The year was 1987, and a new artist by the name of Suzanne Vega had come out with a song called, "Luka."
My Mother had heard it before me, so the next time it came on the radio we were in her car. She turned it up, and made sure I listened to all the words. She wanted me to know it was about child abuse, and without saying it, I could tell this song meant a lot to her.
Now my Mother wasn't exactly treated well as a child. It wasn't full on physical abuse, but that kind of mental abuse only a depressed parent can put on an entire family.
Why this song really stuck out to my Mother was that, it was one of the first songs to deal with those kinds of social issues. The 60's had plenty of social issue songs, but we are talking about 1987. The week that "Luka" hit #8 on the Top 40 (August 1st, 1987,) it really stuck out in terms of being a social issue song. Take for instance, some of the other songs on the top 10. #1., Bob Segar with "Shakedown." #2., U2 with "I still haven't found what I'm looking for." #3., Heart with "Alone." So you can see it was the strange (out there) song compared to the other songs that were hits that year.
So, the next time the whole family was in the car, guess what song comes on the radio? What I didn't know then was that, my Dad hated that song. But the weird part was, he didn't know what it was about.
So here's the first verse.
My name is Luka
I live on the second floor
I live upstairs from you
Yes, I think you've seen me before
So my Dad sings,
My name is Luka
I sing a stupid song
And that's when my Mom came unglued. "This songs about child abuse!!! Why would you say that?" Dad was like, "What???" Mom then went on to let him know that it was all about child abuse, and that the song meant a lot to her. She did this while fighting back tears that whole time.
I will say this. Dad let her have her say, and he kind of kept quiet the rest of the time. Think of my weird family's interaction the next time you are on the 80's station, and "Luka" comes on.