Do you know the Tv Show Glee? I’m not a huge fun (even because a lot of NY scenes are not set in New York), but I keep watching it for the songs.
A couple of weeks ago the title of the episode was “New New York” and, of course, I watched it and enjoyed the Glee cast performance of the famous song “Downtown”.
I had already heard this song, but I knew very little about the history behind it. Everything started with Tony Hatch, a songwriter who worked for Petula Clark. In the autumn of 1964 Hatch visited to New York City for the first time and he would recall: “I was staying at a hotel on Central Park and I wandered down to Broadway and to Times Square and, naively, I thought I was downtown. Forgetting that in New York especially, downtown is a lot further downtown getting on towards Battery Park. I loved the whole atmosphere there and the [music] came to me very, very quickly”.
The curious trick of the story is that, according to Hatch, he was standing on the corner of 48th St waiting for the traffic lights to change, looking towards Times Square when “the melody first came to me, just as the neon signs went on.” So the Downtown of the song is actually Midtown and its Times Square.
Do you like the song? I think is full of energy and New York passion!