What Do You Follow: Head or Heart?

In his album, The Story of Us, Quinn XCII (92) collaborates with Chelsea Cutler to produce “Flare Guns,” a current favorite of mine. The song is about the one person who you know you shouldn’t call but can’t help but call. I think that the song addresses the struggle between the feelings in your head vs. your heart. When in your head you know you shouldn’t do it, but your heart tells you to go for it. In the end, Quinn XCII follows his heart. The first ten seconds of the song are of instrumental violins, which sets the tone for the rest of the song. In his first verse he sings: 

This love stays calm in the night, yeah, helps me heal and reopen
Why are we drifting away from everything we wanted to save?

These lyrics were very powerful because they talk about the end of his relationship but can also be used in other contexts. In his relationship, they ended because they needed to focus on themselves and be on their own, but they came back together and focused less on what they wanted to maintain. The same could be said about life. Many times people take breaks to focus on themselves or what went wrong before, but life happens and neglects what they wanted to do. This goes back to the idea head vs. heart, knowing what you need to do to better yourself, but follows another path. He follows those lyrics in his pre-chorus with: 

I told you I'd be down forever
Loving you is danger, but it don't feel wrong
It's old news, I should look for better

I love the line “Loving you is danger, but it don’t feel wrong” because of how perfectly it fits into the meaning of the song. There are times in life when we know something is wrong and that we shouldn’t do it but we become so consumed by it and fall into it. He is so invested in his relationship and how he feels, even though he knows he deserves better, and goes for it anyways. His head is telling him it is dangerous but his heart is telling him it is right. He reaches the chorus of the song. 

Flare guns go off in my head, saying not to call you this late
Still I dial those numbers every time
Why do I replay those messages that you left at the tone last May?
Slowly wishing you were never mine

A flare gun is used to create illumination to improve vision or as a distress signal. The use of flare guns was a perfect kind of symbolism to explain the warning signs that go off in your head. Bring to light all the problems that are going to happen and give clarity to the situation. But the heart is a powerful thing and more often than not, especially in his case, the heart wins. He puts himself though so much pain and second guesses by following his heart. His head is thinking logically and his heart is thinking passionately. Quinn XCII and Chelsea Cutler sing together:

See, I don't know better than to give up on loving
Why am I still holding on? I'm still holding on

These lines perfectly fit into Quinn XCII’s situation of head vs. heart. He has given up on love and has accepted that, but there is that part of him that still has hope, that is still holding on. That’s what head vs. heart is really. Knowing what is best and accepting that but still have a little sliver of hope and questioning that hope. Hope is a powerful thing and can make people do things they may not agree with. I picture the concept of head vs. heart like in cartoons when the devil is on one shoulder and the angel on the other and they usually end up following the devil.

One thought on “What Do You Follow: Head or Heart?

  1. SOFIA F

    I love how you connected the struggle of getting back with a past loved one with the internal battle of the head and the heart. The analysis of the flare guns and theme of danger were also very solid, especially when you conveyed how difficult it is to ignore those signs. You definitely did this song justice!


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