Stay

Album: Reality Bites Soundtrack (1994)
Charted: 6 1

Songfacts®:

  • In our interview with Lisa Loeb, she explained: "At the time I was having arguments with my boyfriend, who was actually my co-producer as well - we made records together. And then I go off into some other areas: I remember somebody close to me was going through severe, severe depression. A lot of times in my songs, I get into some phase where I describe some other situation, and there's a whole verse in there about somebody who is very, very depressed. But yeah, it was a story about a breakup I was going through, and that situation where it's gotten into your head too much. Partially because somebody else is telling you that you're only hearing what you want to, and that puts you in a little bit of a tailspin. It puts me in a little bit of a tailspin, because you can't figure out what's actually real, are you only seeing things through your own eyes? Are you actually seeing things the way that they really are, or are you making things up? And at what point do you know whether you're seeing things the way that they really are?"
  • This was used in the movie Reality Bites. Loeb's friend, Ethan Hawke, brought it to the attention of Ben Stiller, who saw Loeb perform and used her song in his movie. It was a huge break for Loeb, who did not have a record deal at the time. When she found out the song was going on the soundtrack, she knew it was the end of her temp work - she had a gig with the consulting firm Ernst & Young at the time).
  • Long before this song became a hit, Loeb performed it at her shows, where it got a great response and was one of her most requested songs. Says Loeb: "I usually write songs that are more fictional, and for some reason when I sat down to write that song, I let myself write more about how I was feeling at that moment. And that's something I think about a lot as I continue to write music, that the songs that I write that are more personal and without as much editing, are the ones that people connect to more."
  • Regarding the lyrics, "I turned the radio on, I turned the radio up, and this woman was singing my song," Lisa explains: "That was when you hear somebody telling your exact story. It's funny, because it wasn't until later, after a couple of major breakups, that I realized when you're depressed and you're going through these breakups, the breakup was supposed to happen. If you're going through difficult times, it's hilarious how you turn on the radio and even the most cliché things perfectly capture how you're feeling. And then you realize why people wrote those songs. When you're not going through some of those things, sometimes as a songwriter you think, "Oh, that's so straightforward and cliché," but you know what? That's how it feels. In a way I think I wrote that into the song because I was relating my story to the effect that everybody goes through this. I'm not so special. You know, this isn't such a special situation that I'm going through, but it still means something to me. And it might not be as depressing as my friend who's suicidal, but it's still really hard. Hopefully, as a listener, you get a feeling like when you just can't get away from your problems. You leave your house, you're driving down the road, you're going to do something different, and all of a sudden you hear, Oh, here's my story on the radio. It's like the last thing I need to hear right now."
  • This is the only US #1 hit by an artist who was not signed to a label. Loeb had no trouble getting a recording contract when the song took off - she signed with Geffen Records.
  • The video marks actor Ethan Hawke's directorial debut and Loeb's first time on camera. It is one continuous camera shot of the singer in a vacant loft in New York City's Soho neighborhood. Hawke's cat makes a cameo appearance at the beginning of the clip. Scenes of Loeb's band were also filmed but didn't make the final cut.
  • Loeb played this song when she was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live, October 7, 1995.
  • Loeb had a different artist in mind when she was writing the tune. "Musically, I was trying to write a song for Daryl Hall as a solo artist," she told AXS. "I heard he was looking for songs, so I was trying to write a little bit of an R&B groove, like at the time he wrote his songs with Hall & Oates." The opportunity didn't pan out, but she did get to meet Hall and tell him he was the inspiration for her big hit.

Comments: 11

  • Cherilyn from Houston/beaumont TexasGreat tune I have the Tails album on which this was on and the movie Reality Bites I thought Lisa's glasses were cool '50s cat's-eyes. I have the same glasses but they black and though I like them I hate wearing them.
  • Eduardo from San Jose, OtherI love Lisa, glasses included. They may not be the best glasses for her, but definitely she's OK. One thing I like about her is that she's not only a singer, but writes songs and plays. I also love the way Lisa sings this song (she's got a great voice), especially that part when she says 'hey' in the sixth verse, every time I hear it I get a thrill. By the way, she appears soooooooo gorgeous in the video.
  • Dominick from New York, NyOne thing I never liked was those awful glasses that she wears. They're horrible looking. Those glasses are very unflattering on a woman. She's the first one I remember wearing them. If she has to wear glasses, she should at least wear nice ones. Now, Tina Fey and many other women wear those ridiculous looking glasses. Do they think they are trendy or cool looking? From my perspective, they are not. Any woman I have ever seen who wears those kinds of glasses looks better NOT wearing those glasses. Why would a woman purposely choose to look worse by wearing them? Any woman who wears those glasses instantly loses her sex appeal. They are the modern day equivalent of the old "Buddy Holly" glasses of the 1950s.
  • Momo from Tokyo, JapanI said same phrase to my ex-girlfriend in 1992.
    Like "You try to give away a keeper, or keep me
    'Cause you know you're just scared to lose".
    So,when this song started to climb up ,I was relly really surprised.

  • Jazzz from Frankfurt, GermanyBeautiful song, ever touching. One fact I liked was that the director was about to kick out the song again. But Hawke and Winona Ryder intervened and the whole cast said that the song fit indeed into the movie. So the song "stay"ed in the movie- and made it big in the top ten. What is good has got to come out eventually.
  • Lisa from Manchester, Ctto buzzy - the song that you reference with the lyrics is actually this song - Stay. The lyric is "So I turned the radio on, I turned the radio up, And this woman was singing my song:
    Lover's in love, and the other's run away,
    Lover is crying 'cause the other won't stay."

    Complete lyrics are listed.
  • Buzzy from Washington Dc, DcLisa is an Ivy Leauger -- she attended Brown University. Also, does anyone know what song she references when she says she turned the radio on "and someone was playing my song......who were dying since the day they were born." I thought that line was quoting another song that mentions "dying since they day I was born." Anyway that maybe too obscure but thought I'd toss it out there.
  • Tom from Houston, TxThis is a great song. The changes in tempo throughout the song are what make it so pleasing to the ears. There's a great recording of this from Letterman with Paul Schaefer playing a soulful organ riff.
  • Michelle from Long Island, NyWhat happened to singer/songwriters like her? I have so much respect for her.. These days, all we have is bubble gum pop singers, and their siblings that think they can sing.. This song is 10 years old, and it's still one of my favorites.. It's a relationship song with meaning, I love it..
  • Mara from Las Vegas, Nvok this is my FAVORITE song of all time seriously! I mean my top three are 1 Stay, by lisa loeb, 2 I'll Be, by Edwin Mccain, 3 Criminal by Fiona apple. which is prolly the weirdest top three but yea i love this song!!
  • Britney from Calabasas, CaLittle known fact is Lisa is severely alergic to contacts so she has to wear her glasses. I love Lisa she rox!
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