Vin Maskell
Pedestrian traffic lights, Williamstown, Melbourne. 8.30 each morning

I see Regina Spektor every morning. On the bus. I’m at the pedestrian lights outside the primary school. And there’s Regina Spektor. On the bus. Every morning.

I stand there and see her pretty face and that hat with a red peak. Marching band hat, maybe?

Then the lights change and the bus goes past, Regina’s face on the side, advertising a concert she played here in Melbourne six months ago. (The bus, I figure, is a bit behind the times.)

Most evenings I play the digital radio while cooking dinner, or while doing a word-puzzle in the paper as the dinner is cooking in the oven. The radio displays the names of singers and their songs, though sometimes it’s a bit behind the times and is telling me Van Morrison’s singing Cleaning Windows when I’m pretty sure it’s, say, Adele singing Set Fire To The Rain. Or Jeff Buckley. Or The Groove Armada. Or The Gotan Project.

One day I’m struggling with the nine-letter word puzzle (the answer was ‘narrative’) while the casserole’s cooking and a poppy fun song comes on the radio. I look at the little display and it’s telling me it’s Regina Spektor. On The Radio.

I think of the bus and the traffic lights outside the school.

I like the song. It catches my ear, and the lyrics seem worthy of a second listen.

On YouTube I learn the song is six years old (I’m a bit behind the times) and that the official YouTube clip – set in a primary school – has had nearly 4,000, 000 hits.

I figure that this Regina Spektor is pretty popular. No wonder I see her every morning. On the bus. I stand there at the lights, mentally humming a song I’ve heard. On The Radio.


Vin is founding editor of Stereo Stories and director/MC of Stereo Stories In Concert.