To continue with the theme of dancing through the first week of the season change, I’ll continue with Don Henley. “All She Wants to Do Is Dance” is one of my favorite Henley offerings. Coming out in nineteen eighty-four, the song was written by Danny Kortchmar.
I enjoyed its tech sound and cynical lyrics. The song is like a war story being told in a bar about a serviceman’s experience fighting in another country. The impression is, the heavy-handed government is locking everyone up and bugging everywhere, battling “wild-eyed pistol wavers” in a long-going engagement. The rebels are using the weapon of revolutionaries before I.E.D.s, Molotov cocktails, mixed up in their kitchen sink. Meanwhile, the serviceman is coping with a local young women. All she wants to do is dance, make romance, and party. She seems oblivious to everything going on. It becomes clear by song’s end, who was oblivious.
I thought it was an apropos song for the time. It came before the Gulf Wars and after Vietnam, during the cold war era when the United States and U.S.S.R. were trying to align other countries, no matter who led them, with “their side,” propping up governments with money and weapons, enriching the countries’ power elite at the expanse of the poor. The Soviets were battling in Afghanistan against Osama Bin Laden as the U.S. armed and trained the revolutionary. Meanwhile, the U.S. buddied up to Saddam Hussein, arming him.
With its heavy beat, this is an excellent song for streaming and tramping around. It’s a bitter reminder, too, about how weapons and places have changed, but we’re still arming and aiding governments to fight rebels.