There are tons of songs about New York, and plenty about Brooklyn. While we’re part of the 718 crew for life, if you hadn’t noticed, Sheepshead Bay fails to get much play on the airwaves. That’s not to say we’ve been totally forgotten about. Here are the top five (who are we kidding, it’s the only five) songs that mention Sheepshead Bay:
5. “Hopscotch Willie” – Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks
Pavement’s Stephen Malkmus, famed for one-hit wonder “Cut Your Hair“, later regrouped as Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks. We get another brief mention from an almost-indie-supergroup in “Hopscotch Willie”, as the Jicks boast Sleater-Kinney drummer Janet Weiss. Malkmus sings of finding a body under a pier, which doesn’t really do much for our reputation here. All press is good press, though, right?
4, “The Hatred” – Chubb Rock
Chubb Rock may not be a household name like Jay-Z, but with VH1 heralding his 2008 single “Treat Em Right” as one of the greatest hip-hop songs of all time, the Jamaican-born rapper finds himself on the map. Also on that map is Sheepshead Bay! In his 1992 album “I Gotta Get Mine Yo”, Chubb mentions the Bay while going through the various neighborhoods he’s attached to. An anthem of what’s wrong with society, the Bay is noted as his place of education. Now that’s more like it!
3. “The Janitor’s Boy” – Natalie Merchant
In a largely unnoticed and highly academic project, former “Maniac” Natalie Merchant released an album in early 2010 that invites fans and literature buffs alike to experience her own spin on obscure-to-most poetry selections. “The Janitor’s Boy” comes from child prodigy poet and New Yorker, Nathalia Crane, whose prowess garnered her some criticism due to the mature content coming from a 10-year-old. Merchant’s calming yet impassioned voice makes this subtle mention of our Sheepshead Bay a rare treat, even if sailing away with the apple of your eye seems a little dated when you can just pop in a cab over to the Jet Blue terminal at JFK.
2. “Girls” – Beastie Boys
How can we mention Brooklyn-based music without mentioning the Beastie Boys? This one’s a stretch… they don’t specifically say Sheepshead Bay, though they “took a walk down to the Bay,” and I like to think that we’ve got another hallmark here. We do know that The Beastie Boys got their first taste of the limelight by appearing on The Scott and Gary Show, created by two Sheepshead Bay residents in the 80s, so it’s not unlikely. Maybe the Boys took their gal pals to Randazzo’s after hitting the movies… who knows?
1. Bone to Bone – Aerosmith
Perhaps a little under the radar for the casual Aerosmith fan, “Bone to Bone” is off 1979’s Night in the Ruts and mentions the Bay right from the get-go. Bet you didn’t know Aerosmith even knew Sheepshead Bay existed. Not remotely one of their hits, it’s better than most of the drivel they’ve turned out in the last decade or so. With such a mere mention, why do they get the top spot? Because I’m guessing this is the most recognized band on the list. Even if it’s primarily a song about Coney Island, this is the most notable mention we’re going to get until Justin Bieber writes an ode to the Sewage Treatment Plant.
Did you know a song about Sheepshead Bay that we missed? Let us know!