Town Without Pity (song)

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Town Without Pity is a song written by composer Dimitri Tiomkin and lyricist Ned Washington. The track, produced by Aaron Schroeder,[1] was originally recorded by Gene Pitney for the 1961 film of the same title. In the US, the Gene Pitney recording went to #13 on the Hot 100.[2]

This tragic song, in the key of B Minor, first ends the chorus in D Major, before going up a key in the refrain to C Minor, with the coda ending the song in the same minor key.


In 1962, the song received a Golden Globe Award for Best Song and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song (losing to "Moon River" from Breakfast at Tiffany's).

Other versions[edit]

Pitney also recorded versions in German (lyrics by Frank Zieboltz[3]), entitled "Bleibe bei mir" ("Stay With Me") and Italian, entitled "Città Spietata". Many artists and bands have recorded cover versions over the years since its release, including:

Year Performer Album
1966 Danny Williams Only Love
1967 Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass Sounds Like...
1978 Ronnie Montrose Open Fire
1980 Paul Warren & Explorer Takin' Her Back
1982 The Nylons One Size Fits All
1987 Mathilde Santing Out Of This Dream
1988 Thin White Rope Red Sun
1989 The Dickies Second Coming
1990 The Stray Cats Let's Go Faster!
1992 Zen for Primates Albatross[4]
1992 Dave Vanian and the Phantom Chords Town Without Pity (single)
1993 Neil Zaza Thrills & Chills
1996 Eddi Reader Candyfloss and Medicine
1996 The Brian Setzer Orchestra Guitar Slinger
1999 Mandy Barnett A Walk on the Moon (film soundtrack)
2001 Snakeman Show Radio Snakeman Show, Vol. 1[5]
2001 The Quiets Take a flight with The Quiets[6]
2004 Los Straitjackets Play Favorites
2006 Richie Cole & The Alto Madness Orchestra Risë's Rose Garden[7]
2007 Vidar Busk & The Voo Doodz Jookbox Charade

Use in other media[edit]


Gene Pitney also recorded a German version of the song entitled Blebe bei mir (lyrics: Frank Zieboltz) and an Italian version entitled Città Spietata.

Rock Guitarist Ronnie Montrose released an instrumental cover of the song in 1978 with Edgar Winter producing. The American rock band Thin White Rope released the song on their 1988 album Red Sun.[10] John Travolta and Kirstie Alley say the song in the 1989 romantic comedy Look Who's Talking! The Dickies, an American punk band from California, also included the song in their program in 1989[11] as did the band Stray Cats[12] in 1990. American melodic guitarist Neil Zaza covered the song in 1993.[13] Eddi Reader's version of Town Without Pity spent three weeks in the UK Singles Chart in 1996. She released the song on her album Candyfloss and Medicine.[14] Country singer Mandy Barnett also recorded the song in 1999.[15]

The American surf rock band Los Straitjackets from Nashville covered the song in 2004,[16] and modern jazz alto saxophonist Richie Cole included Town Without Pity in his program in 2006.[17] The Norwegian blues guitarist Vidar Busk also recorded the song in 2007.[18] Lilli Passero released the song on her eponymous album in 2017.[19]


  1. ^ Pitney, Gene, Gene Pitney:25 All-Time Greatest Hits, Varese Sarabande, 1999, liner notes
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2013). Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles, 14th Edition: 1955-2012. Record Research. p. 661.
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ "Albatross - Zen for Primates | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. 2003-05-19. Retrieved 2016-09-26.
  5. ^ "スネークマン・ショー「ラジオ・スネークマン・ショーVOL.01」|ワーナーミュージック・ジャパン". Archived from the original on 2016-06-18. Retrieved 2016-09-26.
  6. ^ "The Quiets - Take A Flight With (CD, Album)". Retrieved 2016-09-26.
  7. ^ "Risë's Rose Garden: Richie Cole & The Alto Madness Orchestra: MP3 Downloads". Retrieved 2016-09-26.
  8. ^ "03.26.1977". SNL Archives. Retrieved 2020-07-13.
  9. ^ Gemmill, Allie (2017-05-01). "Lilli Passero Sang Her Heart Out On 'The Voice'". Bustle. Retrieved 2020-07-13.
  10. ^ Town Without Pity, gesungen von Thin White Rope.
  11. ^ Town Without Pity, gesungen von The Dickies.
  12. ^ Town Without Pity, gesungen von Stray Cats.
  13. ^ Town Without Pity, gespielt von Neil Zaza.
  14. ^ Town Without Pity, gesungen von Eddi Reader.
  15. ^ Town Without Pity, gesungen von Mandy Barnett.
  16. ^ A Town Without Pity, gesungen von Los Straitjackets.
  17. ^ Richie Cole and The Alto Madness Orchestra siehe Seite (englisch).
  18. ^ Town Without Pity, gespielt von Vidar Busk.
  19. ^ The Voice 2017 – Top 11 – Town Without Pity, gesungen von Lilli Passero.