This is now the second time I’ve done a Kelly Clarkson song on my series on music and faith (see piece on her song Irvine here). The reason? One, I am one of those people who in 2002 actively voted for her on American Idol. Two, she’s still a pop music star. And three, I still like her music. Yes, even the underappreciated and poorly reviewed 2007 album “My December.” Frankly, I love the album. But, I digress.
This week, we’re going to take a look at Kelly Clarkson’s newest single “Heartbeat Song.” It made news among pro-lifers because the beat to the song is based on the heartbeat of her baby girl River when she was in the womb. The lyrics can be reviewed here.
Clarkson begins by singing, “This is my heartbeat song and I’m gonna play it / Been so long I forgot how to turn it up up up up all night long / Oh up up all night long.” Okay…that doesn’t really tell me anything. No Biblical truths, no Biblical falsehoods – mostly just saying what the song is. All right then, next line.
Clarkson continues singing, “You, where the hell did you come from? / You’re a different, different kind of fun / And I’m so used to feeling numb / Now, I got pins and needles on my tongue / Anticipating what’s to come / Like a finger on a loaded gun.” Something’s about to happen, Clarkson has met someone different. Someone who makes her feel different, filled with anticipation. A true love. Now, who is this love she’s speaking of? Considering she’s a) married and b) used her & her husband’s daughter’s heartbeat as the beat of this song, my money’s on her husband. Since this is about a marriage relationship, a romantic marriage relationship – we’ll interpret and review it from that perspective.
Excitement and anticipation of the relationship. Where have I heard that before? Oh, right, Song of Solomon. As in the very beginning of the book. In chapter 1, it reads:
W: Oh, that he would kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is more delightful than wine. The fragrance of your perfume is intoxicating; your name is perfume poured out. No wonder young women adore you. Take me with you—let us hurry. Oh, that the king would bring me to his chambers.
Y: We will rejoice and be glad for you; we will praise your love more than wine.
W: It is only right that they adore you.
Song of Solomon 1:2-4
Oh, my. The W and Y are generally understood to be the woman (wife) and young women in the city where this tale is taking place. The wife is speaking of how much she wants to be kissed, how intoxicating her husband is, how she adores him, how she knows other women want him, and that she wants him to take her to bed with her. Why yes, that is in the Bible. Why yes, the Bible does promote a sexual and intimate relationship between husband and wife and has since the beginning (Genesis 1:28, Genesis 2:24). And even in the New Testament, having that spark, that sexual chemistry in a marriage relationship is not only expected, but encouraged (1 Corinthians 7:3-5). If her husband is exciting her, making her filled with thrilling anticipation – that’s a good, Biblical thing for their relationship.
She sings, “I can feel it rising / Temperature inside me / Haven’t felt it for a long time.” Getting hot for her hubby, good for her.
We’ll come back to the chorus again in a bit, but let’s talk about the second verse and bridge where Clarkson sings, “I wasn’t even gonna go out / But I never would’ve had a doubt / If I don’t know where I’d be now / Your hands on my hips / And my kiss on your lips / Oh, I could do this for a long time / …Until tonight I only dreamed about you / I can’t believe I ever breathed without you / Baby, you make me feel alive and brand new / Bring it one more time, one more time.” She’s talking about the romance, the build up to the marriage with her husband. She talks about how happy she is right where she is now with him. That’s a good thing. I could keep giving examples of this being mirrored in Song of Solomon, or I could just recommend you go read the whole book. It’s not very long and it’s a beautiful, poetic read about Biblical marriage. Yes, I know Solomon was a womanizer who had a bunch of wives, but what he wrote here is filled with Biblical truth about the romantic love and desire which rightfully exists in a marriage; this appears to exist with Clarkson and her husband too.
Now, back to the chorus where Clarkson sings, “This is my heartbeat song and I’m gonna play it / Been so long I forgot how to turn it up up up up all night long / Oh up up all night long / This is my heartbeat song and I’m gonna play it / Turned it on / But I know you can take it up up up up all night long / Oh up up all night long.” Let’s play this all night. Let’s be together all night. That’s what she’s saying to her husband, just as the woman said to her husband in Chapter 1 of Song of Solomon. Yet, beneath this on the surface Clarkson points to something else. What is the beat to the song? Her daughter’s heartbeat. This is her heartbeat song and the beat is her daughters heartbeat. Her daughter who was a product of this union of love between husband and wife. The very beat of the song is a living product of their love. And that, my friends, is beautiful.