Heaven

I remember one night very clearly, after closing time, at the McDonald’s restaurant where I worked part-time during the mid- to late-1970s. The night-time cleaning crew had arrived; two grown men with long hair and beards, and plenty of attitude and bravado. They would work all night, cleaning the greasy kitchen and all areas of the building preparing it for the next day of business. We on the food and serving crews thought they were like gods because they took over the restaurant’s public address system and would play night-time radio, loudly. (It was probably CJUM, better known as UMFM, the station associated with the University of Manitoba, as it was far out on the FM spectrum, playing new, innovative and experimental music.)

That particular night, a catchy, rebellious track came on: “Psycho Killer / Qu’est-ce que c’est? / fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa far better / Run run run run run run run away…” That was my introduction to the American band Talking Heads, whose debut record, Talking Heads: 77, released in December 1977, took the world by storm.

I’ve always admired their work, through the band itself and its development over the years, plus members’ side projects, like bandleader and singer David Byrne’s solo work and collaborations with others like Brian Eno; and drummer Chris Frantz and bassist Tina Weymouth’s Tom Tom Club.

Talking Heads albums usually had quirky names (not unlike the personality of Byrne) such as More Songs About Buildings and Food (1978), Remain in Light (1980, an album that was central to a visit to Vancouver that year), and Speaking in Tongues (1983), to name a few. Around the time of Little Creatures (1985), I began to lose interest as the edginess of their music had been obscured somewhat by more of a pop-rock focus.

Recently, I heard today’s selection on Internet radio and remembered how much I liked its sardonic yet hopeful style. Some say the track expresses sarcasm about religion and the idea of heaven as a reward for doing good deeds.

Everyone is trying to get to the bar
The name of the bar, the bar is called Heaven
The band in Heaven, they play my favorite song
They play it once again, they play it all night long

Heaven, heaven is a place, a place where nothing, nothing ever happens
Heaven, heaven is a place, a place where nothing, nothing ever happens

There is a party, everyone is there
Everyone will leave at exactly the same time
It’s hard to imagine that nothing at all
Could be so exciting, could be so much fun

Heaven, heaven is a place, a place where nothing, nothing ever happens
Heaven, heaven is a place, a place where nothing, nothing ever happens

When this kiss is over, it will start again
It will not be any different, it will be exactly the same
It’s hard to imagine, that nothing at all
could be so exciting, could be this much fun

Heaven, heaven is a place, a place where nothing, nothing ever happens
Heaven, heaven is a place, a place where nothing, nothing ever happens

(“Heaven,” by David Byrne, Jerry Harrison.
Unofficial lyrics are courtesy of AZLyrics.com.)

“Heaven,” an identically-named but different song by The Psychedelic Furs, is the first song I posted when I started my blog on January 5, 2020. After 505 more posts, I’m happy to offer another example of that place or belief.

Talking Heads’ “Heaven” comes from the band’s third album, Fear of Music (1979).

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 Talking Heads YouTube topic channel:

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