"Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys" as written by Jim Capaldi and Steve Winwood....
If you see something that looks like a star
And it's shooting up out of the ground
And your head is spinning from a loud guitar
And you just can't escape from the sound
Don't worry too much, it'll happen to you
We were children once, playing with toys
And the thing that you're hearing is only the sound of
The low spark of high-heeled boys
The percentage you're paying is too high priced
While you're living beyond all your means
And the man in the suit has just bought a new car
From the profit he's made on your dreams
But today you just read that the man was shot dead
By a gun that didn't make any noise
But it wasn't the bullet that laid him to rest was
The low spark of high-heeled boys
If you had just a minute to breathe and they granted you one final wish
Would you ask for something like another chance?
Or something similar as this? Don't worry too much
It'll happen to you as sure as your sorrows are joys
And the thing that disturbs you is only the sound of
The low spark of high-heeled boys
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
And the sound that I'm hearing is only the sound
The low spark of high-heeled boys


Lyrics submitted by Moonshadow90

"The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys" as written by Jim Capaldi, Steve Winwood

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys song meanings
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12 Comments

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  • +4
    Song MeaningHere's the thing. Winwood was 16 or 17 yrs. old when he wrote this.
    In those days, street slang for heroin was 'boy' and for cocaine was 'girl'.
    High heel boy refers to a mixture of heroin and coke, commonly called a speedball.
    The 'low spark' is a description of the physical feeling brought on by injecting the speedball.

    The man in the suit is the dealer, making profits on the dreams of his customers.

    The gun that didn't make any noise is simply a hypodermic syringe.

    This is one of the most truly savage songs in history, way deeper than nearly anything else from its era.

    How Stevie knew this stuff at such a young age is an interesting question at such a young age is a good question
    sleepnoton August 06, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIts so nice to come to this website and discover (sometimes hard to hear) lyrics and peruse various interpretations of songs.

    Okay, I see the comments so far on Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys. And I feel more informed knowing them. And I totally buy their validity.

    Now, having listened to this song alot without knowing the interpretation(s), I have to say that it has always made me think, and seems to be on that vary topic (making people think), intended to describe a process of awakening or self-discovery.

    Okay, here goes (and don't think that I expect everyone to agree, this is "my" interpretation! LOL):

    Verse 1: Drugs -- mindaltering, mindblowing. Mellow music soothes the psyche and you are told not to worry. This is part of the plan, part of the process. There is something bigger afoot, a higher power who concerns themselves with whats going on below. "Those who went before", "the universe" or "God" is the source of the spark down on your level.

    Verse 2: Back to "real life" or "the rat race" but with a double meaning. Yes, the physical world is a game thats fixed. We do things to wreak our finances, to allow others to take advantage of us. But the implication is that our focus on money and materialism is a superficiality that is like shooting yourself in the foot. Nevertheless, there is justice. In the long run, "the man" gets what he deserves. And it is not the physical reality that does him in, its the fact that there is more to this life than you can ever see on the surface. And working behind the scenes, the "high-heeled boys" are keeping track and "they" do bring about sparks that have heavy consequences, even down on our level.

    Verse 3: There they are, the boys looking backwards at you. They are present even in the worst catastrophe, with no hope of recovery. One minute left. And something all-powerful (a Djinni?) says you get one last wish. All of sudden, you would like to try it again, only different this time. (Reincarnation?) But the sound of your wish, your wish coming true is disturbing, you still arent sure how it all works (*or something similar to this). But now as you consider how your life went and with the power to make changes if you had it to do over, you realize you are one of them. And this whole process of life review, self-awareness, motivation to grow is just the sound of someone waking up (again / still). You are stepping out into the universe, but you still spark back down on lower levels.

    Verse 4: On the OTHER hand, you could just go the route of taking advantage of others. Screw all the stuff about wanting to change the world, grow, improve things, help others, whatever. The drugs are going to give you a choice to follow a spiral down instead of up. You go around living however you please, no matter who gets hurt. Here is the writer offering himself up to the process, sacrificing himself so that you can learn from those terrible mistakes. [Note: I have always felt the intensity of the line and heard: "But spit it at something that no one destroys". This was not correct, obviously, but still... offering himself as a target of someone's anger or hurt and hate seems to be a possibility here. He will not falter or fail because of your wrongdoing.] But SPIRIT (the upward spiral) is something that cannot be destroyed. So sooner or later you will come around, even if the drugs take you down. And now the process no longer bothers me or confuses me. Because I have become part of the expanding universe, the bodhisatva, the wounded warriors, the low sparking but surefooted in spite of their higher calling, still learning man-boy in a club of like-minded souls.

    Wow. I think I did too many myself (not tonight I mean, when I was younger). LOL. What say you?
    txnuke1201on October 09, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIf you had just a minute to breathe
    and they granted you one final wish
    would you ask for something, like another chance.

    That was my senior quote in high school - that segment to me means living your life and pursuing your goals so that when you are on your death bed you won't have any regrets. As far as the song i've heard it was written in disillusionment of the music industry - promoting artists who were marketable rather than those who were trying to do something creative.

    Anyways I've been fucking off on this website too long I need to get back to work
    bkabbotton November 06, 2008   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionThis song is just an awesome jam! I don't know the meaning and I was hoping to find more comments on this song. But I will take a stab at it. CuZ ii 3e k3wl

    If you see something that looks like a star
    and it's shooting up out of the ground
    and your head is spinning from a loud guitar.
    And you just can't escape from the sound
    don't worry too much, it'll happen to you
    We were children once, playing with toys.

    This verse I picture being drunk or stoned watching fireworks fucking around carelessly partying jamming


    And the thing that you're hearing is only the sound
    of the low spark of high-heeled boys.


    The sound of Upper high class type people that are loud high spirited bad ass rebel guys hanging around?

    The percentage you're paying is too high priced
    while you're living beyond all your means.
    And the man in the suit has just bought a new car
    from the profit he's made on your dreams.
    But today you just swear that the man was shot dead
    by a gun that didn't make any noise.
    But it wasn't the bullet that laid him to rest
    was the low spark of high-heeled boys.

    the man in the suit, Maybe the person who signed them to a label? Is reaping more of the benefits off their music?


    If you had just a minute to breathe
    and they granted you one final wish
    would you ask for something, like another chance.
    Or something similar as this
    don't worry too much, it'll happen to you
    as sure as your sorrows are joys.


    I go with bkabbott's take on this. If you were to take your last breath now would you be happy with what you have done and been in this life? Or would you want to do it all over, you honestly only get one chance.


    If I gave you everything that I own
    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

    And this is just blatant.


    Would you treat me fairly as I would treat you? Or would you screw me over? And if you did you may hurt my pride but you will never hurt my spirit.... because they are high spirited low sparked rebel bad assed mofo's ;).
    DeviledEggson June 20, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love that I really am still not sure about what this song means after 20 years of listening to it. It's about disappointment and regret. It's about a lot of potentially disturbing things. It doesn't give much away, though. Great song. Probably Traffic's best.
    muldrakeon June 26, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretationsleepnot you/ve got it right except that "boy" and "girl" are backwards. You are also right about "gun." One more addition to this interpretation. One way that dealers had to contend with customers who fell too far behind was to include a fatal addition; hence "the gun that didn't make any noise." This does not mean that he didn't also mean record executives. Lyrics often had multiple layers of meaning, Ian Anderson being a good example of that.
    BlueCoyDogon June 27, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI heard somewhere that this was Winwood's response to all the "Glam Bands" that were coming on to the scene at the time. He apparently wasn't very fond of them.
    drewzer15on July 23, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionFor what it's worh: I came to this site looking for the meaning. I think that txnuke1201 has the best opinion. For what it's worth I'll throw in my 2 cents worth. The star coming out of the ground reminds me of a nuclear explosion. The sound of a loud guitar I think is the sound of the rock culture in general, changing society. We are now really living in the 99% versus the 1% so this guy was way ahead of his time, as society and financial security were not as tight as the times we live in now. The man in the suit reminds me of (I won't mention any names but...) What is now being called " Vultue capitalism " That's the man in the suit. To me, " The low spark " means that what you are hearing is JUST the LOW spark. Like, you don't really want to hear the loud one. Don't know why he says once " Heil Boys " The ending of the song I see as an invitation to really think of what you are doing and change your evil materialistic ways and think of others rather than only your self. I hope that my opinion helps us further in unraveling the mystery.
    qbnitoon January 17, 2012   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningI think that the life of an "up-n-coming" musician is a very difficult journey filled with uncertainty, hopes, false promises, and of course, a lot of drugs.

    The low spark is the lighter that lights the joint or hash pipe that these guys were using to get through the days and nights while they lived their lives and enjoyed the thrill of making music and performing. I am certain that Windwood was not a banger, and Capaldi stated that he began to write this song in morocco. The "rebellious" nature in people. All musicians (aside from glam) wore cowboy boots, which have a high heel. The silent gun is in context with the firing of another scum agent that took their money (overpaid for his services.)

    The song is not in the 3rd person narrative, it is written in the 1st person and it it is stated several times throughout the song. Read carefully. There is no mystery here. Living beyond your means is simply the life on the road trying to be discovered. You have to pay for instruments, gas, rooms, etc ... traveling is not cheap.

    The opening "star" reference that is "shooting up from the ground", the "head is spinning" reference-this is the self-reflection of being discovered, and everything that ensues.

    And after all is said and done, and shady characters come and go, consistently the solace in your life is the time to yourself with your friends, sparking up. That is the sound that you hear. Everything else is and has been, overwhelming.

    Its a simple song, you have to look at it through the writer's eyes. After all, he is no longer a child playing with toys. And he remembers what is important, therefore his spirit is something that no one can destroy.

    And the sound that I'm hearing is only the sound
    The low spark of high-heeled boys
    bobcageonon November 01, 2012   Link
  • 0
    Link(s)hopefully this will help clears things up.

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    cgable63on December 12, 2012   Link

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