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Posted by kjv1 | Posted in Music | Posted on January 26, 2014

“California” – Joni Mitchell: Fort Macleod, Alberta, Canada

This song by Joni Mitchell gave me too different meanings. When initially listening to the song, I figured she was literally singing about traveling the world but no matter what, nothing compares to how much she is in love with California. Another interpretation I got while reading the lyrics is that she is talking about a man form California. She seems to sing about multiple men she has been with in different parts of the world but no matter what they do for her or offer her, nothing compares to the man from California.

“Lodi” – CCR: El Cerrito, California

CCR is singing about the ups and downs of the American Dream. There is so much involved in the dream and though it is always in reach, it always just a little too far. And for the CCR, leaving Lodi was that dream but every time they get out of town, something happens and they are pulled right back to Lodi. Leaving Lodi is just something that will never happen as the CCR describe it.

“California Dreaming” – The Mama’s and the Papa’s: New York, New York

This song seems to be a comforting song to people who maybe have left California and want to remember the warm sun of L.A. Though it may not always be warm and sunny, it brings comfort to someone walking around in a bleak day to think of that warmth and sun of Los Angeles.

“Sausalito” – Connor Oberst: Omaha, Nebraska

This songs seems to be playing on the fact that Sausalito is a little simple town where life is great. It makes a person want to run away to Sausalito, buy a house, buy a boat, and just live. When looking up Sausalito on the internet, I found that he may be right about it being a great place to live. But the fact is that Sausalito is anything but simple and cheap (which usually includes problems). Was Sausalito that different in 2008, only 6 years ago?

“Pasadena Girl” – Nellie Mckay: London, England

This song is singing about the classic relationship struggles that a ‘Pasadena girl’ goes through. It seems that through out the song she is looking for her man to step up and really show her what he’s got. But every time, her response to him is more and more negative. It started with a simple understanding that relationships aren’t all that and progresses to her completely wanting to be alone as a “Pasadena girl.”

Compare: “California”, “Sausalito”, and “California Dreaming” all have the same idea that California is this wonderful place that can never be replaced in their hearts. It is the typical California myth that has kept people coming to California for decades. “Lodi” and “Pasadena Girl” though not very similar, both speak a little on the negatives of California but know that California is their true home. Another comparison is that “California” and “Pasadena Girl” both speak about relationships and California as an intertwined entity almost.

Contrast: “Lodi” and “Sausalito” are speaking on complete opposite sides of the California dream. CCR is talking about a California town as almost a hell that a person can’t escape from. While Oberst is singing about a California town that he and everyone should want to live at. Another contrast is between “California” and “Pasadena Girl”, even though they both talk about relationships, its on the opposite specter. “California” seems to sing about a man she wants to go back to, while “Pasadena Girl” seems to want to get away from any kind of relationship.

Most Relatable: The one song that I found most relatable was “Sausalito.” In my eyes, “Sausalito” does not actually have to mean the town but a place to escape to. A place where no shoes, no shirt, no problems is the memo. It will most likely, and hopefully be a place like “Sausalito” that I get to retire, with the good weather, and a nice boat.

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