Years ago, a friend of mine was convinced that Corey Hart was gay. As a fan of the “Sunglasses At Night” singer, he’d listened intensely to Hart’s self-penned songs and was sure that some of the words and themes revealed an affinity for life somewhere over the rainbow.
I never gave my friend’s conjecture much credence, responding that it was his own wishful thinking. But as these conversations were all pre-Interweb, there was no telling him otherwise. Today, a casual Google search will reveal that Hart has been happily married to a woman for quite some time, together raising a brood of four. But similarly, it’s only now that I can better understand why my friend felt as he did.
Hart recently revealed that “Truth Will Set You Free,” from his fourth studio album, 1988′s Young Man Running, was written with two gay friends in mind. He offered this insight on the occasion of the song being re-recorded as a dance collaboration with Toronto DJ 1Love, now titled “Truth Will Set U Free.”
Writing on his website, Hart expounded further upon the song’s genesis, including what he really was hiding all those years ago:
“‘Truth Will Set U Free’ is about honesty and my philosophic belief that ultimately being true to yourself is the key to happiness. Every individual’s inalienable right to be who they are without fear or recrimination. But above these universal themes there is a message, which in 1988 as a young 26-year-old songwriter, I obscured in veiled lyrical imagery. I have since rewritten some of those words to lift the veil.
‘Truth will Set U Free’ is also a song composed for those who were born gay. I am a straight man so I do not profess to understand or know what a LGBT person experiences. It is only through my observations that I created the song. But I have relatives, close friends, musical soul mates who are gay. I have often witnessed their plight for acceptance, dignity and recognition. I am not suggesting in any fashion that all gays are victimized. This would be disingenuous. However, Matthew Shepard´s story from Laramie, Wyoming in 1998 was about innocent victimization by cold callous prejudice. His tragic death for me epitomized the senseless cruelty still prevalent in so many small towns or cultured big cities of our society. I hope ‘Truth Will Set U Free’ & 1Love’s story can offer some strength of empowerment for those who at times must journey down life’s harder road.”
So while Hart did not play for our team, my friend wasn’t totally off base, as least in the case of this one song. Now reincarnated as an uplifting dance anthem, here’s to Hart’s 24-year-old message reaching today’s generation. We’ve come so far, but still have so far to go.
[via Allure Of Sound]