In a recent second half of my group guitar lessons at Old Town School of Folk Music, one of the instructors passed around music for the 1965 song, “Downtown” by British singer Petula Clark. If you’re too young to know  the song, you can check out a version by Emma Bunton, former Spice Girl (a.k.a. Baby Spice) on YouTube.

Anyhow, I was trying to play the really hard F chord and a  ton of split measures. But my mind was wandering as I belted out the tune. (Um, yea, I know a lot of songs from the 60’s.) See, I used to live “Downtown” in Chicago. When people would find  out, the responses usually ranged from “Wow!”, “That sounds exciting!”,  and “Really?” to”You are lucky!” and “I bet it is so much fun!” In the beginning, yes. In the end, not so much. Visiting someplace is different from living there everyday, which we did for 13 years.

Here’s my piggy back version of the song, with a side of sarcasm. Enjoy!

If you have money and status is important,

Then you probably live – Downtown.

You have no worries,  have a pet that is furry,

And buy it clothes at a boutique – Downtown

Can’t hear your conversations, trains are screeching through the city.

See the great tall buildings, cover all the green that’s pretty.

How can you sleep?

It’s so much noisier there,

Go out and get drunk, take a cab everywhere,

Downtown – You think it’s great you live

Downtown – You’re friends are envious

Downtown – You have a great view –


Don’t stay inside, it is time to go shopping

On Michigan Avenue – Downtown

Maybe you’re hungry, but you don’t like to cook

In your upscale kitchen – Downtown

When you walk into N9NE Steakhouse , they all seem to know you,

They pour your favorite wine, and you place your standard order, Happy again

Take a walk by the river, see the buildings lit up.

Wake up with  Starbucks,  buy department store make-up,

Downtown – Show off at the East Bank Club

Downtown – Go get your nails done

Downtown –  They all have cleaning girls, too.


And you may find someone who can shack up with you

Someone who is just like you,  eventually you’ll marry

And find your condo tiny, set your sights on a house, where you can raise your kids. But of course it won’t be

Downtown – You’ll forget all about it

Downtown – Fall in love with suburbia

Downtown – Of course they have better schools



P.S. I just lived there. I didn’t follow the lifestyle.