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The Ramones - 53rd & 3rd - Lyrics Meaning

"53rd and 3rd" was released in 1976 as The Ramones' second single, after the tremendously popular "Blitzkrieg Bop. "53rd and 3rd" takes its name from the intersection of 53rd Street and 3rd Avenue in New York City. The location was infamous for being a site of male prostitution in Manhattan, and legend has it that Dee Dee Ramone himself, bassist and primary lyricist and songwriter of The Ramones, worked as a hustler there in order to pay for the heroin habit he wrote about in "Chinese Rock." He refuses to discuss the matter, fueling speculation that the track is, in fact, autobiographical. In the film "End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones," other members the band seem to insinuate that the story is indeed true. At the end of the song the protagonist of "53rd and 3rd," who bemoans the fact that he's "the one they never pick," is finally chosen by a customer but kills the man with a razor blade. He is chased by the police, but is pleased that he has "proved that [he's] no sissy." Shortly after the song was completed, the site was demolished for the construction of the Citigroup Center, a famous Manhattan skyscraper.

Meanings of other songs by The Ramones:
Blitzkrieg Bop
Bonzo Goes to Bitburg

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