Music-lovers and map aficionados, rejoice! Here’s a great interactive Google Maps of Boston with pins dropped on locations that have been name-dropped in songs.
The map was created by real estate developer Constantine Valhouli, who also made a similar map of New York City’s musical references in recent weeks. “One of my inadvertent inspirations was the aboriginal people,” Valhouli told The Boston Globe. “They had something called songlines. They would navigate by using lyrics of traditional songs. These are Boston and New York songlines.”
Those songlines follow some well-worn tracks around the city, including into Harvard, Fenway Park, and Logan Airport.
The mass of musicians making those references are full of local mainstays – Boston and the Dropkick Murphys, to name two – but there are a number of bands with less obvious relationships to the Hub.
For one, there’s Vampire Weekend’s “Ladies of Cambridge,” with sample lyrics like “I’ve had dreams of Boston all of my life. Chinatown between the sound of the night.” Other artists like R.E.M. (“It’s the End of the World As We Know It”), The Pixies (“U-Mass”), and State Radio (“Knights of Bostonia”) make an appearance as well.
To help in your musical Boston exploration, we created a Spotify playlist of some of the best songs in Valhouli’s map. So press play while you search for the closest reference to your favorite places around the city.