Madonna May Love New York, But What's The Official Anthem?
November 16th, 2005

Madonna’s new song “I Love New York” is, says Gawker, the “perfect anthem” for New York (though Wonkster realizes this is hip talk for “dreadful”), and then reprints the lyrics:

I don’t like cities but I like New York
Other places make me feel like a dork
Los Angeles is for people who sleep
Paris and London, baby you can keep
Other cities always make me mad
Other places always make me sad
No other made me glad, except New York
I love New York

This begs the question — what is New York’s official anthem?

The Politicker and the world-renowned NYC administrative law judge and Big Apple enthusiast Barry Popik both have said that it’s New York For The Time Of Your Life, by Frank Wildhorn, who wrote the Broadway musicals “Jekyll and Hyde” and “Dracula”, and that the lyrics go like this:

It’s a great front row seat for the world at your feet
It’s the Yankees and Knicks, the Rockettes doin’ kicks.
You can sail Sheepshead Bay, see a show on Broadway.
It’s Fifth Avenue, plenty to see and do. …
New York, New York
Winter, spring, summer, fall
Baby we’ve got it all!
New York, anytime of year
New York, it’s all happening here
New York, for the time of your life!
You can shop ’til you drop, live your life to the top.
Double header at Shea, somethin’ new every day.
It’s the lights in Times Square, the moments you share.
Summer breaks. Paint the town — paint it up, paint it down.
Take the ferry to Staten from lower Manhattan. It’s a bagel and schmear, it’s a whole other gear.
It’s a hot dog from Coney, a waiter named Tony. Yellow cabs, limousines. It’s the subway to Queens. It’s so nice, see it twice, paradise by the slice,
Brooklyn Heights, The Bronx Zoo, somethin’ old, somethin’ new
I love New York, baby come paint the town

Others, however, say it’s “New York, New York,” which was written by John Kander and Fred Ebb for Martin Scorsese’s 1977 film of the same name and which former Mayor Ed Koch proclaimed the city’s official song in 1985. The lyrics, as modified by Frank Sinatra, who made it a hit when he recorded it in 1980, go like this:

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 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
A-a-a-nd if I can make it there, I’m gonna make it anywhere
It’s up to you, New York, New York

But then what about Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden, and Adolph Green’s New York, New York (It’s A Helluva Town), or Billy Joel’s New York State Of Mind or Norah Jones’s “New York City (Such A Beautiful Disease)” ?

By on November 16, 2005, 7:09 am
In category: Arts,Gotham City | 13 Comments »

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13 Responses to “Madonna May Love New York, But What's The Official Anthem?”

  1. k Says:
    November 16th, 2005 at 10:50 am

    Barry Popik and the Politicker have got to be kidding. That Wildhorn song might have worked 60 years ago, but now? come on! No one goes to Coney Island anymore, a street survey would quickly tell you that nobody cares about the Rockettes, there are a lot of more exotic foods than a bagel with schmear, hardly any waiters are named Tony (try Vasilly or Juan) and what’s this “paint the town” stuff? Not with Bloombergs big crackdown on street art you’re not!

    nyc is anything but the city stuck in 1948 that this song portrays.

    maybe there should be subcategories for any anthem … unless you can make a mashup because there are easily hundreds of songs that would work depending on who you talk to. but please no, not another number that only works to further some sort of disneyfied stereotype.

  2. Gannett Says:
    November 16th, 2005 at 12:25 pm

    My vote is for “New York” by U2.

    “In New York freedom looks like too many choices
    In New York I found a friend to drown out the other voices
    Voices on the cell phone
    Voices from home
    Voices of the hard sell
    Voices down the stairwell
    In New York, just got a place in New York

    In New York summers get hot, well into the hundreds
    You can’t walk around the block without a change of clothing
    Hot as a hairdryer in your face
    Hot as a handbag and a can of mace
    In New York, I just got a place in New York
    New York, New York

    In New York you can forget, forget how to sit still
    Tell yorself you will stay in
    But it’s down to Alphaville

    New York, New York, New York
    New York, New York, New York

    The Irish have been coming here for years
    Feel like they own the place
    They got the airport, city hall, asphalt, dance floor, they even got the police

    Irish, Italians, Jews and Hispanics
    Religious nuts, political fanatics in the stew,
    Living happily not like me and you
    That’s where I lost you… New York

    New York, New York, New York
    New York, New York, New York
    New York

    In New York I lost it all to you and your vices
    Still I’m staying on to figure out my mid life crisis
    I hit an iceberg in my life
    You know I’m still afloat
    You lose your balance, lose your wife
    In the queue for the lifeboat

    You got to put the women and children first
    But you’ve got and unquenchable thirst for New York

    New York, New York
    New York, New York

    In the stillness of the evening
    When the sun has had its day
    I heard your voice a-whispering
    Come away now

    New, New York
    New, New York”

  3. Our Gal In Brooklyn Says:
    November 16th, 2005 at 12:45 pm

    The anthem of NorthWest Brooklyn is actually
    “Williamsburg Bridge Song” by Oakland based Black Cat Music because the lyrics are “don’t f– with the G train, Just take the B61”.

    The official soundtrack of New York is now officially the Rude Mechanical Orchestra because the play at every protest, parade and parade/protest.

    the Official song of a specific street corner and the bad old days of the city is “53rd and 3rd” by the Ramones.

    But the official band of New York has to be The New York Dolls.

  4. Karol Says:
    November 16th, 2005 at 4:43 pm

    “I ain’t have to live in New York all my life to know the A and D train go to Washington Heights.”- ‘New York, New York’ by The Game

    ‘New York State of Mind’ by Nas

    ‘NYC’ by Interpol.

  5. Chris Kerr Says:
    November 17th, 2005 at 9:13 am

    Don’t forget Cole Porter:

    I happen to like New York, I happen to like this town.
    I like the city air, I like to drink of it,
    The more I know New York the more I think of it.
    I like the sight and the sound and even the stink of it.
    I happen to like New York.
    I like to go to Battery Park and watch those liners booming in.
    I often ask myself, why should it be that they come so far across the sea.
    I suppose it’s because they all agree with me. They happen to like New York.
    Last Sunday afternoon I took a trip to Hackensack,
    But after I gave Hackensack the once over, I took the next train back.
    I happen to like New York. I happen to love this burg.
    And when I have to give the world a last farewell,
    And the undertaker starts to ring my funeral bell,
    I don’t want to go to heaven, don’t want to go to hell.
    I happen to like New York. I happen to like New York.

  6. Gannett Says:
    November 17th, 2005 at 9:22 am

    Worse than rhyming “New York” with “dork” is the verse:

    “If you don’t like my attitude
    Then you can F off
    Just go to Texas
    Isn’t that where they golf.”

    Even if it did rhyme, no, Madonna. Texas isn’t where they golf.

  7. mr. black Says:
    November 17th, 2005 at 1:38 pm

    no thanks madonna you nothing but a traitor, who ran to england to avoid paying taxes,on the billions you made here.

  8. Kitmeout Says:
    February 25th, 2006 at 2:39 am

    So Mad Madge of the Madonna kind has set up a new Limited company in the UK called, of all things: Semtex Girls. Lets face it, only a non-Brit without an understanding of recent British history would introduce the word Semtex into a company name, and if anyone was likely to put their dainty plate of meat into it mad Madge was a prime candidate. Although you would have thought Guy could have had a word in her shell like!

    Semtex, as any Brit over the age of 11 probably knows was the preferred butchering device of the infamous IRA. Semtex plastic explosive is manufactured in the Czech Republic and is safe to handle but difficult to trace, since it has no smell unlike the controversial marketing stench wafting from Semtex Girls!

    In fact, a quantity of 0.5 kg/1.1 lb of Semtex is thought to have been the cause of an explosion that destroyed a Pan-American Boeing 747 in flight over Lockerbie, Scotland, December 1988, killing 270 people.

    Of course, everyone now wants to know the nature of Mad Madges new business. Apparently, she wont reveal the exact purpose of her new venture but apparently issued the following incomprehensible marketing dribble to Contactmusic:

    The Semtex Girl is a girl who is dynamic, a girl who explodes, who doesnt know the meaning of nine to five, a girl who is unstoppable and who doesnt take no for an answer. And has excellent taste.

    Apparently Mad Madge also reassured her male fans (does she have any?) that theyre not exempt and can be Semtex Girls too! Presumably after surgery!

    Its been suggested that Madonnas new Semtex Girls company could be a fashion brand. A number of commentators have suggested we could soon be seeing Semtex Girls Clothing, T-Shirts, Jackets and Jeans. Sounds a bit cheap and tacky.

    So has Mad Madge finally lost her marbles and overstepped the accepted bounds of marketing BS. Most people could probably overlook her exploitation of Qabala to glean attention but to glamorise a substance which has been used to murder innocent civilians and could feasibly be used in the future by pseudo-Muslim terrorists to inflict mass murder is nothing less than spiritually retarded!

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