10 Songs Celebrating San Francisco

Music Lists San Francisco

The San Francisco won their final seven games of the season, following a nail-biting comeback against the Cardinals with a sweep of the Tigers. And while we at Paste aren’t necessarily Giants fans (assistant editor Tyler Kane said he didn’t wear his Tigers hat today because it’s still wet from the crying), we do so love the city.

Here’s our 10-song playlist celebrating everything good about San Francisco.

1. Lowell Fulson – “San Francisco Blues”
Along with T-Bone Walker, Fulson made sure that the blues were alive on the West Coast: “San Francisco, please make room for me. / Well I’m going to San Francisco if I have to crawl on my knees.”

2. Of Montreal – “Honeymoon in San Francisco”
San Francisco has this Georgia band dreaming big: “Honeymoon in San Francisco, what a grand idea. / We’ll rent a room in a four-star hotel / We’ll spend the whole time drunk on champagne and lime.”

3. Jay Farrar and Benjamin Gibbard – “San Francisco”
Part of Farrar and Gibbard’s Jack Kerouac project from Big Sur: “We all agree it’s too big to keep up with / That we’re surrounded by life—that we’ll never understand it / The great magical city of the Gandharvas / Of San Francisco”

4. Scott McKenzie – “San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair”
McKenzie just passed away this past August, but he’ll be remembered for his biggest hit: “For those who come to San Francisco / Summertime will be a love-in there / In the streets of San Francisco / Gentle people with flowers in their hair.”

5. The Decemberists – “Grace Cathedral Hill”
The Decemberists paint a vivid picture of the city: “We were both a little hungry, so we went to get a hotdog, down the Hyde St. Pier. / The light was slight and disapeared. The air, it stunk of fish and beer.”

6. Arctic Monkeys – “Fake Tales of San Francisco”
The City by the Bay has such an aura that it even inspires imaginative stories: “Fake Tales of San Francisco / Echo through the room / More point to a wedding disco / Without a bride or groom.”

7. Gregory Alan Isakov – “San Francisco”
A lovely ballad that feels like the fog rolling in: “Lay down in your new town / Walk the ground / How you made me weep on Sansom Street / And how you made the weather come.”

8. Eric Burdon & The Animals – “San Franciscan Nights”
Even the Brits learned to appreciate San Francisco: “Angels sing, leather wings / Jeans of blue, Harley Davidson’s too / On a warm San Franciscan night”

9. Magnetic Fields – “Come Back From San Francisco”
Once you get to San Fran, it’s hard to get you back: “Come back from San Francisco / It can’t be all that pretty when all of New York City misses you.”

10. Tony Bennett – “I Left My Heart In San Francisco”
Not every city gets such an iconic song as this: “I left my heart in San Francisco / High on a hill, it calls to me. / To be where little cable cars / Climb halfway to the stars!”

And for you guys in Detroit, here’s one that’s not so celebratory:

Wild Lights – “California On My Mind”
We’ll let you discover the San Francisco lyric yourself.

  • San Francisco embroidery image from Moxiedoll on Etsy.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin