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“Heart and Soul”

Posted by purplemary54 on January 12, 2014

San Francisco just won their playoff game against Carolina; now it’s on to Seattle to give the Seahawks a much deserved ass-kicking.  The Golden Globe Awards are tonight, so I’m looking forward to watching with my Aunt (just have to print out ballots so we can play along). The day is cloudy, which I kind of like.  And I forced myself to get out of the house on Friday, which got inertia moving in my favor again.  The post-holiday slump I’ve been in seems to be dissipating.

So I’ve decided to post some (mostly) inoffensive Pop music.  (I guess it’s only inoffensive if you don’t take offense at mildly rocking, middle of the road, Top Forty-style music.)  This song is actually a cover of an old Exile song.  It failed to break into the Top 100 for them, but Huey Lewis and the News rode it to number 8 on the singles charts in 1983.  It’s nothing but fluff, but there’s just enough electric guitar to give it an edge.

Actually, the lyrics are a little darker than most bubbly Pop songs.  It’s essentially about sex.  Specifically, guy picks up girl in a club/disco, and they go to his place for some naked fun times.  Guy thinks girl is really into him, “see how she looks, see how she cares” but she’s really just into him for as long as it takes her to get off.  “Nine o’clock this morning, she left without a warning.  I let her take advantage of me.  You see, she got what she wanted.”  He doesn’t really seem all that broken up about it; that’s just the nature of a one night stand.

If you’re looking for a sweet romance, then this is not your tune.  It’s got a romantic element, but I get the feeling she doesn’t return his calls later on.  Maybe the matter-of-fact attitude is what makes the song work.  (Songs about one-night stands seem to be something of a sub-genre in Pop-Rock during the early 80s.  Bryan Adams’ “One Night Love Affair” and Billy Joel’s “Sleeping with the Television On” also come to mind.)  There’s no pretense or pretending.  Just wham, bam, thank you ma’am.  “Heart and Soul” seems less angsty than other songs of this ilk.  The main issue here seems to be male anxiety over female empowerment.  Of course, mainstream Pop-Rock hadn’t quite caught up with the reality of AIDS at this point, but it wouldn’t be too far into the future before casual sex like this became more dangerous than anyone imagined.  And although the specter of AIDS was mostly haunting the gay community, as a San Francisco/NorCal band, Huey Lewis and the News had to be aware of the growing health crisis.  (Whether it had any conscious affect on their music is unlikely, but it should be acknowledged.)

Huh.  Maybe there’s a lot more subtext to this song than previously realized.


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