Sometimes, it seems like all songs can be sorted into one of four buckets: songs about love and heartbreak, songs about going out dancing with your girls, songs about booties, and songs about New York City.
The Big Apple has long held the attention of musicians, from Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York" and Jay-Z and Alicia Keys' "Empire State of Mind," to the so-new-we-haven't-had-a-chance-to-learn-the-words-yet "Welcome to New York" by Taylor Swift. Swift's new song, off of her upcoming 1989 album, makes us wish that we had a binder to scratch lyrics into, and will doubtlessly inspire cryptic Facebook statuses and artsy, Pinterest-bait tattoos.
Every New Yorker has their own favorite song about the city. In honor of Swift's contribution to the genre and the recent anniversary of "Empire State of Mind," MTV News staffers shared the tracks nearest and dearest to their hearts.
"Fantasy (Remix)" Ol' Dirty Bastard and Mariah Carey
"This used to play at Bushwick bars every night when I first moved to New York. Also there's yelling about Brooklyn at the beginning and I live there." --Brenna Ehrlich
"NY City Cops," The Strokes
"The great lost Strokes song 'New York City Cops' was the B-side to the band’s debut single, 'Hard to Explain,' released just four months before the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. The amped-up rocker ended up on the American vinyl version of their debut single, 'Is This It' released in August. It was replaced on the CD by 'When It Started' thanks to lines such as the chorus, 'New York City cops/ But they ain’t too smart,' which seemed inappropriate following the heroism of first responders. It’s hard to find (and not for nothing, one of the band’s best songs), but you can hear it here." --Gil Kaufman
"No Sleep 'Til Brooklyn," Beastie Boys
"The Beastie Boys pretty much are New York to me, and there’s no more New York song than 'No Sleep ’Til Brooklyn.' Yeah, it’s borough specific, but you drive over any bridge in any part of the city, and this is the song you want to blast out of your car. Especially if you’re going to Brooklyn." --Alex Zalben
"212," Azealia Banks
"I've loved many a New York song ('Welcome to New York,' Rufus Wainwright's 'Poses,' Ellis Paul's 'Angel in Manhattan') but none have been quite so catchy as '212.' Ever walk down the street with your headphones on and feel like you just own everything you see? Turn on '212' and you'll know the feeling." --Kase Wickman
"14th Street," Rufus Wainwright
"His tale of heartbreak made the city seem so glamorous with endless possibilities. As soon as I moved to New York, I walked along 14th street listening to this song, and knew I was home." --Christina Beale
"New York, New York," Ryan Adams
"Adams tells the story of love in the city, but the best part of the song is listening for all the places he sings about and seeing if you've been there. Oh, and the sax solo at the end." --Emilee Lindner
"New York / N.Y.," Nina Hagen
"Honorable mentions to Azealia Banks’ '212' and Le Tigre’s 'My My Metrocard,' but I’d have to pick Nina Hagen’s 'New York / N.Y.' The phantasmagoric club-hopping anthem is basically a time capsule of early-‘80s New York nightlife, with Hagen as its bellowing, East German protector." --John Walker
"Manhattan," Cat Power
"This song makes me sad, but in a comforting way. New York can be so lonely but so overwhelming at the same time. The video is awesome because she just gets on one of those big tour busses and lip synchs throughout the city and makes friends with buskers." --Emilee Lindner
"Marching Bands of Manhattan," Death Cab for Cutie
"How cool is it that Death Cab for Cutie wrote an ode to NYC called 'Marching Bands of Manhattan' considering they’re from Bellingham, Washington? It’s not my favorite song of theirs, but it was beautiful when they would perform it at concerts here and the whole crowd, including myself, would sing along." --Abby Devora
"New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down," LCD Soundsystem
"In 2007, to claim that New York was dead, even though James Murphy had previously claimed the same in 2002, was just a sign of the times. The internet lives, everything else is cooler, move to Detroit, why didn’t you move to Portland, what happened to Austin? Or even another country because, let’s be fair, Bush is still president and we have been in a war since the early aughts -- we were exhausted. 'Take me off your mailing list, For kids that think it still exists, Yes, for those who think it still exists, Maybe I'm wrong, And maybe you're right.' In New York, the kids are always right. I’m from here, Brooklyn to be exact. I’ve seen a lot of eras here and just like life itself, the city is never stagnant. The city never sleeps. It dies, but it also is born again. For every 'new' neighborhood, every new party, every single scene, there is always another that just became a thing. Were you there? As bittersweet as that is, it’s the same for this song. Every time you feel like you’re at the end of your New York rope, remember 'New' is in the title, you are just growing. This song might just help you get over yourself. 'I was there' at the last LCD show at Madison Square Garden, and this was the last song played after four hours. As sad as that was, we still went out after, partied and moved on to the next chapter of our New, New York." --Brendan Kennedy
“N.Y. State of Mind,” Nas
"No one has ever captured the underbelly of New York like Nas did on 'N.Y. State of Mind.' Yes, NYC is the big city of dreams and if you can make it here then you can make it anywhere, but what artists forget the people that get left behind, the broken dreams from the ones that never make it. Nas painted that picture perfectly." --Rob Markman
"Deja Vu (Uptown Baby)," Lord Tariq & Peter Gunz
"This song came out in 1998. I was 11 and just discovering hip-hop. Jammin 95.5 was the new (& only) hip-hop in Portland and Lord Tariq & Peter Gunz were on heavy rotation. The middle school boys would remix it for our own neighborhood. 'North-east-bae-bae, North-east-bae-bae.' This was around the time I sent in a VHS video to MTV’s 'Made' so I could be transformed into a music video dancer. Unclear as to why a pre-pubescent Northwest girl didn’t make the series." --India Nicholas
"Empire State of Mind," Jay-Z and Alicia keys
"Jay-Z and Alicia Keys released this song right when I moved to the Big Apple in 2009. I remember watching them close the VMAs with the track and really feeling like their performance was directed towards me. Since living in New York I’ve seen Hov play several times and can’t help but get all warm and fuzzy inside when he does 'Empire State of Mind.'” --Cory Midgarden
"I love a lot of songs about New York, but the one that stands out the most to me is 'Empire State of Mind.' When I got accepted to NYU, that song was just becoming really popular, and I feel like it became intrinsically attached to my college experience. They played it at my graduation too!" --Rachel Paoletta
"I’m an NYC native who has never fallen out of butterflies-in-my-stomach love with this city — even though I’ve threatened to break up with it on a few occasions. And this 2009 anthem about a 'concrete jungle where dreams are made of' perfectly captures why the Rotten Apple is really the ultimate catch." --Rebecca Thomas
"New York, New York," Frank Sinatra
"When it comes to songs about New York City this one's the king of the hill, top of the heap, A number one, top of the list... Well, you get it." --Brian Phares
"New York, New York" from "On the Town"
I’m assuming someone will get NY State of Mind, so I’ll go with "New York, New York,” from the 1949 film “On The Town,” because even though it was written 70 years ago, it still holds true -- the Bronx is still up, the Battery’s stil down, and people still ride in a hole in the ground. Also, the overt LBGT stereotypes and overtones of the movie and ridiculous campy sexism were barely touched upon, which is crazy. Regardless, I can’t resist olde tymey guys singing in sailor uniforms.
"I Love New York," Madonna
"It's not her greatest song, but you know she means every word. 'If you can't stand the heat... then get off my street.'" --Dan Avery
What's your favorite New York song? Tell us in the comments!