Looking for something else I just found this NPR Music Tiny Desk concert by Suzanne Vega, which I believe it’s worth watching and listening to:

I think it was in 1987 that I first discovered Suzanne Vega while listening to the radio at home, as I was working in Barcelona. I remember it was a great song from her first album, “Suzanne Vega” (1985) LP, that called my attention and made such a huge impact on me. The song was called “Straight Lines.” Next day I went to a vinyl records store (I guess the mythical Castello Records on Tallers Street) to buy the LP where “Straight Lines” was included.


But I just couldn’t find it. I bought her second album instead, including her greatest hit “Luka,” which was usually blasting the waves on the radio at the time. I had to wait until next time I went back to Madrid to visit Discoplay and get her first released album “Suzanne Vega” at last. That’s how I managed to add the LP including “Straight Lines” to my own collection.


However, the greatest song of hers in my opinion, the one I always loved the most, was one called “Gypsy” from his second album “Solitude Standing,” which I bought in first place. This is a beautiful song about a first summer romance, someone she knew when she was 18, who had to go back to Liverpool while she had to go home to New York City. It was released as a single in 1986 ahead of her second album “Solitude Standing,” in which it was included.


You come from far away
With pictures in your eyes
Of coffeeshops and morning streets
In the blue and silent sunrise
But night is the cathedral
Where we recognized the sign
We strangers know each other now
As part of the whole design

Refrain: Oh, hold me like a baby
That will not fall asleep
Curl me up inside you
And let me hear you through the heat

You are the jester of this courtyard
With a smile like a girl’s
Distracted by the women
With the dimples and the curls
By the pretty and the mischievous
By the timid and the blessed
By the blowing skirts of ladies
Who promise to gather you to their breast

Oh, hold me like a baby… (Refrain)

You have hands of raining water
And that earring in your ear
The wisdom on your face
Denies the number of your years
With the fingers of the potter
And the laughing tale of the fool
The arranger of disorder
With your strange and simple rules
Yes now I’ve met me another spinner
Of strange and gauzy threads
With a long and slender body
And a bump upon the head

Oh, hold me like a baby… (Refrain)

With a long and slender body
And the sweetest softest hands
And we’ll blow away forever soon
And go on to different lands
And please do not ever look for me
But with me you will stay
And you will hear yourself in song
Blowing by one day,

But now, hold me like a baby… (Refrain)


© Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.


This time we are going to make a contest as I will provide another version of the same song, a live version performed at the Songwriters Circle accompained by the acclaimed British guitarist Richard Thompson, who played with Bob Dylan in Seville, Spain at the Guitar Legends Festival in 1991. You will have to choose the version you like the most between these two, the official release on the video above and the one below performed at the Songwriter’s Circle. I will send a Cd-R with a live recording of hers, or a DVD, to the winner of the contest among those of you whose choice becomes the most voted of both versions.


The procedure for the contest will be as follows: Leave a comment saying that you will take part in the contest, then contact me in a private message and include your vote; # 1 for the official video version and # 2 for the Songwriters Circle version. Remember that your choice should remain unknown to the rest, except for myself, until the game is over. I will assign numbers to each one of the participants whose choice was the most voted version, according to the order in which their comments were listed on my blog. The winner will be the one whose number matches a particular number obtained using a verifiable system of pregenerated randomization through a random sequence generator  at site  on the date my post reaches 45 viewers. Let’s see how it works. Here comes the Songwriter’s Circle version:

I was lucky to see her once live in Bergen, Norway, as she was the supporting act to the Dylan concert I attended there in 2011. She was brilliant. Of course she did “Gypsy,” in a stirring performance. A very dignified opening act for the old troubadour who offered a splendid concert in which the sun enlightened the stage at dusk before sinking beyond the horizon after a rainy afternoon.

The Hypnotist Collector