Listen to this track by million-selling New York soul vocalists the Persuaders. It’s their signature single and their biggest hit to date from 1971, “Thin Line Between Love and Hate”. Here is a classic tale of neglect, seeming acceptance, pent up anger, and one of the best lyrical payoffs in the history of soul music.
Pop music is full of stories of how love can go wrong, and how lovers can become callous, taking each other for granted. Many more are about the scorned woman, the one waiting at home while their men are out “doin’ the camel walk”.
But, with this song, the emotional landscapes are not quite that easily defined. We have the man who is out on the town at all hours, and his seemingly patient and selfless other half waiting at home for him, even at 5 O’clock in the morning, ready to fix him something to eat, unfazed by his absence up until then.
Who could predict how the story would end up from here? And, what else does this song reveal?