Greenpoint, October, 2015

Saturday, March 2, 2013

State Song Blues

Massachusetts is having a good old-fashioned political dust-up over a new state song. It started when an activist named Joyce Linehan lobbied a group of state reps to propose Jonathan Richman's "Roadrunner" to be voted the state song. Good choice, right? "Massachusetts when it's late at night. Route 128 when it's late at night... With the radio on." Not everybody thought so. Two other representatives are pushing for Aerosmith's "Dream On."

This correspondent's sympathies are with the Modern Lover, but it's BTB policy not to interfere in another state's politics. It did get me thinking, though, what would be a good song for New York? To prime the pump, I'll throw out a possibility. It's too long, the title will never fly*, but Patti Smith's "Piss Factory" captures something essential of the New York spirit (or myth):

Welcome to New York!
And I'm gonna go, I'm gonna get out of here 
I'm gonna get out of here, I'm gonna get on that train, 
I'm gonna go on that train and go to New York City 
I'm gonna be somebody, I'm gonna get on that train, go to New York City, 
I'm gonna be so bad I'm gonna be a big star and I will never return, 
Never return, no, never return, to burn out in this piss factory 
And I will travel light. 

Oh, watch me now. 

What's your candidate?

(*To be clear, the "piss factory" refers to her job in New Jersey, not New York.)

1 comment:

  1. So many possibilities ... but I'm nominating New York City, by Gil Scott Heron (1976) . It beat out many others, including the unforgettable New York City, USA by Serge Gainsbourg.