  Ho ho ho, that would be a quite a scene.

Probably any song by Best Coast, like "The Only Place," for example.

The only problem is that they don't say the word "California" anywhere in the song so fucking Oregon or something could scoop it up.  Oh right, there's no sun in Oregon.  But you get the point.  Can't have a state song without "California" in it.

Our final finalist needs no introduction.

Hard to argue with that. And kids, that's how "California Love" became our new Official State Song.  If you have other/better ideas, do share.

P.S. Next time we'll look at other state's State Songs, which I am tentatively forecasting will be lame as fuck.

UPDATE: I almost forgot about "California" by Quasi, which is as wry and sharp as a Dorothy Parker bon mot:

There, that should about do it.


Anonymous said...

I am surprised to learn that "California Love" isn't already our official state song. I learned something new today.

You are an educator, TK.

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