Do you miss New York?
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?
Do you miss New York?
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.
- Clooney, Rosemary
- McCorkle, Susannah
- Torme, Mel
- and the Composer
ASCAP ACE Search: www.ascap.com/ace
Rosemary Clooney's Website:
AllAboutJazz website: "Blossom Dearie and Dave Frishberg at the Tribeca
Performing Arts Center":
http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=17346 (Accessed 5/6/07)
Concord Music Group:
http://concordmusicgroup.com/artists/bio/?id=806 (Accessed 5/6/07)