The other day, I lingered in my car to hear the entirety of Annie Lennox’s 1992 hit “Walking on Broken Glass.” Chances are I had something better to be doing inside, but there was at least another verse to go when I arrived home, so I stayed outside to hear it.
As it happens, I fishing love that song. Part of why I love it is that the very first time I heard it was on a family trip to Scotland to celebrate my grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary, and it was a really great trip. I got to hang out with cousins I rarely see, and spend time in a beautiful part of the world. It also yielded over a decade’s worth of in-jokes with my brother, whose impression of an irate Scottish woman saying “But I’ve already cooked yer breakfast!” still makes me chuckle. (Long story.) If memory serves, the song was released as a single in the UK before the United States, and the teenagers that hung out in the local pub played it over and over and over. (It stands to reason that Scottish teens would be partial to a hit by a Scottish songstress.) So there was the added appeal of hearing a hit song before other American teenagers did, which made me feel a bit cooler than was the norm for me back in 1992.
All that context aside, “Walking on Broken Glass” is an awesome song. If there is a heaven, and if I get to go there when I die, and if people still take naps there (and how could it be heaven otherwise?), then the angel who will sing me to sleep will sound like Annie Lennox. (The angel who reads me bedtime stories will sound like Phylicia Rashad.) To her gorgeous voice is added a beautiful, catchy melody and witty lyrics. What’s not to love? Throw in a video featuring a pre-“House” Hugh Laurie, and you’re left with a big pile of win.
So I stayed in the car to hear to whole song.
Except I have that album. I first owned “Diva” on cassette tape (a well-chosen Christmas gift), and I listened to it obsessively. (I can probably still sing every song from memory.) I bought the CD at some point, and am sure it is in my iTunes library. Even if it weren’t, it’s probably on Spotify, and I can listen to it on demand whenever I choose.
But there’s something about hearing it unexpectedly on the radio that makes it better, right? Even though I could have strolled inside and in a matter of a minute or two listened to the whole song all over again, there was something more pleasurable about listening to it out of the blue. Do other people do this? Would have you stayed in the car to hear the rest of a song you liked, even if you already owned it? If so, why?