Friday, July 4, 2014
Mariko Takahashi -- New York, New York
Well, Happy 4th of July to viewers from the States. I just hope that the folks down along the Eastern Seaboard are doing OK with Hurricane Arthur.
Thinking about what I could profile here on America's 238th birthday, I decided to go with Mariko Takahashi's （高橋真梨子）"New York, New York". Now, this song, despite the title, has nothing to do with the Kander & Ebbs classic which was immortalized by Frank Sinatra, but it is a track from Takahashi's 10th album, "Mellow Lips" which came out in September 1985. Takahashi herself took care of the lyrics while songwriter (and later singer) Kenjiro Sakiya （崎谷 健次郎）came up with the melody.
As a big fan, I have to say that "New York, New York" probably won't get into my Top 10 favourite Mariko Takahashi songs, but the singer and collaborator Sakiya made it clear that she has a personal love for The Big Apple (she would also write the lyrics for another of her songs, "My Heart New York City" a few years later). She obviously has a professional connection since she has performed at Carnegie Hall. The music has that feeling of giddy wonder of someone entering Manhattan for the first time and just gaping at the towering skyscrapers through the window of a taxi. And through one line of the refrain: "...surprise, afraid, enjoy...", she rather described my own feelings of visiting the city for the first time in the early 90s. Happily, my time was mostly the first and last words and very little of the second (the drug pusher offering us some of his stock one morning at the edge of Central Park, and the subway platforms fulfilled that second word).