Scarborough ranks unexpectedly as one of most sung about places in the world

Scarborough Fair Collection.  One of the model exhibitions amongst the collection .pic Richard Ponter
Scarborough Fair Collection. One of the model exhibitions amongst the collection .pic Richard Ponter

A new interactive music map showing the world’s most sung about places features New York, London, Paris as the most sung about - and Scarborough ranks as one of the unexpected places to feature on it.

With a total of 239 songs featuring 79 places, the classic anthem Scarborough Fair by Simon & Garfunkel pushed Scarborough onto the list, with its famous lyric ‘Are you going to Scarborough Fair?’

Global travel company Celebrity Cruises teamed up with data scientists and music experts to create the first-of-its-kind interactive music map, which analysed more than 200,000 songs to discover places around the world mentioned the most in songs since the 1960s.

America takes the top spot with 1,401 songs mentioning 230 places, with New York being the most popular place in the world to sing about with 161 charting singles featuring it in the lyrics, while London is not far behind with the UK’s capital city being mentioned in 101 songs.

The top five most referenced places in the UK were Liverpool, Brixton, Dover and Belfast according to the research. Drake, Jay-Z and Elvis mention the places most in their chart-topping hits.

The map can be viewed here and is filterable by genre, decade and artist.

It is the largest collection of song and geographic data publicly available, providing a look at how references to places around the world in music has changed based on genre and decade.