Right between the Children’s Zoo and the Wildlife Center is one of the most popular attractions in Central Park, the Delacorte Musical Clock. This beautiful clock is a favorite with children of all ages who love to see the bronze animals dance in circles around the clock to the accompaniment of a whimsical tune.
The clock plays several classic nursery rhymes familiar to everyone, as well as a wide variety of songs which are changed to reflect the seasons.
While the Delacorte Clock plays popular songs from past eras, more current songs that reflect modern times have found there way onto the clock’s long playlist.
The “modernization” of the clock’s song list began in 1985, when “Careless Whisper” by Wham! was played by the clock’s bells. Other songs like Madonna’s “Crazy For You” and “Voices Carry” by ‘Til Tuesday were a big hit with park visitors, while songs like Starship’s “We Built This City” and anything by Phil Collins met with overwhelmingly negative reactions.
Over the years the Delacorte Clock’s playlist has grown to include selected works from the Rock, Hip/Hop, Country, and Contemporary R&B. Music critics around the country have said the Clock’s haunting cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” at times surpasses the original version. And you have not lived until you’ve heard the clocks all chime version of “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye!
Recent additions include songs by current pop sensations Katy Perry, Rhianna, and Justin Bieber. In June 2012 the Central Park Conservancy convened an emergency session to vote on the inclusion of the breakout chartbuster “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen.