10 Songs that Celebrate Chicago


Chicago is steeped in musical culture. The city has made countless contributions to jazz, blues, soul, hip hop, rock and so forth. In turn, Chicago has inspired many artists to pen an ode to the city. Here are 10 of the greatest songs about the Windy City.

1. Frank Sinatra: "My Kind of Town"
"
My Kind of Town" was released in 1964 as part of the musical "Robin and the 7 Hoods," which starred members of the Rat Pack. The lyrics praise the people and places of Chicago.



2. Robert Johnson: "Sweet Home Chicago"
"Sweet Home Chicago" was released in 1936 by Robert Johnson, and it has had many adaptations since then. One of the song's most infamous uses was its rendition in Chicago-based film "The Blues Brothers."



3. Kanye West: "Homecoming"
Released in 2008, "Homecoming" is Kanye's tribute to his hometown. In it he expresses his love for Chicago, his guilt for leaving the city to further his career and his desire to make it proud.



4. Sufjan Stevens: "Chicago"
"Chicago" is one of Sufjan Stevens' best-known hits off his 2005 album Illinois. Although not from Chicago himself, Stevens loosely writes about his own experiences passing through the city.



5. Wilco: "Via Chicago"
Chicago alternative rock band Wilco released "Via Chicago" on their 1999 album Summerteeth. "Via Chicago" is a grisly ballad that embraces some of the darker aspects of the city and relationships.



6. Patrick Stump: "This City"
Fall Out Boy member and Chicago native Patrick Stump released "This City" on his 2011 solo album Soul Punk. The song, which was remixed with Chicago rapper Lupe Fiasco, is a soulful ode to the city.



7. Smashing Pumpkins: "Tonight, Tonight"
As one of Chicago's most influential alternative rock groups, the Smashing Pumpkins released one of their biggest hits, "Tonight, Tonight," in 1996. The song, which refers to a "city by the lake," used the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to record its string parts.



8. Chicago: "Take Me Back to Chicago"
Hitmaker Chicago frequently paid homage to their roots, as they did on their 1985 album with the title track, "Take Me Back to Chicago." The song reflects on how city life was "free and easy."



9. Styx: "Back to Chicago"
Notorious Chicago rock group Styx penned a love letter to their hometown with "Back to Chicago" on the 1990 album Edge of the Century. The song's character promises to return home to Chicago for good.



10. Bessie Smith: "Chicago Bound Blues"
One of the best blues singers of her time, Bessie Smith released "Chicago Bound Blues" in 1923. The song echos back to the city's great jazz age.



Mary Daly is a journalist from Chicago. Hearing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" sung at a Chicago Cubs' World Series game would be music to her ears.