Winwood played many of the instruments on Back In The High Life
and wrote the music for the songs, but for this and many other songs on the album, Will Jennings wrote the lyrics. Jennings is a very successful songwriter who also collaborated with Winwood on the albums Arc Of A Diver
and Talking Back To The Night
, and went on to write "My Heart Will Go On
" with James Horner for the movie Titanic
. Jennings told Songfacts
"I was born in East Texas and my mother and father's families were from Arkansas and the generations before were from the Deep South. My father's father was a Methodist preacher, a circuit rider, in Arkansas. My earliest memories are of the music in church and of my aunts and uncles singing the beautiful old hymns. 'Higher Love' is a generation past that, when things were not so much taken for granted, so that one has to plea, 'Bring me a higher love,' and the lines are all trying to explain why there must be higher love. A modern hymn, you might call it."