Do you miss New York?
The anger,
The action?
Does this laid back lifestyle lack
A certain satisfaction

Music and Lyrics by Dave Frishberg.
ASCAP Title Code: 340246013

This tune is the tale of a New Yorker transplanted to the West Coast, told as only Frishberg, a lyrical genius, can tell. The lyrics embrace the contrast between the laid-back California lifestyle and the frenetic pace of the City. The song favors New York heavily, at first hinting at it, but the final line all but cries out "I've made a mistake and I don't wanna live in Hollywood anymore!" Singer Rosemary Clooney does the ending justice: "Do you miss New York?" ('York' sung in a high flat after diving more than an octave to reach 'miss'). Then the singer tonelessly speaks the words, as a friend imparting empathy, "Me too." The song, and particularly the treatment, tugged a tear outta this hard-boiled City boy the first time I heard Rosie's version.

And do you ever run into that guy
Who used to be you?
Tell me,
Do you miss New York?

Me too.

The only other treatments found were a live recording by Mel Torme and a credit for Susannah McCorkle in All Music Guide on the web. I know, however, that the Composer's performed it (playing the piano) with vocalists Blossom Dearie and cabaret singer Rebecca Kilgore. The Composer lists it (albeit on the bottom of the list) among his most-requested songs during club performances. Peculiarly, although the song's licensed by ASCAP, the only performer of the song registered there is Mr. Frishberg himself. Perhaps the other performers' versions were handled by his music publisher, for exposure's sake (after all, when they were alive and in their later years, it was rare for Clooney or Torme to sing anything by a living composer, except perhaps Bernstein or Alan and Marilyn Bergman).

The song, of course, is a frequent addition to the set-list of any cabaret or jazz singer when performing in the City, but also a favorite of singers of the Cabaret genre all over. But for purists, who insist one must be dead to have one's work added to the list of The Great American Songbook, the song's considered by many a rightful entry into that tome.

A Difficult Chart to Perform

The music's sharps and flats soar at one point, and then resolve to four notes which must be sung exactly on pitch or the brilliance of the song, the musical wittiness, if you will, is gone. Perhaps the reason it hasn't been embraced by more standards singers is the pure difficulty of the song to execute well and convincingly. In difficulty alone, it parallel's composer Billy Strayhorn's "Lush Life."

The overall musical mood one is left with is not a song which was written in the 1980s, (couldn't find the exact date anywhere) but one which was written in the '40s. And then utilized in the soundtrack of a Woody Allen movie. In fact, one critic calls composer Frishberg "a musical Woody Allen." "Do You Miss New York," however, strays from Frishberg's typically humorous lyrics.

Recorded by:

  • Clooney, Rosemary
  • McCorkle, Susannah
  • Torme, Mel
  • and the Composer


ASCAP ACE Search: (Accessed 5/6/07)

Rosemary Clooney's Website: (Accessed 5/6/07)

AllAboutJazz website: "Blossom Dearie and Dave Frishberg at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center": (Accessed 5/6/07)

Allmusic Guide: (Accessed 5/6/07)

Concord Music Group: (Accessed 5/6/07)

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