Sunday Songs: Luka – Suzanne Vega

So much pop music is ‘disposable’: 3-4 minutes of diverting entertainment that puts a smile on our face or a spring in our step but is soon forgotten. Some songs, however, resonate forever.

Beyond Suzanne Vega’s trademark lilting voice and the poetry-like cadence of her lyrics, Luka addresses the issue of child abuse at a time when public discussion of the subject was still largely taboo, factors which have contributed to the track’s longevity.

It’s also a song that retains personal significance for me. When our eldest son Isaac was still small – round about the time of his first birthday – he used to regularly wake up at 2-3am and nothing we could do would get him back to sleep. That is, until I stumbled upon the idea of snuggling with him in our darkened living room watching a recording of Vega performing live in Montreux. Luka was one of two songs guaranteed to soothe him enough to settle down to sleep. We spent many late nights dozing off together on the sofa in this fashion, and it’s now inextricably linked with my memory of that early father/son bonding time.

Isaac’s early and strong association with music, particularly during what I shall call – for obvious reasons – his Rihanna period, prompted me to write a post mentioning my unusual sleeping technique. And who should just happen to comment on it? You can check for yourself, but suffice to say that I was a fan before and I’m an even bigger fan now.


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