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Houston Mixtape Volume III

More local anthems

About 20 years later, rap-punks Simpleton released “Milo,” a tribute to the announcer, the then brand-new Enron Stadium, Jose Lima, the Killer B's and Romey-Rome. “Hey, they've done it again, the Astros are the Central Division Champions,” goes the chorus, “with a little bit of help from Craig Biggio, and Jeff Bagwell / and maybe one day, the World Series / but until then we've got to keep-keep-keepin' on.” Actually, the words work better in the song than they do on paper.

Aside from Telephone Road, not many Houston streets have inspired songsmiths. One exception is Fannin Street. There are a number of songs that refer to the Fannin Street in Shreveport, but at least two refer to our own. Guy Clark's “Don't Let the Sunshine Fool You,” which was recorded by Townes Van Zandt, has the line “Fannin' street in the afternoon's / An easy way to get a tune.” More recently, last year in fact, Tom Waits was also inspired by the same thoroughfare. His new album Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards features the song “Fannin Street,” which begins with the lines “There's a crooked street in Houston town / it's a well-worn path I've traveled down / now there's ruin in my name / I wish I'd never got off the train and I wish I'd listened to the words you said / Don't go down to Fannin Street / you'll be lost and never found, you can never turn around.”

Seeing as Fannin is one-way, and often wracked by orange-barrel construction woes, we know exactly what he means.

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