In 1986, Bon Jovi released their signature anthem, “Livin’ on a Prayer.” It’s the story of Tommy and Gina, a couple struggling financially who don’t seem to have much of a future.
Tommy’s lost his union job and pawned his guitar. Gina’s working in a diner and trying to make ends meet with her salary. Things aren’t looking good. Gina sees their dreams of a better life getting more distant and unattainable by the day.
When she cries at night, Tommy whispers, “Baby, it’s okay. Someday.”
I have a chapter in my new book, “Someday Is Today: 22 Simple Actionable Ways to Propel Your Creative Life” about the awfulness of the word “someday.”
Someday is a trap. It’s a word people use to assure themselves that there is still time. It’s an excuse for inaction and procrastination. In most cases, someday remains a distant point on the horizon, never chased and never realized.
People who believe in someday rarely find it.
Fourteen years later, in the summer of 2000, Bon Jovi released “It’s My Life,” an anthem that speaks about everything I believe, including many of the things I write about in “Someday Is Today.”
Three lines from the chorus say it all:
It’s my life
And it’s now or never
I ain’t gonna live forever
There are no somedays in this song. Unlike “Livin’ on a Prayer,” this is a song about taking action and chasing your dreams. In fact, it could very well be the soundtrack to “Someday is Today.”
But here’s the thing about the song that I find most interesting:
Tommy and Gina make an appearance in this song, too.
Two lines in the second verse:
Yeah, this is for the ones who stood their ground
For Tommy and Gina, who never backed down
Two things about these lines:
- I was genuinely pleased to hear that Tommy didn’t allow “Someday” to become a trap for him as it has for so many. The lyrics aren’t specific about what happened to the couple, but it at least sounds hopeful.
- Has there ever been a band or musician who sings about the same characters in separate songs on separate albums? There are album’s like Queensryche’s “Operation Mindcrime” and The Who’s “Tommy” that tell a story with the same characters throughout a single album, but has any musician included the same characters across different albums?
I’ve been racking my brain to come up with another example of this.
In addition, Jon Bon Jovi has also said that their 1988 song “Born To Be My Baby” is also about Tommy and Gina, though their names aren’t referenced in that song specifically.
Is there another example of characters like this stretching across multiple albums, creating a universe of sorts for the musician or band?
I’ve got nothing.