1. “Sweet Home Chicago” by Robert Johnson
Most Chicago line: “Oh baby don't you want to go / Back to the land of California / To my sweet home Chicago.”
No surprise here, “Sweet Home Chicago” is easily the most well known song about Chicago, despite the original 1936 rendition by Robert Johnson containing more references to California than Chicago. Some have theorized that the Cali references refer to California Ave, but the altered version that replaces the “Back to the land of California” line with “Back to that same old place” is the better known version thanks to bands like The Blues Brothers who helped popularize the song for the modern era. Hey, they were on a mission from God.
“Chicago” by Sufjan Stevens
“Chicago Seemed Tired Last Night” by The Hold Steady
“Chi-Town” by The Cribs
“Back to Chicago” by Styx
“Southside” by Common
“Welcome to Chicago” by Kill Hannah
“Chicago” by Portugal. The Man.
“Chicago at Night” by Spoon
“Chi-Raq” by Nicki Minaj
“Chicago Is So Two Years Ago” by Fall Out Boy
“Living In Chicago” by the Bee Gees
“LAX to O’Hare” by The Academy Is…
“Tonight, Tonight” by Smashing Pumpkins
“When the Levee Breaks” by Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie (popularized by Led Zeppelin)
“In the Ghetto” by Elvis Presley
“We’re All Crazy in Chicago” by Jonathon Brandmeier
“Super Bowl Shuffle” by the Chicago Bears
“Go Cubs Go” by Steve Goodman
“Chelsea Dagger” by The Fratellis
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Jay Gentile is a Thrillist contributor and, like the Paul Butterfield song, was born in Chicago. Follow @innerviewmag.