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, 50,000,000 They Might Be Giants Songs Can't Be Wrong
year 1996
first played June 21, 1996 (868 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.
  • Flansburgh often alters lyrics of this song in live shows, which include:
    • The original lyrics by cub refer to "The Empire State where King Kong lives", while TMBG's version is "The Empire State where Dylan lived". Flansburgh often tends to sing the original Cub lyric as "...where King Kong lived" at most shows, but has been known to sing the album version on occasions.
    • Instead of "I held your hand, you held mine", Flansburgh often sings "You held my hand, I held yours" in most live shows. However, he has occasionally sang the album version in some shows.
    • 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.
    • Instead of "wish I was there", Flansburgh occasionally added "the LIE" (Long Island Expressway) or "the guy with the cell phone".
  • Features the Mono Puff rhythm section of Hal Cragin on bass and Steve Calhoon on drums as it was originally recorded as a Mono Puff cover before Linnell added overdubs (as discussed on the Factory Showroom episode of Giants Confirmed

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, Food


Current Rating

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New York City is currently ranked #236 out of 910. (136 wikians have given it an average rating of 8.61)