When you’re alone and life is making you lonely, you can always go downtown. When you’ve got worries, all the noise and the hurry seems to help, I know, downtown.
Just listen to the music of the traffic in the city, linger on the sidewalk where the neon signs are pretty. How can you lose?
The lights are much brighter there. You can forget all your troubles. Forget all your cares.
So go downtown. Things will be great when you’re downtown. No finer place for sure, downtown. Everything’s waiting for you.
Don’t hang around and let your problems surround you. There are movie shows downtown. Maybe you know some little places to go to where they never close downtown.
Just listen to the rhythm of a gentle bossa nova. You’ll be dancing with ’em too before the night is over. Happy again, the lights are much brighter there. You can forget all your troubles. Forget all your cares.
So go downtown where all the lights are bright, downtown. Waiting for you tonight, downtown. You’re gonna be alright now, downtown.
And you may find somebody kind to help and understand you, someone who is just like you and needs a gentle hand to. Guide them along so maybe I’ll see you there. We can forget all our troubles, forget all our cares.
So go downtown. Things will be great when you’re downtown. Don’t wait a minute more, downtown. Everything is waiting for you, downtown.
Downtown. Downtown. Downtown. Downtown.
“Downtown” was released in November 1964 by Pye Records in the United Kingdom and Warner Bros. Records in the United States. Here are 13 more things about the song:
- It was composed and produced by Tony Hatch. The song earned him the 1981 Ivor Novello award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically.
- The original version was recorded by Petula Clark at the Pye Studios in London, England, United Kingdom on October 16, 1964.
- Clark’s version debuted at number 87 in the Billboard issue dated December 19, 1964. It peaked at number 1 on January 23, 1965, making her the second female artist from the U.K. to have a number 1 song in the U.S. in the history of U.S. charted music.
- In 1965, it won the Grammy Award for Best Rock and Roll Recording.
- Clark recorded other versions including the French song “Dans le temps,” the Italian song “Ciao Ciao,” the Spanish song “Chao Chao” and the German song also titled “Downtown.” “Ciao Ciao” was the winning song in the 1965 edition of Festivalbar.
- Clark re-recorded the song in 1976, in 1984, in 1988, in 1996 and in 2013.
- In October 1983, Dolly Parton recorded her version of the song in Nashville, Tennessee, USA for her 26th solo studio album “The Great Pretender.“
- It is the theme song of the 1999 psychological drama film “Girl, Interrupted” starring Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie. The song is also played on repeat in a scene in the 2019 psychological horror film “Escape Room” starring Taylor Russell, Logan Miller, Deborah Ann Woll, Tyler Labine, Jay Ellis, Nik Dodani and Yorick van Wageningen.
- Emma Bunton‘s version was released on November 13, 2006.
- In October 2011, the Irish band Saw Doctors remade the song with Clark as a featured artist.
- Lea Michele, Chris Colfer, Darren Criss, Kevin McHale and Chord Overstreet sang it in “Glee” Season 5 episode 14 titled “New New York,” which aired on Fox on April 1, 2014.
- It was used in promotions for the video game “WWE 2K17” which featured Brock Lesnar in the cover art.
- The song was interspersed with a female computerized voice coming from an old, white recreational vehicle parked outside the AT&T transmission building on Second Avenue North in Nashville on December 25, 2020. The recording, which warned people that a bomb was going to detonate within 15 minutes, suddenly stopped then the vehicle exploded.