Hinterlands of Devotion

Many of you may be aware of the Afro-British R&B singer Sade. Many more of you may be aware of her ability to capture the essence of love and longing in her music–an impressive set of best selling records that she is talented enough to only release every 10 years or so. Being an African American West fanatic when I heard the first release from her latest album my ears shot up. The title is “Soldier of Love” which does not mean much until she begins to sing about the “Wild Wild West” and the “hinterlands of [her] devotion.” I immediately began trying to figure out how and why the mythic 19th century west became a point of contact in her song (in 2010). I am still teasing this out, but I find it fascinating nevertheless.