When it comes to cities that are identified by their songs, New York is one of the most famous. Frank Sinatra put it on the map with his version of “Theme Song From New York, New York”. Liza Minnelli did an earlier version, but Ol’ Blue Eyes slightly tweaked it and made it his, and his voice still lives on with this great rendition of it that we see in this video, which is a clip from his concert series, which is on DVD.
This time, we see the Chairman of the Board on a multi-level stage. There’s a full orchestra around him and after a brief introduction, he starts belting the lyric to the song that many of us know by heart: “Start spreadin’ the news… I’m leaving’ town. I want to be part of it… New York, New York “ The song, which is about self-determination, still rings as true today as it did in the late 1970’s.
Sinatra walks around the stage, sometimes gesturing at certain parts of the song. Jazz is not a musical form for a lot of histrionics. His voice is clear and confident. There’s not a hint of boredom of his singing a tune that he was likely able to sing in his sleep. He’s enjoying his time in the spotlight. Anyone who is in the audience is surely riveted by his performance. Finally, he sweeps his arm to the side with a flourish as the band finishes playing.
The song still lives on. Yankee fans warble it after every home game at Yankee Stadium. Other places use it, but this is the most prominent place. Sinatra has been dead for nearly 20 years, but he would probably smile at people still singing it today. He might grimace at their abilities to carry a tune, but he would enjoy his fame. Here’s something that denizens of New York City will still be crooning many decades from now.
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