Monday, November 21, 2011

New Cross State of Mind

New Cross is better than New York is an entertaining new blog by the people who make those 'I Love New Cross' bags they sell in the London Particular cafe. As they rightly point out:

- They've got Macy's, we've got TK Maxx;
- They've got Studio54, we've got The Venue;
- They've got Carnegie Hall, we've got Lewisham Arthouse;
- They've got Brooklyn, we've got Brockley.

Glad I'm not the only one who enjoys subsitituting New Cross for New York in songs, or indeed as they say 'substituting the word “Brockley” for “Brooklyn” in Beastie Boys songs. “No Sleep Til Brockley” is particularly good on the night-bus home'. 'Brockley we go hard' by Jaz-Z also does it for me.

My current favourite is New Cross State of Mind by Alicia Keys:

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 a flyer in Deptford Broadway

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

On the old A2, 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 dodgy cab, takes me down from Brockley to Deptford Bridge
Some will sleep tonight with a hunger far more than an empty fridge

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.


SE London Bags said...

Thanks for the love Transpontine! New post on our blog: "They've got Big Yellow Taxis, we've got Big Yellow Self-Storage" :)

Kit and Cutter said...

We refer to Brockley as Brocklyn. As in "Oh yes, I live in Brocklyn, you know - Lower East Side of New Cross?"

And for years Famous Blue Raincoat has gone "It's four in the morning, the end of December, I'm writing you now just to see if you're better. New Cross is cold, but I like where I'm living, there's music on Malpas Road all through the evening..."


Transpontine said...

Leonard Cohen New Cross songs, nice idea.

'I remember you well in the White Hart Hotel,you were famous, your heart was a legend.
You told me again you preferred handsome men, but for me you would make an exception.

Those were the reasons and that was New Cross, we were running for the money and the flesh.
And that was called love for the workers in song,
probably still is for those of them left'.

Richard G. said...

This could be a song that needs a rework:

Anonymous said...

please please someone record the alicia keys 'detourn' and post it. Our very own viral anthem!

Anonymous said...

and another thing - the I ♡ N X bags are now available as T shirts. I know coz I'm wearing mine right now. Go to

Ron Madsky said...

Not forgetting the New X Sting

I don't drink coffee I take weed my dear
I like my dose done very wide
And you can hear it in my accent when I talk
I'm an Englishman in New Cross

See me walking down to the Venue
Some Mary Jane here at my side
I take it everywhere I walk
I'm an Englishman in New Cross

I'm an alien I'm a legal alien
I'm an Englishman in New Cross
I'm an alien I'm a legal alien
I'm an Englishman in New Cross

Transpontine said...

@Richard G

Great track - check it out people: Product Of Da Neighbourhood - Living In Brooklyn.

'D'you like living in Brockley?'

Transpontine said...

Also recommed Mos Def - Brooklyn

'Cuz it's the B-the-R-the-O-the-C-K
L-E-Y is the place where I stay...

Brockley my habitat, the place where it happen at
Live sway and the sharp balance of the battle axe
Irons is brandished at, thugs draw they hammer back
It's where you find the news tool crew cameras at'

mrs)_masini said...

How about 'New Cross, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down' by LCD Soundsystem

or 'Only living boy in New Cross' an actual song mentioning New Cross

alex said...

It's a tad bleak but still a beautiful song, I think. Vampires of New Cross..