Interpretations:New York City
Look me in the eye and tell me it's a coincidence that TMBG's very first two (out of many more to follow!) happy relationship songs, this one and Pet Name, were both released in 1996: the year that Flans, who sings both of them, married Robin Goldwasser. - The Silver Chauffeur
Girl lives in New York City. Guy does not. Guy meets Girl at rock and roll concert in the springtime. They take a subway back to the city, the two fall in love and keep in touch. Guy immediately loves New York City because Girl lives there. Guy becomes top mugging target when he visits because of his naive view of the city.
There's my unnecessary interpretation! Where's yours? --Southwest
I think this song and "I'll Sink Manhattan" are related, check out my interp on that one.
--Reeve the Cat 23:22, 13 Jan 2005 (EST)
Although this song is a cover, it fits in pretty well with TMBG's body of work, as far as lyrics go. It's about the Johns' home city, and there's a sense of delusion to the lyrics. -VoVat
I heard that the line "...empire state where Dylan lived" is actually suppose to be "...empire state, where Dylan lived" (notice the comma) hence two seperate location references, the latter being Bob Dylan's Greenwich Village folk scene. What's everyone elses opinion. If the line is infact sans comma is it still a Dylan reference and why the Empire State Building? -Dr Puzzle
In all other versions that I've heard, including the original, it's where King Kong lived... which is pretty funny, I like the idea that KK actually lived there too. ASL
Seeing a City Through Rose-Tinted Glasses
I'm probably going to totally over-interpret this song, but it's one of my favorite tracks on Factory Showroom, so just stay with me for the next couple of paragraphs. I'm first gonna go through this verse by verse, and then do a grand interpretation of the song at the end.
1st Verse: Girl calls Guy and talks to him about the weather there. After ending the call, he reminisces about how "Now I'd walk through blizzards just to get us back together." Guy starts thinking about how they met. Guy went to New York City for a concert, and met Girl. Girl is from NYC, but Guy is not. Guy went back home, but stays in touch with Girl.
Chorus: Guy is thinking about how amazing NYC is, but he knows that he is probably seeing the city the way he wants to, and not as it really is.
2nd Verse: Guy is listing a whole bunch of places in NYC (maybe he and Girl went to some of them?) which makes him miss her and the city even more.
Chorus: This is the same as the first chorus, except this time, "your" is replaced with "my", maybe he is acknowledging that this is his experience, and maybe it's not everyone's, but his ideas of the city that are distorted by past memories.
3rd Verse: Girl writes Guy a letter, inviting him to come and live with her. Guy is ecstatic about this, and he immediately packs up his stuff and gets on a bus to NYC (I wonder where he lives, as he says that he is 3 days away by bus).
Chorus: (no additional interpretations)
So, my overall interpretation of the theme of this song (also can be a TL;DR): This song is about love, and how a city is not just what it physically is, but is also changed by your memories of it.
Well, that was a long interpretation. Thanks for seeing it through to the end.