A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (12/15)
“A bowling alley is a pretty bad place to serve finger foods” (12/15)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (12/15)
“Law & Order is Scooby-Doo for adults” (12/15)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (12/15)
More new entries...

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Entry from November 15, 2004
“Manhattan” (1925) (not “I’ll Take Manhattan")
"Manhattan" (1925) by Richard Rogers and Lorenz Hart was written for the revue Garrick Gaieties.

As Nancy Groce writes in New York: Songs of the City (1999), pages 19-20:

"Today, this song is often called "I'll Take Manhattan," and few people are aware that the clever first verse is followed by some even wittier later verses.
(...)
"Although only Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island are mentioned in the chorus, references to Jamaica Bay in Queens, and Brooklyn's Canarsie and Coney Island in the verses make this one of the very few songs to mention all five boroughs."


Wikipedia: Manhattan (song)
"Manhattan" is a popular song and part of the Great American Songbook. It has been performed by Lee Wiley, Oscar Peterson, Blossom Dearie, Tony Martin, Dinah Washington, Ella Fitzgerald and Mel Torme, among many others.

The music was written by Richard Rodgers and the words by Lorenz Hart for the 1925 revue "Garrick Gaieties". It was introduced by Sterling Holloway (later the voice of the animated Winnie the Pooh) and June Cochran. The song describes, in several choruses, the simple delights of Manhattan for a young couple. But the simple delights are filled with delicious irony

LorenzHart.org
Manhattan
From The Garrick Gaieties and Winkle Town
Lyrics by Lorenz Hart, music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics published on The Complete Lyrics of Lorenz Hart

Summer journeys
To Niag'ra
And to other places
Aggravate all our cares.
We'll save our fares.
I've a cozy little flat
In what is known as old Manhattan.
We'll settle down
Right here in town.

We'll have Manhattan,
The Bronx and Staten
Island too.
It's lovely going through
The zoo.
It's very fancy
On old Delancey
Street, you know.
The subway charms us so
When balmy breezes blow
To and fro.
And tell me what street
Compares with Mott Street
In July?
Sweet pushcarts gently gliding by.
The great big city's a wondrous toy
Just made for a girl and boy.
We'll turn Manhattan
Into an isle of joy.

We'll go to Greenwich,
Where modern men itch
To be free;
And Bowling Green you'll see
With me.
We'll bathe at Brighton
The fish you'll frighten
When you're in.
Your bathing suit so thin
Will make the shellfish grin
Fin to fin.
I'd like to take a
Sail on Jamaica
Bay with you.
And fair Canarsie's lake
We'll view.
The city's bustle cannot destroy
The dreams of a girl and boy.
We'll turn Manhattan
Into an isle of joy.

We'll go to Yonkers
Where true love conquers
In the wilds.
And starve together, dear,
In Childs'.
We'll go to Coney
And eat baloney
On a roll.
In Central Park we'll stroll,
Where our first kiss we stole,
Soul to soul.
Our future babies
We'll take to "Abie's
Irish Rose."
I hope they'll live to see
It close.
The city's clamor can never spoil
The dreams of a boy and goil.
We'll turn Manhattan
Into an isle of joy.

We'll have Manhattan,
The Bronx and Staten
Island too.
We'll try to cross'
Fifth Avenue.
As black as onyx
We'll find the Bronnix
Park Express.
Our Flatbush flat, I guess,
Will be a great success,
More or less.
A short vacation
On Inspiration Point
We'll spend,
And in the station house we'll end,
But Civic Virtue cannot destroy
The dreams of a girl and boy.
We'll turn Manhattan
Into an isle of joy!

http://www.apluslyrics.com/lyrics/29227/Ella_Fitzgerald/Manhattan/
Summer journeys to niag'ra
And to other places aggra-
Vate all our cares.
We'll save our fares!

I've a cozy little flat in
What is known as old manhattan
We'll settle down
Right here in town!

We'll have manhattan
The bronx and staten
Island too.
It's lovely going through
The zoo!

It's very fancy
On old delancy
Street you know.
The subway charms us so
When balmy breezes blow
To and fro.

And tell me what street
Compares with mott street
In july?
Sweet pushcarts gently gli-ding by.

The great big city's a wonderous toy
Just made for a girl and boy.
We'll turn manhattan
Into an isle of joy!

We'll go to yonkers
Where true love conquers
In the whiles
And starve together dear, in chiles

We'll go to coney
And eat baloney on a roll
In central park we'll stroll
Where our first kiss we stole
Soul to soul

And "my fair lady" is a terrific show they say
We both may see it close, some day
The city's glamour can never spoil
The dreams of a boy and goil
We'll turn manhattan
Into an isle of joy!

Transcribed by todd peach
(from this specific recording)

Guy from bath england sent me this more complete version:
Verse

Summer journeys to niag'ra
And to other places aggra-
Vate all our cares.
We'll save our fares;

I've a cozy little flat in
What is known as old manhattan,
We'll settle down
Right here in town.

Chorus 1
We'll have manhattan,
The bronx and staten
Island too.
It's lovely going through the zoo.

It's very fancy
On old delancey
Street you know.
The subway charms us so,
When balmy breezes blow
To and fro.

And tell me what street
Compares with mott street
In july?
Sweet pushcarts gently gliding by.

The great big city's a wondrous toy
Just made for a girl and boy --
We'll turn manhattan
Into an isle of joy.

Chorus 2
We'll go to greenwich,
Where modern men itch
To be free,
And bowling green you'll see with me.

We'll bathe at brighton,
The fish you'll frighten
When you're in,
Your bathing suit so thin
Will make the shellfish grin,

Fin to fin.

I'd like to take a
Sail on jamaica
Bay with you,
And fair canarsie's lakes we'll view.

The city's bustle cannot destroy
The dreams of a girl and boy --
We'll turn manhattan
Into an isle of joy.

Chorus 3
We'll go to yonkers,
Where true love conquers
In the wilds
And starve together, dear, in childs'.

We'll go to coney
And eat bologny
On a roll,
In central park we'll stroll
Where our first kiss we stole,
Soul to soul.

And south pacific
Is a terrific
Show they say,
We both may see it close some day.

The city's clamour can never spoil
The dreams of a boy and goil --
We'll turn manhattan
Into an isle of joy.

Chorus 4
We'll have manhattan,
The bronx and staten
Island too,
We'll try to cross fifth avenue.

As black as onyx
We'll find the bronix
Park express,
Our flatbush flat, I guess,
Will be a great success,
More or less.

A short vacation
On inspiration
Point we'll spend,
And in the station house we'll end.

But civic virtue cannot destroy
The dreams of a girl and boy --
We'll turn manhattan
Into an isle of joy!
Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMusic/Dance/Theatre/Film • Monday, November 15, 2004 • Permalink


I remember this song in the 1970s and I never forgot it.  I am not sure of what version.  I will try to get the CD.  Thanks, Alice

Posted by Alice Graves  on  10/02  at  03:09 AM

I don’t understand.
‘South Pacific’ dates from 1949.
‘My Fair Lady’ dates from 1956.
The lines : “and South Pacific is a terrific...”
“and ‘My Fair Lady is a terrific...”
could not have been written by Lorenz Hart who had died in 1943.
What was the original lyric written in 1925?

Posted by Alan Alfred  on  03/11  at  03:20 PM

Nice post with good song.

Posted by yahoo  on  05/21  at  05:19 AM

Stated above:
“The song is old enough to present the wonderful lyrics in full.”

However, assuming that the copyright owners fulfilled their renewal obligation in 1953 (the end of the first 28 years of copyright protection), due to the combined effects of the Copyright Act of 1976 and the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998, works published in 1925 are still protected by copyright in the US until 12/31/2020 (see chart at URL)

Also, the “My Fair Lady"/"South Pacific” words were originally very 20s topical—something like:
Our future babies
We’ll take to Abie’s Irish Rose --
Perhaps they’ll live to see it close—

Posted by Kevin Scott  on  12/23  at  08:16 PM

Page 1 of 1 pages