Luka (song)

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Suzanne Vega
publication 1987
length 3:48
Genre (s) Alternative rock
text Suzanne Vega
music Suzanne Vega
album Solitude standing
Cover versions
1988 Paola Turci
1989 The lemonheads
2009 Laith Al-Deen

Luka is an English-language song released in 1987 by the American singer Suzanne Vega , which she wrote herself. The song was produced by Lenny Kaye and Steve Addabbo. Luka appeared on Vegas' second album Solitude Standing (1987) and was released as a single . At number three, it is her highest-ranked hit in the US charts to date . The song was at the Grammy Awards in 1988 among the nominees for single of the year ( Grammy Award for Record of the Year ), the Song of the Year ( Grammy Award for Song of the Year ) and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance ( Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance ). The accompanying music video was recognized at the MTV Video Music Awards in 1988 in the Best Female Video category.

Vega also recorded a version of the song in Spanish.

Melody and lyrics

The melody in the key of F sharp major with an introductory pentatonic scale in fourths and the acoustic guitar- based instrumentation of the song create a harmonious , thoroughly happy impression. The lyrics, on the other hand, deal with child abuse in the form of domestic violence , presented from the perspective of an affected child. Lines like the following are typical for the statement and expression of the text:

Yes I think I'm okay
I walked into the door again
Well, if you ask that's what I'll say
And it's not your business anyway
Just don't ask me how I am
Yeah i think i'm fine
I ran into the door again
Well, if you ask, that would be my answer
And it's none of your business anyway
Just don't ask me how I am

This text example already makes it clear that it is not just about child abuse itself, but also about social repression of the same. This is symbolized on a further level of the song, namely by the contrast between the content and its form of representation: the seemingly harmonic melody covers, so to speak, the socially critical song text.

Only in the fourth verse does the sound of the song change, although the musical structure remains the same: the guitar is stopped, which gives the listener the feeling that something is wrong under the harmonic surface. Until the end, however, the music lacks ambiguity, suggesting an ideal world with happy rhythms, which, according to Hartmut Fladt, “is turned upside down by the text. The aim is to show the mechanisms of repression of the terrible, even by the victim himself. "

Suzanne Vega herself wrote in 2008 about the making of Luka :

“(...) I wanted major , because the combination of minor and a little boy who was suffering from suffering on a door mat made me angry. It seemed to me that most abused children are sad and fearful, but that at some point they will accept their fate as a fact of life, as something almost expected. A kind of pragmatism. So I got major and we left it at that. In the finished song it sounded encouraging, happy, almost triumphant, which wasn't my intention at all. (...) So many people in America, but also from other countries and cultures on earth, identified with my invented character. I thought it was a small, personal thing. But my manager Ron was right: it was a huge social thing. "

- Suzanne Vega


Charts Top ranking Weeks
Chart placements
Austria (Ö3) Austria (Ö3) 9 (10 weeks) 10
United Kingdom (OCC) United Kingdom (OCC) 23 (8 weeks) 8th
United States (Billboard) United States (Billboard) 3 (19 weeks) 19th

The song was by different musicians and bands gecovert ; the Italian singer Paola Turci recorded a version in her native language with Mi chiamo Luka in 1988 , which is available on her studio album Ragazza sola, ragazza blu . The Lemonheads released a version on their studio album Lick in 1989 . In 2009 Laith Al-Deen covered the song Luka , which can be found on his album Session . Suzanne Vega herself recorded a new version of the song in 2010, which was released on her album Close-Up Vol. 2, People & Places . Kasey Chambers released a version on her album Storybook in 2011 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b Luka by Suzanne Vega. Understand music with Prof. Dr. Hartmut Fladt . September 26, 2016, archived from the original on September 27, 2016 ; accessed on February 26, 2020 (radio report on Radio Eins ).
  2. ^ Suzanne Vega: Surviving the Hits. In: New York Times online. June 18, 2008, accessed on October 2, 2016 (English, via Luka ; lyrics in the upper third of the article).
  3. Suzanne Vega: How to Survive a Hit. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung online. May 17, 2010; Archived from the original on May 1, 2010 ; Retrieved on February 26, 2020 (via Luka ; for quotes, see parts 2 and 3).
  4. a b Chart sources: AT US
  5. Luka in the Official UK Charts (English)
  6. Retrieved October 2, 2016 .