28 DAYS OF LOVE SONGS
Talk about a dude on the prowl – this whole song is just saturated with horniness. The singer of this song hasn’t got any particular woman in mind, although -- as he mentions in verse two -- he needs a fifty-foot woman to wrap his love around; that’s how big his “love” is. I’m laughing, but oh, I’m feeling the love, too.
This was the Super Group that never really made it—John Hiatt and Ry Cooder on guitar, Nick Lowe playing bass, and Jim Keltner on the drums, with everyone trading off on vocals and sharing songwriting duties. (You who know my proclivities can see already where this is going.) They should have been
Take that deliciously retarded tempo, the whomping drums and thrusting bass line, and Cooder’s plangent Dobro whining like power lines vibrating in the wind—well, it’s a pretty sexy track indeed. It’s all about superlatives – “I need love as big as an ocean / I need love that can't be crossed / A love in perpetual motion / I need a love that won't get lost” – he’s just bursting with it, isn’t he?
The line that really gets me is this: “I need a love gonna lift me up to that drinking fountain / Just like my Daddy did in my younger days.” There’s something surprisingly tender there, which somehow I ascribe to John Hiatt. (Me and Hiatt and Hiatt’s daddy – oh, we go way back.) Suddenly this guy is interesting.
“Now is this love / Gonna get up off the ground / Is this love gonna get up off the ground,” Hiatt wails and moans. Really, ladies, we ought to help this poor schmuck with his burden of desire. After all, he’s, well, big, and girls, isn’t that what we want?
And dig how he humanizes himself in the third verse: “I never did just a little drinking / I could drink the Milky Way.” This line plunges deep for me -- knowing as I do that both Hiatt and Lowe are reformed alcoholics who bonded in the making of Hiatt’s Bring the Family (dig the cover image of John drinking coffee, the AA beverage of choice). “Think small and your heart starts shrinking,” Hiatt bravely declaims, and with one fell swoop, I am seduced. Who cares how “big” this guy is; his heart is big, and for a woman, that’s what really matters.