Song of the Day #4,811: ‘Waiting for a Dream’ – Rufus Wainwright

Hearing today’s random selection drift out of my headphones immediately put me back in 2004, when Rufus Wainwright’s Want Two was released. I remember lying on the floor of the same room where I’m writing this post now, lyric sheet in hand, taking in the newest release by one of my favorite artists.

Want Two was Wainwright’s fourth album, and the second part of the Want suite. Want One had quickly become one of my favorite albums and cemented Wainwright’s position in my personal pantheon. This album delivered on the promise of its predecessor while exploring new musical territory.

It’s exciting to be in that love affair phase with any artist, when you’re committing their albums to memory and anticipating every new release like manna from heaven. It usually doesn’t last more than a year or two before somebody else fills that role.

At various times, I’ve been similarly infatuated with Elvis Costello, Fiona Apple, Ben Folds Five, The Beatles, Aimee Mann, Belle and Sebastian, R.E.M., Tift Merritt, Josh Rouse, and Miranda Lambert. Maybe a few others, though it’s hard to draw the line that separates general fandom from this sort of obsessive attention.

It happens less often and with less intensity as I get older, maybe because I’m busier or maybe because musical infatuation is best practiced by the young.

Waiting for the present, for the present to pass
Waiting for a dream to last
You are not my lover and you never will be
‘Cause you’ve never done anything to hurt me

There’s a fire in the priory
And it’s ruining this cocktail party
Yesterday I heard they cloned a baby
Now can I finally sleep with me?

Diving through the rising, through the rising waves of night
Keeping a reflection of you in hindsight
But in turning back the brackish waters will not reflect you
After you have turned the color black of death or something like that

There’s a fire in the priory
And it’s ruining this cocktail party
Yesterday I heard the plague is coming
Once again to find me

There’s a fire in the priory
And an ogre in the oval office
Once again we all will be so broken
Now can I finally sleep again?

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,811: ‘Waiting for a Dream’ – Rufus Wainwright

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I remember well going to see Rufus in concert with you on Miami Beach. Great show, even if I was less familiar with the music than you were.

  2. Peg says:

    I can remember that feeling you describe with Sinatra as a young woman being introduced to his music and awaiting each new album. Also Elvis (Presley) that is, and Billy Joel came later. Now that I’m in “the autumn of my life” Nina Simone has taken a place in my fan list. So I guess while it’s true that as we get older music infatuation can dim, it still happens once in awhile.

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