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lyrics by Vernon Duke

Autumn in New York, why does it seem so inviting?
Autumn in New York, it spells the thrill of first knighting
Glittering crowds and shimmering clouds in canyons of steel
They’re making me feel, I’m home

Its autumn in New York that brings the promise of new love
Autumn in New York is often mingled with pain
Dreamers with empty hands, may sigh for exotic lands
It’s autumn in New York, its good to live it again

Autumn in New York, the gleaming rooftops at sundown
Autumn in New York, it lifts you up when you’re run down
Jaded roués and gay divorcées who lunch at the Ritz
Will tell you that it’s divine

This autumn in New York transforms the slums into Mayfair
Autumn in New York, you’ll need no castle in Spain
Lovers that bless the dark on benches in Central Park
Greet autumn in New York, its good to live it again

Listen to BIllie Holiday sing “Autumn in New York” in a lovely vintage New York autumn video at

ABOUT THE SONG (from  Vernon Duke composed the jazz standard “Autumn in New York” for the Broadway musical Thumbs Up!, which opened on December 27, 1934. Over the years, a wide range of performers have recorded many version of the song, a favorite of jazz performers — including  Chet Baker, Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, and Sarah Vaughan, Louis Armstrong, and Ella Fitzgerald.


ABOUT THE COMPOSER: Russian-born Vernon Duke (1903 – 1969) was an American composer/songwriter, who also wrote under his original name Vladimir Dukelsky. He is best known for “Taking a Chance on Love” with lyrics by Ted Fetter and John Latouche, “I Can’t Get Started” with lyrics by Ira Gershwin, and “April in Paris” with lyrics by E. Y. (“Yip”) Harburg (1932). He wrote the words and music for “Autumn in New York” (1934). Vernon collaborated with lyricists  Johnny Mercer, Ira Gershwin, Ogden Nash, and others — and his works have been performed and recorded by Count Basie, Bunny Berigan, Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell, the Modern Jazz Quartet, André Previn, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Wynton Marsalis, and many others. (Read more at

Illustration: “Street, New York I” (1926) by Georgia O’Keeffe


Autumn in New York,

Why does it seem so inviting? 

Above lyrics from “Autumn in New York,” song written by VERNON DUKE in 1934. Listen to Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong perform this jazz standard here. Listen to BIllie Holiday sing it in a lovely vintage New York autumn video here.

Illustration: “Street, New York I” (1926) by Georgia O’Keeffe