It has been a while since we have had a #SundaySong. Today’s is a sweet love song by the New Zealand band Tiny Ruins from their 2014 album, Brightly Painted One. I came across Me at the Museum, You in the Wintergardens completely by happenstance, a few years ago, when out of curiosity I was searching for songs that referenced museums.
Museums have consistently been an inspiration for literature (Catcher in the Rye), films (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off), and TV shows (the Mad Men episode where Sally Draper sneaks off to the American Museum of Natural History). Why not music too? I was not disappointed by this serendipitous find.
I’ve pasted the lyrics of Me at the Museum… below so that they can be more easily read. It is a tender song, presumably about young lovers having a well-mannered, or even furtive, love affair amidst the formal gardens and statues of a museum (could it be Aukland’s Domain Wintergardens and nearby War Memorial Museum?). Indeed, the accompanying music video above has a an odd-in-a-good-way 1970s nostalgia.
However, the song takes on a new meaning for me during COVID-19. In 2020, when much of our staff work had to hard from home to keep projects old and new going, indeed, “I await(ed) the day when I work at the Museum.”
I await the day when I work at the Museum,
With you across the way in the Wintergardens.
So young and so warm, we’ll storm, we’ll swarm
The parks on our lunchbreaks, we’ll lie on the lawn –
Smile so stealthily, buttery and brief,
We’ll lie through our teeth,
Shock all the cavalry statues watching on,
Us in our time bomb.
Nobody feels old at the Museum,
Nobody feels cold in the Wintergardens.We’ll roll on and roll on, cutting it fine with the clock-on.
We’ll persevere, carry on working there –
Me at the Museum, you in the Wintergardens.