Visions of Songs – “Don’t Stop Believin'”

Music is the soundtrack of our lives. There are movies you watch, things that you do, places you go, experiences you have, etc. that change the way you hear certain songs. Sometimes hearing a song brings you back to an experience. This feature is my way of describing how an experience has altered the way I hear certain songs.

This song is one of the most iconic songs to come out of the 1980s. Written by Journey, this song has been all over the place, from commercials, to karaoke bars, to terrible Glee covers. But if you’re a fan of the blog, you know where this is going.

The final scene of HBO’s epic series, The Sopranos.

I, in no way, can recreate the drama leading up to the final scene. After eight years of following the characters, and most specifically, Tony Soprano, through their lives – and even deaths, this scene was what we were given to bring closure to the everything we watched.

I don’t really want to turn this into a debate over what happens when the scene goes to black and the music cuts, but any fan of the series knows that the ending was left to interpretation. Anybody who wanted a clear cut event to end the show clearly didn’t respect the eight years of viewing they dedicated to the show.

But that is neither here nor there…

“Don’t Stop Believin'”

Because The Sopranos is fiction and is something from someone’s mind, the creator, David Chase, could have picked any song in the world to end the show. He picked “Don’t Stop Believin'” and that’s because of how powerful it is.

Whenever it comes on the radio, my mind always escapes to that final scene. I am just there sitting in Holstens just a few tables down from Tony, Carmela, and AJ. I’m eavesdropping in on their conversation and watching them. I laugh when Tony describes their onion rings as “best in the state, far as I’m concerned,” and I sit there trying to imitate his voice.

I listen to AJ try to talk his father into focusing on the good times, and get scared when the two thugs walk in just as the guitar solo starts. I watch the family eat their onion rings, each popping the ring whole into their mouth in a manner very similar to receiving Communion in a Catholic Church.

The hook comes back: “Don’t stop believin’, hold on to that feeling,” the bell hanging from the door rings, and everything cuts to black because I am dead.


4 thoughts on “Visions of Songs – “Don’t Stop Believin'”

  • Valerae

    Oh man, I had to really tiptoe over this post. I watched the first season of the Sopranos when it aired but then dropped my cable so never saw it again (despite loving it). Last year I bought the entire box set when it was on sale at Amazon. I’m showing my husband Terminator: SCC right now on blu-ray and as soon as we’re finished with that, we’re moving onto the Sopranos. I can’t wait. Unfortunately, it was impossible to avoid learning what happened at the end despite my attempts to steer clear of spoilers.

  • Valerae

    Haha – yes, I know! I take full responsibility for avoiding spoilers. Sadly, I learned about the Soprano’s ending the very next morning.

    Here’s the thing – I LOVE a serialized tv show. Outside of the soaps my mom watched, my first big exposure to that was Babylon 5 (still stands as my favorite show). What I don’t like is having to wait week to week (and season breaks and cliffhangers are the worst) to follow a show. I’m impatient and smoking too much pot in my 20’s has destroyed my memory (although it’s probably the reason I fell in love with serialized tv in the first place!) – so I will forget little things unless I can watch a show in its entirety.

    I waited for a long time to start Breaking Bad and watched the first four seasons in one stretch…but I couldn’t wait any longer because everyone around me was talking about it nonstop!


    we should go get onion rings sometime.

    Journey is a guilty pleasure


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