Let me begin by saying I have not heard the demo version, nor have I heard Lisa Hartman's version. I have nothing to compare it to so I will just get to the guts of the song.
The lyrics: It seems to me that the inspiration for this song is one of a girl who is 'new' to the city. She doesn't know where she is going. She doesn't know what she wants or even what to expect. She's anxious, mixed up and nervous and perhaps her move to this city has taken her off guard, too much for someone who could have came from a small town. She has her eye on the horizon because she knows that she moved there for a reason, yet she cannot define the reason. To escape the past? To find fulfillment? Her anxiety, nerves and sense of fright keep her looking over her
I think he shared a similar position. New in the city, but he found someone he could relate to in her. Perhaps it was because they both were not Californian born. He felt something familiar with her and reached out to latch on, the whole time that she was in her state of confusion. (too much for her to take in at once). Perhaps he was not accustomed to being brushed aside by a woman. (an unattached woman). She probably does not have a clue what he is feeling either.
I find that when he sings the lines 'I won't beg, no baby… I won't beg, anymore'. He is saying he won't beg, but his actual voice almost has a begging tone to it. He's tired of begging and has convinced himself in his mind he will no longer do it, but it's the whole in his heart that does the begging through his voice. It is almost a seductive begging voice I hear.
The Voice: In his voice, when he starts to sing 'I must have looked like a prime one' etc. I am catching an early glimpse at the voice we hear today. A little deeper, a little more raspy, and a lot wiser.
As the song continues, he thinks that it was a past relationship that is responsible for how she treats him. That could be part of the cause, but that is also where his head is at in the moment. He is hurting. He may not be aware of how confused and frightened she is in general. It's a sad song, but I love it.
- Kat Mendelin
Rick's vocals in this song are immaculate!!! This is a "great voice" song for Rick, with many highs and lows. I love the harmonizing during the chorus as well. I've always considered this song to be sad and heartbreaking, partly because of the lyrics and partly because of the tone in Rick's voice here. His vocals are crystal clear, but filled with sadness, disbelief, anguish, despair & loneliness. It is obvious in my mind that he was "feeling" these words when he sang them…or else it was a great act on his part! This is another of those songs by Rick that pulled me through many heartaches as a teen, so it got quite a bit of playing time back then. I felt so connected to him with this song, and I still do. I felt that someone else really
knew the pain I was feeling. It was one of those tunes I felt was "meant" for me. (that magically connection he creates through his music still amazes me). And I can remember crying many tears while listening to Hole In My Heart. Somehow it was "healing" for me, to hear his heartache and know I was not alone. Even now, this song is strangely comforting when I'm feeling blue. The issues I have now are much different than they were when this album was released, but all the same…it deals with pain & sadness, and makes me feel better when I hear it. I just want to grab him, hug him and tell him it will be okay!!!
The mood is set from the first notes of the song…it has a sad undertone immediately, and then he goes into "where are you running my love?" Right from the beginning, you know that someone is afraid, she is running away from her feelings and her "demons" and he is hurt by it all. It appears that he tried to salvage this relationship and feels foolish for doing so: "I must have looked like a prime one, running after you thinking we still could survive. But nobody I've ever loved, ever hurt me like you did." (and right here is where I guess I have been hearing the words wrong for all these years…LOL, because I thought he was saying: "well, I can feel it," referring to the hole in his heart. I am bad at times hearing lyrics, so now I know what he's saying there!)
About the "hole" he had in his beautiful heart…Rick should never have a hole in his heart….he has a heart of gold, and it pains me to think of him ever feeling this way. I adore how he says, "beg" in "I won't beg anymore." Also, he should NOT have to beg anyone, ever!!! I mean, REALLY…what was this woman thinking folks!? Whoever hurt her at one time really WAS a "master." She must have completely shut out all her feelings and had no intentions of dealing with them. But I've noticed that the word "beg" tends to pop up in his lyrics a LOT. I can think of two other songs right now where he uses that word, and I'm sure there are more. (Don't Talk To Strangers & Woman come to mind.) I feel like Rick really pegged it with this song…this is one of those ultimate heartbreak songs that will always be dear to my heart!
- Kelley Pearson
I have always had mixed feelings about this song.....even way back in the 80's when it first came out. I don't care for the beginning of it, but then once we get 'into' it, I can enjoy it more and that is still true to this day. I love the 'young' Rick sound to it and I love the way he says "anymore" in the line "I won't beg, anymore"......just sounds so sexy! But that repetitive "I've got a whole in my heart" at the end is what gets to me. A lot of Rick's songs have that 'repetitive-ness' to them and even my daughter complains about that. Although I have noticed that most artists today have it in their songs also. Overall, it's not one of my faves, but I don't skip it either when it comes up.
- Amy L.
I have always liked this song. I like the music and the lyrics.
I thought that Rick's vocal was very emotional and I really got the feeling that this song was very personal for
him. I like the slow beat the song starts off with and how it builds.
His voice becomes more and more urgent as the song progresses. I think he is saying that he is
tired of the pain that he has encountered in love and he is not going to "beg
anymore". He doesn't want to seem like the fool, so he just isn't going to pursue her
anymore. I assume he is singing about one girl in particular in this song and I get the distinct feeling she
couldn't make up her mind about committing to him or maybe she had been stung also and was
afraid. Apparently, whomever this song was directed to, hurt him the worst of anyone he had had a relationship
with up to that point. It sounds like they both brought a lot of baggage
from previous relationships into theirs and pretty much doomed it right from the start.
This song is about someone getting their heart broken, so I like the fact that the opening sounds like a heart beat. I have to admit that I went back and read the lyrics (just recently) and I had a lot of them wrong. I've always thought that maybe this song was autobiographical and was about a woman that wouldn't commit to Rick because she had been hurt really bad in her last relationship. Rick was the rebound guy that had more invested in the relationship than she did. She was giving him mixed signals and he was sick of the pain it was causing him, so he had to end it.
I thought this was a great key for Rick's voice. I especially love the emotion he puts into the line "Nobody I've ever loved ever hurt me like you did…with that lack of feeling". I also love the line "But I won't beg, no baby, I won't beg…. anymore". Like so many of his other songs, you can really hear the hurt in his voice.
This is the second song in a row where Rick is on the wrong end of love. I too like the way the song starts out with what sounds like a beating heart. I actually had Lisa Hartman's album (on cassette) and I heard her version before I ever heard Rick's and at the time, I liked it better. I have since gone back and listened to hers (after not hearing it for about 20 years), and I definitely think Rick's is better. I guess sometimes it's just a matter of what you're used to.
In my view this song has good and bad points, so I'm not sure how if I come down on the side of liking this song or not. To start, I love the opening beat. With the singular beat is an interesting opening and, in a way, mimics the sound of a heart beating.
The lyrics, particularly when read, are heartbreaking. This song obviously came from yet another relationship gone wrong. Rick indicates that the woman in question must have been hurt in a previous relationship and was protecting herself from future pains. But this behavior was resulting in her inflicting pain on others - including him.
What I do not care for is the chorus, or rather the line "I've got a Hole In My Heart". Not the lyrics but the vocals. I do not like the 'harmony' with the guy that hits all the high notes. I cannot hear Rick in that line, all I hear is the other guy. So I'd rather have had Rick's voice because I suppose I'm so used to hearing Rick's voice as the focal point in his songs.
So that all said, I like the song more than I do not but if you change the vocals on that one line I believe I would like the song a LOT more.