Title Case: When songs named after cities are not about them

By Bryan Durham - July 26, 2019

Title Case: When songs named after cities are not about them

A recent video release by OWSLA boss Skrillex (ft BEAM) had most fans grooving to the visuals of the banger, part of a two-piece called Show Tracks.

However, the complete disconnect for Indian fans came from the fact that the song, titled Mumbai Power features absolutely no footage from Maximum City, instead filled for 3 minutes with footage from his tour of Japan and Korea. An Indian couple feature in the video for all of two seconds.

It isn’t a new concept to randomly use city names in songs that have no lyrical or visual correlation. Here’s taking a look at a few such examples through the ages…

Amsterdam – Coldplay

Has nothing to do with the city. The only connection is that it was written while the band was in Amsterdam.

Bagpipes From Baghdad – Eminem 

The city gets mentioned in the chorus, but the song is actually about his everlasting lust for Mariah Carey and a diss track against Nick Cannon.

Bombay Calling -OK KID

It’s actually about a desire for the gin, Bombay Sapphire. Nothing to do with the city.

Budapest – George Ezra

FUN FACT: At the time of writing the song, Ezra hadn’t been to Budapest. The song is about “things that I don’t have or would give up for somebody”, he said in an interview.

Dubai Blues – Chickenfoot

Lyrically, about a guy complaining that he has everything in he world except the girl he loves. Dubai just happens to be a city they picked on using.

Hamburg Song – Keane

The song is actually about being someone’s “place you call home” and not their “everything”. Hamburg doesn’t once feature in the lyrics.

Kashmir – Led Zeppelin

One of LZ’s signature tunes, it was originally titled Driving To Kashmir, inspired by a long drive through “the wastelands” of southern Morocco. Which doesn’t have a Kashmir. And obviously has nothing to do with the North Indian state.

Paris – Chainsmokers

Here, Paris is not the city of love, but rather a metaphor for a faraway secluded place to go to, with your significant other alone. As a Genius article notes, it may just represent a state of mind more than an actual location.

Pyres of Varanasi – 30 Seconds To Mars

An instrumental piece, the only Indian connection it has, is that it was recorded in Jaipur by an Indian singer called Deepak.


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