The Real Meaning Behind Foreigner’s “What Love Is”
via RHINO / Youtube
Foreigner’s timeless ballad, “I Want to Know What Love Is,” has captivated audiences since its release. The lead single from their album “Agent Provocateur,” the song became a global sensation, resonating with listeners on a profound level. Behind its melodic allure lies a deeper message, one that explores the complexities of love and the quest for lasting connections.
The Sermon of Relationships
For Mick Jones, Foreigner’s guitarist and the mastermind behind the song, “I Want to Know What Love Is” emerged from a place of reflection on failed relationships and the yearning for something more enduring. The lyrics convey a profound longing for understanding and patience in the pursuit of true love.
Through heartfelt verses, Jones expresses the emotional weight he carries, comparing it to a mountain on his shoulders. Yet, within the clouds, he finds a glimmer of hope as he witnesses the warmth of love shining through. The song’s introspective tone delves into the heartache and pain experienced in life, leaving Jones unsure if he can face it again. Despite the challenges, he forges ahead, determined to change his lonely existence.
The Spiritual Revelation
As “I Want to Know What Love Is” took shape during recording, Jones realized that the song had evolved into something more profound than a personal lament. With the addition of a gospel choir, the track transformed into a universal anthem, carrying a spiritual essence. Jones admits that the song almost became a gospel-like hymn, capturing the essence of a deeply spiritual experience.
“I adjusted that during the recording of it, and ended up putting a gospel choir on it, and realized suddenly that I’d written almost a spiritual song, almost a gospel song,” shared Jones. “Sometimes, you feel like you had nothing to do with it, really. You’re just putting it down on paper, or coming up with a melody that will bring the meaning of the song out, bring the emotion out in the song.”
Love’s Unexpected Arrival
“I Want to Know What Love Is” struck a chord with audiences, climbing the charts to reach the number one spot in both the U.S. and the U.K. Its universal message of love’s enduring quest transcends time, making it a song that continues to resonate with generations.
Listen to the song below: