City Desk

I Sing of the Census 2: Electric Boogaloo

Following this morning's post about D.C. songs relevant to the Census data released last week, we've come up with a few more, thanks in part to suggestions by commenters. Add your own in the comments below!

Song: "Welcome to D.C."

Artist: Mambo Sauce

Year: 2007

Relevance: High. The Census found 20,000 new residents had moved to the District between 2000 and 2010, so the title alone is right on point. Lyrics like, "We gonna be right here/We gonna be right here/We ain't goin' nowhere," though, could speak for the longer-time residents who—despite demographic changes—still make up most of the population.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vQaHrc1o8Y

Song: "Swann Street"

Artist: 3

Year: 1989

Relevance: Medium. The song harkens back to an earlier era of D.C. gentrification—though thanks to the ease of Internet-based music research these days, every myopic little twit moving here since the 2000 Census probably had it on a D.C.-inspired playlist before they arrived. Might there be a hidden message about the source of new municipal policies in this line: "Sometimes it seems/these hopes and dreams/all came from somewhere else"?

Song: "You're My Miss Washington D.C."

Artist: Nation of Ulysses

Year: 1991

Relevance: Low. The song blends vaguely political calls to action with vaguely sexual ones; the narrator is either trying to lead a revolution or get laid (or, knowing the Nation of Ulysses, both). But the chorus, "So many things that I'm dying to show you," could be addressed to newcomers to the District.

Song: "Mt. Pleasant"

Artist: Tuscadero

Year: 1994

Relevance: Medium. Some lyrics are a bit outdated now—"All liquor and lace/Drunk guys in your face/Broken 40s in the street/Losing lottery tickets at your feet," for instance, doesn't take the modern ban on single sales of alcohol into account. But the line, "It's my Beaver Cleaver neighborhood/Might not be clean but it sure smells good/Everybody's living like they should/I wouldn't leave it even if I could," still speaks to people who can't afford to move elsewhere in the District—even though, 17 years after the song came out, Mt. Pleasant isn't really affordable anymore, either.

Song: "Banned in D.C."

Artist: Bad Brains

Year: 1983

Relevance: Low. "Banned in D.C. with a thousand more places to go," the song opens, in what could be an anthem of the displaced. But it's really an anthem of D.C. hardcore fans banned from clubs—people who, 18 years later, are probably gathering to drink old-fashioned cocktails in the neighborhoods they used to run around in as straight-edge teenagers. Still, any excuse to shout, "You, you can't hurt me/Why? I'm banned in D.C." is a good one—especially on a Friday afternoon—so we're including it anyway.

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  • Rick Mangus

    The lyrics, "we had a mayor who was smoking crack, we kept it real and voted him back". This song sums it up perfectly and why this city should never have representation, in the House or the Senate and why Home Rule needs to be yanked back as well!

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