Remembering “Tom’s Album”
This is “What’s Making Me Happy This Week,” a weekly feature inspired by the Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast. It’s pretty self-explanatory.
What’s Making Me Happy This Week is (besides seeing a fantastic live show) the NPR Tiny Desk Concert featuring Suzanne Vega. If you don’t recognize the name Suzanne Vega, perhaps you remember her two big songs from 1987, “Luka” and “Tom’s Diner“. If you’re still not sure who I’m talking about, try to conjure up these lyrics in your head:
Do do do do, do do do do, do do do do, do do do do
Vega has a new album coming out, but she was smart enough to bookend her 4-song NPR song with those classics. “Luka”, and especially “Tom’s Diner”, are the kinds of songs that are easily forgotten today, hardly even ending up on a “Best of the ’80s” list, but once you are reminded of them the nostalgia meter instantly cranks up to maximum levels.
I always enjoyed Tom’s Diner, and was thoroughly amused as a boy with the charming (to my 12-year old sensibilities) Tom’s Album. Tom’s Album was a collection of 13 different remakes of just that one song, Tom’s Diner. You can listen to several of the variations here, though the beauty of the album was in listening straight through, track after track, hearing over and over again some form of Tom’s Diner. My favorite, by far, was called “Jeannie’s Diner”, a mash-up of Tom’s Diner with the opening theme song to “I Dream of Jeannie”. Yes, it was the mashing of “Do do do do, do do do do, do do do do, do do do do” and “do do, do do do do do; do do, do do do do do; do do, do do do do do do.”
Somewhere along the line I lost or sold or broke that CD and I suspect I’ll never find it again. Honestly, I’m not sure I even want to – Tom’s Diner is best remembered spontaneously, like when Suzanne Vega randomly shows up on an NPR podcast.
And That’s What’s Making Me Happy This Week.