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Q: meaning of lyrics for a 1971 song by Traffic: The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: meaning of lyrics for a 1971 song by Traffic: The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Music
Asked by: raphael98-ga
List Price: $3.00
Posted: 25 Apr 2004 19:54 PDT
Expires: 25 May 2004 19:54 PDT
Question ID: 336165
What is the meaning of the lyrics for the 1971 Traffic song, "The Low
Spark of High Heeled Boys"? Also, is there a good website to find such
Subject: Re: meaning of lyrics for a 1971 song by Traffic: The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys
Answered By: tlspiegel-ga on 25 Apr 2004 21:07 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi raphael98,

Thank you for an interesting question.  I remember Traffic well - saw
them in concert several times.  (ahh... the good old days!)

The following site has several comments on the meaning:

Steve Winwood Lyrics: Meanings & References - Low Spark of High Heeled Boys

Ever wonder what in the world SW is singing about? Well, I have a few
ideas. And I'm sure you do too - email me about them! And yes, I know
he wasn't the lyricist for most of these, but I cannot be convinced
that he did not have a great deal of input anyway.

Low Spark ... The man in the suit has just bought a new car / From the
profit he's made on your dream This may be about Traffic's
relationship with the record label. Jim Capaldi reports that he got
the title from the actor Michael Pollard (best known from the film
Bonnie and Clyde) who had joined them in Morocco.

Low Spark of High Heeled Boys
Low Spark ... And your head is spinning from a loud guitar / And you
just can't escape from the sound A trivia question posed in the Roxy
Music/Bryan Ferry mailing list asked, "Traffic slams the glam movement
in their recording "Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys", but it is directed
at one band in particular. Who were these high heeled boys?" The
answer given was "Mott The Hoople. They were bitter over SW being the
golden child of Island Records and getting all of the cash and
attention." -- Arnie S

Low Spark of High Heeled Boys
Low Spark ... 
 I have an interview with Muff Winwood that says "Low Spark" is
exactly a musical description of Steve as a person. Its title came
from a book the Dutch Director Antoine Coyas was reading in Morocco
during the shooting of a movie called "Nevertheless", whose soundtrack
was to be written by Traffic. (It never happened, though.) Capaldi
just thought it was the right sounding title for the musical piece
Steve had just composed. So it's just a nice sounding ensemble of
words. The song is about music industry shattering the dream of
integrity and the importance of the Spirit in all things. - Ellie

Low Spark of High Heeled Boys
Low Spark ... 
 I think the song is (eerily) a premonition of Steve Winwood's own
future. He is singing it to himself - his older self - that "bought a
new car on the profit he made from your ("your" being his own)
dreams". It is a song about (the evils of) bowing to money pressures
from a musician who, at the time the song was recorded, was so against
commercialism that he had left a band (Blind Faith) that could have
made him a millionaire. He had done that twice remember. He left the
Spencer Davis Group right when it was on the verge of becoming huge.
But then, later in the decade, as he says in his biography he ended up
with lots of praise but no money and set about to "maximize" his
career. I think the message of hope "the spirit is something that no
one destroys" transcends the conflict and points the way to Steve
Winwood's own future. (By the way, I think the song is close to the
greatist song of all times.) - Virginia


Low Spark of High Heeled Boys

"...brilliant title track is the first vision, and it ruled the
underground radio airwaves for months with piano and spacey organ!
There's an element of tension with the mainstream -- "the man in the
suit has just bought a new car from the profit he's made on your
dreams..." But The Man loses! He's done in by "The Low Spark of
High-Heeled Boys," the power of the dreamers, who are building a new
world in the ruins of the old."



Not to mention that the song 'Low spark of high heeled boys' is
absolutly great. I mean the lyrics bring out this clash between good
and evil with a beaten man trying to express his desire's to go on.
The melody's where very catchy and i really feel it was a great song.


Jim Capaldi started writing this in Morocco, where he was getting
ready for a movie with actor Michael J. Pollard that never got made.
Said Capaldi: "Pollard and I would sit around writing lyrics all day,
talking about Bob Dylan and the Band, thinking up ridiculous plots for
the movie. Before I left Morocco, Pollard wrote in my book 'The Low
Spark of High Heeled Boys.' For me, it summed him up. He had this
tremendous rebel attitude. He walked around in his cowboy boots, his
leather jacket. At the time he was a heavy little dude. It seemed to
sum up all the people of that generation who were just rebels. The
'Low Spark,' for me, was the spirit, high-spirited. You know, standing
on a street corner. The low rider. The 'Low Spark' meaning that strong
undercurrent at the street level." (thanks, Adam - Lake Forest, IL)

Mark is right,
The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys was an Album & Title Track from a
Traffic album of 1971. It seems the song deals with the nefarious side
of the record business. It was written by Steve Winwood & Jim Capaldi.
It's a Cool but Long song from those early 70's. Actually the rest of
the album is Quite Good too!


So many years, so many changes, and now the need to follow up "The Low
Spark Of High Heeled Boys" An unenviable task indeed. In fact, ?Shoot
Out?seems to have been conceived as a sort of ?Low Spark? Part II. The
most obvious clue being the Tony Wright hexagon cover portraying empty
gangster suits, which in the third dimension seem to reach back into
the same sky depicted on the cover of ?Low Spark? Yet, the comparisons
are actually quite slim. If anything "Shoot Out" and "Low Spark" are
like two sides of a coin. While "Low Spark" had a deep streak of
optimism at its core, "Shoot Out" projects a kind of loss of
confidence. Perhaps it was the near perpetual touring and recording
but the sense imparted is one of a deep-seated weariness almost a
dread, which permeates the album. Still, this is a strong effort, and
if not Traffic?s absolute best; the muse remained alive feeding off
the angst, as the seventies rolled on."


No, Traffic wasn?t finished yet. But after "Roll Right Stones", a page
was turned, and a chapter ended. This was the last of a series of
songs, stretching all the way back to the first album that sought to
find meaning in, and the nature of life itself. Was it over too soon?
Maybe not. Knowing when to put the brush down is one of the true
tricks of art perhaps on that subject, they had simply said enough.

Traffic: 'Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys'
(Island Records) 

"Somehow the spirit of the song as opposed to being
perhaps more musically correct has always been more
important." - Steve Winwood

'If I gave you everything that I owned
and asked for nothing in return
Would you do the same for me
as I would for you?

Or take me for a ride
and strip me of everything
including my pride
But, spirit is something that no one destroys....'


Lyrics for: Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys

Keyword search:

low spark of high heeled boys meaning
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Best regards,
raphael98-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $4.00
Great answer! Very thorough! Thanks!

Subject: Re: meaning of lyrics for a 1971 song by Traffic: The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys
From: tlspiegel-ga on 26 Apr 2004 13:50 PDT
Hi raphael98,

Thank you so much for the nice rating, comments and generous tip!  :)

Best regards,

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