Englishman in New York

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"Englishman in New York"
Single by Sting
from the album ...Nothing Like the Sun
B-side"Ghost in the Strand"
Released1 February 1988
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 second studio album ...Nothing Like the Sun, released in October 1987. Branford Marsalis played soprano saxophone on the track, while the drums were played by Manu Katché and the percussion by Mino Cinelu.

The single was released in February 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] and reached #32 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart that same month.[3] However, the single was more successful in continental Europe, becoming a hit in several countries,[4] reaching the Top 40 (and sometimes the Top 20) in France, Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, etc. "Englishman in New York" was also a Top 20 hit in Ireland. In South Africa, it peaked at no. 9.

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]

In 2010, Sting re-recorded the song in an orchestral version for his album Symphonicities.


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 naturalisation papers so that he could commit a crime and not be deported."[9]

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 Quentin 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."[10][11] In 2011, the official video was replaced with a version without the male voice.[12]

Track listing[edit]

  • 12" Single (AMY 431)
  1. "Englishman in New York" – 4:25
  2. "Ghost in the Strand" – 2:33
  3. "Bring on the Night"/"When the World Is Running Down" (Live) – 11:42
  • 7" Single (AM 1200)
  1. "Englishman in New York" – 4:25
  2. "If You There" – 4:08
  • CD Maxi Single (75021 2370 2)
  1. "Englishman in New York" – 4:03
  2. "Someone to Watch Over Me" – 4:35
  3. "Up from the Skies" – 10:07


Chart (1988) Peak
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[13] 16
France (SNEP)[14] 30
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[15] 60
Ireland (IRMA) 12[citation needed]
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[16] 9
Spain (AFYVE)[17] 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
Chart (2019) Peak
Poland (Polish Airplay Top 100)[18] 81


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[19] Gold 45,000double-dagger
United Kingdom (BPI)[20] Silver 200,000double-dagger

double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone


  • In 1993, the song was partially remade by Shinehead, re-titled as "Jamaican In New York" (1993). It reached #30 in the UK Singles Chart in April 1993.
  • In 1998, venezuelan band King Chango covered the song as “Venezuelan in New York” for the various artists tribute release “Outlandos d’Americas - Tributo a Police (A Tribute to The Police)”.[21] The instrumental sections in the song were re-worked using latin rhythms such as cumbia and dancehall.
  • In 1999, jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval recorded an instrumental version of the song for his album Americana.
  • In 2015, Cris Cab covered it in a release featuring Tefa & Moox, Willy William. This version charted on SNEP, the official French Singles Chart reaching number 16.[22] The song also charted on Ultratip in the Belgian Wallonia Singles Chart.[23]
  • In 2015, Japanese singer Majiko released a cover as a bonus track on her single Mirror[24]


  1. ^ "Official Charts Company". Retrieved 2008-08-25.
  2. ^ "Music: Top 100 Songs - Billboard Hot 100 Chart". Billboard.com. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  3. ^ "Sting - Chart history - Billboard". Billboard.com. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-11-18. Retrieved 2012-12-05.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Official Charts Company". Retrieved 2008-08-25.
  6. ^ "Sting on Quentin Crisp and the song "Englishman in New York"". Crisperanto.org. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  7. ^ "Quentin Crisp". Biography. Archived from the original on 19 April 2014. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-05-21. Retrieved 2013-09-06.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "THE TITANIC LAWS". Sky.org. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  10. ^ Cherata, Dania Lara (2009). Preda, Carmen (ed.). "Fostering Learner Autonomy through a Multiple Intelligences Theory-based Approach to Teaching Police English Courses for Continuing Professional Development" (PDF). Ministry of Internal Affairs of Romania. p. 130. ISBN 978-973-745-072-2. Retrieved 23 June 2019.
  11. ^ Rutledge, Stephen (30 May 2018). "#QueerQuote: "Be Yourself No Matter What They Say." – Gordon Sumner". World of Wonder. Retrieved 23 June 2019.
  12. ^ Sting - Englishman In New York (Official Music Video). Sting. 11 January 2011. Retrieved 23 June 2019.[non-primary source needed]
  13. ^ "Ultratop.be – Sting – Englishman in New York" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  14. ^ "Lescharts.com – Sting – Englishman in New York" (in French). Les classement single.
  15. ^ Canadian Top Singles Archived 2014-11-29 at the Wayback Machine RPM
  16. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Sting" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  17. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  18. ^ "Listy bestsellerów, wyróżnienia :: Związek Producentów Audio-Video". Polish Airplay Top 100. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
  19. ^ "Danish single certifications – Sting – Englishman in New York". IFPI Denmark. Retrieved 6 June 2019. Scroll through the page-list below until year 2019 to obtain certification.
  20. ^ "British single certifications – Sting – Englishman in New York". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 12 April 2019. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Englishman in New York in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  21. ^ "Various – Outlandos D'Americas - Tributo A Police (A Tribute To The Police)".
  22. ^ Hung, Steffen. "Les charts français". Lescharts.com. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  23. ^ "Cris Cab feat. Tefa & Moox & Willy William - Englishman In New York". ultratop.be. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  24. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-11-01. Retrieved 2016-04-21.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]