Calypso

Album: Solitude Standing (1987)

Songfacts®:

  • This was written by Suzanne Vega in 1978. In the song, Vega assumes the voice of the sea nymph Calypso, who saved the drowning Ulysses and waylays him on her island for 7 years as she is in love with him. Eventually Zeus sends Hermes, the messenger of the Gods, to tell Calypso to release Odysseus, which Calypso reluctantly does. The story is taken from Homer's Odyssey.
  • Suzanne Vega said of this song: "Calypso makes an appearance on the first page [of Homer's Odyssey] and I guess she never really comes back, and no one ever checks up on her to see how she's doing. It's very one sided, I remember feeling that. So this song is called Calypso and it's written from her point of view the night before he left."

Comments: 3

  • Miguel from Guadalajara, MexicoI love both songs (original and Luz Casal) and totally agree with Montse about the similarities through several lines of the lyrics (I'd say they were actually copied from Vega's song). But I I verfied and there is no credit for Vega, just David Summers (lead singer for the HOMBRES G spanish group) and Luz Casal.
  • Montse from Verdú, SpainAnother great Spanish songwriter, Luz Casal, wrote a song in Spanish about the same topic . The title of the song is "Te dejé marchar" ( I let you go ). You can find it in the album "V" ( released in 1989 ). Her voice is kind of rusty, poignant, but thoroughly wonderful.
  • Fred from Laurel, MdThis song and "Gypsy" from the same album, are two absolute gems from an otherwise merely great songwriter/performer! BTW, I also dig the completely different, but marvelous song of the same title by the late John Denver, about Jacques Cousteau's vessel, named after the sea nymph personified here. These are three songs I never tire of hearing. Could it be I'm a sucker for any song with the trigraph "yps" in the title? Is there a song out there somewhere with "apocalypse" in its name...?

see more comments

Editor's Picks

Producer Ron NevisonSong Writing

Ron Nevison explains in very clear terms the Quadrophenia concept and how Heart staged their resurgence after being dropped by their record company.

Jethro TullFact or Fiction

Stage urinals, flute devices, and the real Aqualung in this Fact or Fiction.

Psychedelic LyricsMusic Quiz

Whoa man! Do you know which band came up with these cosmic lyrics?

Billy Joe ShaverSongwriter Interviews

The outlaw country icon talks about the spiritual element of his songwriting and his Bob Dylan mention.

Zakk WyldeSongwriter Interviews

When he was playing Ozzfest with Black Label Society, a kid told Zakk he was the best Ozzy guitarist - Zakk had to correct him.

Colin HaySongwriter Interviews

Established as a redoubtable singer-songwriter, the Men At Work frontman explains how religion, sobriety and Jack Nicholson play into his songwriting.