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#110030 - 08/15/03 03:10 PM up in "G"
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 7210
Loc: Vermont
we're singing "Sidewalks of New York" in our latest concerts, and there's a verse that uses the line "up in 'G'". anybody got any idea what that means and where it comes from?

here's the third verse:

Things have changed since those times,
Some are up in "G,"
Others, they are wand'rers,
But they all feel just like me;


here's the url where I found this particular version:
http://www.kididdles.com/mouseum/s033.html
I found several sites with the lyrics, but this one didn't immediately begin playing the midi file...

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#110031 - 08/15/03 09:48 PM Re: up in "G"
vbq Offline
journeyman

Registered: 08/03/03
Posts: 95
"up in 'G'". anybody got any idea what that means and where it comes from?

There were 2 versions of the the song, and only the 2nd includes the verse you have quoted containing the phrase "up in G".

That is an important clue. "G" didn't exist at the time the original version of "Sidewalks in New York" was created in the 1890's.

"Sidewalks of New York" was reprised in the 1920's as we see from this history:

"The song was originally written in the 1890's, and was used as a Presidential campaign theme in the 1920's. Here are two versions of the lyrics. The first is as performed by Mel Torme. The second from the Digital Traditions lyrics database."

The first New York subway was opened in 1904 and, by 1920, the New York subway system was celebrated as an engineering marvel of the world.

"G" is a reference to the "G" train which was an express train going to the end of the line.

This is an elegant metaphor for the 'gay blades' who are long past their prime and can no longer 'kick the light fantastic' on the sidewalks of New York. You need to read the 2 lines which follow the lines you quoted to pick up this meaning.

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


The celebrated New York subway was known as "the street under the sidewalks of New York", so it was fitting that the reprise of "Sidewalks of New York" in the 1920's would pay tribute to the subway in this way.



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#110032 - 08/15/03 11:29 PM Re: up in "G"
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 7210
Loc: Vermont
thanks, vubkuh. that seems plausible. it seems more a word for "dead", like heaven or something, but I can buy the train ref.

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#110033 - 08/16/03 05:57 AM Re: up in "G"
vbq Offline
journeyman

Registered: 08/03/03
Posts: 95
I can buy the train ref.

"G" train riders STILL wish for better days:

"Of course fare increases and service cutbacks will affect every person who depends on mass transit. However, G train riders have already experienced a de facto fare hike in the form of drastic service cuts. Most of us are paying full fare for shortened, more crowded subway cars and unacceptable waiting intervals (10+ minutes during rush hour, simply inconceivable anywhere else in the system), and have lost our direct connection to the R train at Queens Plaza during the week -- all very difficult losses. To pay more for this level of substandard service -- and face additional planned service cutbacks -- adds insult to injury for G riders.

Service cutbacks and a fare increase will be hard on everyone who uses mass transit, but G riders have already been severely affected and therefore will be proportionately even more impacted if these proposed changes are realized. It's critical that G riders attend the MTA's public hearings and speak up! Please attend one of the following hearings; we especially need the MTA to hear from Brooklyn and Queens G train commuters!"






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#110034 - 08/16/03 02:13 PM Re: up in "G"
vbq Offline
journeyman

Registered: 08/03/03
Posts: 95
Speaking of subways

This just in from today's NY Times:

"New York City's recovery from the short crisis leapt forward this morning with the revival of subway service to all five boroughs. "All New York City Transit subways are running on or close to schedule," the Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced in a recorded message."

Yes, but was the G train running late (as usual)?


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#110035 - 08/23/03 09:59 AM just getting around to it
wofahulicodoc Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/06/01
Posts: 4924
Loc: Worcester, MA

This is an elegant metaphor for the 'gay blades' who are long past their prime and can no longer 'kick the light fantastic' on the sidewalks of New York.


I seem to recall that as "trip the lights fantastic." Always assuming my memory hasn't failed me, where does trip come from?




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#110036 - 08/23/03 11:35 AM Re: just getting around to it
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
with out even looking it up, trip can be a voyage (going on a vacation trip) or a mis-step (my daughter tripped, and fell, and broke her ankle) for real! and it can also be 'moving brisk, or spritely'--trippingly not to mention all the drug realated 'trips' one can take.

to "trip the lights fantastic" is to walk (lightheartedly, spritely') along broadway-- (NY 'great white way' before neon lights made it multicolor!)--

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#206132 - 06/20/12 03:57 PM Re: just getting around to it [Re: of troy]
garygnu Offline
stranger

Registered: 01/25/11
Posts: 14
newyorktourgoddess

"Blake had grown up at 312 East 18th Street in a row house which his family had occupied since the 1820's. His memory was filled with his childhood pals, Johnny Casey, Jimmy Crowe, Nellie Shannon (who could waltz) and Mamie O'Rourke (who taught him how to trip the light fantastic) and even the ones who were up in the 'G' or the G block of prison..."

Trip the Light..even if you dance "badly" Where The Hell Is Matt

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#210841 - 05/08/13 11:49 PM Re: up in "G" [Re: Buffalo Shrdlu]
Aanel Offline
stranger

Registered: 05/08/13
Posts: 1
.

"Up in G" has nothing to with with either subways (no one lives "in" a subway!) or prisons. It means doing very well.

"Away up in G" (also "way up in G" or "up in G") was a turn-of-the-century expression meaning "very high" -- as in G, the highest note of the A to G scale -- or by extension "very well."

http://tinyurl.com/d2oy9fv

http://tinyurl.com/bo6vos3

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#210852 - 05/09/13 11:40 AM Re: up in "G" [Re: Aanel]
LukeJavan8 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 6511
Loc: Land of the Flat Water
Interesting Book; Uncle Ike, thanks, and

WELCOME
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