New York State Of Mind by Billy Joel

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1937

In the mid-1970s, as New York City was beset by rampant crime and a harrowing financial crisis, Billy Joel penned an anthem for the ages, “New York State of Mind.” Legendary singer-songwriter had been living in Los Angeles for a few years back in the early 1970s, but he felt the east coast city gently tugging on his heart. Once he moved back home, he was inspired to write a dedication amidst the city’s own turmoils with crime and drugs.

Joel was literally taking a Greyhound on his way back to Highland Falls, which lies roughly 90 minutes north of the city when he began jotting down the song’s initial barebones. “It’s the one I wrote in like 15 minutes,” he said in a Howard Stern interview during his 2010 promo stop. “It was the day I moved back from California to New York. I’m sitting on the bus… and I started scribbling in a notebook. I got to the house where my wife was waiting. I said, ‘I got to write this song right now.’”

New York State of Mind initially appeared on the album Turnstiles in 1976. Although it was never released as a single, it has become a fan favorite and a song that Joel plays regularly in concert.

Lyrics:

Some folks like to get away
Take a holiday from the neighborhood
Hop a flight to Miami Beach or to Hollywood
But I’m takin’ a Greyhound on the Hudson River line
I’m in a New York state of mind

I’ve seen all the movie stars
In their fancy cars and their limousines
Been high in the Rockies under the evergreens
I know what I’m needin’
And I don’t want to waste more time
I’m in a New York state of mind

It was so easy livin’ day by day
Out of touch with the rhythm and blues
But now I need a little give and take
The New York Times, the Daily News

It comes down to reality
And it’s fine with me ’cause I’ve let it slide
I don’t care if it’s Chinatown or on Riverside
I don’t have any reasons
I left them all behind
I’m in a New York state of mind
Oh yeah

It was so easy living day by day
Out of touch with the rhythm and blues
But now I need a little give and take
The New York Times, the Daily News
Who, oh, oh whoa who

It comes down to reality
And it’s fine with me ’cause I’ve let it slide
I don’t care if it’s Chinatown or on Riverside
I don’t have any reasons
I left them all behind
I’m in a New York state of mind

I’m just taking a Greyhound on the Hudson River line
‘Cause I’m in a, I’m in a New York state of mind

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