The Replacements – Skyway

I’ve been listening to the Replacement recently after I read a post on them by Aphoristical. I listened to them quite a bit in the eighties but lost touch at the end of the decade…

This song is on the band’s 1987 album Pleased To Meet Me. The band was formed in band formed in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1979. Skyways are one of Minneapolis’s signature features. They are second-story pedestrian bridges between buildings that are called skywalks or skybridges.

The album peaked at #131 in the Billboard Album Charts in 1987. It’s a gorgeous song…

Paul Westerberg: It’s our own little private song for Minneapolis. They’re basically the sidewalks above the streets, because it’s too cold in the winter to walk, and the businesses, y’know, feel they won’t get people to come downtown. It’s like you can walk for miles and not ever go outside. You can walk around the whole city through the skyway system. And it’s generally the people who are shoppers and [who] work. And so this song was sort of written from the point of a guy who’s like myself who — I don’t go up in the skyways, y’know. [laughs] What do I have to do up there? I never go shopping or anything. So I sit down there and watch the people walk by. 

Skyway

You take the skyway, high above the busy little one-way
In my stupid hat and gloves, at night I lie awake
Wonderin’ if I’ll sleep
Wonderin’ if we’ll meet out in the street

But you take the skyway
It don’t move at all like a subway
It’s got bums when it’s cold like any other place
It’s warm up inside
Sittin’ down and waitin’ for a ride
Beneath the skyway

Oh, then one day, I saw you walkin’ down that little one-way
Where, the place I’d catch my ride most everyday
There wasn’t a damn thing I could do or say
Up in the skyway

Skyway
Skyway (sky away)