Song of the Day #2,496: ‘New York, New York’ – Liza Minnelli

new_yorkThis week I’ll continue counting down my ten most surprising Oscar-snubbed songs, picking up with #5.

Here’s a song that probably lost its bid for an Oscar due to the dismal failure of the film in which it appears.

Martin Scorsese’s New York, New York was a box office disaster and confusing, at best, to critics. Following the groundbreaking Taxi Driver, this oddly old-fashioned call back to classical musicals never really found an audience.

It did, however, feature an original song that went on to be a classic.

#5 – Songs Snubbed by Oscar
‘New York, New York’ – New York, New York

People who haven’t seen Scorsese’s film (and that’s most people, including me) certainly know the song that shares its title. I first heard ‘New York, New York’ performed by Frank Sinatra, who made it his own, but it remains a signature tune for Liza Minnelli as well.

And get a load of the collection of songs that bested it for an Oscar nod: ‘Candle On the Water’ from Pete’s Dragon; ‘You Light Up My Life’ from You Light Up My Life; ‘Someone’s Waiting For You’ from The Rescuers; ‘The Slipper and the Rose Waltz (He Danced with Me/She Danced with Me)’ from The Slipper and the Rose; and ‘Nobody Does it Better’ from The Spy Who Loved Me.

And the winner was… ‘You Light Up My Life.’ Fair enough, I guess. I would have gone with ‘Nobody Does It Better’ in a landslide. But how could ‘New York, New York’ not crack that list? Has anybody even heard of the other three?

Start spreading the news
I am leaving today
I want to be a part of it
New York, New York

These vagabond shoes
Are longing to stray
Right through the very heart of it
New York, New York

I want to wake up in a city
That doesn’t sleep
And find I’m king of the hill
Top of the heap

These little town blues
Are melting away
I’ll make a brand new start of it
In old New York

If I can make it there
I’ll make it anywhere
It’s up to you
New York, New York

New York, New York
I want to wake up
in a city that never sleeps
And find I’m a number one, top of the list
King of the hill
A number one

These little town blues
Oh they’re melting away
I’m gonna make a brand new start of it
In old New York

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

4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #2,496: ‘New York, New York’ – Liza Minnelli

  1. Dana says:

    As to your question, I’ve heard of and heard “Candle on the Water.” Beautiful song and worthy of a nomination.

    Meanwhile, I had forgotten, or perhaps blocked out, that “New York, New York” had come from a movie. I am no fan of the song, but agree this is a snub nevertheless.

  2. pegclifton says:

    Definitely a snub, and I’ve already expressed my distaste for “You Light Up My Life” in a previous blog, hate that song.

  3. Amy says:

    “Candle on the Water” is a beautiful song and would have been my pick had one of the best Bond songs ever not been in the competition. I have always loved Helen Reddy’s voice, and it was particularly suited to the lovely song from Pete’s Dragon.

  4. marc moran says:

    in my opinion the best song category has been a mess over the years , the brilliant song by kander & ebb sung by minnelli new york new york is the most glowing mistake they ever made , i think members of the academy know that

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