As we reach the end of our internship, we’ve been researching Broadway songs about New York in an attempt to discover a trajectory in perceptions of the city based on historical context. Here are two songs from fairly recent Broadway shows with opposing perspectives towards the city. The first, from Jonathan Larson’s Rent (1996), takes place during a subway ride in N.Y.C. The characters singing the song are Bohemian artists living on the edge in the nineties. They trash the city, suggesting they “leave it to the roaches and mice” and head to “Santa Fe” as the song is entitled. The second is from the iconic musical Annie (1977) and is appropriately titled “N.Y.C.” Annie is taken throughout a winter-kissed Manhattan and her guardian, Daddy Warbucks, sings to her of the marvels of the city. “What is it about you?” he asks Manhattan. A young Broadway hopeful breaks out from the chorus to sing about her ambitions on the “Great White Way.” These two songs exemplify the contrasting feelings toward Broadway at any point in the history of the Great White Way.
Santa Fe : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZ2MCFCbtCA