All things entertaining in Westchester, Rockland and the Hudson Valley
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Songs inspired by the Hudson Valley
The Hudson Valley is home to many famous musicians and notable music festivals, so it makes sense that there are a number of songs written about the region. Want to put together a summer mixtape perfect for cruising around the area? We've compiled a list of some of the most well-known tracks inspired by the Hudson Valley.
Mount Vernon native Heavy D put his beloved hometown on the map with “Moneyearnin’ Mount Vernon,” a track that details the late rapper’s personal tour of the city, name-checking the places where he liked to hang out.
Two generations of Wainwrights -- Rufus and Loudon -- composed songs about places that were important to them in their early years. Rufus attended Millbrook School as a teenager and penned a song, “Millbrook,” about his experience there. His father, Loudon Wainwright III, grew up in Westchester, and wrote a wry, biographical tune about his family’s wealthy suburban lifestyle, "Westchester County."
Billy Joel only lived in Highland Falls for a short time in the mid-70s, but apparently was so taken by the Orange County village that he wrote a meditative pop song called “Summer, Highland Falls.”
Van Morrison had a pleasant experience during his stay in Woodstock in the mid-60s, and wrote a song about his family life there, “Old, Old Woodstock.”
Joni Mitchell also wrote a song named after the town that hosted the famous 1969 music festival, "Woodstock." Ironically, she wrote the track as a lament for not having been able to attend the show.
Pete Seeger’s ditty, “My Dirty Stream (The Hudson River Song)," was a prelude to his founding of the Clearwater Festival, a music festival that promotes eco-awareness and takes place annually in Croton-on-Hudson.
Two well-known artists recorded songs named after local towns, although neither tune seems inspired by the Hudson Valley area: Roy Orbison wrote a song called “Sleepy Hollow” and Tyler the Creator has a track named “Yonkers.”
Other artists who have songs named after places in the Hudson Valley include Hungarian house duo Crazibiza’s “Eastchester,” Boston funk band Lettuce’s “Nyack,” Hoboken rockers Wormburner's “Peekskill” and Ohio pop duo Over the Rhine’s “Poughkeepsie.”
Check out our video playlist below, which showcases these Hudson Valley-inspired songs, and click through our photo gallery for the lyrical lowdown on these tracks and more.
Tags: Hudson Valley , Heavy D , Mount Vernon , Rufus Wainwright , Millbrook , Loudon Wainwright III , Westchester County , Billy Joel , Highland Falls , Van Morrison , Woodstock , Joni Mitchell , Pete Seeger , My Dirty Stream , Hudson River , Clearwater Festival , Roy Orbison , Sleepy Hollow , Tyler the Creator , Yonkers , Crazibiza , Eastchester , Lettuce , Nyack , Wormburner , Peekskill , Over the Rhine , Poughkeepsie , music