Locked Out of Heaven

Bruno Mars

One, two, one, two, three

Oh yeah yeah
Oh yeah yeah yeah yeah, uh!
Oh yeah yeah
Oh yeah yeah yeah yeah, uh!

Never had much faith in love or miracles (miracles) uh!
Never wanna put my heart on the line, uh!
But swimming in your water is something spiritual (spiritual) uh!
I’m born again every time you spend the night, uh!

‘Cause your sex takes me to paradise
Yeah your sex takes me to paradise
And it shows, yeah, yeah, yeah
‘Cause you make me feel like, I’ve been locked out of Heaven
For too long, for too long
Yeah you make me feel like, I’ve been locked out of Heaven
For too long, for too long

Oh yeah yeah yeah yeah, uh!
Oh yeah yeah
Oh yeah yeah yeah yeah, uh!

You bring me to my knees
You make me testify, uh!
You can make a sinner change his ways, uh!
Open up your gates ’cause I can’t wait to see the light, uh!
And right there is where I wanna stay, uh!

‘Cause your sex takes me to paradise
Yeah your sex takes me to paradise
And it shows, yeah, yeah, yeah
‘Cause you make me feel like, I’ve been locked out of Heaven
For too long, for too long
Yeah you make me feel like, I’ve been locked out of Heaven
For too long, for too long

Oh oh oh oh, yeah, yeah, yeah
Can I just stay here?
Spend the rest of my days here?
Oh oh oh oh, yeah, yeah, yeah
Can’t I just stay here?
Spend the rest of my days here?

‘Cause you make me feel like, I’ve been locked out of Heaven
For too long, for too long
Yeah you make me feel like, I’ve been locked out of Heaven
For too long, for too long

Yeah you make me feel like, I’ve been locked out of Heaven
For too long, for too long

Oh yeah yeah yeah yeah, uh!
Oh yeah yeah
Oh yeah yeah yeah yeah, uh!

When I fist heard this catchy song (back in 2012) I was surprised and delighted that such overtly raunchy words were being given airplay.

It’s been common practice for decades for lyrics pertaining to sexual activity to be very much coded and veiled to give an air of propriety – sex was often referred to in terms of dance. This also ensured songs were played on as many radio stations as possible.  In more recent years artists have got round this by releasing the original track but making “radio edits” where songs have been doctored to remove or disguise explicit wording. This was happening less as society ‘broadens its mind’ but it seems that artists continue to push the envelope. They release songs for people to stream and download which contain much more adult slang than ever before.

Latest example springing to mind is WAP – a collaboration between Megan thee Stallion and Cardi B. (Wet Ass Pussy)

To get back on track and discuss Bruno’s lyrics for Locked out of Heaven, what he is describing in this song spoke to me of one of my favourite parts of a relationship – the really hot sexual discovery time when you cannot keep your hands off one another! You are learning about each other’s bodies, what you do and don’t like, what makes each other flutter, moan or even scream. You think about the person constantly, obsessively; remembering what you got up to when you were last entwined, or what you plan to do to/with them next time you get them alone. It’s a moment I often try to capture in my short erotic stories.

As a little (taboo) twist, the entire song is cloaked in religious references. So when Bruno sings:

“You bring me to my knees
You make me testify, uh!”

I hope most of you can relate to carnal experiences which were as good – (if not with another person, I hope you have a toy which gets you there!)

“You can make a sinner change his ways, uh!
Open up your gates ’cause I can’t wait to see the light, uh!”

He’s using the terminology of an incandescent religious moment to indicate the intensity of sensations twinned with emotion, but he’s also touched on a little taboo. (Madonna often uses this sex/religion juxtaposition to great effect). Such sexual abandonment might be frowned on by many religions where the indoctrination has advised been that marital relationships should concentrate on procreation alone, not making the  beast with two backs on the kitchen floor just because you feel like it!

I particularly like the euphemism of ‘Open up your gates’ – it implies so much in so few words.

Good sex should be heavenly. It can transport participants to another place, filling them with satisfaction and peace where everything feels right. Bruno celebrates that he has found his matching puzzle piece in this partner and he is adamant that his previous liaisons with others have not taken him here (you send me, as Sam Cooke sang in the 1957). Bruno has effectively been ‘locked out of heaven’ for the longest time.

When Bruno sings that he wants to immerse himself in his lover (swimming in your water) – this is both tactile and visual. So much to do with sex and arousal is wet or slippery, while this lyric also hints at the freeing sensation that swimming can bring to our bodies.

So happily obsessed with his new lover,  Mr Mars wants to ‘stay’ and never leave, the paradise they are finding together is somewhere he is keen to remain . ‘Spend the rest of my days here’ and I’m sure many can relate – either to staying in the ‘climactic moment’ or (more practically) to the feeling where we’d rather stay in bed with our lover. We don’t want to separate, be apart, do the normal mundane things of our life like going to work/ seeing other people.

All the grunts in this song lend it an animalistic, primal feel. They’re reminiscent of the sounds of physical release, which I often relate to the swoop in your stomach riding a particularly fast lift. Perhaps they’re used to refer to jolt of shock to the body (like a punch in the solar plexus) that Bruno feels on realising how much this physical connection has affected him. I love how the sound affects remind me of apes beating their chest, they wild, celebratory and sexy. I couldn’t help wondering if the singer got the giggles recording them – they’ve always made me laugh.

 

Image from Bruno Mars (Facebook) Words & lyrics written by Mars/Lawrence/Levine
This post is linked to #SeptemberSongProject  & #MusicallyRanting

Comments (10)

  1. Reply

    I had never heard of this song before — uh!

    *laugh*

    I find the lyrics hilarious though. I think you’re right to wonder whether he had a giggle fit during recording. 😉

  2. Reply

    I love this song too!
    I think most remmeber the early days of a relationship, when lust is still so intense it consumes you. A great addition to any writing!
    X

  3. ML

    Reply

    This was so intersting to read. I never really thought this deeply about the sexual lyrics. I love lyrics and relate to them but it always seemed kinda normal to me that they might have sexual undertones

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