[ ]   [ ]   [ ]                        [ ]      [ ]   [ ]
Suzanne Vega — Penitent
Album: Songs In Red And Gray
Avg rating:
7.3

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1424









Released: 2001
Length: 4:03
Plays (last 30 days): 0
Once I stood alone so proud
Held myself above the crowd
And now I'm low on the ground

From here I look around to see
What avenues belong to me
I can't tell what I've found

Now what would you have me do?
I ask you please
I wait to hear

The mother and the matador
The mystic, each were here before
Like me to stare you down

You appear without a face
Disappear but leave your trace
I feel your unseen frown

Now what would you have me do?
I ask you please
I wait to hear
Your voice
The word
You say
I wait
To see your sign
Would I
Obey?

I look for you in heathered moor
The desert and the ocean floor
How low does one heart go?

Looking for your fingerprints
I find them in coincidence
And make my faith to grow

Forgive me all my blindnesses
My weakness and unkindnesses
As yet unbending still

Struggling so hard to see
My fist against eternity
And will you break my will?

Now what would you have me do?
I ask you please
I wait to hear
Your voice
The word
You say
I wait
To see your sign
Would I
Obey?

Now what would you have me do?
I ask you, please.
I wait to hear
Your voice
The word
You say
I wait
To see your sign
Could I
Obey?
Comments (174)add comment
That's about five of her dirges today.  Enough already.
 photolew wrote:
Angelic......
 

Agreed...

"I look for you in heathered moor
The desert and the ocean floor
How low does one heart go?"

Thank you Radio Paradise, you are making life and work more beatiful.
Greetings from Croatia.
Angelic......
She's come so far from her "Luka" days....very, very nice - easy 8
Always good to hear this song. This album is one of a handful that got me through the hardest part of my life so far.
 nagsheadlocal wrote:

Indeed, my favorite is "Last Year's Troubles" which I will admit I enjoy because it came out a year after my divorce.

 
This is, I think, the expression of an universal truth: there is no bad reason to *like* a song, a piece of art.
That implies - still in my humble opinion - another truth: nobody who is stating his apreciation for any given piece of art is totally devoid of personal reasons, however deep and indisputable his level of expertise may be.

On a personal note, I'd like to mention that this album came out a couple of months after the most difficult breakup of my life, and that it helped me a LOT in coping with the hard time I was going through.

I liked Suzanne before that album; since then, she has become a part of my life.

I've seen her live. As soon as she begins to sing, everything else stops mattering (no rockstar attitude, minimalistic stage presence etc.)


fredriley wrote:
If he's anything like, or even the same person as, the Simon Cowell who does the UK Pop Idol, he's a loudmouthed self-publicist who wouldn't pass any singer to the next round unless she tunelessly butchered some dire karaoke tune. Suzanne Vega has a fine voice, and whilst it's a little downbeat for some (she's been described over here as a singer for the "bedsit generation") it is tuneful, strong and her lyrics are always thoughtful. 
  
 Sloggydog wrote:
Why are people even talking about american idol?  Clearly it is a show for musical inbreds and halfwits to watch half baked acts recycle past hits many of which stunk in the first place.  I would consider acts that would get through the first round to be the ones with a problem i.e. a lack of any sort of individuality or creativity.

In conclusion Idol bad Vega brilliant.  One of few of my absolute fav's i haven't yet seen. 

 
flyboy50 wrote:
Well said Sloggy.  Like so many things in our culture (do we have any left?) American Idol is homogenized crap. My cat demostrates more talent when he hacks up a hairball.
   


This thread is stretching back over eight years or so but what the hell: 

Simon Cowell is a smug, self-serving @$$40|3. Terry Gross asked him years ago on Fresh Air whether American Idol wasn't just churning out the kind of homogenized singing that turns up as the headlining act at Six Flags. Boom: she hit the nail on the head. 

Suzanne Vega has a beautiful voice. I think she stayed too long with her early style but 99.9F° was a brilliant album. NOT the kind of talent you'd know if you had to rely on shows like American Idol to find talent for you. 
 
She has the same slightly off-key delivery as Neil Young. Despite this, her voice just 'works' for me. Great songwriting too.
Was this used in a commercial? Seems to me it was....
 Proclivities wrote:

Everyone doesn't like the same things; if you "just can't see" it, you can't see it - no big deal.  Most acoustic or "folk" music can sound thin or lacking to some people, and her voice suits her music, but I'm not sure where you get "too electronic"; she primarily plays an acoustic guitar.

  i have to agree with Proclivities. there may be something about that thing laughingly called commercial potential. many who arent fond of the folk influence find more electrified music to be stuffed with sleight of hand and distraction.  i do like her and particularly this song and am keen on  singing poets in general.  but to be fair, this song does resemble "small blue thing"  ... pretty heavily.

The only Suzanne Vega song I've heard that's half decent.
soothing...from one of my favorite albums by her.
 aspicer wrote:
Grew up near NYC and have heard her for SO many years now and STILL just can't see what people think is so great about her?!  Her voice is just "OK to pretty good" and the music always seems thin, lacking and too electronic....she's a consistent "6" all the time for me...

 
Everyone doesn't like the same things; if you "just can't see" it, you can't see it - no big deal.  Most acoustic or "folk" music can sound thin or lacking to some people, and her voice suits her music, but I'm not sure where you get "too electronic"; she primarily plays an acoustic guitar.
 flyboy50 wrote:
Well said Sloggy.  Like so many things in our culture (do we have any left?) American Idol is homogenized crap. My cat demostrates more talent when he hacks up a hairball.

 Sloggydog wrote:
Why are people even talking about american idol?  Clearly it is a show for musical inbreds and halfwits to watch half baked acts recycle past hits many of which stunk in the first place.  I would consider acts that would get through the first round to be the ones with a problem i.e. a lack of any sort of individuality or creativity.

In conclusion Idol bad Vega brilliant.  One of few of my absolute fav's i haven't yet seen. 
 



 

AND RDO LOVES SIMON, NOW WE KNOW WHY HE HATES EVERYTHING HE HEARS ON RP
Great voice, good song but   ...all her tunes sound so alike that I have to give her a "3" across the boards.
the whole album is fantastic.
One of my favorite SV songs; very well put together, IMHO.
Grew up near NYC and have heard her for SO many years now and STILL just can't see what people think is so great about her?!  Her voice is just "OK to pretty good" and the music always seems thin, lacking and too electronic....she's a consistent "6" all the time for me...
So, so mysterious . . .
She is out on tour in the U.S. and my wife and I saw her 2 weeks ago,  She was coming off a cold, so may have not been at her best.  Still a good voice.  Just she and another guy playing electric guitar.  She performed several new songs.  One I really liked.  I can't think of the lyrics, but it has the same word at the end of one phrase and the start of the next.   It was clever.
Why didn't I ever like Suzanne Vega? Need to listen more.!!!
This is the 999th rating, And it's ... a solid 7.
 tulfan wrote:
As stated earlier, there are some true gems on this effort. Among my faves are Soap and Water and this one...
 
Indeed, my favorite is "Last Year's Troubles" which I will admit I enjoy because it came out a year after my divorce.
 fredriley wrote:


If he's anything like, or even the same person as, the Simon Cowell who does the UK Pop Idol, he's a loudmouthed self-publicist who wouldn't pass any singer to the next round unless she tunelessly butchered some dire karaoke tune. Suzanne Vega has a fine voice, and whilst it's a little downbeat for some (she's been described over here as a singer for the "bedsit generation") it is tuneful, strong and her lyrics are always thoughtful.
 

It is indeed.  He has had enormous success here.   Do you really not know that?  He was even featured on 60 minutes.  That is actually an amazing honour in this country.   I love him.   He revolutionized American TV.  Not a TIC comment.
As stated earlier, there are some true gems on this effort. Among my faves are Soap and Water and this one...
All on this album are great!
 
Shesdifferent wrote:

Soap & Water is excellent!

 


Vega's lyrics always pleasantly surprise me and intrigue me. 


 Rooney wrote:
oh geeze.  out of all the songs on the album, this is the one I like least.  There are eleven other gems to choose from.
this is uninspiring and borning.  try Solitaire, Widow's Walk, Soap and Water.  Please RP, not this one again.{#No}
 
Soap & Water is excellent!

Since we're comparing her to other artists, this reminds me a little of "Shotgun Down the Avalanche" by Shawn Colvin.  Still, it's Suzanne Vega, and I love it on its own merits. She has such a childlike voice, but can deliver such powerful lyrics easily and somewhat understatedly.  Amazing singer. {#Music}
Saw Suzanne perform as part of the FastFolk concert in Greenwich Village (at the bottom Line I think) in 1989,  She was awesome then.....and still is.  Sing on SV.....
oh geeze.  out of all the songs on the album, this is the one I like least.  There are eleven other gems to choose from.
this is uninspiring and borning.  try Solitaire, Widow's Walk, Soap and Water.  Please RP, not this one again.{#No}
Well said Sloggy.  Like so many things in our culture (do we have any left?) American Idol is homogenized crap. My cat demostrates more talent when he hacks up a hairball.

 Sloggydog wrote:
Why are people even talking about american idol?  Clearly it is a show for musical inbreds and halfwits to watch half baked acts recycle past hits many of which stunk in the first place.  I would consider acts that would get through the first round to be the ones with a problem i.e. a lack of any sort of individuality or creativity.

In conclusion Idol bad Vega brilliant.  One of few of my absolute fav's i haven't yet seen. 
 


sounds a bit like isla bonita by madonna 
The voice of a dream.
 Sloggydog wrote:
Why are people even talking about american idol?  Clearly it is a show for musical inbreds and halfwits to watch half baked acts recycle past hits many of which stunk in the first place.  I would consider acts that would get through the first round to be the ones with a problem i.e. a lack of any sort of individuality or creativity.
 
Then I guess I shouldn't feel I've missed anything by never watching a second of it. :)
I miss DD closemindedmoron - most excellent parodist! Love Suzanne.

 listen_n_sf wrote:
A lot of studio effects helping her sing here.
 
never seen her live I see.
 DD closemindedmoron wrote:
This is making me fall to sleep. Simon from American Idol would rip her apart. He would never let her get to the next round on this one.
 
So, your musical decisions are made by a thoroughly unqualified judge from a karaoke television program.  Did you buy Clay Aiken's latest yet?
Very good song, by the way.


Why are people even talking about american idol?  Clearly it is a show for musical inbreds and halfwits to watch half baked acts recycle past hits many of which stunk in the first place.  I would consider acts that would get through the first round to be the ones with a problem i.e. a lack of any sort of individuality or creativity.

In conclusion Idol bad Vega brilliant.  One of few of my absolute fav's i haven't yet seen. 
A lot of studio effects helping her sing here.
Saw her live in a small club in NYC back in 1988....Loved her then....love her now. 
 CascadianPDX wrote:

Sucks in dark alleys for beer money.

 
Thanks for my first good laugh of the day!


her voice grosses me out
 Darlington wrote:


American Idol sucks.
 
Sucks in dark alleys for beer money.

 Shesdifferent wrote:
If you love Suzanne Vega, this CD is brilliant cover to cover!
 
It is a really great album. It's a breakup album so the mood might be tough for some to get past.

Also, the link to the article that DocTec posted on her creative process is well worth reading. It's an ongoing blog in the NY Times on songwriting with different contributors. Suzanne's written a few. Very articulately of course.

She hits the sweet spot with me. Listening to her is like sitting down with an old friend, something so warm and inviting about her voice.
ugh a tired snoozer

 parrothead wrote:
Many modern day singers would not make it past the first round of American Idol. There's alot of performers out there that have made a good living as singers that can't hardly sing a tune in a bucket. Springsteen,Spears,Jagger,Dylan,A. Simpson,Starr,W.Nelson,T.Waits,Clapton, D.Vanzant, R.Vanzant, Johnny's better than his older brothers.Just to name a few.One thing about these singers and others like them is that they found there sound that worked for them!
 

American Idol sucks.
LOVE the arrangement! 9
Rupert Hine rocks.
not her best song - but certainly another good one!
I could be wrong, but does anybody agree her first CD was her best? 
If you love Suzanne Vega, this CD is brilliant cover to cover!
...like the Scorpions, or how?
Haaaa...
Suzanne Vega talks about her creative process: (click here)
ah dam! missed it. :doh:
mattt wrote:
American Idol isn't about finding great singers, it's about finding marketable singers.
Same thing here in Germany. Good musicians always catch you with the lyrics and the mood of the music, not with perfect singing.
maxmox wrote:
yeah like physicsgenius
don't feed the trolls :naughty: :naughty:
Sure am likin Suzy Vega.
That was amazing! I just trotted off to iTunes and bought it. :) Thanks Radio Paradise.
My favorite woman singer/songwriter. Suzanne, I just looove you... :good-vibes:
American Idol isn't about finding great singers, it's about finding marketable singers.
Barman wrote:
You're trying hard to earn that closemindedmoron credibility among friends, aren't you?
yeah like physicsgenius
Approaching the goddess head
Beautiful song :hearteyes:
Please play more Suzanne Vega, especially the older stuff. Great and honest voice.
DD closemindedmoron wrote:
This is making me fall to sleep. Simon from American Idol would rip her apart. He would never let her get to the next round on this one.
You're trying hard to earn that closemindedmoron credibility among friends, aren't you?
closemindedmoron wrote:
This is making me fall to sleep. Simon from American Idol would rip her apart. He would never let her get to the next round on this one.
Many modern day singers would not make it past the first round of American Idol. There's alot of performers out there that have made a good living as singers that can't hardly sing a tune in a bucket. Springsteen,Spears,Jagger,Dylan,A. Simpson,Starr,W.Nelson,T.Waits,Clapton, D.Vanzant, R.Vanzant, Johnny's better than his older brothers.Just to name a few.One thing about these singers and others like them is that they found there sound that worked for them!
The sexiest performance I've ever seen was Suzanne Vega covering Feel Like Makin' Love by Bad Company. She was smokin' hot!
this is wonderful, please play more suz :pray:
closemindedmoron wrote:
This is making me fall to sleep. Simon from American Idol would rip her apart. He would never let her get to the next round on this one.
If he's anything like, or even the same person as, the Simon Cowell who does the UK Pop Idol, he's a loudmouthed self-publicist who wouldn't pass any singer to the next round unless she tunelessly butchered some dire karaoke tune. Suzanne Vega has a fine voice, and whilst it's a little downbeat for some (she's been described over here as a singer for the "bedsit generation") it is tuneful, strong and her lyrics are always thoughtful.
this is awful. please stop playing suzanne vega.
This is making me fall to sleep. Simon from American Idol would rip her apart. He would never let her get to the next round on this one.
ahoylola wrote:
after luka i'm not a fan of vega's. this song is the first to make me reconsider. quite nice.
yea, luka was pretty bad, then overplayed as well. Her first album is soo worth listening to from beginning to end. I loke this song too, nice to hear "newer" good SV
beelzebubba wrote:
This could have just as easily have been a Celine Deione song....
'Why the long face, Celine?' (Graham Norton)
thatslongformud wrote:
As I walk along I wonder What went wrong with our love A love that was so strong And as I still walk on I think of the things we done together While our hearts were young I'm a-walkin' in the rain Tears are fallin' and I feel the pain Wishin' you were here by me To end this misery And I wonder I wa-wa-wa-wa-wonder Why A-wa-wa-wa-wa-why she ran away And I wonder where she will stay My little runaway A-run-run-run-run-runaway
I wonder if you're the first person in the world to compare SV with Del Shannon!
As I walk along I wonder What went wrong with our love A love that was so strong And as I still walk on I think of the things we done together While our hearts were young I'm a-walkin' in the rain Tears are fallin' and I feel the pain Wishin' you were here by me To end this misery And I wonder I wa-wa-wa-wa-wonder Why A-wa-wa-wa-wa-why she ran away And I wonder where she will stay My little runaway A-run-run-run-run-runaway
Penitent is rather pertinent. :wink:
I saw her just last weekend, outdoors in a minimalist show with just Suzanne, her guitar and her bass player. Spendid show! 'Left of Center' done with just vocal and bass... awesome. :bounce:
beelzebubba wrote:
This could have just as easily have been a Celine Deione song....
If by that you mean they both suck then yes. But they are different different sucking sounds.
after luka i'm not a fan of vega's. this song is the first to make me reconsider. quite nice.
You lucky lucky person
Saw her live last year at an outdoor event. Very good show. Great sound for a summer evening.
beelzebubba wrote:
This could have just as easily have been a Celine Deione song....
You must be Celine's bitch then. Celine's bitch on crack. Or something like that.
beelzebubba wrote:
This could have just as easily have been a Celine Deione song....
Haha, what a joke. Where are the trademark "break-a-wine-glass-with-your-voice" parts?
I love this song and this album. She has matured as an artist. Good or bad, she has not retained a mainstream audience, like she did when she came on the scene.
Unmistakeably Suzanne Vega. Nice, but not one of her best, I'm afraid
:music:
plutodazed wrote:
A quite likeable though poorly mixed song.
The programmed drum track feels out of place. Melody and delivery are good, though.
A quite likeable though poorly mixed song.
Guess what I am hearing at the moment? :) Today is a vey surprising day for me what concerns RP :-) ---- No way...please?!? Too bad I missed this song, I was in a meeting...too bad that "Tired of sleeping" is not available in the playlist. besca wrote:
Suzanne Vega = Celine Dion? I don't think so... first time I've heard that one and I really can't see the comparison.
Suzanne Vega = Celine Dion? I don't think so... first time I've heard that one and I really can't see the comparison. As to being "Christian Rock" I've also never heard her classified as a Christian artist and I used to be in that crowd. I think this song is meant to be simply spiritual without necessarily pointing to any one organized religion. A lovely song indeed.
beelzebubba wrote:
This could have just as easily have been a Celine Deione song....
Your're delusional.....no comparison
beelzebubba wrote:
This could have just as easily have been a Celine Deione song....
Only if Celine Deione had been born as Suzanne Vega. Celine Deione should be so lucky.
I've always wished I'd find an angel to sing me to sleep and I've found one in Suzanne.
What a great combination of melody and atmosphere.
This is my numero uno, absolutely sans question fave S.Vega song. Simply awesome.
I love this song. :( the third verse especially..."my fist against eternity, and will you ...break my will?"
This could have just as easily have been a Celine Deione song....
Is this what is known as Christian Rock?
She could have replaced ENYA on LOTR soundtrack. (dunno if she woulda, but she coulda)
Love you Suzanne....
The verses remind me of Peter Gabriel's Don't Give Up ('moved on to another place, tried hard to settle down', etc.), but it can stand on its own for sure.
You cannot miss this voice so distinctive..fabulous
Actually. Yes. But not this one. s Leslie wrote:
Is it even possible for Suzanne Vega to write and/or sing a bad song? I think not. She's amazing.
Susanne :notworthy: :clap: :notworthy: :clap: :notworthy:
Wow! I've never heard this before. It's rare that I love a song the first time I hear it.
recognizable from the first few tones. Beauty in simplicity. I realy like this. Makes my smile.
So purely beautiful.
man...still not tired of this.
Is it even possible for Suzanne Vega to write and/or sing a bad song? I think not. She's amazing.
this song just kills me man...it just kills me....I mean that in a good way
This has been an RP fixture since I first tuned in less than a month ago and it's among the songs that've hooked me on the channel.
Love this. Heart full yet disturbing.
ahhh, sweet blessed relief after a half hour of dreck from the likes of Supertramp and Collective Soul
CanuckBeaker wrote:
The bass on this track is awesome. It really makes the track soar IMO.
I agree!!!!!!
I love this song!... :cry: I just seem to have such an emotional connection to it....she's apparently singing to God...it's hitting me so hard today...evidently I can relate....can someone please pass the hankie's? I did have this at 7....an emotional response from the judge moves it up 2 to 9
Love this song and the CD- would love to hear some of the other tunes played. Mystical voice. :meditate.gif:
Not a bad tune, but something about it sounds familiar... "As I walk along I wonder..." hmmmmm
geavis wrote:
Please swap quite a few Tori Amos songs for more of Suzanne Vega.
How about we keep Tori and still add more Vega. I love them both.