Listening over the weekend to Queens native Q-Tip’s new album over the weekend left a lyric of his from a much older song in my head: “Back in the days on the boulevard of Linden …” I always mumble that line to myself when passing sign for the Linden Bouelvard exit on the Van Wyck Expressway.
But I digress. My point is, it got me thinking about some of the other gazillion popular songs that mention New York, and what my favorites are. Few, if any, cities have inspired as many popular songs as New York. I mean, just Billy Joel alone could fill a couple albums with his. (Actually, he did.)
But I already know what my favorites are. So I’m wondering what YOUR favorites are. So please leave comments telling me your faves–but first, a few ground rules:
Simply mentioning New York (“Hey There Delilah” by the Plain White Ts, “We’re a Happy Family” by the Ramones, “Check the Rhyme” by A Tribe Called Quest, etc.) isn’t good enough. You can only pick songs where New York (or some part of it) is really the focus.
Same goes for having New York in the title. “The 59th Street Bridge Song” by Simon and Garfunkel may be a great song but it’s not really about the 59th Street Bridge. Well, unless somebody recently repaved it with cobblestones and forgot to tell me.
Songs can be from any genre–rock, rap, showtunes, whatevs–but must have been performed by a professional recording artist or group. I.e., no songs written by you, or your friend, or your cousin, or your cousin’s friend.
To get you into a New York state of mind (sorry), here’s a too-broad-but-still-useful Wikipedia list of songs about New York, and a couple of videos of a couple of my faves, including the one that provided the name for this blog.