Imagine this. An eleven year old girl being bombarded with Take That, New Kids on the Block and other pop music on the radio, MTV and VH1. Some songs were good like All that she wants by Ace of Base , some became classics that surpassed time and space like Prince’s Sexy MF and P.M Dawn’s I’d die without you, and some were just downright bad but got stuck in your head whether you fought against it (and the more you fight against it, the more it cements itself in your head) like Billy Ray Cyrus’s Achy Breaky Heart.
And then one day, she comes across a black and white video starting with no sound and a train coming at her. It was the beginning of a silent film that introduced her to the type of music and singer she’d would want to become if she ever allowed herself that dream. At the 10th second of the video, the first beat is heard and within seconds a low and beautiful voice emerges through the TV speakers and takes over this 11 year old.
Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover by Sophie B. Hawkins sinks its beats into and through the kid’s skin.
Sophie B. Hawkins mesmerizes her:
That old dog has chained you up alright
Give you everything you need
To live inside a twisted cage
Sleep beside an empty rage
I had a dream I was your hero
And then she hears that beat drop right before the chorus begins:
Damn I wish I was your lover
I’ll rock you till the daylight comes
Make sure you are smiling and warm
I am everything
Tonight I’ll be your mother I will
Do such things to ease your pain
Free your mind and you won’t feel ashamed
And to this day, that magic takes over that child who is a full grown woman.
I don’t know why this song still has a hold me but it does. Perhaps most of my love life has been made up of experiences where I meet these wonderful men a little too late and I would have loved to have the chance to be their lover. Perhaps it’s simply the music and lyrics. Sophie’s voice, her movement, the way she sings and lets every emotion take over making us forget to concentrate on technique because when emotions are that raw who cares about technique.
I don’t know how this song has been forgotten or even that it didn’t garner as much critical acclaim as it should have. I sometimes think that that may have not been a bad thing because it adds to its value as a hidden gem. Even if it did do well when it came out, mention this song to a lot of people now and they have either forgotten it or simply do not remember it.
And that way it remains one of my all time favorite hidden gems .