Englishman in New York

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This article is about the Sting song. For the Godley and Creme song, see An Englishman in New York.
"Englishman in New York"
Single by Sting
from the album ...Nothing Like the Sun
B-side "Ghost in the Strand"
Released February 1988
Genre Jazz, reggae, rock, pop
Length 4:25
Label A&M
Writer(s) Sting
Producer(s) Sting, Neil Dorfsman
Sting singles chronology
"Be Still My Beating Heart"
"Englishman in New York"

"Englishman in New York" is a song by English artist Sting, from his 1987 album ...Nothing Like the Sun.

The song was released in 1988 as the third single from the album, but only reached #51 on the UK Singles Chart.[1] In the US, "Englishman in New York" peaked at #84 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in April 1988.[2] The song reached #32 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart that same month.[3] Branford Marsalis played soprano saxophone on the track and Manu Katché the percussion. However, "Englishman in New York" was a hit in 1988 in several European countries,[4] reaching the Top 40 (and sometimes the Top 20) in France, Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, etc.

In 1990, just prior to the release of his third studio album The Soul Cages, Sting's record label licensed Dutch DJ and producer Ben Liebrand to remix "Englishman in New York" and subsequently released it as a single. The remix played around with the introduction and some of the instrumentation, but the essence of the song remained the same. The new version was commercially successful, reaching number 15 in the UK charts in mid-1990.[5]


The "Englishman" in question is the famous eccentric and gay icon Quentin Crisp.[6][7][8] Sting wrote the song not long after Crisp moved from London to an apartment in the Bowery in Manhattan. Crisp had remarked jokingly to the musician "that he looked forward to receiving his naturalization papers so that he could commit a crime and not be deported."[citation needed]

Music video[edit]

The video was shot in black-and-white and was directed by David Fincher, and featured scenes of Sting and his band in New York, as well as the elusive Crisp. At the end of the video, after the song fades, an elderly male voice says: "If I have an ambition other than a desire to be a chronic invalid, it would be to meet everybody in the world before I die... and I'm not doing badly."


Shinehead did a popular cover version of Sting's "Englishman In New York", re-titled as "Jamaican In New York" (1993).

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1988) Peak
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[9] 16
France (SNEP)[10] 30
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[11] 60
Ireland (IRMA) 12
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[12] 9
Spain (AFYVE)[13] 21
United Kingdom (The Official Charts Company) 51
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 84
U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 32
Chart (1990 remix) Peak
United Kingdom (The Official Charts Company) 15


External links[edit]