“Stay” by Belly
Song of the Day
“He lives in the yard.
He keeps himself hard.
He keeps himself homeless and heartless and hard.”
“Stay” is the last track on Belly’s debut album, Star, released in 1993. It is my favorite Belly song. A song full of personal meaning and memories.
I remember playing it over long distance phone lines late at night while two people on different coasts fell in love. The phone had one of those long cords that would allow you to drag your call from room-to-room. I didn’t have a cordless. I’m not sure they were even a thing yet.
I was twenty-six and I knew very little about love. I was twenty-six and hadn’t learned yet that you need to give yourself time between breaking-up and falling in love again. I was just twenty-six, and I’m not sure I even know what love was. Or if it was love that we felt at that time.
Star, Belly’s debut, is one of those albums that takes me back to an actual place in time. It was 1993. I lived on Wilshire Avenue, just steps away from “downtown”. It was a second-floor apartment in a 1920’s building. I loved it more than any place I’d ever lived at.
Down the street was a coffee house that my friends and I hung out at. The Winged Heart Cafe. It would be at that cafe that I would meet the father of two of my three children, and where I would split with the father of my first child. I would meet friends that would stay with me through times of happiness and times of sorrow, and I would have some of the best conversations there – about books, films, and, of course, music.
The album was always around during that time, whether being played out of my oversized speakers in my living room, or at night out of the kitchen of the cafe. It always seemed to be playing when I was hanging out there after closing time. My oldest was a toddler at the time. She usually accompanied me in her stroller, falling asleep to the songs while I drank coffee of iced Thai tea.
“Stay” by Belly
Hearing “Stay” today brings on a bit of nostalgia for that time in my life, and fills my heart up with reflective smiles of a time gone by that impacted the woman I am today so very much.