Monday started with the clang and whir of the alarm set on my phone. I usually wake a few minutes before its set to go off. Today was no different. I lie there awake counting down the minutes until my phone would vibrate and buzz on my bedside table. The sun barely out, it was time to get up, beating, or perhaps greeting, the morning. I’m trying to set my mind on a good week. Concentrating on tiny joys like time of year, twinkle lights in my living room, sweater weather, peppermint in my coffee, early morning kisses, and music singing out of my car speakers.
It’s been rough lately, in my life, and in my heart. I think that 2018 has been hard on me, even if there were beautiful blessings that happened in-between the challenges and pain. Love transcends though, as does music, and the hopeless hopeful person that I am. No matter how hard things get I’m always trying to keep believing.
Today’s Song of the Day is a track from one of my favorite early 2000’s album, Regina Spektor’s Begin to Hope. I think “On the Radio” is the first Regina song I ever heard, followed close behind by “Samson”. Both tracks are all-time favorites of mine. Both tracks bring on pin-prickled electricity on my skin, and tears in my eyes. The stuff that music I love often brings.
“On the Radio” is the 4th track on Regina Spektor’s 2006 album, Begin to Hope. It was the first single released off the album. Begin to Hope is Regina’s fourth studio album. Though it is her fourth, it was the first album I ever heard of Regina’s.
The first one I ever owned of hers, as well. It has some of my most favorite songs of hers on it, including Today’s Song of the Day, “On the Radio”.
Begin to Hope was released June 13, 2006. The album debuted at number 70 on the Billboard 200, but due to the popularity of the single “Fidelity”, it peaked at number 20. (from Wikipedia)
“On the Radio” by Regina Spektor
from the album, Begin to Hope (2006)
Song of the Day
“This is how it works:
You’re young until you’re not.
You love until you don’t.
You try until you can’t.
You laugh until you cry.
You cry until you laugh.
And, everyone must breathe,
until their dying breath.
No, this is how it works:
You peer inside yourself.
You take the things you like,
and try to love the things you took,
and then you take that love you made,
and stick it into some,
someone else’s heart,
pumping someone else’s blood.
And, walking arm in arm,
you hope it don’t get harmed.
But, even if it does.
you’ll just do it all again.”
Regina mentions the Guns and Roses song, “November Rain” in the song. Twice. Grounding the track into a relatable reality. Pulling the philosophical and musings on mortality, living and loving, and loss, into the shared experience of music – specifically a song that most people will recognize.
The line about the song playing twice because the DJ is asleep always reminds me of the scene in the uncut version of Cameron Crowe’s film Almost Famous, when the band, and William, and Penny, are at the radio station and the DJ, who is over-the-top stoned, falls asleep mid-interview and they start saying obscenities on-air.
It is the second verse of “On the Radio” that always gets to me. The simplicity and honesty of the lyrics, how it hits on all the things that are important in life – love, self love and acceptance, aging, loss, and breathing through it all – until you can’t anymore.