Song Lyric Analysis -- "All I Wanna Do" by Heart

 

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"All I Wanna Do" -- as sung by Heart

This is an 80's classic, and you probably know the hook (though it is one of those tricky songs where the artist changes the chorus in places, just to mess with those of us singing along).  "All I wanna do is make love to you . . ."  Sounds romantic, doesn't it?  Ahem.  Let's look a little closer.

The problem starts in the very first verse.  She picks this guy up off the side of the road -- he's alone, it's raining, and he doesn't have an umbrella or a coat.  So random guy (RG for short) she takes pity on in the rain and offers him a ride.  Like that's not dangerous or anything.  But she makes it sound like a good samaritan thing -- RG was going to get soaked. Can't get through the day without a good rationalization.  At this point, we have to question both their judgements -- she could have been taking him somewhere to be mugged/killed/to steal his kidney.  And then all the "never pick up a hitchhiker" rules apply to her in this situation.  Obviously not dealing with the safety brigade here.

So she doesn't ask RG's name, but apparently decides this is love at first sight.  So they go to a hotel -- "a place (she) knew well."  Um, is this a habit of hers?  Picking up other RGs, taking them to roadside inns and sleeping with them?  Is she a slut or just in town on business a lot?  I know it was the 80's but COME ON!  And though it was a great night, it's a one-night stand.  No problem there, songs are full of that kind of thing.  She leaves RG a note and basically says (as far as he knows) we had a great time, don't come looking for me, thanks so much, I'll never forget you.  I do find it a little arrogant that she assumes that a guy she picked up for a one-night-stand would even bother wanting to find her, especially since she disappeared before morning.  I assume that he found the encounter rather casual, unless he's the obsessive type.

After an interlude about "we made love like strangers" (hello, you WERE strangers), our narrator tells us that she happened to meet up with RG unexpectedly one day and he happens to notice that the kid with her has his eyes.  Now this part of the story is really where it derails.  From this we can deduce that she not only had casual sex with RG, but it was unprotected sex (again the 80's, I know) which resulted in a child.  The listener's first instinct would be to say "way to go, genius" if the last verse's part "we walked in the garden, we planted a tree" moment didn't indicate that was the plan all along. RG's going "now I finally understand that cryptic note." In her next breath, our narrator tells RG (and her listeners) that she's in love with another man, "and what he couldn't give me was the one little thing that you can."  (I won't even go into the mixed tense problems there.) So she has been in love with this "other man" (OM for short) since before the RG romantic encounter, I have to assume.  Otherwise, how would she have known that she would need to look elsewhere for someone to father her child?  Now, we can only speculate how much OM knows -- obviously he's still around and she's had the kid, so they must have reached some sort of accord on that.  And RG finds out he has a random child and here she's screaming at him at the moment of their meeting after who-knows-how-long that she can't be with him because she's in love with someone else, but thanks for the night resulting in the baby I was after in the first place.  Is she assuming he wants to assert his fatherly rights?  Or that he wants to be with her after a one night stand that is now long in the past?  RG's reaction is one that she doesn't cover, but I'm guessing he's relieved that she's not looking for child support tinged with a feeling of having been used.  I mean, didn't she say that their one night was fueled by "love at first sight."  Did she tell that part of the story to OM?  Also, did she pick RG up that night because she knew she was ovulating?  How premeditated was this?

So to sum up, girl picks up guy in the rain, takes him to a hotel she frequents, uses him for stud since her lover can't father children.  Then she leaves guy in hotel in the morning with no explaination, and when he sees the kid, she actually tells him why she picked him up in the first place!  Yeah, the sex was great, but I really just wanted a baby.  Messed up.