"Heart Of The Matter" as written by and Don/campbell Henley....
I got the call today, I didn't want to hear
but I knew that it would come.
An old, true friend of ours was talkin' on the phone,
she said you found someone.
And I thought of all the bad luck
and the struggles we went through
and how I lost me and you lost you.
What are those voices outside love's open door,
make us throw off our contentment
and beg for something more?

I'm learning to live without you now,
but I miss you sometimes.
The more I know, the less I understand,
all the things I thought I knew, I'm learning again.
I've been tryin' to get down
to the heart of the matter
but my will gets weak
and my thoughts seem to scatter
but I think it's about forgiveness,
forgiveness
even if, even if you don't love me anymore.

These times are so uncertain
There's a yearning undefined
.....people filled with rage
We all need a little tenderness
How can love survive in such a graceless age?
The trust and self-assurance that lead to happiness
They're the very things we kill, I guess
Pride and competition
cannot fill these empty arms
And the work I put between us doesn't keep me warm

I'm learning to live with out you now
But I miss you, baby
The more I know, the less I understand
All the things I thought I'd figured out
I have to learn again
I've been trying to get down
to the heart of the matter
But everything changes
and my friends seem to scatter
But I think it's about forgiveness
Forgiveness
Even if, even if you don't love me anymore.

There are people in your life
who've come and gone,
They let you down,
you know they've hurt your pride.
You better put it behind you;
'cause life goes on.
You keep carryin' that anger,
it'll eat you up inside baby,

I've been trying to get down
to the heart of the matter
But everything changes
and my friends seem to scatter
But I think it's about forgiveness
Forgiveness
Even if, even if you don't love me,

I've been tryin' to get down
to the heart of the matter
because the flesh will get weak
and the ashes will scatter.
So, I'm thinkin' about forgiveness,
forgiveness
even if , even if you don't love me.

Forgiveness, forgiveness,
forgiveness, forgiveness,
forgiveness, forgiveness,
even if, even if you don't love me.






Lyrics submitted by Nicky

"The Heart of the Matter" as written by Don/campbell Henley

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., EMI Music Publishing

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Heart Of The Matter song meanings
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43 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentLike most art, the artist leaves it to interpretation of the listener, melding together with what they bring to it. Likewise, the artist may be inspired by more than one thing in writing it...

    I think this is a synthesis of many things in Don's life (and the co-writers as well), certainly it has part of its genesis in the breakup of the Eagles, but also more than likely personal relationships as well, which we can all relate too.

    Katherine mentioned (in the other thread) about Don's intro to this on the 'Hell Freezes Over' DVD, that this song "took 42 years to write, and about 4 minutes to sing. So..." - and he leaves it at that... but if you saw his face when he said it, you know it means so much to him that mere words cannot do it justice. You have to hear it, you have to sing it, you have to live it.

    One other thing you might consider, is that this sing is really a conversation with a friend, which is continued in 'My Thanksgiving':
    "A lot of things have happened since the last time we spoke
    Some of them are funny, some of em ain't no joke
    And I trust you will forgive me if I lay it on the line
    I always thought you were a friend of mine"

    ...and ends with:

    "For every moment of joy every hour of fear
    For every winding road that brought me here
    For every breath, for every day of living
    This is my thanksgiving

    For everyone who helped me start
    And for everything that broke my heart
    For every breath, for every day of living
    This is my thanksgiving"

    Isn't that the ultimate expression of forgiveness?

    These two songs make a beautiful pair of bookends to the same thought, about personal spiritual growth.
    RealityByteson January 04, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThink about it.. he's talking about HIS will getting weak and HIS thoughts being scattered,HIS friends being scattered... he is struggling to put down his past mistakes.He is trying to come to terms with everything he has done. HE is struggling to get to the Heart of the Matter. From the other words, you can see he has already forgiven them...
    Searchingon February 08, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentgreat song, but that molliefromtexas person is a fucking nutcase.

    henley wrote this with 2 other people, stop trying to spread misinformation
    _nate_on June 03, 2009   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningLike all good art, this song has meaning to the person listening. Regardless of what the songwriters used as a basis for the lyrics, to me it has meaning related to my divorce. I still love my ex, I couldn't live with him any more, we both made mistakes, he hates me for my mistakes, I've been really angry about his. There is only one thing that will enable me to go on with life, and that is to forgive him for his part, even if he doesn't love me any more, even if he'll always hate me. Forgiving him helps me let it go.
    Icebearon April 06, 2011   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningUltimate reconciliation. We hurt each other, we love each other, life goes on. Hate dies, Loves lives forever. Please forgive me for your sake, not mine; as I have forgiven you for my sake not yours. (^_^) Even if, even if you don't love me aaannyyymmoorree.
    PhoenixSouvenir75on October 20, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe song is about a guy who dates a gurl for a long time, and they finally break up and after a while he starts to get over her. "I'm learning to live without you now
    But I miss you sometimes"
    drummer4514on May 17, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit's about a guy who realizes that it's not about who wins and who loses, but what you personally gain during a relationship that matters. he says 'hey, you've moved on, i forgive you, i still love you'. he's trying to make a life of his own without her.
    sapphireskieson July 22, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's about a guy who gets dumped by a girl that he loved, but she doesn't love him anymore, "Even if, even if you don't love me anymore". So he is trying to get over her, but he is finding it hard.
    JustlikeBeckhamon August 14, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's about a guy who gets dumped by a girl that he loved, but she doesn't love him anymore, "Even if, even if you don't love me anymore". So he is trying to get over her, but he is finding it hard.
    JustlikeBeckhamon August 14, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHeres a new idea, though you'll all probably disagree with me, this song may have undertones about the Eagles splitting for a time and could be partially about Henleys thoughtsor feelings he was going through...'people filled with rage' or 'pride and competition' could symbolise the 'struggles' the band went through. Disagree if you like it makes better conversation than everyone having the same ideas.
    Katherine7486on May 05, 2003   Link

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