I don't drink coffee I take tea, my dear.
I like my toast done on one side.
And you can hear it in my accent when I talk,
I'm an Englishman in New York.

You see me walking down Fifth Avenue,
A walking cane here at my side.
I take it everywhere I walk,
I'm an Englishman in New York.

Whoa. I'm an alien.
I'm a legal alien.
I'm an Englishman in New York.
Whoa. I'm an alien.
I'm a legal alien.
I'm an Englishman in New York.

If "manners maketh man" as someone said,
He's the hero of the day.
It takes a man to suffer ignorance and mile.
Be yourself no matter what they say.

Whoa. I'm an alien.
I'm a legal alien.
I'm an Englishman in New York.
Whoa. I'm an alien.
I'm a legal alien.
I'm an Englishman in New York.

Modesty, propriety can lead to notoriety,
But you could end up as the only one.
Gentleness, sobriety are rare in this society.
At night a candle's brighter than the sun.

Takes more than combat gear to make a man.
Takes more than a license for a gun.
Confront your enemies, avoid them when you can.
A gentleman will walk but never run.

If "manners maketh man" as someone said,
He's the hero of the day.
It takes a man to suffer ignorance and mile.
Be yourself no matter what they say.
Be yourself no matter what they say.
Be yourself no matter what they say.
Be yourself no matter what they say.
Be yourself no matter what they say.
Be yourself no matter what they say.
Be yourself no matter what they say.
Be yourself no matter what they say.
Be yourself no matter what they say.
Be yourself no matter what they say.



Lyrics submitted by Novartza

"Englishman in New York" as written by Gordon Matthew Sumner, Paul Hutsch

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing

Lyrics powered by LyricFind


Englishman In New York song meanings
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32 Comments

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  • +1
    General Comment:The sound of this song is PERFECT. Like all of Sting's songs on the Fields of Gold album, the music itself intertwines with his lyrics so well that the mental imagery is almost visual.

    As to meaning, it seems to me that he's talking about what it truly means to be a man.

    "It takes a man to suffer ignorance and smile;
    Be yourself no matter what they say."

    But it's not all about "being different" or "marching to the beat of a different drum." It's more about being in control and at peace with yourself and the world.

    "Modesty, propriety can lead to notoriety;
    You could end up as the only one.
    Gentleness, sobriety are rare in this society...
    At night a candle's brighter than the sun"

    This means to me, "don't be afraid to be yourself," but also "don't be afraid to be courteous!" After all, one of the most conformist things in society seems to be "being tough." This song says that the TRUE way to be tough, or resilient, is to actually be gentlemanly. My favorite line: "Confront your enemies, avoid them when you can; a gentleman will walk but never run." That is, walk, don't RUN AWAY! Courage, gentleness, and individuality are the meanings of this song.
    Bodesteron October 29, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:The sound of this song is PERFECT. Like all of Sting's songs on the Fields of Gold album, the music itself intertwines with his lyrics so well that the mental imagery is almost visual.

    As to meaning, it seems to me that he's talking about what it truly means to be a man.

    "It takes a man to suffer ignorance and smile;
    Be yourself no matter what they say."

    But it's not all about "being different" or "marching to the beat of a different drum." It's more about being in control and at peace with yourself and the world.

    "Modesty, propriety can lead to notoriety;
    You could end up as the only one.
    Gentleness, sobriety are rare in this society...
    At night a candle's brighter than the sun"

    This means to me, "don't be afraid to be yourself," but also "don't be afraid to be courteous!" After all, one of the most conformist things in society seems to be "being tough." This song says that the TRUE way to be tough, or resilient, is to actually be gentlemanly. My favorite line: "Confront your enemies, avoid them when you can; a gentleman will walk but never run." That is, walk, don't RUN AWAY! Courage, gentleness, and individuality are the meanings of this song.
    Bodesteron October 29, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:That drum machine part is important! It's juxtaposition, it adds meaning to the song, the smoothness of the saxophone representing civilized behavior and the drum machine symbolizing the "ignorance" which it faces. It's a cool break.
    Alex an der seiteon April 12, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:Well... listening to the lyrichs, you might say it's a gay song ("See me walking down Fifth Avenue/A walking cane here at my side/I take it everywhere I walk/I'm an Englishman in New York." - Hmm; "It takes a man to suffer ignorance and smile/Be yourself no matter what they say" - again, Hmm...), but such an interpretation is as wacky as MY interpretation of "Mad about you" (*stupid stupid stupid*).
    It MAY be about that, but in a larger field. It's a song about being an "alien", just as Sting himself put it. About belonging, but not quite.
    If you watch the video closly, you'll see a sort of body language Sting is posting: crossed legs standing up, making a crooked cross if you will. That sign means "amongst stragers", if you study that part of psichology that deals with subliminal messages through the position of the body.
    So it's about being amongst strangers, not knowing anybody, not having friends around, etc.

    Sorry for the long coment.
    AprilMoon1991on July 02, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:[Sting]: Englishman in New York (1987) is about Quentin Crisp. He's one of the most charming, witty and courageous men I know. He was openly gay not only when it was dangerous, but when it was against the law. Then he moved to the Bowery, this tough neighbourhood in New York, when he was 71. The song has exactly the same chords as 'If You Love Somebody Set Them Free' If you find a good chord structure you should use it at least once or twice. I tried to capture the multicultural elements of the music in New York. You hear jazz on one block and rock on the next, then someone comes round the corner with hip-hop blaring out of their car. That's why those hip-hop drums burst in for a few bars. The record company tried to talk me out of that; but I said, "No; that's what it's about." I think Quentin rather likes the song. He calls me Mr Sting.
    sillybunnyon August 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:Nice :)
    nagareboshion June 10, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:This is an excellent rock song. Unfortunately, the great jazz sax solo is followed up by a few bars of an atrocious synthetic drum beat. This was not part of the original song or recording, and was added during production.

    If you have the mp3, then convert it to wav, or rip from CD to wav, and use your favorite audio editor to remove those drums. You'll notice that the crash cymbal right before the drum solo lines up exactly with the one right afterward, which is the smoking gun. Now encode back as mp3 or burn back to CD.

    Now you can listen to it without your ears bleeding. Enjoy!
    tps12on August 31, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:this is a great song...amazing
    HeatHBabyon September 27, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:Great song... what else is there to say.
    Last_niteon September 29, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:great song, especially the jazz part!
    loon July 01, 2003   Link

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