New York, New York (On the Town)

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"New York, New York" is a song from the 1944 musical On the Town and the 1949 MGM musical film of the same name. The music was written by Leonard Bernstein and the lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. A well known line of this song is, "New York, New York, a helluva town. The Bronx is up but the Battery's down." For the film version, the word "helluva" was changed to "wonderful" to appease the Production Code offices.[citation needed] In 2004 the film version finished at #41 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema.

It is not to be confused with the "Theme from New York, New York", originally performed by Liza Minnelli and later popularized by Frank Sinatra.

In popular culture[edit]

The theme from "New York, New York" was referenced by John Williams for his celebratory For New York, composed in 1988 for Bernstein's 70th birthday gala.[1]

The song was parodied as "Springfield, Springfield" in the 1993 episode "Boy-Scoutz 'n the Hood" of The Simpsons.

It was covered in a mash-up with "I Love New York" on the Glee episode "New York".

In the Tim Burton film Sleepy Hollow, Johnny Depp's Ichabod Crane utters "The Bronx is up and the Battery's down" to his traveling party in the final scene.

Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman sing the chorus of the song in Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted

The song was parodied in an episode of The Critic.

The song was performed by the bells on Disney's Sing Along video: Let's Go to the Circus.

During Wheel of Fortune's first road trip to New York in 1988, the song was played over an image montage of the city, and the lyrics were altered from "It's a helluva town" to "It's a wonderful town".


  1. ^ Stevenson, Joseph. "For New York, variations on themes of Leonard Bernstein for orchestra". AllMusic. Retrieved January 30, 2015.