suzanne vega -‘cracking’220px-SuzanneVegadebutalbum

That’s the link up there – this one goes back to Summer 1985; we thought we were being cool cooking up banana skins on a trangia ( I was quietly relieved it didn’t work) me,  James,  Alex, and Gutsy who had a tape-recorder and for some reason in the middle of the hot day put on a cassette of someone none of us had ever heard of – suzanne vega.  This was her first album and from the beginning of the first song to the end of the album she had us – no-one said a word.

It’s 1980’s New York, it’s female, it’s grown up relationships; basically I knew nothing about any of that, but like  the Woody Allen films I’d seen I kind of wanted to be in that world.

This is the first track from that album, delivered with simple conversational language, and stripped down (almost) to a guitar  a voice;  but sometimes when the song is strong enough that just gives it a sharper focus, like travelling straight into someone else mind.

It’s a one time thing
It just happens
A lot
Walk with me
And we will see
What we have got

My footsteps are ticking
Like water dripping from a tree
Walking a harline
And stepping very carefully

My heart is broken
It is worn out at the knees
Hearing muffled
Seeing blind
Soon it will hit the Deep Freeze

And something is cracking
I don’t know where
Ice on the sidewalk
Brittle braches
In the air

The sun
Is blinding
Dizzy golden, dancing green
Through the park in the afternoon
Wondering where the hell
I have been

there is at least one of mine which unconsciously probably owes her quite a lot it can happen to you  I think she might have sung it better than I managed.  I suppose this is one strand of what I’ve been trying to do in my own way ever since I heard her; write something so striking and clear that without a band or a big emotional delivery, I could grab even a tent of grubby fifteen year olds.

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