Words: Fred Ebb; Music: John Kander (1977)

Lyrics

Start spreading the news, I’m leaving 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 want to 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.

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.

Background

“New York, New York” is the theme song from the Martin Scorsese film New York, New York (1977). It was written for and performed in the film by Liza Minnelli, though it wasn’t made really famous until being performed by Frank Sinatra. Composers Kander and Ebb stated that they attribute the song’s success to actor Robert De Niro, who rejected their original theme for the film because he thought it was “too weak.”

Performances

Here is Liza Minnelli’s performance from the movie. It starts about 20 seconds into the clip.

And here is Sinatra’s famous recording: