Baltimore

Album: Little Criminals (1977)

Songfacts®:

  • According to David Ewen in the 1987 book American Songwriters, "With its deprecating remarks about the city" this song "generated controversy."

    Newman grew up in Los Angeles and Louisiana so it is quite likely that his "Baltimore" is not to be taken too literally; Nina Simone recorded a reggae version which is probably more palatable to the citizen's of this East Coast port. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England
  • Randy Newman wrote the song without ever going to Baltimore. He explained to The Guardian: "I had been through it in a train and I saw this story about it in National Geographic."
  • Newman is quite harsh about Baltimore.

    The city's dyin' and they don't know why.

    He admitted: "I didn't feel good about that. [Laughs] I think people in Baltimore who objected to that song had a real good case because I didn't know anything about it."

Comments: 3

  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaFred there is also the old Country tune, I know Buck Owens did a version of this: Streets Of Baltimore.
  • Fred from Laurel, MdAwesome list, Dee!
    Now, OK, I know it's not actually ABOUT Baltimore, but it *does* mention the city -- "Engine Number Nine" by Roger Miller
    -- "I know she got off in Baltimore."
  • Deethewriter from Saint Petersburg, Russia FederationMore Songs About Baltimore, Maryland:

    Raining In Baltimore by Counting Crows
    Streets of Baltimore by Graham Parsons
    Baltimore To Washington by Woody Guthrie
    Baltimore by Lyle Lovett
    Baltimore by Nina Simone
    What's New In Baltimore by Frank Zappa
    The Baltimore Sun by The Jayhawks
    Baltimore by The Drifters
    Oh Baltimore by Mullyman
    Baltimore by Lee Ritenour
    Baltimore by Roy Buchanan
    Baltimore's Fireflies by Woodkid
    Dear Baltimore by Carter's Chord
    Baltimore Eviction by Roy Wood Jr.
    Baltimore by Robbie & Sly
    From Baltimore To Paris by Go West
    Back In Baltimore by Danny Bryant
    Baltimore Oriole by Bob Dorough
    Doing Time in Baltimore by Caleb Stine
see more comments

Editor's Picks

The Untold Story Of Fiona Apple's Extraordinary MachineSong Writing

Fiona's highly-anticipated third album almost didn't make it. Here's how it finally came together after two years and a leak.

Jimmy WebbSongwriter Interviews

Webb talks about his classic songs "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," "Wichita Lineman" and "MacArthur Park."

Adam Duritz of Counting CrowsSongwriter Interviews

"Mr. Jones" took on new meaning when the song about a misguided view of fame made Adam famous.

How The Beatles Crafted Killer ChorusesSong Writing

The author of Help! 100 Songwriting, Recording And Career Tips Used By The Beatles, explains how the group crafted their choruses so effectively.

Penny Ford of Snap!Songwriter Interviews

The original voice of Snap!, this story is filled with angry drag queens, video impersonators and Chaka Khan.

Narada Michael Walden - "Freeway of Love"They're Playing My Song

As a songwriter and producer, Narada had hits with Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Starship. But what song does he feel had the greatest impact on his career?