A three-fer here because we are whirlwinding our way across this portion of the US. Not because we don’t want to see what New England has to offer, but it is hot, my friends, and we want to head north—and fast. So here’s a spread of songs with the main dish being New York tunes with decent helpings from the smallest of US states and its neighbor.
New York Groove: I’m back in the New York groove baby! To be honest, I have no idea what that groove is because I’ve only spent a total of 48 hours in NYC. (Both sweaty romps that left my feet blistered and my armpits raw.) Is this a song about NYC or the state? Doesn’t matter. It slaps. Hard. Turn on this jam by Ace Frehley and make sure you’ve a full tank of gas ‘cause you won’t want to stop.
Empire State of Mind: Jay-Z and Alica Keys hear it for New f’ing York. They are the perfect pair with Jay-Z slinging verse after verse and Keys providing a chorus (and bridge) that soars like the—how can I avoid the cliche now?—the Empire State Building. Even though I have never found NYC inspiring, I can say this song might convince me otherwise.
Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues: It opens with a mention of Juarez, takes a turn into France and ends up bumming on the streets of New York City because he’s just had enough. Truth be told, I had enough of NYC too, which is why we are completely bypassing it on this trip in favor of less crowded places and more scenic vistas. I’ve included my favorite version here.
Kylie from Connecticut: Miracle can’t stand Ben Folds, who remains a guilty pleasure of mine. Although not the strongest song from his Ways to Normal album, it does have the state in its name.
Connecticut Cowboy introduction: Maybe because Connecticut is hard to rhyme with things, but Dylan has no songs about the Constitution State. Here’s as close as we get—a joke intro from early in his career:
Movin’ Right Along: Fozzie and Kermit are great road trip pals—to each other and for Miracle and I as well. They do a drive-by citation of Rhode Island, which seems fitting for the smallest of states.