Jonathan Richman is one of those artists I play for a multitude of reasons: for comfort, for fun, for dancing and for his sweet, honest lyrics. I don’t love everything he’s ever done, but what I do adore, I really adore and today’s track is one of those. In fact this song encapsulates just what it is I love about Jonathan Richman.
When I Dance sees Richman describing how he may not dance like a pro, “I’m not a pro/In fact I barely move at all/Compared to certain guys you know”, but how he dances with passion, “And when I dance that’s love/And there’s times I cause that attraction”. It’s not about suave moves and flash talent (though I’m not suggesting he’s not equipped with either), but it’s about the feel, how you convey what’s inside, how you move and connect. Just like this song where Richman describes how “they’re all in my trance when I dance”, his music captivates and reaches out, drawing you in with narratives that are often laced with a charming innocence; a feature that makes it very hard to not feel completely embraced by his unassuming warmth.
When I Dance appears on Jonathan Richman’s 1998 album, I’m So confused which was produced by the Cars guitarist and songwriter, Ric Ocasek. Check it out above and listen to some more Jonathan Richman goodness on my pages here.