The Replacements were a rock band formed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, in 1979. They disbanded in 1991 but reunited briefly from 2012-2015.
“Skyway” originally appeared on Pleased to Meet Me, the band’s fifth studio album, released in 1987. I came to know the song as it is featured on the soundtrack for the musical drama-comedy film Camp (2003) — a fantastic movie, by the way. I previously posted the breathtaking opening track from the soundtrack, “How Shall I See You Through My Tears,” one that marks one of the many emotive moments in the IFC Films company release about the experience of a summer camp in New York state for young performing artists. (My previous post tells a little more about the film. Check it out if you haven’t seen it; the song is really worth the trip.)
I’m so glad I bought a copy of the DVD as it is the kind of film I like to revisit. Many people might say, it has “all the feels” and explores many of the issues that confront youth, like belonging, sexuality, family, peer pressure, body shaming, and the angst and anxiety that comes from uncertainty about the future.
In singer, guitarist and band songwriter Paul Westerberg’s composition, I believe he is writing about being attracted to someone he thinks about but never seems to meet up with and is perhaps shy about approaching. When he’s walking on street level, the other person is on the skyway. Then, when he is up on the skyway, he sees the person down below, where he waits every day for his bus. From that standpoint, the lyrics remind me a little of “Ironic,” by Canadian singer, songwriter and musician Alanis Morissette.
You take the skyway, high above the busy little one-way
In my stupid hat and gloves, at night I lie awake
Wonderin’ if I’ll sleep
Wonderin’ if we’ll meet out in the street
But you take the skyway
It don’t move at all like a subway
It’s got bums when it’s cold like any other place
It’s warm up inside
Sittin’ down and waitin’ for a ride
Beneath the skyway
Oh, then one day, I saw you walkin’ down that little one-way
Where, the place I’d catch my ride most every day
There wasn’t a damn thing I could do or say
Up in the skyway
Skyway (sky away)
(“Skyway,” by Paul Westerberg. Unofficial lyrics are courtesy of AZLyrics.com.)
Whatever it really means, it’s a lovely song.
Now you know a little about why this is my Song of the Day for Today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.
Here’s the video for the song from the YouTube topic channel for The Replacements. If you like it, please give a thumbs-up on the video: