Call It A Loan

Album: Hold Out (1980)
Play Video


  • If you're not ready to give your heart, you can always loan it out.

    Jackson Browne claims he made up the story about a guy who is flummoxed in love and not ready to commit, but admits there are parallels with his personal life. Browne had been dating an Australian model named Lynne Sweeney off and on since they met in 1977. By 1980, when he recorded the Hold Out album, he was at a crossroads in the relationship and wondering if he should marry her (he did - they were married from 1981-1983).

    In a 1997 Mojo interview, Browne explained: "This is about not being able to pay up, stealing someone else's heart and not being able to go on with the theft – not knowing the complete cost, and wanting to call it a loan until you grow enough to pay for it."
  • Most of Browne's songs are solo compositions, but he wrote this one with David Lindley, who played guitar on the album and came up with the guitar melody. Lindley was one of the backing musicians who crafted the singer-songwriter sound coming out of southern California in the '70s. He also played on albums by Linda Ronstadt, Graham Nash and Warren Zevon.


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Charlotte Caffey of The Go-Go's

Charlotte Caffey of The Go-Go'sSongwriter Interviews

Charlotte was established in the LA punk scene when a freaky girl named Belinda approached her wearing a garbage bag.

The End Of The Rock Era

The End Of The Rock EraSong Writing

There are no more rock stars - the last one died in 1994.

Gavin Rossdale On Lyric Inspirations and Bush's Album The Kingdom

Gavin Rossdale On Lyric Inspirations and Bush's Album The KingdomSongwriter Interviews

The Bush frontman on where he finds inspiration for lyrics, if his "machine head" is a guitar tuner, and the stories behind songs from the album The Kingdom.

Little Richard

Little RichardFact or Fiction

Was Long Tall Sally a cross-dresser? Did he really set his piano on fire? See if you know the real stories about one of rock's greatest innovators.

Shawn Mullins

Shawn MullinsSongwriter Interviews

"Lullaby" singer Shawn Mullins on "Beautiful Wreck," beating the Devil, and his writing credit on the Zac Brown Band song "Toes."

Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum

Dave Pirner of Soul AsylumSongwriter Interviews

Dave explains how the video appropriated the meaning of "Runaway Train," and what he thought of getting parodied by Weird Al.