RCC Honors History Project

“Sidewalks of New York”

Posted by nrohr on March 15, 2009

These are lyrics to a song released in 1894 and popular as an unofficial anthem for New York City.

SIDEWALKS OF NEW YORK

Down in front of Casey’s old brown wooden stoop,
On a summer’s evening we formed a merry group.
Boys and girls together we would sing and waltz,
While Tony played the organ on the sidewalks of New York.

Chorus:
East Side, West Side, all around the town,
The tots sang “Ring-a-ros-ie,” “London Bridge is falling down.”
Boys and girls together — me and Mamie O’Rourke —
Tripped the light fantastic on the sidewalks of New York.

That’s where Johnny Casey, little Jimmy Crowe,
Jakey Krause, the baker, who always had the dough,
Pretty Nellie Shannon, with shoes as light as cork,
She first picked up the waltz step on the sidewalks of New York.

Things have changed since those times, some are up in “G”;
Others they are wand’rers, but they all feel just like me.
They’d part with all they’ve got, could they once more walk
With their best girl and have a twirl on the sidewalks of New York.

James Blake

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