“Welcome to Heartlight” by Kenny Loggins
There was once a school located in Southern California called Heartlight. It went defunct who knows how long ago, and as such there doesn’t appear to be any information about the institution readily available online.
But at least Kenny Loggins, who was an in-demand musician at the time this track was released, managed to immortalize it in song. For on top of naming the tune after the school, the lyrics contained therein were inspired by some students of the establishment.
In fact to some degree, Loggins is taking on the role of a student himself. Or at least such is the connotation of the second verse, when he speaks of ‘holding hands and walking with the teacher’.
To note, he never specifies who said teacher is nor the nature of his educational relationship with him. But all lyrics considered, if we were forced to come to a conclusion, it would be something like this piece is based on a philosophy or emotion as opposed to a school.
Thus “the heartlight”, as presented in the lyrics, reads most simply as being synonymous with some kind of state of immense love. And it is such a feeling that has overtaken the life of the vocalist.
Therefore, the implication would be that the aforementioned “teacher” is the one who taught him how to practice such a mind state. But more to the point is the vocalist inviting the addressee to also partake of “heartlight”.
Or viewed from another angle, now he has become adept enough in practicing this state of love to become a teacher of it himself, which is kinda what the title is getting at.
So if a listener doesn’t know the actual history of this song, as in what inspired it, then they’re not likely to trace the featured sentiment back to schoolchildren. But the idea being expressed is still, if you will, childlike. For ultimately, the artist is referring to this type of personally-encompassing love known as “heartlight”. And he’s inviting others to be party of it in a way reminiscent of 1960s free-love hippyism.
Facts about “Welcome to Heartlight”
This song is from Kenny’s fourth solo studio album, “High Adventure”, also being one of three singles released from the project. FYI, Kenny’s hit song “Heart to Heart” was also one of the aforementioned singles birthed by “High Adventure”.
As featured on the album, the track is actually entitled Heartlight. However, it just so happens that Neil Diamond also came out with a song called Heartlight in 1982. So in the name of not causing any confusion between the two, when this track was issued as a single, it was renamed “Welcome to Heartlight”.
“Welcome to Heartlight”, which was issued through Columbia Records in 1982, proved to be a mild hit, most notably breaking the top 30 of the Billboard Hot 100. But to note, it also managed to make it onto the top 20 of Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart.
Kenny Loggins wrote and co-produced Heartlight. And the other co-producer is Bruce Botnick, an engineer/producer who worked with some of the greatest musical acts of that era.
As of the writing of this post, Kenny Loggins is a septuagenarian, and the last album he’s come out with to date has been 2009’s All Join In. The said album is actually a product of Walt Disney Records, which should give you an idea of what kind of standard Loggins has set throughout the years, including with songs like Heartlight.
It was during the late 1970s when Kenny was at the peak of his fame, as all of his first three albums – Celebrate Me Home (1977), Nightwatch (1978) and Keep the Fire (1979) – went platinum stateside.