1001 Songs Challenge,  1980s,  Music

1001 Songs Challenge #692: Waiting Room (1988)

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!


Fugazi – Waiting Room (1988)

Waiting Room (song)

” Waiting Room” is a song by the American post-hardcore band Fugazi. The song was first released as the opening track to their debut EP, and was later compiled on their widely acclaimed and commercially successful compilation .

Lyrics (via Genius)


We’re continuing in the US today, dear reader, but making our way from Boston to Washington D.C. Formed in 1986 Fugazi are another group that eschewed the mainstream and music industry and prefered to experiment and do their own thing instead. We join them in 1988 with the release of 7 Songs an early EP from the band and from there 1001 Songs have gone with the track – Waiting Room.

Waiting Room is said to link back to a band named Embrace that lasted a year and were fronted by Ian MacKaye before he formed Fugazi. The song concerns the uncertainty of timing your moment perfectly in life to seize an opportunity. Collectively, we all find ourselves in a waiting room when it comes to making choices. The suggestion here is that MacKaye missed his chance with Embrace but now with Fugazi he has learned his lesson and is determined not to get things wrong this time round. It’s a stark reminder that opportunities do pass us by quickly if we don’t seize them.

I like the premise to Waiting Room which offers a universal message despite linking closely to Ian MacKaye’s own experiences. It would prove to be one of the group’s best known songs. The band continued until 2003 when they announced that they would be taking an indefinite hiatus to spend time with family and pursue other projects. At present, Fugazi are yet to reform but loyal fans have not lost their faith and hope of a return.


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)

The Smiths – How Soon Is Now? (1984)

U2 – With or Without You (1987)

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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