The Mamas and the Papas were formed in New York. Nellie McKay was born in London but started her career in New York. Joni Mitchell is from Canada. Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR) is from El Cerrito, CA. Conor Oberst is from Omaha, NE.
“Sausalito”, “California Dreamin”, and “California” all focus on California as a dream to get away from where they are. All of the songs, except for “Lodi”, are performed by artists that are not native Californians.
The attitude in each song is different, even if they are giving a similar message. The music gives each song a different feeling when I listen to each one.
“California Dreamin” makes me feel the deep longing that California brings when “skies are gray.” This song shows that even though California is a dream it is not a realistic dream—they were not really planning on going. While, “California” shows that in all of the world California is the place to be. I am not completely positive I got the message in “Pasadena Girl”, but I think it is trying to expose the loss of identity that occurs in California. “Lodi” shows the struggle that millions have gone through—people flock to California in order to make it big but end up with nothing to show for their sacrifices except empty pockets. “Sausalito” holds the hope and belief that California fixes all problems: “there’s no sorrow that the sun’s not gonna heal.”
My favorite song from this bunch is “California Dreamin.” I think it might be because I have performed it numerous times since middle school, but I love that California is the thought that keeps people warm on a cold winter’s day in New York.