06/03/2011 7:32PM

Column Companion: Champs, Classics, Songs

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Here is the complete rundown on Triple Crown race winners and 3-year-old champions, plus the lyrics to the three songs that have served as Belmont Stakes anthems over the last 15 years, as discussed in the Sunday column (http://www.drf.com/news/belmont-stakes-could-decide-eclipse).

In the chart below, Eclipse Award champion 3-year-old males are in boldface and dual classic winners are highlighted in yellow:

 

And which of the following songs would you like to hear played when the field for the Belmont Stakes emerges from the paddock tunnel?

"Sidewalks of New York" (Lawlor/Blake, 1894)

Down in front of Casey's old brown wooden stoop
On a summer's evening we formed a merry group
Boys and girls together we would sing and waltz
While Tony played the organ on the sidewalks of New York

East Side, West Side, all around the town
The tots sang "ring-around-rosie," "London Bridge is falling down"
Boys and girls together, me and Mamie O'Rourke
Tripped the light fantastic on the sidewalks of New York

That's where Johnny Casey, little Jimmy Crowe
Jakey Krause, the baker, who always had the dough
Pretty Nellie Shannon with a dude as light as cork
She first picked up the waltz step on the sidewalks of New York

Things have changed since those times, some are up in "G"
Others they are wand'rers but they all feel just like me
They'd part with all they've got, could they once more walk
With their best girl and have a twirl on the sidewalks of New York

 

"New York, New York" (Kander/Ebb, 1977)

Start spreading the news, I'm leaving today
I want to be a part of it - New York, New York
These vagabond shoes, are longing to stray
Right through the very heart of it - New York, New York

I want to wake up in a city, that doesn't sleep
And find I'm king of the hill - top of the heap

These little town blues, are melting away
I'm gonna make a brand new start of it - in old New York
If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere
It's up to you - New York, New York

 

"Empire State of Mind" (Jay-Z/Alicia Keys, 2009)

Ooohh New York x2

Grew up in a town that is famous as the place of movie scenes
Noise was always loud, there are sirens all around and the streets are mean
If I can make it here, I can make it anywhere, that's what they say
Seeing my face in lights or my name on marquees found down on Broadway

Even if it ain’t all it seems, I got a pocketful of dreams
Baby, I'm from New York
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There's nothing you can't do
Now you're in New York
These streets will make you feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you
Hear it for New York, New York, New York!

On the avenue, there ain't never a curfew, ladies work so hard
Such a melting pot, on the corner selling rock, preachers pray to God
Hail a gypsy cab, takes me down from Harlem to the Brooklyn Bridge
Some will sleep tonight with a hunger far more than an empty fridge

I'm gonna make it by any means, I got a pocketful of dreams
Baby, I'm from New York
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There's nothing you can't do
Now you're in New York
These street will make you feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you
Hear it for New York, New York, New York!

One hand in the air for the big city,
Street lights, big dreams all looking pretty
No place in the world that can compare
Put your lighters in the air, everybody say yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

In New York
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There's nothing you can't do
Now you're in New York
These streets will make you feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you
Now you're in New York!

Concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There's nothing you can't do
Now you're in New York
These street will make you feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you
Hear it for New York!

 

[Update: I have replaced the lyrics to the better-known Jay-Z version of this song with the tamer, sanitized Alicia Keys version which is what was played at last year's Belmont.]

Chris Montgomery More than 1 year ago
Bring Back SIDEWALKS! End of discussion!
C More than 1 year ago
Empire state of mind???? Don't you mean "Love on a two-way street" by the Moments? What a ripoff! I would bring back Sidewalks of New York and never change it again.
Peggy More than 1 year ago
New York, New York
Alex More than 1 year ago
As if a theme song will get people into the park and keep wickets busy. Call me a killjoy but do we even need one? Somehow if I did have to choose, I would go with "Crossroads" by Cream. It's upbeat and haven't we all lived that last line at the track many times: "I am standing at the crossroads, I believe I'm sinking down". However if my choice is disallowed (as I am sure it would be), I cast my vote for "New York State Of Mind" by Billy Joel. Cheer up though, 47 more days till the Spa, Hatties fried chicken sandwiches, and Cheez Waffies!
George More than 1 year ago
Slight edge goes to Sidewalks of New York. It's a beautiful melody, and if played the right way, can shine in this spot, once again.
Bon More than 1 year ago
I love the thought of the Triple Crown being cursed until the bring back " Sidewalks Of New York " ...Nothing like a good curse.
charlie L More than 1 year ago
They should skip the Belmont this year. The crop of 3 year olds is so pathetic, you could have mules run the mile and a half, it would be the same thing. Six months from now, no one will remember who won the Belmont.
jimfix More than 1 year ago
I have a beautiful mental image of the entire NYRA commision dressed in drag belting out Lilly Von Schtupps classic "I'm Tired" in front of a worldwide audience...
jimfix More than 1 year ago
I'd like to hear a rousing version of "Camptown Races" rather than these weak entries. How about Lilly Von Schtupp's "I'm Tired" sung by NYRA's own ruling board--in full drag!!!
Jared More than 1 year ago
They never should have changed the song on the first place. "New York, New York" is the Yankees theme. (For the woefully uninitiated, the Sinatra version is blasted at Yankee Stadium after every game.) In terms of the New York sports world, the tune belongs to the Bronx Bombers lock, stock and barrel. NYRA merely made themselves look grasping and unoriginal by latching on. As far as "Empire State of Mind", the venerable Belmont Stakes does not need a marketing update. There's a sign over the bar in another NY institution, McSorley's Old Ale House. It reads: "We were here before you were born." Listening to "Sidewalks of New York" gives you a similar feeling, like a brief trip back to 19th Century New York City. Perfectly suited to the oldest of the Triple Crown races. It's the least hip song imaginable, with the possible exception of "Maryland, My Maryland." But who cares? Why would they abandon a great tradition like that? Sometimes people should be forcibly reminded of their debt to tradition. If NYRA is truly compelled to imitate the Yankees, I suggest they choose an iconic song to go out on, to be cranked over the PA after the final race of each day. "Fugue for Tinhorns", from Frank Loesser's Guys and Dolls, would fit the bill nicely.