New York City is one of a kind. So it’s no surprise that there have been more songs written and inspired by this great place than almost any other city. So many, in fact, that there is an entire Wikipedia page dedicated solely to this specific genre. Not all of them are entirely about life in New York—some only mention the city once, or merely allude to it, making only a few essential listening. Here are some of the very best songs about life in New York.

The Classics

From Sinatra to John Lennon, U2 to Billy Joel, it seems that any music legend, living or dead, needs to have at least one New York song in their repertoire.

New York, New York – Frank Sinatra

Talkin’ New York – Bob Dylan

53rd and 3rd – The Ramones

New York City – John Lennon

Angel of Harlem – U2

Empire State – Fleetwood Mac

New York State of Mind – Billy Joel

Leaving New York – REM

New New York

More recent stars have also been getting in on the NYC love, and there is no shortage of new hits and New York anthems from the past decade.

Empire State of Mind – Jay Z feat. Alicia Keys

Empire State of Mind, pt. II – Alicia Keys

Jenny from the Block – Jennifer Lopez

Welcome to New York – Taylor Swift

Manhattan – Kings of Leon

Brooklyn Baby – Lana Del Rey

Back to Manhattan – Norah Jones

New York – Ed Sheeran

New York City – Chainsmokers

Holidays and Other Hits

And then there are a random assortment of other New York-themed songs that either re-emerge around every December (e.g. Silver Bells), are from a musical (e.g. Newsies), or are only kind of about New York and were too good to leave out (e.g. Living for the City). Here are a few of our favorites:

Fairytale of New York – The Pogues feat. Kirsty MacColl

Christmas in Harlem – Kanye West

Silver Bells – Bing Crosby and Carol Richards

Big Yellow Taxi – Joni Mitchell

Macy’s Day Parade – Green Day

Bright Lights Bigger City – Cee Lo Green

King of New York – Newsies

Living for the City – Stevie Wonder

Spotify Playlist:

[Note: some songs may contain explicit lyrics]

(https://open.spotify.com/user/chotlate/playlist/4CFtizpoL85dRKNV2BUvpx )