How many times have you heard “Empire State of Mind” in the past two years? A hundred? A thousand? But have you ever really listened to what Alicia Keys is saying?
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,
There’s nothing you can’t do,
Now you’re in New York!
What the HELL is she talking about? “Concrete jungle that dreams are made of” would have made sense. Also acceptable: “Concrete jungle where dreams are made and/there’s nothing you can’t do.” As it is, that preposition is hanging out there in the breeze. What are the dreams made of, Alicia? Energy? Ambition? Maltese Falcons?
But there’s another possibility: maybe the dreams are made of “There’s Nothing You Can’t Do.” Perhaps it’s not a sentence but a compound noun, completing the thought in line 2. If there’s was some sort of material known as “There’s Nothing You Can’t Do,” wouldn’t that be an awesome substance to build dreams out of? I’m imagining it as some sort of miracle product sold on late night informercials. “Have a stubborn leak? There’s Nothing You Can’t Do mends it like new! Sick of chopping all those pesky vegetables? Apply just two drops of There’s Nothing You Can’t Do, and these carrots are jullienned in seconds! Junior falling behind in school? Vigoriously massage There’s Nothing You Can’t Do into his scalp every night, and watch those C’s turn to A’s.” (Little boy turns towards the camera. “Thanks, There’s Nothing You Can’t Do!”)
Then again, maybe someone needs to add a copyeditor to his entourage.