Sunday, September 2, 2007

"Such a beautiful disease": The Romantic Songs of New York

Romance and New York City. They go together like a bagel and a shmear. And romance and music ... ahhh, one could not exist without the other.

There are so many songs about NYC that naming them all would be only slightly easier than rowing a boat to Jupiter. And among these myriad melodies, there are many romantic songs about the city too. Here are some of my favorites

"I Guess the Lord Must be in New York City" by Harry Nilsson (1969). From the album Harry, this is a hummable tune about wanting to fulfill your dreams. Best lyrics:

Well here I am Lord
Knocking on your back door
Ain't it wonderful to be
Where I've always wanted to be
For the first time I'll be free
In New York City

"New York City", sung by They Might be Giants, author unknown (1996). From the album Factory Showroom, this quirky song is romantic and poignant while also being funny and upbeat. Best lyrics:

You wrote me a letter just the other day
Said, Springtime is coming soon so why don't you come to stay.
I packed my stuff, got on the bus, I can't believe it's true
I'm three days from New York City and I'm three days from you

"New York City" by Norah Jones, Peter Malick (2003). From the album New York City, the young Ms Jones croons this sexy ballad about loving and learning. Best lyrics:

I wanted to think there was endless love
Until I saw the light dim in your eyes
In the dead of the night I found out
Sometimes there's love that won't survive

New York City
Such a beautiful disease

"NYC Man" by Lou Reed (1996). From the album Set the Twilight Reeling, this is one of Lou Reed's many love letters to the city. A song that captures how living in New York requires a tough emotional core. Best lyrics:

A Kingdom sits on a black knight's back
As he tries to mount a white jeweled horse
While a clock full of butterflies on the hour
Releases a thousand moths
You say " leave" and I'll be gone
Without any remorse
No letters, faxes, phones or tears
There's a difference between
Bad and worse
I'm a New York City man, blink your eyes and I'll be gone
New York City - man, blink your eyes and I'll be gone
New York City, I love you, New York City man

By romantic, I just don't mean songs about love. These are songs that capture the city's softer side, it's vulnerable, yearning spirit. I hope you'll listen to these songs and enjoy them as much I do.

1 comment:

Please keep it civil, intelligent, and expletive-free. Otherwise, opine away.