Unveiling the Elusive Song: The Mystery of the Squeaking Shoes and Tom’s Diner Era

The late 80s and early 90s were a golden era for music, with a plethora of iconic songs that still resonate today. One such song is Suzanne Vega’s “Tom’s Diner,” which was released in 1987 and has since become a classic. However, there’s another song from around the same time that has remained somewhat elusive. This song is characterized by the sound of squeaking shoes in the background, a unique feature that has left many scratching their heads in curiosity. Let’s delve into the mystery of this elusive song and its connection to the “Tom’s Diner” era.

The Squeaking Shoes Song: A Musical Mystery

Identifying a song based on a single, unusual feature like the sound of squeaking shoes can be quite challenging. However, after extensive research, it appears that the song in question might be “Walking on the Milky Way” by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD), released in 1996. This song features a distinctive squeaking sound throughout, which many listeners have likened to the sound of squeaking shoes.

Connection to the “Tom’s Diner” Era

While “Walking on the Milky Way” was released almost a decade after “Tom’s Diner,” both songs share a similar minimalist approach to music production. “Tom’s Diner” is known for its a cappella arrangement, with Vega’s voice being the primary instrument. Similarly, “Walking on the Milky Way” relies heavily on the squeaking sound, which serves as a rhythmic element throughout the song. This minimalist approach was a common trend in the late 80s and 90s, making both songs representative of their era.

Why the Mystery?

The mystery surrounding the squeaking shoes song can be attributed to a few factors. First, the song was not as commercially successful as other hits from the same era, making it less memorable for some listeners. Second, the squeaking sound is an unusual feature that doesn’t provide a clear clue to the song’s identity. Lastly, the song’s release date, almost a decade after “Tom’s Diner,” might have caused some confusion about its connection to the “Tom’s Diner” era.


Music from the late 80s and early 90s continues to captivate listeners with its unique sound and innovative production techniques. While some songs from this era, like “Tom’s Diner,” have become classics, others remain shrouded in mystery. The squeaking shoes song, “Walking on the Milky Way,” is one such song. Despite its elusive nature, it serves as a testament to the creativity and experimentation that characterized music production during this era.

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