New York City is an inspiring place, thousands of artists constantly travel to the Big Apple to make it their muse. Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, Staten Island, every district of the city has a charm that falls in love, every avenue, street, skyscraper, park, corner of the Big Apple has a unique essence that makes the artists pay tribute to it, and a proof of them are the magnificent songs that many musicians from different places on Earth have made New York City their protagonist in several songs.
Below, you will find a list with 10 songs about New York, have a look at the list to include some songs in your playlist and listen to them while you do your tour of New York.
Let’s get started!
New York, New York – Frank Sinatra
Probably the most emblematic song, it can be said that Frank Sinatra’s New York, New York is the anthem of the Big Apple. The song was written by John Kander and Fred Ebb with the intention of making it the soundtrack for Martin Scorsese’s New York, New York and although the film was not a box office success, the song went on to immortality. This song was originally performed by Liza Minelli.
Empire State of Mind – Alicia Keys and Jay-Z
A song that reflects the American dream narrates how a boy of low class and who lived in the apartments of Marcy Projects achieved the national and international musical stardom. Empire State of Mind is an inspiring song that invites you to tour in New York City completely, to discover each of its corners and marvel at what you find at every step.
New York City Serenade – Bruce Springsteen
A song that is something like a mini opera dedicated to New York City in which you will feel an emotional tension ranging from melancholy, romanticism, to happiness. New York City Serenade is a song that invites you to live life, to leave behind the bad moments and adversities to the rhythm of the city, a song in which it seems that you can feel the heart of the City that Never Sleeps.
Walk on the Wild Side – Lou Reed
Lewis Allen Reed, better known as Lou Reed, dedicated one of his poems to the fantastic city of New York. In his song Walk on the Wild Side the Brooklyn-born singer detailed the life of New York’s streets, the lyrics of the song are a description of the Big Apple beyond luxuries and parties, a song that gives a face to the less fortunate. Lou Reed made a masterpiece that has persisted over the years.
English Man in New York – Sting
Love for New York City crosses borders. English Man in New York is a song that motivates you to walk aimlessly through the Big Apple to marvel at what you find in each street, is also a song that encourages you to make a tour of New York alone, to be yourself, the singer wanted to represent what it is like to walk through the Big Apple. The City that Never Sleeps was the muse of inspiration in his beginnings as a soloist.
First We Take Manhattan – Leonard Cohen
This song is one of the most beautiful poems that has been dedicated to New York City, each line of the lyrics of First We Take Manhattan is rebellious, a song asks you to stop for a few minutes to think about where you are and what are you doing. In addition to being a great poem, it also ingeniously describes different places in New York City.
Rockaway Beach –The Ramones
The mythical Punk Rock band performed one of the best tributes to New York City with their song Rockaway Beach. Through their rebellious riffs and Joe Ramone’s iconic voice they managed to give an identity to the beaches of Queens, show that the Big Apple goes beyond Manhattan and that there are more places to have fun, to have a good time and understand the life of New Yorkers who live in different boroughs. A special song, especially if you want to feel that fast beat that can give you a city like New York.
An open letter to New York – Beastie Boys
Dedicated to each of the districts of New York City, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Staten and Manhattan were the inspiration for these famous rappers, each district has something to show, each district represents a part of the Big Apple and this is just what the Beastie Boys wanted everyone to know. It cleverly details the different facets of the Borough and how each of them has a distinctive personality.
New York City Boy – Pet Shop Boys
A pop anthem, New York City Boy is a song that invites you to have fun, it tells you that in New York City there is not a single boring moment, the city is a metropolis that is made so that people always find something to do. A song that motivates a tour of New York to feel that you cannot waste a single minute when you’re in the City that Never Sleeps no matter what time of year you visit.
New York City – John Lennon
We end with a song that motivates you to return to the Big Apple, tour New York and explore every neighborhood in the city. New York City is a great song in which you can see the love that John Lennon felt for her, how the Big Apple became her home and gave her the freedom she hadn’t found anywhere else, a city that filled one of the most famous Beatles with happiness. New York City was also a source of inspiration for the singer.