New England roundup #12

I’m back from New England, so it’s time to get caught up on the latest items of note about New England.

But first, via a commenter on Matt Yglesias’s post about his soundtrack for a drive from D.C. to Maine, I’ve just discovered Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers’ song “New England.” Several years ago, a friend brought Richman’s “Roadrunner” to my attention, and it’s a fantastic song, with a lot of New England flavor (“Gonna drive past the Stop ‘n’ Shop…”), but of a Greater Boston-centric sort. “New England” is sparer but more catholic, consisting basically of the repeated couplet “Dum-de-dum-de-dum-dum-da-dum-day / Oh, New England” and a shout-out to Maine. When I one day teach my prospective course New England’s history and regional identity since the Civil War—which I really do mean to write more about here sometime—I’m definitely playing this on the first day of class. Until then, consider it the official anthem of these posts.

Pamphlet titled "South Shore of Massachusetts Bay," 1910 (image from Historic New England, Ephemera collection)
Pamphlet titled "South Shore of Massachusetts Bay," 1910 (image from Historic New England, Ephemera collection)

On to this week’s roundup:

About this feature: Each week, I compile recent articles and other items relating to New England’s history, its regional identity, and its future. If you come across something interesting or relevant, please submit it for inclusion in a future post. Click here for previous roundups.

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