Beautiful Europe has always been a source of inspiration for every kind of art. Since the beginning of time, the magnificence of European cities has motivated painters, sculptors, writers, photographers,… and, of course, musicians! Sometimes musicians take their inspiration in a subtle way, but some others, they feel so inspired by a place they decide to dedicate the song to the city itself.
Here are some cases of artists who played it cool creating songs about European cities:
George Ezra, 2013
This chill-friendly folkie song became everyone’s favourite jam a coupke of summers ago. The warm feeling that invades us all when listening to it come with the beautiful intentions behind the lyrics: it talks about leaving everything for the person you love – even your house in Budapest! The funny thing is that Ezra claimed he hadn’t ever been in Hungarian capital before writing this song… which occurred in Malmö, Sweden.
The Chainsmokers, 2017
One of the latest hits from the American producer duo, features vocals by Emily Warren. In a very teenage tone, the song talks about going to Paris “to run away from your parents” and living a forbidden love. Having nothing against escaping your life for romantic reasons, we would recommend that you to have a better plan when moving abroad than just standing there “with a frown and a cigarette, posting pictures of yourself on the Internet”.
This incredibly beautiful song, on the line of Coldplay’s best ballads, is just one of the numerous great songs named after the Dutch capital. Taking its name from the city where it was written, the song describes the lovesickness feelings Chris Martin experienced there. You can really feel the heartache, the anxiety and homesickness in Martin’s vocals. A sad song, even though the common view of Amsterdam is that it is a fun and vibrant city.
The Clash, 1979
Out of all the songs mentioning the British capital, we have to stand with this timeless classic. The song, that captures the essence of punk in terms of sound and critical content, tells the story about a hypothetical nuclear disease in London town. This theme can be understood both as a reflection of nuclear panic at that time and a metaphor of the band’s lowest moments that were taking place back there.
Ed Sheeran, 2017
Ok, ok, we know there’s a more iconic song named like this… but we couldn’t resist mentioning this fresh, bouncy, kind of crazy song released just a few weeks ago. Being the prime example of what Spaniards would call a guiri, Sheeran refers here some old clichés (Barcelona as “fiesta” and “sangría”) and even some cultural mistakes (not a single Spaniard would ever say “mamasita rica”). But the song is cheerful and catchy enough to forgive him and just follow the rhythm while we “pretend we’re dancing in the streets”.
The Fray, 2012
The story behind this song is fascinating. First of all, it talks about a scientific occurance. Second, it’s nameed after the German city of Munich though it talks about something that was taking place at the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva. The Fray singer Isaac Slade explained that he was reading about the Large Hadron Collider placed in Switzerland while they were touring in Munich, so this song came to his mind and it was named after the city that hosted its composition -which is, by the way, one the happiest in Europe-.
Where Are We Now?
David Bowie, 2013
The tragically passed genius Bowie made a long-awaited comeback after 10 years of silence in 2013. The song chosen for such a reentrance was this breath-taking ballad where Bowie sings about Berlin. In this city he created many of his most memorable pieces. With thrilling nostalgia, the lyrics compare the state in the city before and after the wall was built as a consequence of WWII.
Did you know all of these songs? Any interesting discoveries? Or maybe you know some others that we didn’t mention? Tell us in comments!