MYNORTHWEST HISTORY

All Over The Map: ‘La Push It’ and other dumb Washington parody songs

Aug 30, 2019, 5:38 PM | Updated: 5:55 pm

la push...

La Push in Clallam County on the Washington coast, as depicted on a 1956 topographical created by the US Geological Survey. (USGS)

(USGS)

If you’re not a big fan of our state song “Washington My Home” or you can’t quite remember all the lyrics to Woody Guthrie’s “Roll On, Columbia,” this sampler of much shorter tunes with a connection to the Evergreen State may be just what you need.

Longtime local rock DJ Bob Rivers is well known for a series of parody songs he’s created over the years, including several “Twisted Christmas” albums that sold hundreds of thousands of copies.  But my favorite Bob Rivers song of all time has more local flavor than “White Trash Christmas,” and it helped start me on a lifetime of obsessing over local pop culture.

Back in the 1970s and early 1980s, it was common to hear the name “Spokane” pronounced by national TV and radio anchors with a long “a”; that is, as if it were spelled “Spokane.” I blame that “e” on the end for causing all the trouble. Somewhere along the line Bob Rivers, who came to the Northwest in 1989, was inspired to write “Spokane,” an Eric Clapton-inspired tribute to the culture (and to those frequent mispronunciations) of the capital of the Inland Empire.

A few years before Rivers arrived here, English band The Smiths, fronted by lead singer Morrissey, released a song called “Girlfriend in a Coma.”

Perhaps it’s not surprising that just a short while later, a Seattle musician named Joey Kline created his own local riff on the chorus of that cheery song that I could never unhear: “Girlfriend in Tacoma.”

I checked with Joey Kline earlier this week to see if he had a recording of his version. Not only did he not have anything on tape, he had no recollection of ever singing such a parody.

Fortunately for us, KIRO Radio’s very talented Aaron Mason of KIRO Nights made a little re-creation excerpt of “Girlfriend in Tacoma,” and ran with two more of my ideas for dumb Washington parody songs. May you never unhear any of them!

“Girlfriend In Tacoma” performed by Aaron Mason

“Mount Vernon For You” performed by Aaron Mason

“La Push It” performed by Aaron Mason

Got any ideas for other “local” versions of songs? Please share in the comments below!

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All Over The Map: ‘La Push It’ and other dumb Washington parody songs