I love San Francisco.
Today, in honor of the 50th anniversary of Tony Bennett’s recording of the classic love song to the city of San Francisco, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has asked all San Francisco radio stations to play “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” at 12 noon. In addition to that, there will be a special event at City Hall featuring Tony Bennett and the song will be broadcast over public address speakers throughout San Francisco following the weekly outdoor warning system siren test that airs every Tuesday at 12 noon. According to the Office of the Mayor:
“Every radio station that broadcasts in the City has been asked to play ‘I Left My Heart in San Francisco’ at or near noon. KOIT 96.5FM will preempt the noon news and will play ‘I Left My Heart in San Francisco’ at exactly noon because of their long-standing relationship with Tony Bennett and his music. At noon, the song will also be played over the public address system in Union Square and at Hallidie Plaza, courtesy of the Union Square Business Improvement District. San Franciscans are encouraged to stop what they are doing and sing along to ‘I Left My Heart in San Francisco’ from office building, parks, sidewalks or where ever they are in the City.”
I’m amazed by this call for a city-wide sing-a-long and was curious to find out how many radio stations were planning to participate. San Francisco-based Public/community radio station KALW (91.7 FM)‘s General Manager Matt Martin told me, “we’ll definitely be playing the song at or around noon.” Classical station KDFC (airing over KUSF 90.3 FM in San Francisco) also plans to play “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” and did a feature about the song’s anniversary on their “The State of the Arts” show yesterday.
I contacted a few online-only non-commercial radio stations around town and several were unaware of the call for radio station participation, but were still interested. DJ Carolyn from KUSF in Exile (whose show begins every Tuesday at noon following the weekly emergency sirens in San Francisco) said she would participate. Similarly, John Hell of Radio Valencia (online and 87.9 FM) said that they would also like to join in. Mutiny Radio is also planning to play the song and when I contacted them yesterday they were investigating the possibility of a remote broadcast from the festivities at City Hall. Online-only college radio station KSFS at San Francisco State was unaware of the sing-a-long, but their advisor Jeff Jacoby said that he would investigate the possibility of participating as well.
I have to admit I get misty-eyed when I hear the song and am hoping that I will be able to hear it blaring over my local public address system after the emergency sirens. In case you want to sing along, here are the lyrics:
Lyrics to “I Left My Heart in San Francisco”
The loveliness of Paris seems somehow sadly gay
The glory that was Rome is of another day
I’ve been terribly alone and forgotten in Manhattan
I’m going home to my city by the Bay
I left my heart in San Francisco
High on a hill, it calls to me
To be where little cable cars climb halfway to the stars
The morning fog may chill the air, I don’t care
My love waits there in San Francisco
Above the blue and windy sea
When I come home to you, San Francisco
Your golden sun will shine for me