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The Village in Song

Last week Time Out New York compiled a list of the 100 Best NYC Songs.  While perusing this list we were surprised to see the number of songs with a Village connection  So, of course we have to share them with you….

the original Broadway cast of Rent performing "La Vie Boheme"

#87: “La Vie Boheme”, Original Broadway Cast of Rent (1994)
Says TONY: “dedicated to the bohemianism of the East Village in the late ’80s and early ’90s, celebrates everything about the life of the poor artists”
Our favorite lyric:
To riding your bike midday past the three piece suits
To fruits, to no absolutes
To Absolut, to choice, to the Village Voice
To any passing fad
#86: “Bleecker & MacDougal”, Fred Neil (1965)
Says TONY: “with this song about lingering on an emblematic street corner pondering retreat to a more comfortable way of life, Neil helped to shape a burgeoning scene; that’s a young John Sebastian blowing the harmonica.”
Our favorite lyric:
I was standing on the corner
Of the Bleecker and MacDougal
Wondering which way to go

L: album containing "Bleecker & MacDougal"; R: album containing "Greenwich Village Folk Song Salesman"

#81: “Greenwich Village Folk Song Salesman”, Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood (1968)
Says TONY: “a wily spoof of the folksy songhawkers who flooded Bleecker Street during the late ’60s”
Our favorite lyric:
I met him in a Greenwich village coffee nook
He was selling folk songs and little bitty books
The place was full of happy hop’d up hippies at the time

#76: “Avenue A”, The Dictators (2001)
Says TONY: “you can’t question the Gotham-punk bona fides of frontman Handsome Dick Manitoba, who owns and operates neighborhood bar Manitoba’s, which is, alas, on Avenue B”
Our favorite lyric:
it’s not what you do, it’s what you say
and it’s not who you know, it’s who you pay
Down on Avenue A

#52: “The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side”, The Magnetic Fields (1999)
Says TONY: “This swinging love song by Stephin Merritt is about an ugly dude who has some fugly wheels—but hey, at least he’s got wheels”
Our favorite lyric:
I’m the luckiest guy on the Lower East Side
’cause I’ve got wheels and you want to go for a ride

Lou Reed performing "Halloween Parade"

#23: “Halloween”, Lou Reed (1989)
Says TONY: “Lou Reed hit pay dirt when he zoomed in on the West Village’s annual queer-friendly costume bonanza. In his inimitable offhand style, he delivers both vivid reportage and a lament for a generation ravaged by AIDS.”
Our favorite lyric:
There’s a down town fairy singing out Proud Mary
as she cruises Christopher Street

This wraps it up, but we know there are more Village songs out there, so share with us your favorites!!

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