Published on December 16th, 2009 | by Sharilyn Johnson


Lyrics: Stephen Colbert’s “Empire State of Mind” w/ Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys was the guest on Tuesday’s Colbert Report. She started singing Empire State of Mind. Colbert joined her — with his own set of Jay-z-esque lyrics based on the suburbanite’s view of NYC.

For Americans
For Canadians
For the rest of the world, there’s Youtube (for now)

But even if you saw the show, you probably missed half the lyrics anyway since they went by at lightening speed while you laughed. Here are the lyrics to Colbert’s four-verse suburban-dad rap. (Don’t thank me, thank whomever invented the “rewind live tv” feature.)

I love New York, king of all the cities
Lived up by the Guggenheim ’til I got some kiddies
Moved to Connecticut, bye George Pataki
Drove to the drycleaners, pickin’ up my khakis

Shopping mall is close, my community is gated
My shorties are all private school educated
Home theater system, 60 inch plasma
Clean suburban air, much better for my asthma

Still hit the city, Times Square keep it real
Hard Rock Cafe for the appetizer deal
M&M Store, Disney Store, I’m in heaven
I own this town from 41st to 47th

Tickets to the Lion King, that show is fantastic
Leave a half an hour early so I can beat the traffic
I can get home really fast, driver rocks an E-ZPass
Land of cheaper gas, and the upper middle class.

It should be noted, of course, that this was written from Colbert’s character’s perspective — the character lives in CT, though Colbert himself makes a similar commute from Jersey.

About the Author

is the author of the book Bears & Balls: The Colbert Report A-Z. Called "one of the city’s most discriminating comedy critics” by NOW Magazine, Sharilyn has been covering comedy for longer than she cares to admit. She served as the comedy reporter for Winnipeg's Uptown Magazine for five years, and was the host of the radio show Laugh Tracks for three seasons. Her work has also appeared in the Toronto Star, the Winnipeg Free Press, The Apiary, and on CBC Radio's national comedy programs LOL and Definitely Not the Opera.

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  • The Colbert Report A-Z

    Third Beat editor Sharilyn Johnson presents the ultimate fan guide to The Colbert Report, available from all major booksellers including amazon.com