They say it never sleeps—(who’s “they”?)
They have a reason.
People on the streets no matter what the season,
Phrases scrawled with haste, spray-painted face—
This city is a bear, but it don’t hibernate.
And this is where you were born—
In the back of a taxi cab,
But you don’t know who’s your dad.
That guy in the suit and tie, he’s got your eyes,
Wall-Street-bound, Prada briefcase at his side.
Follow him a while, just to play pretend.
He’s got your laughter—
It’s a free nation, but this ain’t no Great Expectations.
Not cut for Wall Street, you head for Grand Central Station.
Play a few songs with your beat-up guitar,
Sing a few verses,
Families watching you closely, better leave out the curses.
Quarters and dimes, “thank you for your time,”
But time’s all you got, you left nothing behind.
Watch your brother board the seven-twenty train,
He asks you to join, but why would you leave?
You fell in love with the concrete.
The rhythm and the blues light your heart like a fuse;
This city—it kills you, but it’s still your muse.
I’ll ask you one thing,
From Brooklyn and Queens,
Every borough in between,
The art on the streets, the man with the beat—
Take it all in from your head to your feet.
This city is sparkling—not sparkling clean,
It’s sparking, sparking electricity.
Every person, every sound with unique energy—
I’ll ask you one thing:
Can you feel it?