Tom's Diner

1987 Released

Did You Know?

Interesting facts and trivia about Tom's Diner. By Songfacts®.

This is an a cappella song that became a hit in 1990 when the British production duo DNA added a beat and released the remix as a bootleg. The contrast between Vega's subtle vocal and the driving dance rhythm meshed unexpectedly well. Of course, DNA didn't ask Vega's permission, and when Suzanne first heart it, she said she wasn't sure whether she should sue them or congratulate them. She decided against litigation and her record company, A&M, proving that sometimes there's more to be gained without filing a lawsuit, officially released the remix along with other bootleg recordings that had emerged, including one with a German disco flavor and another with a reggae beat.

Suzanne Vega wrote this song while eating breakfast at Tom's Restaurant on the corner of Broadway and 112th Street in New York City. Tom's has another famous place in pop culture as well: it was Jerry Seinfeld's hangout in his hit sitcom Seinfeld. On the show, where it was called "Monk's Cafe," the "Tom's" was cropped out so the exterior sign just said "Restaurant," and the interior shots were done with TV magic on a sound stage.

The song has been sampled many times by other artists, including Tupac for his track "Dopefiend's Diner," Aaliyah on her single "Hot Like Fire", Drake on a cut titled "Juice" and David Guetta on his tune "Let It Be Me."

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Song Analysis

Key, BPM (tempo) and time signature of Tom's Diner.
F♯ Key
Major Mode
4/4 Time Signature
166 BPM

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