Melbourne songs: 8 tracks about Melbourne suburbs that sum up the city

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Melbourne songs: 8 tracks about Melbourne suburbs that sum up the city

Brunswick Street, Fitzroy - Photo by Marcus Bichel Lindegaard via Wikimedia Commons
Words by Benjamin Lamb

The best way to know Melbourne is through its songs; how its communities and landmarks have influenced some of Australia's greatest music.

Today, we’re taking a trip around some of our favourite Melbourne ‘burbs, which have had epic, enlightening, or just downright zany songs written about them.

Depreston’ – Courtney Barnett

Starting in Preston with Courtney Barnett, she gives a voice to millennial and Get Y’ers who have struggled to break into the housing market.

By using the suburb of Preston as an example, a town where Barnett resided at the time, known for the exuberant house prices. ‘I would never be in a position where I could buy a house, I don’t think,” Barnett said at the time.

Read our tribute to Courtney Barnett’s ‘Depreston’ here. The song was apart of Barnett’s debut breakout album, Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit. 

‘When We’re In Fitzroy’ – Gretta Ray

Now moving our Melbourne songs collective into Fitzroy, with Gretta Ray’s love letter to the suburb.

Never a stranger to writing about the love for her hometown, her lyrical prowess transports us into the inner city hub. She compares it to a paradise, with the contrast of beautiful storytelling and tranquil guitar, you’ll probably want to move there after listening to this song.

You can catch ‘When We’re In Fitzroy’ on Gretta’s EP Here and Now.

Collingwood’ – The Sharp

Melbourne cult favourites The Sharp penned a track about the suburb they grew up in.

With lyrics like “The girls all dressed in black but so was everybody else”, it gives us an insight into what it was like in Collingwood back in the 90s. I

t also dives into what the trio got up to during their formative band years in the suburb. Check out the song below. The track was featured on the group’s greatest hits album, Single File.


‘Old Fitzroy’ – Dan Sultan

Aussie rocker Dan Sultan is another who’s never been a stranger to writing about all things Melbourne and Australia, penning ‘Old Fitzroy’ about the changes the suburb he grew up in has gone through, done with his unique songwriting and storytelling ability, this track’ll definitely move you. Check it out below.

The track was featured on Dan’s album Get Out While You Can. 

‘Brunswick’ – Weddings, Parties, Anything

Everyone’s secret favourite suburb has had a number of songs penned about it, one of the best being by folk group Weddings, Parties, Anything.

The track is looking back to an early Brunswick, through the eyes of a young boy growing up in the suburb, enjoying everything it’s got to offer, the track describing some of the constants of Brunswick culture over the years.

You can find ‘Brunswick’ on the group’s album Roaring Days.

Spotswood’ – The Orbweavers

The duo penned this track in honour of the Spotswood Sewerage Pumping Station, an important part of Spotswood culture in the early 1900’s.

The track’s about the movement throughout the station, and the process of moving back home. Done with their laid back musical stylings, you are drawn into every lyric that’s sung.

The song was featured on their 2011 release, Loom.


The Boy Who Lost His Jocks On Flinders St Station’ – Painters and Dockers

Just by title alone, it’s clear this track is a journey through the irreverent wit we’ve heard in a number of different Painters and Dockers tracks.

This one detailing the journey of a character who, as the name suggests, loses his underwear at Melbourne’s most popular train station. It’s full of other references and name checks, see how many you can hear below.

This track featuring on the group’s album Love Planet. 


Northcote (So Hungover)’ – The Bedroom Philosopher

If you’re keen for a laugh, then check out The Bedroom Philosopher’s take on the other Indie capital of the state.

He dives into the hilarious stereotypes of the Melbourne hipster, a tongue-in-cheek jab at the music-loving group. Coupled with an equally cool music video, it’s a great modern take on the suburb. Check it out below.

This Melbourne song features on the album Songs From The 86 Tram.

From Painters and Dockers to The Beatles, check out the 10 best songs written about Melbourne here.