If you’ve never visited the Concrete Jungle of New York City, then you might not yet realize what you are missing. The huge city and its diverse melting-pot crowd draws out artistic genius and inspiration in creatives of all types. Here are some of the most iconic songs about The Big Apple.
New York, New York
And, if I can make it there
I’ll make it anywhere
It’s up to you
New York, New York
It could be said Frank Sinatra captures the pride, elegance and importance of the city in this song better than any other song written about New York. Sinatra made popular New York as the “City that Never Sleeps.” The Yankees baseball team proudly plays the song after every home game.
New York State of Mind
But I’m takin’ a Greyhound on the Hudson River line.
I’m in a New York state of mind.
Considered one of Billy Joel’s greatest hits, “New York State of Mind” was heavily influenced by the work of Ray Charles. Billy Joel told “The Howard Stern Show” the song was started in a notebook as he moved back to New York from California on a Greyhound bus and the tune was finished within an hour of getting home.
New York City Serenade
It’s midnight in Manhattan, this is no time to get cute
It’s a mad dog’s promenade
So walk tall, or baby, don’t walk at all
Bruce Springsteen described his “New York City Serenade” as his “romantic ideas and fantasies of New York City.” It is the longest Springsteen song at almost 10 minutes and was the last song he wrote with a heavy Jazz influence.
Hard Times in New York Town
Old New York City is a friendly old town
From Washington Heights to Harlem on down
There’s a-mighty many people all millin’ all around
They’ll kick you when you’re up and knock you when you’re down
Bob Dylan wrote the tongue-in-cheek song to a quick-moving blues tune in his classic talking sing-song style about the real struggles found in New York city. Dylan was a Midwesterner moved to NY and examined the bustling city with the bright eyes of a slightly lost tourist.
Grew up in a town that is famous as a place of movie scenes
Noise is always loud, there are sirens all around and the streets are mean
“If I can make it here, I can make it anywhere,” that’s what they say
Seeing my face in lights or my name on marquees found down on Broadway
Talking about home town in the Concrete Jungle, Alicia Keys writes her own hopeful serenade about the dreams created by the tough city. The beautiful tune was later adapted for the chorus of “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z who rapped verses about the grittier, hip hop scene of NY.
These songs are part of the perfect playlist for a trip to the Big Apple, and you can play them in the background as you search for the perfect place to stay in the city.