Saturday Songsters – Suzanne Vega

It’s  Saturday and so time for another Saturday Songster post. This week’s track is ‘Luka’ by Suzanne Vega.

Suzanne Vega Barcelona 2008

Suzanne Vega Barcelona 2008 – Image by Alterna2 via Wikimedia

Suzanne Vega is an American singer-songwriter who began her career in the 1980s, influenced by the poetic lyrics of musicians such as Leonard Cohen, Lou Reed and Bob Dylan. She’s since released eight studio albums. The song ‘Luka’ is from her second album, ‘Solitude Standing’ (1987), and is her highest charting single, having reached number three in the American Billboard Hot 100. It deals with issues of domestic violence and child abuse, relating the experiences of a nine year old boy named Luka. According to Allmusic.com, it was the success of this single that helped to convince record companies that folk-styled singer/songwriters weren’t just a thing of the past. Many new female artists, including Tracy Chapman, the Indigo Girls and Sinead O’Connor, were signed in the wake of its success

I first heard her music in the 1990s when my sister lent me an album. I quickly became hooked on her meaningful lyrics and beautiful melodies. For a long time I didn’t know that this song was about a child – with the female vocals and the name that could easily be male or female, it was an automatic assumption that the character in the song was an abused wife. It was only with watching the video that the character of Luka and the true meaning of the song was revealed!

Luka

My name is Luka
I live on the second floor
I live upstairs from you
Yes I think you’ve seen me before
If you hear something late at night
Some kind of trouble, some kind of fight
Just don’t ask me what it was
Just don’t ask me what it was
Just don’t ask me what it was
I think it’s because I’m clumsy
I try not to talk too loud
Maybe it’s because I’m crazy
I try not to act too proud
They only hit until you cry
After that you don’t ask why
You just don’t argue anymore
You just don’t argue anymore
You just don’t argue anymore

Yes I think I’m okay
I walked into the door again
Well, if you ask that’s what I’ll say
And it’s not your business anyway
I guess I’d like to be alone
With nothing broken, nothing thrown

Just don’t ask me how I am
Just don’t ask me how I am
Just don’t ask me how I am

My name is Luka
I live on the second floor
I live upstairs from you
Yes I think you’ve seen me before

If you hear something late at night
Some kind of trouble, some kind of fight
Just don’t ask me what it was
Just don’t ask me what it was
Just don’t ask me what it was

And they only hit until you cry
After that, you don’t ask why
You just don’t argue anymore
You just don’t argue anymore
You just don’t argue anymore

Lyrics from AZLyrics.

If you’d like to know more about Suzanne Vega or would like to check out more of her music, you can visit her website here.

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6 thoughts on “Saturday Songsters – Suzanne Vega

  1. Oh, I adore her! She is one of my favorite songwriters of all time, and I love her slightly breathy, breathless way of singing, as well (even though it’s not my way of singing). Her poetry is exquisite. She is beautiful! Thanks for writing this post!

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