One of the coolest things about this time in technology is access to all kinds of music at our fingertips. Over the years I’ve discovered so many different artists and songs that I never would have been exposed to if it weren’t for applications like Pandora and Spotify. More specifically, for only $9.99 a month, you can download an unlimited number of albums and playlists from Spotify, and I have to admit that it’s worth every penny. One of the coolest features is the ability to make your own playlists: I have one that I use when I work out to get my blood pumping, one that I use when I’m trying to wind down after a long day, another that I use if I’m feeling down in the dumps, and so on.

New York City has such a rich cultural history which includes timeless celebrity influence and presence, both from the past and present day. The Big Apple has bred so many of our musical talent over the decades, and many of them have penned their love for the city by means of song.

If you don’t already use Spotify, I highly recommend you give it a shot and create a playlist with songs that have a New York City influence. Not only will this remind you that you’re a part of one of the best cities in the world, but it will give you an idea of how English has evolved over the decades—AND how beloved New York City really is. The songs reference famous sites, popular neighborhoods, general slang and phrases, and of course, their endless love for New York City.

I’ve included some of MY favorite songs about New York—they pump me up, fill me with New York City pride, and always remind me how lucky I am to be here. And if you’re adjusting to English, this is also a great way to practice your English—in a much more “rhythmic” way!

“Empire State of Mind” – Jay-Z and Alicia Keys

This is a super popular song, and it’s incredibly catchy. Both Jay-Z and Alicia Keys were born and raised in the city themselves, so their ode to the Big Apple shines through. If you ever listen to the song while you’re walking down Madison Avenue or riding the subway on your way to work, I can guarantee you that it will remind you of how lucky you are to be a part of such a magical city.

“New York, New York” – Frank Sinatra

You actually may already be familiar with this one, as it’s quite timeless, and if you’ve spent more than three months in the city, chances are you’ve already heard it in a store or a restaurant. Frank Sinatra is another timeless New York City native, and in this particular song, he sings about his love for the city and being a part of the city “that doesn’t sleep.” You can almost FELL his passion if you listen to the song while walking along 34th Street or stare up at the Empire State Building.

“New York, New York” – Ryan Adams

This is a fairly modern song by an incredible singer and songwriter. While Ryan Adams isn’t a native New Yorker, he still sings of his lasting love for the city despite losing a girlfriend. In fact, his ode to the city sings as though New York City will ALWAYS be his girlfriend. The tune is catchy, his voice is smooth, and if you listen while you’re wandering the streets, you’ll realize you feel the same way.

“New York State of Mind” – Billy Joel

This song is a New York City classic, just like Frank Sinatra’s ode to New York. Chances are you’ve heard this one before. Go to any piano bar, and you can count on the pianist playing this song, and before long, the entire place will be singling along with every word. This is another timeless ode to the city, and if you can learn a few English phrases from the lyrics, you might easily get mistaken as a native New Yorker.

“The Only Living Boy in New York” – Simon & Garfunkel

This one is another classic ode to the city. Sime & Garfunkel is a musical duo that is celebrated wildly as legendary and timeless, and in this tune, you’ll feel the celebration of New York City with the simplicity of their melody. The song praises life in the city, and listening to the tune will absolutely remind you how lucky you are to be a part of it. The lyrics will help your English skills, as the song is timeless and legendary.

Category : How to Learn