New York is a dream destination for millions of people. They want to feel the spirit of The City That Never Sleeps. The bigger the city, the more opportunities it offers for self-development. New York is associated with the famous Broadway scene, the stock market on Wall Street, world-famous actors, and singers. People think that going to New York is the key to success. The longing for New York City has been expressed in hundreds of songs. Here are some of the best songs about New York:
Frank Sinatra – New York, New York
The song was released in April 1980. It is the theme song from Martin Scorsese’s film “New York, New York”. The music is composed by John Kander – a famous American composer mainly known for his work in the musical theater. The song is emblematic for the city and can be heard during social and sports events, it is also often used in movies.
Sinatra sings “I want to wake up, in a city that doesn’t sleep” which refers to one of the famous pseudonyms New York has – The City That Never Sleeps. He also sings “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere” which means that making a career in New York is a tough but challenging experience.
Sting – Englishman In New York
“Englishman In New York” is a song released in 1987. It is performed by the English singer Sting. It is thought that the “Englishman” is Quentin Crisp – an eccentric gay icon, who moved to live in Manhattan.
The song is about the differences between Englishmen and Americans – they speak the same language but have completely different manners. The Englishman is a gentleman, the American is not so Sting sings “Gentleness, sobriety are rare in this society”.
If you do not like how Sting sings the song, you can hear the recording of Cris Cab.
Moby – New York, New York
Moby is an electronica American musician. His song about New York was released in October 2006. In its video, we can see cheerleaders performing a comedy dance. The girls explore New York while Moby is singing “New York, New York, does it taste right, does it feel right”.
Alicia Keys, Jay Z – Empire State of Mind
The song was released in October 2009. It was written by Angela Hunte and Janet Sewell-Ulepic as a tribute to the city but later they submitted it to Jay Z. In the song’s video, Jay Z and Alicia Keys are performing in some significant places in New York, mainly on Times Square. The video begins with a series of black-and-white images of New York. We can see Brooklyn Bridge, Rockefeller Center, Empire State Building.
The lyrics describe New York City as a jungle where “noise is always loud, there are sirens all around and the streets are mean”. But still, the city is a place for people who have “a pocketful of dreams”. In New York “dreams are made of”.
Mos Def – Brooklyn
Dante Terrell Smith, known as Mos Def, is an American rapper, actor, and activist born in Brooklyn, New York City. His song is a tribute to Brooklyn where he grew up and began his music career. He still lives in Brooklyn today. The song was released in 1999. Mos Def expresses his love of Brooklyn – the place which is “best in the world and all USA”.
The Chainsmokers – New York City
The song by the American DJ duo The Chainsmokers was released in October 2015. The song is about an ended love relationship and The Chainsmokers sing “New York City, please go easy on this heart of mine, ‘cause I’m losing my lover to the arms of another”.
Lenny Kravitz – New York City
Lenny Kravitz is an American singer. He has won the Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance four times in a row. His song “New York City” was released in 2010. In its video, we can see the crowded streets of New York. Lenny turns to the city as if it was a beloved woman: “She is my heart, I love New York City. She’s the greatest town that you’ll ever find, yeah”.
Bonus track: The Drifters – On Broadway
The Drifters are an American RnB/Soul vocal group. Their most relevant song in their rich collection is the song dedicated to the beauty, struggles, and harsh life of those that have just arrived on Broadway, but also about their undreakable spirit!
Many songs about New York have made the city an immortal pop-culture icon. Many tourists are inspired to visit just by them. Others come to see a show on Broadway! Here are the best love stories, and the best shows – on and off-Broadway!