Tunesday: Sophie B. Hawkins – “Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover”

It’s Tuesday so that means at ilisteniwatch.com, it’s Tunesday! Every Tuesday, we will share a song with you that we love and hope you will too. Today, Kat picks Sophie B. Hawkins.

My free time this weekend was spent constructing various CD mixes, which spurred a reflection on the art of CD mixes or the craft formerly referred to as the mixed tape. After interrogating my teenage sister, I was happy to hear that her peer group continues to make CD mixes. However, she claims these mixes are primarily created for personal use. According to her, they are more likely to create and share playlists via Spotify or YouTube. Of course, I’m still not thoroughly convinced that shared CD mixes are a vanishing art. Translation – I am gonna keep on keepin’ on with sweet tunage assembly and roll out! And you … are … WELCOME!

On the craft –

In establishing the playlist for these mixes I spend a good bit of time perfecting the mix (yes, this is an art to me) with a meticulous consideration of the following factors:

  1. Song – all must be top-notch (definition subjective, yes—but, as you’ve observed, I pick aces).
  2. Song Order – meaning there is a pleasurable auditory flow consistent from song to song.
  3. Audience – make an attempt to include artists, instruments, or genres particular to the target person.
  4. Lyric Content – tricky business since about 80 percent of my music catalog is comprised of songs thematically revolving around romantic love. In those cases, lyrics are believed irrelevant and made void by the fact that a perfectly good song should always be shared with a friend. From there, they have the freedom to apply their own meaning and connection.

The lyrical consideration carries me to my recommendation for today, which happens to be “Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover” by Sophie B. Hawkins.

Picture It – Athens, WV, September 2008, an iridescent romantic wonderland. I created a sweet, subtle CD mix for a potential lover titled, Return Hug, and I had every intention of getting the girl. Consequently, I went bold with the penultimate song being “Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover,” and then smoothed that brass with a nice finishing polish, Lobo’s “I’d Love You to Want Me,” which also served to reiterate my point in a kinder, gentler manner. And hey, I got the girl. Then again, I always do.

Until doing this piece, I didn’t realize the original video was banned by MTV. The network deemed the original video “too erotic” in nature, which forced the creation of an alternate, more accessible, mainstream version. I’m assuming at this point the “Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover” music video decision makers and company resolved to take the ambiguous black and white route, where Hawkins, opting for the ravaged look, abandons soled, laced shackles, dons an arbitrary, sleeveless top, half tucks it in her jeans, and allows her disheveled locks to wave wild and jungle free. Further, Hawkins provides a satisfying amount of fist pumping, chest thumping, and floor writhing. So there’s always that to look forward to. Also, if you watch carefully you will witness an adorable Sophie B. Hawkins armpit hand tuck, which probably inspired Mary Katherine Gallagher’s signature gesture. Was this version an intentional screw you to the music video channel? Perhaps. Whatever the case, in a word – DAMN!

Whether you choose to approach it lightheartedly, acknowledging that the lyrics walk a slim line between hokey and sexy, or revel in fantasy along with the overtly suggestive tone—I hope you take pleasure in listening to this song and consider it for your next mix. Oh—and if you really want to have fun, be spontaneous and ad lib to replace damn and shucks. Enjoy!

Sophie B. Hawkins “Damn I Wish I Were Your Lover”

Read more from Kat here and on Twitter.