Monday, May 5, 2014

Radio: Midnight Radio

Dar Williams: "Midnight Radio"

As a middle-school youngster, I used to listen to Harry Chapin’s Greatest Stories Live like an addict—sometimes multiple times per day. The second track, “W.O.L.D.,” was never my favorite on the album, but that didn’t stop me from memorizing every word of it by heart. Regardless, fellow poster Retropath has already contributed more commentary about the song that I would have, so I’ll move on to another radio tribute.

“Midnight Radio” is a song from the rock musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch, written by Stephen Trask. The version above was first covered by pop-folk artist Dar Williams a decade after Hedwig’s premiere as the penultimate track on her 2008 album Promised Land. It’s a moving song of reminiscence for those who have sentimental emotional memories of feeling connected with the world in a new way because of the radio (which, it would seem, applies to most people who read and write about music).

The lyrics illustrate the narrator becoming a star vicariously through the strong female voices on the radio: “Here’s to Patti / and Tina / and Yoko / Aretha / and Nona / and Nico / and me.”

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