I was sitting on the dock of the bay

Or to be more accurate the ferry terminal in St Helier in the Channel Island of Jersey, musing on that perennial question: why is it that UK place names fail to have the poetic resonance of their US counterparts? There seem to be no British equivalents of being stuck inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again, being Alabamy Bound or even 24 Hours from Tulsa. Ferry Cross the Mersey or Longhaired Lover from Liverpool illustrate the perils of attempting something similar.

But there are some great songs about British places if you think hard enough. Lindisfarne’s Fog on the Tyne may be the most natural and evocative, and then those loyal patriots the Sex Pistols gave us Anarchy in the UK. It also seems possible to sing about London: the Kinks’ Waterloo Sunset being a great example. Are there any better still?

Kinks Stones Pretties

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