John Hiatt: She Loves the Jerk (1983)

 |   |  1 min read

John Hiatt: She Loves the Jerk (1983)

Songs of spousal abuse or domestic violence are never going to be pretty or common, in fact on a countback the most outstanding one prior to this by Hiatt was probably the gloomy and dark He Hit Me (It Felt Like a Kiss) written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King in the early Sixties.

They'd heard from Little Eva (who'd had a chart hit with their The Locomotion in '62) that she was being beaten by her boyfriend. She said it was because he loved her.

Their Hit/Kiss song was sung by the Crystals and produced by Phil Spector (who it would later be revealed didn't actually hit his wife Ronnie, just kept her a prisoner). That rather chilly song never enjoyed much radio play because it was rather too ambiguous and many read it as an endorsement of abuse and violence.

You wouldn't make that mistake with this John Hiatt song -- although the character doesn't actually do anything other than say "You married the wrong guy".

Hiatt delivers this from the point of view of a friend/possible lover of "this precious pearl" who does nothing/can do nothing but offer sympathy while feeling a deep sense of powerlessness and sadness as "she lives with the lies and the bumps and the bruises".

The outro "never gonna change/she's never gonna see" doesn't offer much hope either.

It's the Little Eva problem, in a different voice.

But then there was always this. They were confusing times for girlfriends in the early Sixties.

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with a backstory use the RSS feed to get regular updates From the Vaults.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Pushtwangers: She's Blind (But I Don't Mind) (1986)

Pushtwangers: She's Blind (But I Don't Mind) (1986)

We make no apologies for going back down the path of Swedish punk and garageband rock from the Eighties because . . . Well, because we have the double CD entitled A Real Cool Time Revisited... > Read more

PJ Proby: Lonely Weekends (1965)

PJ Proby: Lonely Weekends (1965)

One of the most pressing problems facing big voiced balladeers of the mid and late Sixties -- PJ Proby, Tom Jones, Solomon King, Engelbert Humperdinck and John Rowles among them -- was a lack of... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE JAZZ QUESTIONNAIRE: Paul Dyne

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE JAZZ QUESTIONNAIRE: Paul Dyne

Bassist Paul Dyne has long been the anchorman in the Wellington jazz scene, both as a performer and educator. These days he is Associate Professor at the New Zealand School of Music, but his CV is... > Read more

THE LENNON LEGEND BOOK, REVIEWED (2003): More or less Lennon

THE LENNON LEGEND BOOK, REVIEWED (2003): More or less Lennon

Had John Lennon lived, he would have turned 63 last month. It's interesting to speculate what kind of music he might be making today. Interesting, but pointless: Lennon never saw the trickle-down... > Read more