The Story Behind “Hearts & Minds”

Some songs you write in a day – inspiration hits, and you don’t leave the studio until it’s done.  But others take time, sometimes months.  “Hearts & Minds” falls into the latter category.  In fact I took longer to write and record that song than any other on the album.

I wrote it when the war in Iraq was just beginning, and the war in Afghanistan had been under way for a while.  Politicians and pundits were always talking about what it would take to win the hearts and minds of the people there.  I won’t go into political positions, but I’ll say that it was something that weighed on my mind.  Of course, it was on everyone’s mind.

I was also thinking at the time that relationships can work, in a much smaller way, similarly.  Someone may have the heart of another, without reaching his or her mind.  Or inversely someone could convince another that they should be together, but that person hasn’t won the other’s heart.

Obviously the conflict that can create is insignificant compared to the conflict of war, but maybe there are some similarities.  This song is basically me brooding over that idea, musically.

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