We made it to Massachusetts! To celebrate we have four songs, including one of my favorite long tracks by Dylan. And, yes, three of the songs are about Boston—not by Boston. If you have any non-Boston songs, drop the suggestions in the comments below. As always, you can check out the every-growing playlist here.
Nantucket Island: Willie Wright croons us across the waters of Massachusetts out the less posh island of New England fame (and the setting of the sitcom of my childhood years, Wings.) His voice is magic.
I’m Shipping Up to Boston: How would Scorcese’s masterpiece, The Departed, be same without the raging accordion of the Dropkick Murphys? It wouldn’t Irish and angry and impossibly catchy, this song captures the whole essence of this cop/crime drama. Sure, it’s a harder sound than I usually like, but it just works. (Also see: Scorcese’s use of Pink Floyd (who I usually loathe)).
Twilight in Boston: Here’s a completely different sound about the same old Beantown. Jonathan Richman loves New England and he takes us on a stroll in this hazy, loose lyriced, half-sung melody. You can practically see the sky and feel the cobblestones under your worn-soled shoes.
Highlands: This is a song that languishes if ever there was one. At 16 minutes, it’s one of the longer Dylan album cappers. Before painting a picture of an empty cafe, Dylan tells us he is “in Boston town” and then has a lengthy nonsense exchange with a waitress. Put this track on while you’re cruising on an empty road and let it all play out like an art house film.