10,000 Maniacs' fifth studio album, Our Time in Eden, was released in 1992. Music can be a time-traveling vessel of connection and consummation. As another Gregorian New Year begins, and in recognition of the 30th anniversary of the final Maniacs album with Merchant on vocals, I want to share this enthusiastically performed version of "These Are Days," the first single from Our Time in Eden, reached #1 on the Billboard Charts in November 1992.
This version is a live performance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno from November 5, 1992. Notice minute 2:46 when Merchant is vibing with drummer Jerry Augustyniak and smashes the cymbal in synchronicity before returning to "dance like a whirling dervish," as Michael Stipe famously said in an interview explaining their first meeting.
"These are the days you might fill with laughter until you break
These days you might feel a shaft of light
Make its way across your face
And when you do you'll know how it was meant to be
See the signs and know their meaning
You'll know how it was meant to be
Hear the signs and know they're speaking to you, to you."
What signs have you seen this past year? What are they speaking to you? What are you saying back?