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Singer misses connections, makes music • Brooklyn Paper

Singer misses connections, makes music

Love rides the L train: Tara O’Grady sings about Craigslist “missed connections” on Brooklyn subway rails.
Photo by Bess Adler

A love-obsessed singer-songwriter lifts her lyrics straight from the “Missed Connections” section of Craigslist, using the stories of lovelorn Brooklyn subway riders as fodder for her strange-but-romantic ditties.

Tara O’Grady — a swing and pop performer whose Irish immigrant parents landed in Park Slope half a century ago — said she’s inspired by straphanger love connections because they’re fleeting: you better act fast before those train doors open and your soulmate walks off forever.

“There are so many people looking for love but not taking advantage of the moment,” she said. “Instead, they turn to computers later.”

One of her songs — aptly titled “Love on the Underground” — tells the real-life story of two potential lovebirds, each without the guts to make a move.

“You got on the C train somewhere in Brooklyn / Around 8:35,” she sings. “I was wearing a striped dress, navy blue sweater / We kept exchanging looks.”

Despite their attraction, the would-be lovers lose out to shyness.

“I brushed your arm — yes, intentionally,” sings O’Grady, recounting the story of two straphangers who should have made plans for drinks, but never did.

The upbeat but vaguely melancholy tune also tells the Craigslist-inspired tales of “the tired guy in the orange button-down,” “the ghostly pale girl” and “the beautiful Latina — in flip-flops!”

O’Grady will perform at a Greenwood Cemetery fundraiser next month, where swing-dancing duos can make a connection instead of missing one.

“I’m a single gal,” O’Grady said. “So I like it when other people believe they can find ‘the one.’”

Tara O’Grady and The Black Velvet Band at Green-Wood Cemetery [Fifth Avenue and 25th Street in Greenwood Heights, (718) 768-7300], March 10, 7 pm. Tickets, $50.

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at noneill@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.

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