Nov 122014


During my recent, first trip to England (for work), which culminated in a free day and a half to myself running through the streets of London, I was immediately struck by how many locations I’d only dreamed of in song surrounded me. Most likely just as many New York locations pop up in popular song, but I didn’t grow up with much mystery over our largest city, situation just 90 miles up the turnpike from my hometown, A good part of my mad dash through London was structured around hitting spots I only knew through music, yet everywhere I turned 3 other locations cited in songs appeared. Beyond the above-ground locations, which I won’t mention for fear of giving away answers in this finite Last Man Standing, song references even flew by me as I rode the London Underground. The following link will bring you to a map of the London Underground system. For this week’s Last Man Standing, how many tube stations can we find cited in song?



  59 Responses to “Last Man Standing: Going Underground”

  1. Suburban kid

    I suggest tube lines should be eligible as well, not just stations. And maybe even just “Underground” and “tube” if the context is clear that it’s the London Underground in question.

    Also want to be clear the reference can be in a lyric, and not just in titles?

  2. Suburban kid

    “Sitting in the carriage of a Bakerloo [train]….”

    Protex Blue – The Clash

  3. diskojoe

    “When I arrived in Euston, I was little more than a child……”

    “Life On The Road”-The Kinks (I thought it was “Houston” when I first heard the song)

    “Sunny Goodge Street”-Donovan

  4. Suburban kid

    “Plaistow Patricia” – Ian Dury

  5. Yes, the reference can be in the lyrics but not the title. I will allow references to specific lines, but not anything as vague as simply the word “tube.” We’re trying to fill in specific blanks here.

    I don’t know if the London Underground connects to obvious train lines beyond the city, but I don’t want us straying beyond the stops on the Underground map. The train line I took from some town near Oxford into London, for instance, does not count.

    I hope these answers help! Thanks for thinking about the rules.

  6. You know what I love about this first entry? Every time I passed that stop I knew it was from some song, but I couldn’t identify the song that turned me onto it. All I could think of was the pudgy, pimply Clash roadie from the movie Rude Boy, Baker. I knew the stop was known to me from some Clash song.

  7. Good ones, but DON’T BOGART THIS THREAD! Remember, as with all Last Man Standings, keep yourself to one entry per comment. Feel free to add multiple individual entries, however.

  8. I’m claiming Knightsbridge from the Beatles’ take on the folk song “Maggie Mae.” I had that tune rattling through my brain almost non-stop during my mad dash through the streets of London a few Saturdays ago.

  9. Suburban kid

    Good thing you are imposing some limits, I started thinking of London bus routes and before you know it we’re on to motorways and cross-channel ferries….

  10. Suburban kid

    “Waterloo Sunset” – Kinks

  11. Yes, I got to come out of that station en route to the South Bank area, if memory serves, and took a picture of it!

  12. Because we disembarked at St. John’s Wood to get to Abbey Road studios I found myself in the conundrum of visiting a Beatle landmark while having the Stones’ “Play With Fire” stuck in my head.

    “Your mother, she’s an heiress, owns a block in St. John’s Wood.”

    Works also for Knightsbridge if anyone wants to double-down.


  13. White City – The Pogues

  14. Willesden Green by the Kinks

  15. Suburban kid

    Guns of Brixton – Clash

  16. BigSteve

    Ian Dury’s pre-Blockheads band Kilburn and The High-Roads had a song called Upminster Kid, and he named his 1981 ‘solo’ album Lord Upminster.

  17. BigSteve

    The Squeeze song Up the Junction:

    I never thought it would happen
    With me and the girl from Clapham.

  18. BigSteve

    Van Morrison’s Slim Slow Slider

    Saw you walking
    Down by Ladbroke Grove this morning.

  19. The Kinks (again) – Denmark Street

    “Down the way from the Tottenham Court Road”

  20. BigSteve

    Pete Townshend’s solo album White City has a song called White City Fighting.

  21. BigSteve

    There’s a Motorhead album called No Sleep Till Hammersmith, but I’m not sure the word Hammersmith actually appears in any Motorhead lyrics.

  22. cherguevara

    Both “London” by the Smiths and “I’m a loser” by UFO reference Euston station.

  23. Sweet double-down move! I began my Saturday tour by walking from my hotel in Soho to Abbey Road.

  24. I stumbled on Denmark Street while getting pleasantly lost. It was cool, like Philadelphia’s Jewelers’ Row but with musical instrument stores rather than jewelry shops.

  25. That’s cool, the title counts. The Clash never sings that titular word in their song, either, right?

  26. cliff sovinsanity

    The Kinks (again, again) – Willesden Green

    “Well I tried to settle down Fulham Broadway
    And I tried to make my home in Golders Green
    But I gotta get that train
    And go back home again
    Oh how I miss the folks back home in Willesden Green

  27. cliff sovinsanity

    Apologies to al for the repeat.

  28. cliff sovinsanity

    Morrissey – Hairdresser on Fire

    “Oh, oh, hairdresser on fire
    All around Sloane Square”

  29. Donovan (again) with more sunshine – Sunny South Kensington

  30. Suburban kid

    “One evening as I was lying down in Leicester Square/
    I was picked up by the coppers and kicked in the balls”

    Old Main Drag – Pogues

  31. Squeeze, again, with “Piccadilly.”

  32. diskojoe

    Looking at the map, you could divide the Tube by the Kinks section, the Who section & the Ian Drury section.

    Another Kinks song: “”Holloway Jail”

  33. misterioso

    It’s “Lime Street” not Knightsbridge. She’s a Liverpool lass, our Maggie.

  34. misterioso

    Robyn Hitchcock’s “Trams of Old London” from I Often Dream of Trains is practically a one-stop shopping place for this. For example:

    Ludgate, Fenchurch, Highgate Hill
    Rolling slowly up there still
    Waterloo and Clerkenwell
    Out to Aldgate East as well

  35. misterioso

    What a fabulous song, too. Dear Lord, I love that record. How sad that they never got within shouting distance of being that good again.

  36. Is there a more obvious one than Gerry Rafferty’s Baker Street?

  37. Duh! I always forget that guy was English or Scottish or whatever. Has an Englishman ever been responsible for 2 hit songs (he was part of Steelers Wheel, right?) that sounded so NOT English?

  38. This song goes a long way to filling in the map!

  39. Agreed! Argy Bargy is their best-known album, but East Side Story is by far THE BEST, if you ask me.

  40. misterioso

    I was saving that one.

  41. misterioso

    Yes, I like Argy Bargy a lot but East Side Story is a cut above. And I still remember how crushed I was when the mediocre Sweets from a Stranger came out.

  42. trigmogigmo

    Speaking of Gerry Rafferty, last night I stumbled upon that tv show “The Voice” and decided to watch a few minutes out of curiosity. A contestant was in the process of choosing and then rehearsing to do a version of “Stuck in the Middle”, with Gwen Stefani coaching him. Afterward the judges were all expressing how amazing and special his arrangement and performance were. The reality was unremarkable in every respect. What a joke! (As if I expected anything different.)

  43. cliff sovinsanity

    Duffy – Warwick Avenue
    Didn’t realize the song references a station and not a street.

  44. Man, I suck at understanding lyrics! I stand corrected. That’s a 2-minute minor, or whatever they call it in hockey, for me.

  45. Kew Gardens by Mary Hopkins

  46. cherguevara

    Here’s Microdisney with their song, “Singer’s Hampstead Home.”

  47. English Envy by Nixon’s Head (and penned by our own Chickenfrank

    “Everyone I know calls me Leicester Square.”

  48. ladymisskirroyale

    Yes it does. Some of the larger tube stops all serve British Rail.

  49. ladymisskirroyale

    Little piece of Ladymisskirroyale trivia: growing up, when something was really really busy (i.e. “like Grand Central Station”), my mom would say, “This is just like Clapham Junction.”

  50. ladymisskirroyale

    Saint Etienne, from “London Belongs to Me”: “Took the tube to Camden Town…”

    BTW, Saint Etienne lyrics are a wealth of tube stops. Just saying…

  51. New Amsterdam by Elvis Costello mentions Rotherhithe.

  52. ladymisskirroyale

    Saint Etienne, “Girl VII” mentions several locations, including Chalk Hill.

  53. ladymisskirroyale

    And as an added, reverse treat, here is the cover of Saint Etienne’s last album, “Words and Music” which is a theme album about the importance of music during those growing up years (and beyond). You’ll notice it’s almost the opposite of what we’re doing now: a picture of a London map, but with all the streets named after locations mentioned in other people’s songs:

  54. ladymisskirroyale

    PPS – This is the band who gives you Bob Stanley, he who recently wrote “Yeah Yeah Yeah,” that history of popular music.

  55. cherguevara

    Roddy Frame – Marble Arch

    Try to not nod off – it is a pretty tune.

  56. “Richmond,” by Faces.


  57. eeeeeeeeeeehhhhhh, East Acton, North Acton, West Acton, South Acton, Acton Town, Acton Central…all these options and Townshend leaves it at “Stardom in Acton”? NO foresight at all that someday one may need a LMS entry?

    “Be specific, the man wants specifics!” – KMoon, “TKAA”


  58. cherguevara

    Oh! Notting Hill Blues by Aztec Camera!


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