New York City

From This Might Be A Wiki

song name New York City
artist They Might Be Giants
releases Factory Showroom, Dial-A-Song: 20 Years Of They Might Be Giants, A User's Guide to They Might Be Giants: Melody, Fidelity, Quantity, Stumpbox Speak My Thoughts, Rhino Hi-Five: They Might Be Giants, John Henry + Factory Showroom
year 1996
first played June 21, 1996 (762 known performances)
run time 3:02
sung by John Flansburgh


This song was originally recorded by a group called cub from Vancouver. The original version is an inspired piece of garage-grrrl rock. We took a little bit of the garage element out, and put a little more New York New Wave into the mix. The original lyrics were not immediately intelligible, so some liberties were taken. ("Co-op City" is used in TMBG's version, instead of "Alphabet City" / "Katz's and Tiffany's" was "Breakfast at Tiffany's" in the original.) Lyle Workman from Frank Black's band sits in on lead guitar.
  • The original lyrics by cub refer to "The Empire State where King Kong lives", instead of "The Empire State where Dylan lived". Flansburgh tends to sing the latter version live, but has been known to do the former.
  • Instead of "I held your hand, you held mine", Flansburgh now consistently sings "You held my hand, I held yours" in live shows. However, at certain shows, Flansburgh sings the album version of the line.
  • Instead of "I'm three days from New York City and I'm three days from you," Flansburgh has sung variations, such as "I'm three hours from New York City and I'm three hours from you" during live shows in Albany, Providence and Washington DC, or "four hours" in Harrisburg, PA. He also sometimes changes the "wish I was there" lyric to other random things, such as "the LIE" (Long Island Expressway) or "the guy with the cell phone".

Song Themes

Cities, Educational, Friendship, I Am, Loneliness, Love, Music, New York City, People (Real), Places (Real), Precious Metal, Questions, Streets, Telecommunication, Transportation, US States, Weather, Islands, TMBG Remakes


Current Rating

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New York City is currently ranked #237 out of 844. (118 wikians have given it an average rating of 8.57)