Patricio ( Spain )
The Song ‘Englishman in New York’ by Sting – Patricio’s goosebump moment
“Hello, my name is Patricio, and I am from Spain, and my goosebump moment for a song is ‘Englishman in New York’ by Sting. This song tells the story of an English gentleman visiting New York City for the first time, and how he receives a cultural shock in terms of the way he speaks, the way he behaves, his manners, etc.… and how he finds himself out of context in the cosmopolitan, hectic New York City. I also like how the lyrics tell very well about the experience with the traditional British reserve and the irony of the British character. That’s what I like. And also, well, this song was my pick for the first radio show that I had in a local station in my hometown almost 20 years ago. So every time I listen to it brings me lots of memories of these times.”
Exploring the Cultural Significance of Sting’s ‘Englishman in New York’
One of the most striking elements of ‘Englishman in New York’ is its lyrics. Written by Sting himself, the song tells the story of an Englishman living in New York and the challenges he faces as an outsider in a new city.
What makes the lyrics so significant is the way they capture a feeling that many people can relate to – the sensation of feeling like an outcast or not quite fitting in. This feeling is universal and goes beyond national or cultural boundaries, which is why ‘Englishman in New York’ has resonated with audiences all over the world.
Another element that makes ‘Englishman in New York’ so unique is its jazz-inspired sound. The song features a prominent saxophone riff, which was played by none other than Branford Marsalis.
Marsalis’s contribution to the song adds a layer of sophistication to the music, elevating it beyond your average pop song. The jazz influence is particularly significant when you consider the song’s lyrics – jazz has always been associated with breaking the rules and forging new paths, just like the protagonist of ‘Englishman in New York’.
While ‘Englishman in New York’ is primarily a character study, it’s impossible to overlook the social commentary that runs throughout the song. Sting’s lyrics touch on issues such as gender identity, individualism, and cultural differences.
Additionally, the song’s title itself is a reference to author Quentin Crisp, who was a prominent gay rights activist and outspoken critic of conformist culture. By examining the experiences of an Englishman living in New York, Sting was able to comment on many of the issues facing society as a whole.
Finally, no discussion of ‘Englishman in New York’ is complete without mentioning its iconic music video. Directed by David Fincher (who would go on to direct films such as Se7en and The Social Network), the music video features a series of surreal and humorous images that perfectly complement the song’s lyrics and sound. The video is a testament to Sting’s creativity and vision, and has become just as famous as the song itself.
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