1001 Songs Challenge,  1980s,  Music

1001 Songs Challenge #668: Under the Milky Way (1987)

On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.

My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.

I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.

So long as I post every day (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be… legendary!


The Church – Under the Milky Way (1987)

Under the Milky Way

” Under the Milky Way” is a single by Australian alternative rock band The Church, released on 15 February 1988 and appears on their fifth studio album . The song was written by bass guitarist and lead vocalist Steve Kilbey and his then-girlfriend Karin Jansson of Curious (Yellow). It peaked at No.


Lyrics (via Genius)


We’re leaving the Congo behind and taking the long flight Down Under to Sydney in Australia. The Church formed in 1980 and have been an enduring and popular rock band in their homeland and continue to be today. When we join them in 1987 international success has been hard to come by though that is about to change. The group’s fifth album, Starfish, has been released and from there 1001 Songs have gone with the track – Under the Milky Way



Under the Milky Way boasts images of the stars and a time of uncertainty as the narrator seems to be in love and searching for someone. They take comfort under the milky way which staves off the feeling of loneliness that is mostly prevalent in the air. The chorus speaks of another and speculating about what they are searching for. Someone else has been drawn to this paradise beneath the milky way. Perhaps we are witnessing the coming together of two lovers but the song holds off on granting us that denouement. We are left beneath those stunning night skies overhead and left to wonder.

I was not familiar with The Church but the title – Under the Milky Way – did sound familiar. When I listened to the track the music took hold and I recalled that this featured in one of my favourite films – Richard Kelly’s 2001 cult classic, Donnie Darko. The lyrics are beautiful and evocative, the music is often sumptuous and carries you along in a daze. The track would hit the US Top 30 and make The Church noticed at last on the international stage. It did not last though and the group largely retired to their safe haven of Australia where they remain loved to this day.


Favourite songs so far:

The Animals – House of the Rising Sun (1964)

Simon & Garfunkel – The Sounds of Silence (1965)

The Doors – The End (1967)

The Beatles – A Day in the Life (1967)

Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here (1975)

Meat Loaf – Bat Out of Hell (1977)

Queen – Don’t Stop Me Now (1978)

Ultravox – Vienna (1980)

Don Henley – The Boys of Summer (1984)

The Smiths – How Soon Is Now? (1984)

My name is Dave and I live in Yorkshire in the north of England and have been here all my life. I hope you enjoy your visit to All is Ephemeral.

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