"Heartbeat City" as written by and Ric Ocasek....
Oh heartbeat city here we come
And happy days count on thumbs
And nothin' really gets us down
As long as Jacki's back in town

I'm glad you made it
I can't complain

Oh Jacki (Jacki)
What took you so long
On just a holiday
Oh Jacki (oh Jacki)
What took you so long
I thought you knew the way
(Heartbeat city)

The noise electric
Never stops
And all you need
Is what you got
And there's a place for everyone
Under heartbeat city's golden sun

(Jacki)
Oh Jacki
(What took you so long)
What took you so long
On just a holiday
Oh Jacki (Jacki)
(What took you so long)
What took you so long
I thought you knew the way

Oh, yeah yeah yeah

You know, I'm glad you made it
I can't complain
I missed you so badly
When you jumped that train

(Oh Jacki) oh Jacki
(What took you so long)
What took you so long
On just a holiday
Oh Jacki (Jacki)
(What took you so long)
What took you so long
(Thought you knew the way)
I thought you blew away

(Heartbeat city)
Oh heartbeat city
Lights at night
(Heartbeat city)
Keeps getting closer
Out of sight
(Heartbeat city)
Heartbeat city's on the loose
(Heartbeat city)
Better catch
The blue caboose
Oh, huh, heartbeat city
It's my life
(Heartbeat city)


Lyrics submitted by sjkln

"Heartbeat City" as written by Ric Ocasek

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Heartbeat City song meanings
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11 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentThe single best Cars tune, period.
    CompressedAireon July 01, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is an awesome synth tune, ric ocasek reminds me of the cure's robert smith sometimes. this song, to me tells the story of girl named jackie with whom the speaker had a romantic relationship until she left him one day. then when she returns wanting to re-kindle things, the speaker is simultaneously happy shes back, but hurt that she left him "i missed you so badly...when you jumped the scene"
    newwavefan28on September 12, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is an awesome synth tune, ric ocasek reminds me of the cure's robert smith sometimes. this song, to me tells the story of girl named jackie with whom the speaker had a romantic relationship until she left him one day. then when she returns wanting to re-kindle things, the speaker is simultaneously happy shes back, but hurt that she left him "i missed you so badly...when you jumped the scene"
    newwavefan28on September 12, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCould "Heartbeat City" be referred to a ceratin city in the world?
    Alienoon October 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love how in the intro to this song the sound that sounds like a bird reminds me of a heartbeat.
    Gold Star Delion August 26, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHeartbeat city is probably their name for Los Angeles. The song is most likely about celebrities and the line "under heartbeat city's golden sun" sound like the city is in a warm climate so it can't be NYC.
    destructingparabolaon September 20, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI always assumed Jacki was a guy "Jacky" - but the situation works for either gender. I think "Heartbeat City" is a pseudonym for both the hometown and the relationship based there.
    Jacki leaves town (and the relationship) and then returns, but knows that it will be for only a couple of happy days, before she is back on the road. She left, and will leave again, because her lover (obviously very much in love with her) is a bit obsessive and she doesn't feel the connection (to him or home) as deeply. I wonder whether there is a third person in the dialoge (the one who says (hm! - somewhat sarcastically). This is Jacki's friend and rival "I'm glad you made it" (Not) and maybe thinks "all you need is what you got" - that the guy should realise - Jacki is a flake and I'm here ready to appreciate you but you don't see it - wait 'till she leaves town again....
    Jacki is a bit sad to leave ("blue" caboose) but even Heartbeat City's attractions are not enough to hold her and she's off again.
    Don*Gon April 25, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAddendum: sustitute metaphor for pseudonym
    Don*Gon April 25, 2008   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI see this as being a love song. 'Hearbeat City' is a place inside the singer (or subject of the song, as it is sung from his POV). Jackie is back in his life and now he can start feeling again, as some who are in love will say that they lose the ability to feel (ie, feel dead inside - a form of defensive separation from one's feelings and internal state, which can lead sometimes to severe depression) when they are heartbroken-- or living outside Heartbeat City. The subject could just be very in love and thus very relieved when Jackie comes back or he could be a codependent who without someone in his life loses his own internal focus and sense of being, as well as a loss of being in touch with his feelings, or if a codependent, his identity. The heart is metaphorically the place of both one's feelings and true sense of self - one with a 'big heart' has both a good sense of their own feelings as well as a solid sense of self. The subject gets his Jackie back, he gets his heart back, his sense of self and his source of happiness-- and so he is back in 'Heartbeat City'.
    mcc99on June 17, 2011   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningI remember reading the review in Rolling Stone for this song. The reviewer nailed it, in my opinion. Ocaseck refers to "Jackie," which the reviewer noted was slang for pain-killers. Listening to the lyrics, doesn't it make a lot of sense?
    parann0yedon March 03, 2012   Link

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