Behind the Meaning of Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature”

Dissecting the human nature is more or less the function of every songwriter. A great songwriter takes their own experience and adapts it to a universal truth. A good love song must mirror the love stories of countless listeners. Breakup songs must soothe many ailing hearts. In “Human Nature,” Michael Jackson attempts to take himself off the pedestal of fame and connect with a woman he is interested in. Newfound attraction and a yearning for freedom are universal feelings. In fact, they’re human nature. Check out the meaning behind this song, below.

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[RELATED: 4 Songs You Didn’t Know Michael Jackson Was a Guest on]

Behind the Meaning of Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature”

Looking out across the nighttime
The city winks a sleepless eye
Hear her voice, shake my window
Sweet seducing sighs
Get me out into the nighttime

Jackson kicks off this song by looking out of his window onto a thrilling, seducing city. When you garner as much fame as Jackson did, exploring a bustling city becomes no easy feat. In what couldn’t be much more than a pipe dream, the singer fantasizes about stepping out and connected with those around him.

Reaching out to touch a stranger
Electric eyes are everywhere
See that girl, she knows I’m watching
She likes the way I stare

He explains his attraction in the second verse. Electric eyes are everywhere / See that girl, she knows I’m watching, he sings. There is a freedom in his search for romance–one that was likely not exhibited in his real life. Jackson likely wasn’t able to hit the town and pick up women. In the last decade or so of his life, his fame was insurmountable. Hence, his dreaming of escaping fame in this song.

Looking out across the morning
The city’s heart begins to beat
Reaching out, I touch her shoulder
I’m dreaming of the street

Revisit this track, below.

Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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