U2's "New York" song lyrics

U2's "New York" song lyrics from All That You Can't Leave Behind

Is it really any surprise that U2 ended up writing a song about New York?

Bono has stated that the song is a tribute of sorts to both Frank Sinatra and Lou Reed.

Bono said, "There used to be a verse at the end about Frank Sinatra, because if I was going to be singing about New York, New York, I felt like I should. It went:

"When I'm down on my luck / I sometimes think of Frank Sinatra / I met him once / He was more than generous / At dinner one evening he found a blue paper napkin ... and he stared at it and said to no one in particular, I remember when my eyes were this blue."

Bono cut this verse as he feared people would misinterpret the lyric as being autobiographical.

New York lyrics:

In New York freedom
Looks like too many choices
In New York I found a friend
To drown out the other voices
Voices on a cell phone
Voices from home
Voices through the hard sell
Voices down a stairwell
In New York
Just got a place in New York

In New York summers get hot
Well into the hundreds
You can't walk around the block
Without a change of clothing
Hot as a hairdryer in your face
Hot as a handbag and a can of mace
New York
I just got a place in New York
New York
New York

In New York you can forget
Forget how to sit still
Tell yourself you will stay in
But it's down to Alphaville

New York, New York, New York
New York, New York, New York

The Irish have been coming here for years
Feel like they own the place
They got the airport, city hall, concrete, asphalt
They even got the police
Irish, Italians, Jews and Hispanics
Religious nuts, political fanatics in the stew
Living happily not like me and you
That's where I lost you
New York

New York, New York, New York
New York, New York, New York
New York

In New York I lost it all
To you and your vices
Still I'm staying on to figure out
My midlife crisis
I hit an iceberg in my life
But you know I'm still afloat
You lose your balance, lose your wife
In the queue for the lifeboat
You gotta put the women and children first
But you've got an unquenchable thirst for New York

New York, New York
New York, New York

In the stillness of the evening
When the sun has had its day
I heard your voice whispering
Come away now

New York

New, New York, New York


The lyrics of New York where changed on Elevation Tour, due to the events of September 11, 2001 attacks on New York City. As New York was the subject of both the song and the attacks, the lyrics were altered in order to be sensitive to those who lost loved ones such as "In New York you can forget, forget how to sit still / But in New York, you can't break the city's will."

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