Petula Clark

About Downtown

"Downtown" is a song composed by Tony Hatch which, as recorded by Petula Clark in 1964, became an international hit, reaching number one in Billboard Hot 100 and number two in UK Singles Chart. Hatch received the 1981 Ivor Novello award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically. The song has been covered by many singers, including Dolly Parton, Emma Bunton and The Saw Doctors.


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When you're alone, and life is making you lonely
You can always go 
When you've got worries, all the noise and the hurry
Seems to help, I know
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'll 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 
Maybe you know some little places to go to
Where they never close
Just listen to the rhythm of a gentle bossa nova
You'll be dancing with him 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, 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'll be great when you're
Downtown, don't wait a minute for
Downtown, everything's waiting for you

Downtown, downtown, downtown, downtown
Downtown, downtown, downtown, downtown, downtown, downtown

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Petula Clark

Petula Sally Olwen Clark, CBE (born 15 November 1932) is an English singer, actress, and composer whose career has spanned seven decades. more »

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Written by: Tony Hatch

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

10 facts about this song

"Downtown" was written by Tony Hatch, a well-respected British composer and songwriter. Hatch had an illustrious career in the British music industry, having also co-composed the iconic theme song for the television series, 'Neighbours'.
Original Artist
The song was originally performed by Petula Clark in 1964. As a significant contribution to the British Invasion, "Downtown" was a huge international hit for Clark, achieving the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the US.
Dolly Parton's Version
In 1984, just two decades after the original version, American singer-songwriter Dolly Parton recorded her own version of "Downtown". It was included on her album 'The Great Pretender'. Unlike the original, Parton's version had a more synthesizer-based pop arrangement.
Emma Bunton's Version
Emma Bunton, famously known as "Baby Spice" from the pop group Spice Girls, covered the song in late 2006. Emma’s version was featured on the album 'Life in Mono' and it became the official Children in Need single for that year. Her rendition managed to reach number 3 on the UK Singles Chart.
Song Meaning
The song's lyrics are about escaping to the city when life gets you down. It represents the escapism of going "downtown" where there are always things to do to distract you from problems.
Music Video
Emma Bunton's music video for "Downtown" featured a cameo from her fellow Spice Girls bandmate, Melanie C. The video was a modern interpretation of the song, with Bunton presenting a cabaret-style performance.
The song earned Petula Clark the 1965 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary (R&R) Vocal Performance, Female, one of two Grammy Awards won by Clark in her career.
Notable Performances
The song has been performed in various television shows and films, such as "Lost", "Mad Men", and "Girl, Interrupted". It was also performed live by Petula Clark at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards in 2008.
Cover by Other Artists
In addition to Dolly Parton and Emma Bunton, many other artists have covered "Downtown". These include The B-52's, The Saw Doctors, and even Global artist idol, Seiko Matsuda.
The song’s popularity also led to several translations. It has been recorded in French, Italian and German.

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    Top Hot 100 Songs 1965

    Billboard #1



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