Playlist: Just A Girl In The World


0. 2/20/2012 – Here/Queer Call for Submissions, by Riese
1. 3/02/2012 – Queer Girl City Guide: Montreal, Canada, by Sid
2. 3/05/2012 – Playlist: Here/Queer, by Riese

alex in the sky with diamonds (via two bois, one road)

In honor of Here/Queer month, I’ve assembled some of my favorite songs about places! I wanted to include Will Smith’s “Miami” but wasn’t sure if anyone besides me likes that song. Let me know. I can change anything, anytime.

Carolina On My Mind – James Taylor
Anchorage – Michelle Shocked
Southern California Wants To Be Western New York – Dar Williams
Chicago – Sufjan Stevens
London – The Smiths
Georgia On My Mind – Ray Charles
Graceland – Paul Simon
California – Joni Mitchell
Iowa – Dar Williams
Autumn in New York – Billie Holliday
The City of New Orleans – Arlo Guthrie
Feelin’ Massachusetts – Juliana Hatfield
Hello, Birmingham – Ani DiFranco
China – Tori Amos
Look At Miss Ohio – Gillian Welch
Nashville – Indigo Girls
Boston Song – Abigail Lapell
I Wish I Was In New Orleans – Tom Waits
Munich – Editors
The Ghost of Geneva Heights – Stars
Ohio – Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
Calgary – Bon Iver
London Calling – The Clash
No Sleep Til Brooklyn – Beastie Boys
California Love – Tupac
I Want To Go Back to Michigan – The Mellomen with Thurl Ravenscroft
To West Texas – Explosions in the Sky

Here/Queer from Autostraddle on 8tracks.

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3179 articles for us.


  1. This makes me just want to pack a backpack and get on a train and go to all of these places and sing each song to its state/city/place.

  2. ohh, thanks for putting abi in there <3

    there are a lot of ohio songs so i figured i'd add that i love ohio by the low anthem

    • I feel like there are so many songs about Ohio because we like to create the illusion that things happen here.

  3. riese, this is the best! makes me feel like I am on a bus going somewhere exciting even though I am sitting on a couch. i would add Say yes! To Michigan! and also Helpless by Neil Young ( there is a town in north ontario…)

  4. Iowa is still my go-to shower song, but I feel like Beirut (wait that’s a place name but I mean the band) should be represented on this playlist, because they have so many awesome place-based songs. I nominate East Harlem (, although there’s also Nantes and so many others.

  5. When I read the title of this post I thought it was going to be a No Dout appreciation post and was solely disappointed

  6. i’m a really big fan of the mountain goats’ ‘all hail west texas’, but more specifically the song “the best ever death metal band in denton”

    …mostly because i love in denton, but it’s really a great song!

  7. May I suggest ‘hello im in Delaware’ by City and colour, it’s all about going places and I have nothing but love for acoustic music.

  8. Go Ohio! My home state may not be as shiny as the east coast cities or as sunny as the west, but at least we inspire some great songs.

    • i am technically “from” Ohio too! i was born in a small town called Piqua, which i didn’t know existed until I turned sixteen and had to fill out a driver’s license application. i also lived in Cincinnati for 5 years. true story.

  9. I’d like to add Washington, DC by the Magnetic Fields because it’s the sweetest. And Oregon Girl by Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin (what an annoying band name) because it is ALSO the sweetest.

  10. the best thing about Iowa is that Dar said later that she was trying to come out as straight, but people misinterpreted the line “i’ve never had a way with women” as socially incompetent lesbianism

  11. I was expecting at least one bon iver song.

    I’d like to add:keane-hamburg song & art brut-st pauli

  12. Everyone in NC knows ‘Carolina On My Mind’. It’s such a nice song and perfect for this state. :)

    • the song gives me a lot of feelings and reminds me of my childhood even though i’ve never actually been to north carolina or south carolina

  13. Has anyone spotify-ed this yet? if so, I won’t, but if I don’t hear by Wednesday I will & I’ll share the link

  14. Not gonna lie, I think I’d be more impressed if this playlist was more “Just a Girl in the World” and less “Just a Girl who spends the vast majority of her time in the US and very occasionally takes trips to other countries”.

  15. This is great :) Really excited to see Gillian Welch and Editors in there! (And of course Bon Iver)

    OK so this is a bit of a UK-centric comment, but, does anyone notice how amazing and poetic American place names seem in song titles and lyrics? And then, conversely, a UK place-name would just sound like arse? London just about gets away with it (maybe) … but, imagine a song about, like, Rotherham or something. Or Bishops Itchington – it just wouldn’t work. WHY IS THIS? Is it because we can’t shake off the association with folk-music? Or because American place names are exciting, open-ended, vowel-rich words that represent concepts more than actual places?

    It’s bothered me for ages. I hope it’s not just me that finds it awkward or I’ll sound like a lunatic …

    • I kind of understand what you mean… For me it’s with spanish words… Like the songs titles in english always sound cooler or chic! :-S

    • I understand what you mean, although I think it’s probably a case of linguistic grass-is-always-greener mixed with the (mis)fortunes of who you get invaded by.

      Back before the Americas were even a twinkle in a conquistador’s eye, Britain was already a patchwork of Bognors, Muckings and Snoddingtons. Blame the Saxons.

      That being said, beauty is always in the eye of the beholder; it really comes down to whether you equate “poetic” with “pretty.” You can keep your Georgias and Californias, I’ll take a good Nether Wallop any day.

      • I guess the Native Americans and Conquistadors were just better lyricists than Alfred the Great … not that you could ever tell him that

  16. The Ghost of Geneva Heights <3

    ++ I just heard Bon Iver play Calgary, not one hour ago. Amaze.

  17. “Garden State Stomp” by Dave Van Ronk is hands down the best song about New Jersey, with every song by Bruce Springsteen coming in at close second.

    But seriously. Listen to it. Then listen to it while on acid. You’ll understand.

  18. Love this idea.

    More “place” songs that make me smile:

    John Denver – Take me home country roads
    Dougie MacLean – Caledonia
    Johnny Cash (most famous cover) – I’ve been everywhere
    Brian Dale – I miss Grand Bend

  19. California by Joni is one of my favorite songs.

    I feel like a lot of straddlers would like Baltimore by Mal Blum; it has a Harry Potter reference and “you’re like vegan cheese! try as I might, you never melt for me”.

  20. I also like James Taylors’s, “Sweet baby James” because he talks about the Masspike trip from Stockbrdige to Boston with such flowery prose, and being a Mass girl it strikes a chord in me.

    Pogues, “Fairlytale of New York”

    Barry Manilow, “Weekend in New England”, right,New England is my favourite place in the world. Yes I have eclectic taste.

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