Posts Tagged ‘hellbent for a heartache’

Kevin Fowler — Hellbent for a Heartache

September 14, 2009

Hey, sorry for not writing anything in a while, I finally got a job and for a while I was really busy. I’m really glad to be able to write again, I missed it. So, as a way to make it up to you, I’m going to apologize AND do an analysis unlike certain bloggers referred to in a certain XKCD comic.  So, without further adieu, it’s time to analyze another song by Kevin Fowler.

This song is entitled Hellbent for a Heartache and lightens the mood in coming after the song Penny for Your Thoughts.  It is upbeat and silly.  It features an irregular rhyme scheme and contains a hefty amount of his Texan accent.  In this narrative he talks about himself as a lovesick fool who just doesn’t know the right girls to go after and doesn’t know when to quit chasing them.  He also makes himself out as one who doesn’t want sympathy, because that’s just the way he is.

Well if you looked up “fool” in a Webster Dic book
You’d find a picture of me
You’d say, “Now, this ole boy
Ain’t too smart wearing his heart on his sleeve.”
I’m a sucker for love, oh I’m a true romantic
I’ve been the fool before
But every girl that’s ever known me, has gone and left me lonely
And I kept comin’ back for more

Kevin starts his song out with a play on the old “if you look up gullible in the dictionary you’ll find a picture of so-and-so.” cliche and tells you what you’d think about him.  I kinda find this approach funny, because the song is written as if he’s talking directly to you about a relatively personal subject which implies familiarity, and yet he’s dictating your opinion of him based on a hypothetical seeing him illustrating the word ‘fool.’  I just find it somewhat inconsistent, because if you knew him already he shouldn’t have to point out the fact that he’s a fool, because you’d know it already.   This is something that you, as an friend or acquaintance, might say to someone else when talking about him, but not something you’d say about yourself to someone you know personally.   He kind of mixes perspective here and although he’s going for the silly trash-talk approach, it just strikes me as odd how he does it.  He finishes off the verse by confirming that he is a fool and eliminating any room for sympathy by saying that “..I keep coming back for more.”


Cuz I’m hellbent for a heartache
I keep fallin’ over and over again
It’s a lesson in love I can’t get the hang of
It’s the game of chance I ain’t ever gonna win
I’m hellbent for a heartache
I keep fallin’ over and over again
Well my heart’s at stake
But that’s the chance I’ll take
Cuz I’m hellbent for a heartache

In the chorus he describes his foolish state as incurable, because he is ‘hellbent’ and nothing can change him from the way he is.  He admits that he keeps ‘falling’ both in love and in relationships continuously and although he knows that he’s not learning a lesson he needs to from each of his failed attempts and that his heart is the token in this ongoing ‘game’, he’s willing to take the chance that he’ll ‘lose’ and keep on being foolish.  With the line ‘but that’s a chance I’ll take’ it seems to me that although he knows he’s a fool, he’s somewhat proud of that fact, this also is seen in his describing himself as ‘hellbent.’

Now all my life I’ve been mistreated
A little good lovin’ is all I ever needed
To keep me alive, keep me hangin’ on
Oh for once it’d sure feel nice
Not to be singing the blues
I never learn, I just keep on believing
Til one day these dreams’ll come true

(Chorus 2x)

In this last verse he laments about his past love life, says that he’s always been mistreated by those he’s pursued and hyperbolizes his need for it by saying that it’s something that’ll ‘keep me alive, keep me hangin’ on.’  While love is a need, if it’s these girls’ love he needs then he’s foolishly disregarding the love of his friends and family, which if you haven’t forgotten, he does and you’re apparently one of them since he’s telling you about this.  Despite all of his failures he has hope that his dreams of finding a woman that will love him will come true.  Once again he’s inconsistent, because he’s already admitted that he’s ‘hellbent’ and doomed to fail, but I guess a guy can hope, cant he?

Unless I’m wrong about the beginning inconsistency (which I very well might be), this song is somewhat badly written.  While intended to be humorous (well, it seems to be anyway), it is inconsistently written compared to his other songs.  In Speak of the Devil he succeeded in shifting the frame and focus within the verse and making a progression with it, and he does the same in other songs in the album which I will write about, but this one just seems to have a failed attempt.  It doesn’t ruin the song, though, I still like it, because it’s fun to listen to and sing along with, but I have to say it isn’t one of his better songs.  What do you think of it?  The next song I’ll be writing about is I Found Out the Hard Way and I plan on getting it up soon.