Weeks ago I posted about Pasadena, a hit sung by the Euro-pop group Maywood. You may want to get up to speed by reading that post before continuing with this sequel.
Later, Ben Harper, one of Mixed Meters' Three Readers, offered up a song by John Paul Young called It's a Long Long Way to Pasadena. JPY is as well known in the United States as Maywood. The link Ben offered has been removed due to copyright - but here's the golden oldie version sung live.
Another of Mixed Meters' Three Readers, Charles Ulrich, alerted me to a much earlier tune known as Pasadena (although it is actually entitled Home in Pasadena because that's how the lyric goes). This one was written by Harry Warren who wrote hundreds of famous songs in the twenties, thirties and forties.
Home in Pasadena was written in 1923 and it was a big hit, first in the U.S. then in England. You can listen to a very early version via YouTube. Charles sent me this different version where the vocalist makes up his own melody in the chorus. (Warning: Pace yourself! There are a lot more listening links coming along soon.)
I looked online for even more songs about this city where I've lived for a dozen years. What I found was a book called The Golden Ear, A Treasury of Songs to Pasadena by Carter Barber. You can read the L.A. Times review. (Same available via Google Cache, here.)
I purchased a copy through some unsuspecting online bookseller. Here's a composite of the front and back covers. (Click to enlarge.)
Self-published in 1985, it seems to be from the "who said what to whom" school of journalism. Largely it details a whole host of mostly unknown songs about Pasadena, the effort to pick a City Song for the centennial celebration in 1986 and the politics and petty squabbles surrounding their inevitable obscurity. The book has the lyrics for 38 Pasadena songs, although Maywood's and John Paul Young's are not included.
Whether Pasadena has an official song at the moment, whether anyone knows what it is and whether anyone cares about a Pasadena song are all whethers about which I don't much care.
Here's Ian Whitcomb, an actual Pasadena resident, singing Home in Pasadena. Since the sheet music is printed in The Golden Ear I was able to determine this is the definitive online performance.
Here's Van Dyke Parks singing Home In Pasadena - with spirit if not with much precision.
Here's Jan and Dean singing Little Old Lady From Pasadena.
Here's a five-year old Bulgarian girl singing and dancing to Maywood's Pasadena.
Here's an over-the-top music video of Maywood's Passadena in some other language.
Here's a song called (Let's Move to) Pasadena by the band Modern Skirts.
Pasadena is more than just the name of a song. It can be the name of a band as well.
In England they have The Pasadena Roof Orchestra apparently named for Home in Pasadena. (Here's their Wikipedia page.) This video is Puttin' on the Ritz. (Dig the patina on that tenor sax.)
Here's a band called Pasadena singing their song Realize. (Strangely, they think Pasadena is somewhere in Maryland.)
Here's a band The Pasadenas singing Riders on a Train.
Yeah, that marks the end of this topic.
Tired of Pasadena Song Tags: Pasadena California. . . popular+songs. . . At Home in Pasadena. . . Harry Warren. . . Ian Whitcomb. . . Maywood. . . John Paul Young. . . The Golden Ear. . . Carter Barber