"Theme from New York, New York"
US vinyl label
Single by Liza Minnelli
from the album New York, New York
B-side"Hazoy" (Ralph Burns and His Orchestra)
ReleasedJune 21, 1977
LabelUnited Artists
Composer(s)John Kander
Lyricist(s)Fred Ebb
Producer(s)Ralph Burns
"Theme from New York, New York"
Single by Frank Sinatra
from the album Trilogy: Past Present Future
B-side"That's What God Looks Like to Me"
ReleasedApril 1980
RecordedSeptember 19, 1979
Songwriter(s)Fred Ebb, John Kander
Producer(s)Sonny Burke
Frank Sinatra singles chronology
"Night and Day"
"Theme from New York, New York"
"You and Me (We Wanted It All)"

"Theme from New York, New York", often abbreviated to just "New York, New York", is the theme song from the Martin Scorsese film New York, New York (1977), composed by John Kander, with lyrics by Fred Ebb. It was written for and performed in the film by Liza Minnelli and was nominated for the year's Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. It remains one of the best-known songs about New York City, and in 2004, it ranked #31 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema.

In 2013, the 1979 recording by Frank Sinatra was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.[1]


Composer John Kander and Lyricist Fred Ebb stated on the A&E Biography episode about Liza Minnelli, that they attribute the song's success to actor Robert De Niro, who rejected their original theme for the film because he thought it was "too weak". The song did not become a popular hit until it was picked up in concert by Frank Sinatra during his performances at Radio City Music Hall in October 1978.

In 1979, "Theme from New York, New York" was recorded by Frank Sinatra for his album Trilogy: Past Present Future (1980), and became closely associated with him as one of his signature songs. Don Costa received a Grammy nomination for the energetic orchestration.[2] Sinatra occasionally performed the song live with Minnelli as a duet. Sinatra recorded it a second time for his 1993 album Duets, with Tony Bennett.

Sinatra's recording peaked at #32 in June 1980, becoming his final Top 40 hit. It was also an Adult Contemporary hit, reaching #10 in the US[3] and #2 in Canada.[4] In Mexico, it reached #1 on Notitas Musicales' Hit Parade chart in December 1981,[5] remaining in that position for three fortnights. The song made a minor showing in the UK (#59); however, it recharted several years later and reached #4 in 1986. The song was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male and Sinatra made two more studio recordings of the song in 1981 (for his NBC TV special The Man and His Music) and 1993 (for Capitol Records). From the latter, an electronic duet with Tony Bennett was produced for Sinatra's Duets album.

The lyrics of the Sinatra versions differ slightly from Ebb's original lyrics. Notably, the phrase "A-number-one", which does not appear at all in the original lyrics, is sung twice at the song's rallentando climax. (Ebb has said he "didn't even like" Sinatra's use of "A-number-one".)[6] The phrase is both the first and fourth on a list of three superlative titles the singer strives to achieve — "A-number-one, top of the list, king of the hill, A-number-one" — where Ebb's original lyrics (performed by Minnelli) were "king of the hill, head of the list, cream of the crop, and the top of the heap", rhymed with "the city that doesn't sleep".

The first line of the song is:

Start spreadin' the news, I'm leavin' today
I want to be a part of it: New York, New York.

The song concludes with the line:

If I can make it there, I'm gonna make it anywhere,
It's up to you, New York, New York.

Minnelli's original recording of the song (also used in the Tony Bennett version in Duets) uses the following closing line:

If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere,
Come on, come through, New York, New York.

Liza Minnelli performed the song live during the July 4, 1986 ceremony marking the rededication of the Statue of Liberty after extensive renovations.[7][8] She also sang it in the middle of the seventh inning at Shea Stadium during a New York Mets game, the first pro sports event in the metro area after the September 11, 2001 attacks.[9]


Liza Minnelli version
Chart (1977) Peak
US Billboard Bubbling Under the Hot 100[10] 104
Frank Sinatra version


Certifications for Frank Sinatra version
Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[18] Gold 500,000

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

In popular culture

The song has been embraced as a celebration of New York City, and is often heard at New York City social events, such as weddings and bar mitzvahs. Many sports teams in New York City have played this song in their arenas/stadiums, but the New York Yankees are the most prominent example. It has been played over the loudspeakers at both the original and current Yankee Stadiums at the end of every Yankee home game since July 1980. Originally, Sinatra's version was played after a Yankees win, and the Minnelli version after a loss.[19] However, due to a complaint from Minnelli, the Sinatra version is now heard regardless of the game's outcome.[20]

Liza Minnelli performed it live on September 21, 2001 at Shea Stadium during the seventh inning stretch which was the first game in New York after the attacks on the World Trade Center. The Mets beat the Braves with a dramatic home run by Mike Piazza. It is known as the "9/11 game".

In the 2005 Arrested Development episode "Queen for a Day" Tobias Fünke starts singing the song in presence of Minnelli's character Lucille Austero, causing her to roll her eyes and complain that "everyone thinks they're Frank Sinatra."

From the 2005 season until 2020, at the Richmond County Bank Ballpark following Staten Island Yankees games, the Sinatra version was heard regardless of the game's outcome, and was formerly done at Shea Stadium at the end of New York Mets games after the September 11, 2001 attack. Previously, Mets fans felt it was a "Yankee song", and began booing it when it was played. It actually first had snippets of the song played after World Series home runs by Ray Knight and Darryl Strawberry during Game 7 of the 1986 World Series. The song is also sometimes played at New York Knicks games. The Sinatra version is played at the end of every New York Rangers game at Madison Square Garden. It was played at the opening faceoff of Game 7 of the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals at the Garden.[21] The song has also been the post parade song for the Belmont Stakes from 1997 to 2009,[22] and since 2011.[23] Sinatra's version of the song has been played at the end of all four Super Bowls that the New York Giants have won to date, as well as before kickoff of Super Bowl XLVIII, while Minnelli's version was heard after the Giants' Super Bowl XXXV loss.

The song was the musical basis for Jimmy Picker's 1983 three-minute animated short, Sundae in New York, which won the Oscar for Best Short Film (Animated) that year, with a likeness of then-mayor Ed Koch somewhat stumbling through the song, with clay caricatures of New York-based celebrities (including Alfred E. Neuman) and finishing the song with "Basically, I think New York is very therapeutic. Hey, an apple a day is... uh... great for one's constitution!" and burying his face in a big banana split with "THE END" written on his bald head. (Koch used the same rallentando climax Sinatra used, albeit with one big difference: "A-number one, top of the list, king of the hill..." followed by his impression of Groucho Marx completing, "...and incidentally a heckuva nice guy!")[24]


See also


  1. ^ https://www.grammy.com/awards/hall-of-fame-award#t
  2. ^ "Don Costa". Grammy Awards. Recording Academy. Retrieved December 26, 2021.
  3. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 221.
  4. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. July 5, 1980. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
  5. ^ "Los Discos Más Populares - Notitas Musicales (15 December)". Facebook. Retrieved March 10, 2024.
  6. ^ "'New York, New York'". NPR.org.
  7. ^ Munzenrieder, Kyle (April 13, 2020). "Liza Minnelli Belting "New York, New York" in 1986 Will Enliven Your Spirit". W Magazine. Archived from the original on April 16, 2020. Retrieved September 6, 2023.
  8. ^ Goldman, John J.; Mehren, Elizabeth (July 7, 1986). "A Glitzy Finale : Cast of 8,000 Performs in Liberty Fete". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on September 6, 2023. Retrieved September 6, 2023.
  9. ^ Fanuzzi, Robert; Wolfe, Michael (April 23, 2014). Recovering 9/11 in New York. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 80. ISBN 978-1-4438-5959-2. Retrieved September 6, 2023.
  10. ^ a b Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  11. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. July 5, 1980. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
  12. ^ "IRMA". Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  13. ^ "Los Discos Más Populares - Notitas Musicales (15 December)". Facebook. Retrieved October 1, 2020.
  14. ^ "Official Charts Company". Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  15. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 Singles, July 5, 1980". Archived from the original on August 12, 2018. Retrieved August 11, 2018.
  16. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – New York, New York". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  17. ^ "Official Charts Company". Officialcharts.com. February 22, 1986. Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  18. ^ "British single certifications – Frank Sinatra – New York New York". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved January 19, 2024.
  19. ^ "Stadium Songs: New York Yankees". ESPN.com. July 20, 2012. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  20. ^ "10 Facts About Yankee Stadium". Mentalfloss.com. September 23, 2008. Retrieved April 17, 2014.
  21. ^ McKinley, Michael (2012). Hockey Night in Canada 60 Seasons. Toronto: Penguin Group. p. 233. ISBN 978-0670066988.
  22. ^ "Belmont Stakes Traditions". Horseracing.about.com. June 15, 2010. Archived from the original on May 16, 2010. Retrieved October 7, 2010.
  23. ^ "Sinatra's voice returns to Belmont Stakes". boston.com. Associated Press. June 4, 2011. Archived from the original on January 18, 2013. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
  24. ^ "Sundae in New York video". Zappinternet.com. Retrieved April 17, 2014.
  25. ^ New York, New York ft. Johnny T, archived from the original on December 12, 2021, retrieved August 9, 2020