22 February 2010

"Once in a Lifetime" - Talking Heads

It's hard to believe this song was released 30 years ago.  It seems like only... 20.   It was named one of the top 100 American musical works of the 20th century by NPR;  I don't know that I would agree with that, but it was also the 59th video ever aired on MTV.  Here's a link to that list, which I didn't know existed until I found it two minutes ago.
The verses of the song consist of David Byrne speaking rather than singing... it is usually interpreted to be a song dealing with the midlife crisis and the inevitable sacrifice of youthful ideals and dreams for conventional success:
You may ask yourself
What is that beautiful house?
You may ask yourself
Where does that highway lead to?
You may ask yourself
Am I right?... Am I wrong?
You may say to yourself
My God!... what have I done?

Full lyrics here.  And the original MTV video is here.


  1. This is much more meaningful to me now than it was 30 years ago.

  2. Me too. And that applies to a lot of songs. Things change.

  3. That's not the music video that MTV aired. That's actually a clip from the Jonathon Demme-directed concert video entitled "Stop Making Sense".


    Here's a link to the original music video that was aired on MTV:


  4. Thank you, mehughes124! I must have spent half an hour searching through covers and redubs on YouTube for the original video and never found it. Never thought to check Dailymotion. Link added to post. Thanx.

  5. That entire album (remember albums?) still remains at the top of my "desert island" list. I never tire of it, unlike almost every other song played on Wheelchair Rock stations these days.

  6. I agree with bunnits. Hard to believe it has been thirty years!!!


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