I enjoy stream-of-consciousness writing. This song, by Suzanne Vega, came out in 1982 but I didn’t become aware of it until the early 1990s, when I was stationed at Onizuka in Sunnyvale, California. Then, after hearing it, I kept trying to learn the name of it, and failed for a long time. People were vaguely aware of it but nobody was certain of who performed it nor its name. Eventually, the Internet came along. A successful search led me to answers: ‘Tom’s Diner’, by Suzanne Vega, and the rest.
‘Seinfeld’ was my favorite show for a long time, and remains my favorite comedy show. I liked Jerry before he was big. When his pilot was first announced, my wife told me, “That comedian you like is getting a television show.” I saw the pilot air on Armed Forces Radio and Television Services through our local channel in Germany. I enjoyed it but didn’t know what happened to it, as we didn’t get the series for a while. Eventually a few episodes of the first half year were shown. Then I returned to America and discovered it was a weekly series.
The connection between the song and the series is Tom’s Diner. Tom’s Diner was a place Vega frequently as a college student and was the setting, as Monk’s, for many ‘Seinfeld’ scenes. Learning that, I thought, This must be a great diner.
BTW, a famous actor is mentioned dying in the song. People figured out from when the song was written and various other clues that the actor was William Holden, someone she’d never heard of. Anyway, after that laborious intro, here’s the song, ‘Tom’s Dinner’.