Keb‘ Mo‘: She Just Wants to Dance
“Care to dance?” It’s a simple question, but it’s also complicated. Somehow, it has acquired all sorts of baggage. The words don’t say anything about leaving together, or doing anything other than dancing. But no one ever answers the question without considering all of this. So, what happens if all you really want is to dance?
Keb’ Mo’ presents a woman who has an answer to this question. She exists outside of the meat market. There she is on the floor, by herself, and completely free. She dances with no ulterior motive, but just for the love of it. The song does not speak of it, but we can imagine that she provokes reactions in all who see her. The men, including the singer, are amazed at her total lack of an agenda. It makes her all the more desirable to know that she isn’t here for that.
Gaye Adegbalola does a wonderful cover of this song. Because Adegbalola is another woman, we as listeners think about how other women react to this. There is, I think, a certain kind of jealousy. The other women are there playing the game they cannot get free of, and the freedom of our solo dancer seems impossible. They wish they could drop their own agendas, and be her. But they cannot.
None of this is in the lyrics, so perhaps my interpretation is a projection of my own agenda. Keb’ Mo’ just paints a beautiful picture of a free woman, and leaves the rest to the listener.