Friday, July 11, 2008

left of center

If you want me
You can find me
Left of center
Off of the strip
In the outskirts
In the fringes
In the corner
Out of the grip
When they ask me
"What are you looking at?"
I always answer
"Nothing much" (not much)
I think they know that
I'm looking at them
I think they think
I must be out of touch

But I'm only
In the outskirts
And in the fringes
On the edge

suzanne vega's 'left of center'

singer songerwriter suzanne vega was born on july 11 1959. it's unfortunate that suzanne's songs don't get much airtime and it's hard to believe it's been over twenty years since her break out hits of luka and tom's diner. although I've enjoyed all her albums over the years, the song that strikes the deepest chord in me is one of her even earlier songs - left of center. probably because I've found that when we can position ourselves at the margins we get a much broader view and it's at the margins where I have found that we can achieve real understanding of others.

thanks steve for the head's up on this piece . by the way there is a relatively new album out by suzanne entitled 'beauty and crime' - and this album shows us that she still one of the finest lyrical and literate songwriters around!

suzanne singing left of center at the montreuz music festival in 2004

photo: street art, ithaca, new york 2008

11 comments:

marxsny said...

I have always been a Suzanne Vega fan. I still have her first 2 records on vinyl as that was still the standard form way back when they were released. Marlene On The Wall is one of my favorite songs. I have the new record but I haven't really listened to it that much.

tut-tut said...

What a great notion about being at the margin; you are quite an aphorist!

R.L. Bourges said...

The Marginal Ones. The Outsiders. The Exiles. People on the borderlines. All those looking in as distinguished from those in the close huddle at the center, or the even tighter one around the feeding trough (notice I didn't write "as opposed to" but "as distinguised from"). In other words all those who can count on nothing but their own wits.
The Strangers in a Strange Land - specially when that Land is their very own.
They are the ones who write the stories, the songs, the plays, paint the murals, make the quilts and feed what most needs feeding - the imagination.

Merci encore, petite souris.

d. chedwick said...

Happy Birthday Sweet Suzanne and many mmany many more! Cheers!

bitchlet said...

Just a few days ago, we were discussing "left of center" and "right of center" in the context of the Indian political scenario.

Mortina said...

It has been a pleasure discovering your blog, as it is very interesting and timely. Thank you so much for visiting my blog. We are hoping people don't find us to weird.

d. chedwick said...

Love the graffiti!

Since I've been policing my consumption my life has been easier, and bonus: I've saved $.

Coffee Messiah said...

Wow, she has matured! I've not thought about her music since then and must look into some. ; )

And, there are more people returning to the "fringe" then we may realize.

Thanks to, well, you know.

Reya Mellicker said...

Awesome vid! She's one of my favs, too.

Bravo Suzanne and Bravo Ms. Mouse!!

Michael Rawluk said...

"Police Your Consumption" should be a daily mantra.

WAT said...

Suzanne Vega definitely should've been a bigger music star than she is. I AGREE!

I haven't heard much of her stuff except her two obvious hits, but I am most curious about her work for sure and hope to make time one day to explore her stuff.