I’d appreciate some help here understanding the lyrics to this old song. First, some background to this request… I play and sing for the residents of a seniors community each Thursday afternoon. Some here may remember that I did this before the lockdowns, and I’m glad to be doing it again. A few weeks ago, the activity director of one local facility got in touch with me and arranged for me to perform, outdoors (weather permitting) for the residents again. The way I do it is to sing the songs they want to hear. I’ve had songs in my repertoire for decades that fit the bill. Both of my parents were musical: Dad played guitar and sang, Mom would harmonize. So what I grew up hearing them do 60 years ago works for the residents of the seniors communities for which I play. Additionally, I take requests. If I don’t know it, I try to learn it. Which brings me back to song “The Sidewalks of New York.” I got a request for it last week. All I could do was the chorus. I had to sing through the chorus twice just make it last a minute. So I determined then that I would learn it. And by “learn it,” I mean memorize it. The tune I have in my head, and I can fake the chords. What I couldn’t and can’t fake are the lyrics. For a couple of days I’ve been looking for the lyrics, but there are different versions of the song, different lyrics. I’ve lost track of how many searches I’ve done on the Interwebs, but I believe I’ve found the sheet music of the original 1894 version. But there are still some mysteries. And solving those mysteries will not only be a matter of satisfying my curiosity, but will help me memorize the lyrics. For me, memorization of something that makes no sense to me is really hard. But if I understand it all, geographic references and colloquialisms included, then the “story” of the song makes sense and memorization is way easier. Which brings me to my questions… The last line of the first verse reads “While the ‘Ginnie’ played the organ on the sidewalks of New York. The “Ginnie” and “organ” in this expression refers to what exactly? I’m guessing at it’s meaning, but I’d rather know than guess. A later version of this lyric changed “Ginnie” to “Tony.” Was this to soften a pejorative slang term? On to the last verse. In reference to friends from childhood, James Blake wrote “some are up in ‘G’.” This expression is even more enigmatic than the “Ginnie” reference. In my searches, I found at least three different explanations, only one of which seemed even plausible. Can anybody help with this one? The next line in the last verse reads “Others they are on the hog.” Now this expression sounds very close to one I grew up hearing: “living high on the hog,” i.e., living prosperously. If that, then the previous line about “G” would logically be a contrast to those that are wealthy, and therefore might shed light on that enigma. But the plot thickens. Sheet music from several decades later read differently: “Others they are wand’rers.” So would “G” then be some geographic reference familiar to New Yorkers, and by contrast others wandered from the Big Apple? Okay, there you have my query and the reasons for it. While solving these mysteries won’t give answers to the meaning of life or anything, it will help me, and make for good discussion, which is what we’re all here for, right? So here’s a chance for New Yorkers/etymologists/music historians/all of the above to chime in and shed some light.