Suzanne Vega – Luka
“Luka” is maybe the greatest success of Suzanne Vega. Definitely one of a kind, Suzanne Vega, out of schemes. With such name, there will never be any art name fitting you better. After her first experiences, the great success in 1987 of “Solitude Standing”, the album which included “Tom’s Diner” and this great song, on a very sad subject, but Suzanne with her sensibility sang it with sweetness and respect.
The song is partially real; Suzanne said in an interview that she was really inspired by a little boy who did not seem to enjoy playing with other guys, named Luka, who lived in Suzanne’s building and whom she met one day in the elevator. In fact, the story told was not of this specific boy, but the Luka who lived in Suzanne’s palace became a symbol for all young people who lived through a history of abuse.
Here we see the greatness of Suzanne Vega: not only the courage to tackle one of the most difficult themes, but also the ability to do it through the words and music of the boys. “Luka” is not a sad song, the chords and melody are simple, catchy, and even cheerful, a bit like if they were composed by a boy. And that kid, with three simple sentences, involves you in his story: my name is Luka, I live upstairs of you, I think you’ve seen me before. And you, as an adult, are already inside his story.
Of course, the immense success of this song is also reflected in Suzanne’s concerts: “Luka” originally was a song that made attendants uncomfortable, but later, when fans digested the message after the big success, it became perhaps the most beloved song of this great singer and writer.
One last curiosity: the video is directed by Michael Patterson and wife Candace Reckinger, who created the cartoon part for a-ha’s “Take on me“.
Suzanne Vega on Wikipedia