♫ New York, New York ♫

Sometimes a bit of nostalgia isn’t a bad thing, y’know?  My first 18 years were spent between San Francisco and New York, with a few other locales thrown in for fun … my father was what’s known as a “troubleshooter”, which took us back and forth, here and there, hither and yon.  Much of what molded me, however, came from the two aforementioned cities.  That was where I learned that “people is people” no matter what their skin colour, or what kind of house they live in.  That’s where I learned to embrace the differences, take joy in the exchange of cultures, to try new foods, speak new languages, and enjoy it all.  Y’know, people say that big cities are cold, dangerous places, but … they are what you make of them.  As I’ve aged, I’m less inclined to want to live in the city … instead, I envision a small, isolated place to call my own.  But, back in the day, the city was … excitement.  It was life.  Sometimes, I just like to hear Tony Bennett sing I Left My Heart in San Francisco or Sinatra belt out New York, New York.  Well, enough of my introspection and nostalgia … let’s get the show on the road!

I always have and always will associate this song with Frank Sinatra, and I forget that it was actually Liza Minnelli who debuted it in the 1977 film of the same name, which was directed by Martin Scorsese and starred Minnelli and Robert De Niro as musicians and lovers. It was written for the film by John Kander and Fred Ebb, who wrote many songs for her, including the Cabaret songs Maybe This Time and Yes.

Frank Sinatra began performing this in 1978 at concerts in New York’s Radio City Music Hall. His version was released on his 1980 triple album Trilogy: Past, Present and Future, which was highly acclaimed and brought the singer back in the public eye. New York, New York quickly became one of Sinatra’s signature songs.

This was the last hit song Sinatra released. He was one of the most popular singers of the 1940s and 1950s, but took a hit when rock and roll music took hold. Still, he retained an enormous audience that preferred his meticulously crafted orchestral songs to the guitar rock and teen pop that was taking hold.

My preference, if you haven’t guessed, is the Sinatra version, but I will offer both here, as I understand that Liza Minnelli’s was more popular on the other side of the pond.

New York, New York
Frank Sinatra

Start spreadin’ the news, I’m leavin’ today
I want to be a part of it
New York, New York
These vagabond shoes, are longing to stray
Right through the very heart of it
New York, New York

I wanna to wake up, in a city that doesn’t sleep
And find I’m king of the hill
Top of the heap

These little town blues
Are melting away
I’ll make a brand new start of it
In old New York
If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere
It’s up to you, New York, New York

New York, New York
I want to wake up in a city that never sleeps
And find I’m a number one, top of the list
King of the hill, a number one

These little town blues, are melting away
I’m gonna make a brand new start of it
In old New York
If I can make it there
I’m gonna make it anywhere
It’s up to you, New York
New York
New York

Songwriters: Fred Ebb / John Kander
New York, New York lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

19 thoughts on “♫ New York, New York ♫

  1. It’s a great song, Jill. Thanks for sharing. My daughter tried living in Brooklyn, NY for a while but got homesick for Chicago and all her friends there so took her cats and drove back. She goes to other places to work but always returns to Chicago. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you liked the song! My grandmother used to live in Chicago and as a child, I lived with her for a while. Oddly, the thing I remember most was the terror struck in my heart by the Planter’s Peanut guy on stilts walking around downtown! I’ve not been back to Chicago in … oh, probably 30 years or so.

      Liked by 1 person

          • My kids and I email, Skype, and talk on the phone. They don’t come here often because of their work but came after their dad died they came for some days to be with me and my daughter and her husband are coming March when I can meet him for the first time. They’re going to Mumbai and Delhi also so he can see more of India as it’s his first visit here. Since it’s hard for me to sit up for that many hours at a stretch these days, if I go there now it would be to stay. I might have to spend more to get a ticket where I can lay down some of the time. —- Suzanne

            Liked by 1 person

            • I know you will enjoy their visit in March, and how exciting to be meeting your new son-in-law for the first time! I understand why you wouldn’t put yourself through all that to come here, unless you decided you wanted to stay here. You seem happy where you are, so why change things. Hugs, my friend.

              Liked by 1 person

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