If you liked Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “Same Love,” with its tender video history of a gay couple’s relationship, Mary Lambert, the out Christian singer who sang the hook on that track, has released a full-length version of the song from which that hook was drawn, and it’s well worth a listen:
Much more so than “Same Love,” where the lyrics are an explicit meditation on equality, “She Keeps Me Warm,” with the exception of the chorus, is a straightforward love story. “I could be your morning sunrise,” Lambert promises. In an initial flirtation, she asks “What’s your middle name? / Do you hate your job? / Do you fall in love too easily?” Out in public, “She says that people stare because we look so good together.”
As much as I appreciate “Same Love,” I actually think “She Keeps Me Warm” is more important. There’s always something powerful about the moment when you recognize your own feelings in a song. And the ability to have that moment of affinity, without being jarred out of it by pronouns that don’t match your experience, or without a political statement is a wonderful thing. It’s great to hear Macklemore and Ryan Lewis talk about equality, and I’d never suggest that those public conversations about marriage, hip-hop’s relationship to gay people, or emotional equality should stop. But winning real equality means getting to enjoy your relationship precisely for its significance to you, without having them be reappropriated for a movement, or a message, or someone else’s edification. When LGBT couples regularly get to hear more of their own experiences in mainstream songs, and when straight ones can learn to skip over pronouns that don’t match them to get to the emotional heart of a terrific track, that’s a kind of progress I’m looking forward to rocking out to.