Discover more from Matthew Moran: Music & Musings
The Story Behind The Lyrics: Damn Fool Heart of Mine
Real stories for real lyrics
A note to my readers: At the end of my last article, I posted my schedule for Substack. I want to make sure it’s known and so I am re-posting here:
Monday: Music, The Creative Life, & Tech.
Thursday: Observations about the human condition.
While I continue working on my acoustic recording of Damn Fool Heart, I thought I’d share the backstory to the song. I’ve included the lyrics below and a progress update.
The song was written in 2012. I had moved out to the desert to be closer to Sara, my youngest. She then came to live with me full time.
That did not mean I would not have “lady friends” - a term my mom always used. I was always clear that I was NOT a boyfriend. I was NOT going to respond quickly to every text message. My focus was my daughter, my work, and writing music.
“…I think you should let your heart lead.”
Consenting adults can choose how to share their time. I dislike dishonest menwhen it comes to the candor with which they approach intimacy. They will often “play” at wanting a relationship in order to have sex. We call that being a piece of shit… don’t do it.
Being honest about my relationship limitations typically meant extended periods of celibacy. I was good with that. I felt very free, creative, and clear about what I wanted and needed in life.
At that time, Facebook was blowing up, leading to dozens or hundreds of reconnects with friends from the past. It was sort of a “friending frenzy”. Even people you rarely or never interacted with in high school would connect. I’m glad about this as it brought Deb back into my life. I’m also glad this trend has abated. For some, there is a reason we were not friends in high school.
I had connected with a woman I went to school with. We knew of each other in high school but didn’t know each other. I suspect there may have been a hello and goodbye during our high school years but not much else that I recall.
She moved into town after leaving a bad relationship. We talked on the phone a couple times and then she came over for a glass of wine.
We sat talking in my living room - catching up on the 28 years (or so) that had transpired since graduation. She knew I played guitar - my band was performing fairly regularly at the time - and asked me to play some music.
Will this song get me laid?
Whenever I write a new song, particularly a love song, I ask Deb, “Do you think it will get me laid?”
As John Mellencamp said in his song, Play Guitar:
“You know you can't touch this stuff
Without money or a brand new car
Let me give you some good advice young man
You better learn to play guitar”
Play Guitar - John Mellencamp
“Unlikely,” is Deb’s typical response. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
However, as I was playing music for my friend she became a little “googly-eyed”. This is an odd occurrence that can happen with musicians. Very rare for me. It has always freaked me out a bit as the “googly-eyed” person has no idea who I am. It is a bad basis for romantic interest. Just sayin’
A little later, we were talking about our past relationships. I explained how I was NOT boyfriend or committed relationship material. I went through some of my “rules of engagement” - they’re not particularly romantic.
First: I’m focused on my daughter and won’t officially date until she’s 18.
Second: I’m focused on my work and music. Music is my mistress.
Third: I won’t respond to text messages for weeks at a time.
Fourth: I won’t introduce anyone to family except as a friend, even if we’ve been intimate.
Fifth: If I detect emotions on the other person’s part that appear to have undue stickiness/connectedness, I will end the intimacy immediately. I am fine being platonic friends - even after we’ve been intimate.
Sixth: I have no claim to another person (exclusivity) and they have no claim to me.
Caveat: If you are being intimate with someone and are going to be intimate with someone else, all parties need to know so that they can make a decision regarding physical well-being (potential for STD’s). This seems basic.
She responded, “That seems so unromantic and limiting. I think you should let your heart lead.”
To me, that is such a cute response… But, not realistic. I am not a big believer in “letting your heart lead.” Mind, yes, heart, not so much.
“I’ve gone through two divorces in two years. My heart’s a damned fool! I’m NOT listening to a thing IT has to say.”
After she went home, I wrote the phrase, “Damned Fool Heart of Mine” in my songwriting journal and went to bed.
The next morning, I wrote the music & lyrics in their entirety. The song is me speaking to my heart - my damned fool heart.
I hope you enjoy!
Damn Fool Heart of Mine © 2012 - Matthew Moran Arrogant Sage Music VERSE 1: You've got some nerve comin' round here I thought I'd made myself perfectly clear You and I need time on the mend Can’t call it as lovers, can't call it as friends (chorus) CHORUS We're always playing our part I follow and you lead me astray Damn Fool Heart of Mine VERSE 2: 3am, you woke me up Play pictures from our past over my coffee cup You know your game and you know the score But I know the price and I can't pay anymore (chorus) (musical bridge) VERSE 3: Well, I know I'll regret it but we're here once again Soft candlelight, the touch of her skin You run ahead to that moment's delight And to tell you truth, I won't put up a fight (chorus)
The guitars are basically done. I had a great session recording vocals yesterday - including some layered harmonies. I need a low harmony to fill it out, but here is a super short snippet of the chorus with some harmonies.
I’m looking to finish things this week.
Take care and thank you again for joining me on this journey.
August 21, 2023
My focus on dishonest men is mostly due to me being a man. I dislike dishonest women when it comes to relationships as well. But, we’re discussing my rules and guidelines, so that is where I choose to focus.