I was making my way through the wasteland
The road into town passes through
I was changing the radio stations
With my mind on you
Oh your friends call you "Lily Paloma"
But that's not the way that you are
It's too much of a gentle misnomer
For a shooting star.
But you and me baby
I saw you there
Straight away I knew
There's really no hiding
I'll tell you right now
What we're gonna do
We'll go collecting the days
Putting the moments away
You're on my mind like a
Song on the radio.
Linking with yesterday’s radio theme, from Joni Mitchell, we turn to the classic folk-rock songwriter, who also uses the theme as a metaphor for a relationship. Stewart’s songs trip along with such ease, giving a sense of travel, physically and psychologically, capturing images, often mentioning historic figures, and using a broad brush over time. The simplicity of the music also allows lyrics to be heard clearly, and here he captures the scene of driving through the middle of nowhere, yet tuning in to the car radio brings him constantly back to thoughts of that elusive woman in his life and how he first met her in a bar. Somehow music works like this too, making us fall in love subconsciously, the song, or the person, constantly drifting into our mind. The saxophone here also echoes the main melody, recalling like a song and a memory.
Born in Glasgow in 1945, but raised in Wimborne, Dorset, Stewart lost his father, who was in the RAF reserve in and died in military exercise aircrash, before he was born. He released his first album, Bedsitter Images, in 1967, and was a performer at the first Glastonbury festival in 1970 to an audience of 1,000 where the ticket price was £1. He quickly wrote a solid string of thoughtful, timeless songs, transcending genres and trends, and his big breakthrough was Year of the Cat in 1976. Song on the Radio is from his sixth album, Time Passages, produced by Alan Parsons, and Stewart continues to tour having created 16 studio and three live albums.
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