Empire State of Mind

  • Moritzchen

    Senior Member
    Spanish, USA
    El Empire State es el estado de Nueva York.
    Mil años atrás Billy Joel salió con una canción llamada New York state of mind. (pero se refería a la ciudad y no al estado).
     

    gengo

    Senior Member
    American English
    does anyone know what Empire State of Mind means? Obviously it is from the song of Alicia Keys.

    Not so obviously, since it is a Jay-Z song. And as Moritzchen has said, it refers to the Billy Joel song, which has become a part of the English language now. Jay-Z is just changing the words a bit. The lyrics include "Long live the king, yo, I'm from the Empire State that's In New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made..."
     

    Pedro Mago Granada

    Senior Member
    Castellano - Español
    Thank you very much! I knew that it was a Jay-Z song, I just used Alicia Keys' version because it's the most popular (at least in Spain). But what I don't understand is why he says "Empire State of mind". It is an expression? What does it mean? Thanks again
     

    Tegs

    Mód ar líne
    English (Ireland)
    It is a play on words. First you have the name "Empire State" which is a nickname for "New York state", but then you also have "state of mind" which means estado de ánimo. So it is "el estado de ánimo del estado de New York" :) I hope that makes it clearer.
     

    gengo

    Senior Member
    American English
    I'll just add that "New York state of mind" refers to the different (some would say unique) mindset of New Yorkers compared to other Americans. They have their own way of talking, thinking, and living. That is what is being referred to here.
     

    FromPA

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I'll just add that "New York state of mind" refers to the different (some would say unique) mindset of New Yorkers compared to other Americans. They have their own way of talking, thinking, and living. That is what is being referred to here.

    We all have our unique mindsets, but the play on words is only possible with New York and Washington because those are the only 2 states for which the construction "X State" is used. That's because it's necessary to distinguish between New York City and New York State and between Washington (the city) and Washington State. No other state is referred to as "X State."
     

    gengo

    Senior Member
    American English
    We all have our unique mindsets, but the play on words is only possible with New York and Washington because those are the only 2 states for which the construction "X State" is used. That's because it's necessary to distinguish between New York City and New York State and between Washington (the city) and Washington State. No other state is referred to as "X State."

    I don't know about Jay-Z (Empire state of mind), but I'm sure that Billy Joel was not using a play on words with his New York state of mind. He was just talking about missing NY and thinking about it. That is, there is no overlap between New York state and state of mind; he's in a certain state of mind, and that is one about NY.
     
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