Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Luka was one of those stellar songs from the 1980s, 1987 to be specific. I'm a child of the 1980s, and specifically I was raised on 1980s pop music. When Luka hit the charts, it was just one of those superbly "catchy" songs, with a seemingly important message. I gave it no further thought beyond that. In 1987, I was in college, where I was discovering Eric Clapton and Tom Waits.

A few weeks ago, the NY Times published a blog by the songwriter Suzanne Vega, who wrote Luka. In her post, she describes the genesis of the song, and how the ear-catching sound for her song was produced. She also talked about the lyrics of the song, and how warily they were received in her early performances.

I gave the song a listen again, and I was blown away. I was amazed at the power of those lyrics, hearing them seemingly for the very first time. It brought a lump in my throat, tears to my eyes. The music was the same from 1987, but now the words were hitting me with their full force, and I was swept up in the emotion of the song.

Suzanne wrote about how the song eventually became overplayed, drowning out the words and its message. I guess like it did with me. Thankfully, distance and time allow all things to seem new again. I'm glad they did their work for this wondrous song.

Note: This month, I will be writing about songs.

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