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The Human League - Human - Lyrics Meaning

"Human" was a 1986 single from British synth-pop band The Human League. The song was actually written by famed U.S. R&B producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis were in high demand as producers from their recent work on Janet Jackson's "Control," and offered to work with The Human League when they found out the group were at a creative impasse in the studio. They presented three songs to the band and "Human" was one of them.

The lyrics depict a couple reuniting after a period of separation. At the beginning of the song, Philip Oakey apologizes for being unfaithful to his partner while they were apart. He asks for her forgiveness, as it was never his intent to hurt her feelings, he was just looking to fill a void while they were apart. He doesn't want to see her cry and he was never out to replace her with another. He's just human - born to make mistakes.

Joanne Cahterall then has a spoken-word admission that the tears she's crying aren't tears of pain but rather guilt and shame. She then reveals that she too was unfaithful while they were apart and she's human too.

The song was a huge hit in the United States and reached number one on Billboard's Hot 100. Surprisingly, due to the production of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, the mid-tempo ballad also reached number three on the R&B charts in the states. It also charted on both the dance and adult contemporary charts.

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