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Once in a Lifetime

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Once in a Lifetime "is a song by Talking Heads , was released as a single in early 1981 and that can be found on the album Remain in Light.

Musical is the number one typical composition of the album Remain in Light with a funky bass and drum line, African polyphonic rhythms and the use of samples or loops.A large part of the song is more spoken than sung by David Byrne in the style of radio and television pastors, to strengthen repeated calls to reflection ("and you may find yourself ...", "and you may aks yourself ...", "you may tell yourself ...") that culminate in a call to God in an exclamation of despair ("And you may say to yourself: MY GOD! ... WHAT HAVE I DONE? ").

The text deals with the semi-conscious way people go through life and let itself by coincidences lead to where we are. The here and now is described as a grind ("letting the days go by") and the conclusion is that nothing changes (eight times "same as it ever was"). The text is a typical description of the midlife crisis, but also fits very well in the ' No Future '-mood of late seventies/early eighties of the twentieth century.

The video clip with the number shows David Byrne who dances as if he is a puppet . He makes all kinds of abrupt movements of the head and arms, going to fail on the knees and drops over and makes other moves that suggest he is controlled with strings. Also returns suggested that people don't consciously choose in their lives and themselves but get carried away. Gradually he becomes strong sweaty and knew his face with a handkerchief.


[hide]*1 chart performance

Chart Positions[Edit]Edit

Dutch Top 40[Edit]Edit

Chart positions: 14-02-1981 to 14-03-1981
Week: 1 2 3 4 5
Position: 35 33 29 28 35 from

Dutch Single Top 100[Edit]Edit

Chart positions: 14-02-1981-21-03-1981
Week: 1 2 3 4 5 6
Position: 33 30 24 43 38 42 from

Radio 2 Top 2000[Edit]Edit

Number (s) with markings

in the Radio 2 Top 2000

' 99 ' 00 ' 01 ' 02 ' 03 ' 04 ' 05 ' 06 ' 07 ' 08 ' 09 ' 10 ' 11 ' 12 ' 13
Once in a lifetime - 758 671 662 570 689 949 790 1139 799 898 1197 812 887 785

Once in a lifetime (Live)
Single from:

Talking Heads

B-side (s) This must be the place (Naive melody) (Live)
Released 1985
Type of carrier Vinyl single
Genre New Wave
Tag Sire Records
Writer (s) David ByrneBrian EnoChris Frantz,Jerry Harrison & Tina Weymouth
Producer (s) David Byrne, Brian Eno
Position (s) in the charts
  1. 22 (Dutch Single Top 100)
  2. 29 (Dutch Top 40)
Talking Heads

Slippery people


Once in a lifetime (Live)


The lady don't mind

Portal  [1]   Music

Live version[Edit]Edit

In 1985, a Live version of the song released.

Chart Positions[Edit]Edit

Dutch Top 40[Edit]Edit

Chart positions: 18/05/1985 to 08-06-1985
Week: 1 2 3 4
Position: 33 30 29 35 from

Dutch Single Top 100[Edit]Edit

Chart positions: 11-05-1985-22-06-1985
Week: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Position: 35 32 22 30 39 41 50 from

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