♫ Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do) ♫

This song originated with a lyric that Peter Allen wrote for a song he was working on with Carole Bayer Sager: “When you get caught between the moon and New York City.”  Allen never finished the song, and in 1981, Bayer Sager started working with another top songwriter, Burt Bacharach.   When Bacharach got the gig scoring music for the movie Arthur, starring Dudley Moore, he worked on the music for the theme song with Christopher Cross, and asked Bayer Sager to compose the lyrics. She recalled the line Allen came up with years earlier, and secured his permission to use it. (An irrelevant aside:  Bacharach and Sager married in 1982 and divorced nine years later)

How do you get “caught between the moon and New York City”? According to Peter Allen, he came up with the line when his plane got stuck in a holding pattern waiting to land at JFK airport in New York. Odd what can trigger an idea for a song, a poem or a story, isn’t it?

This song won the 1982 Oscar for Best Song From A Film and Christopher Cross, whose real name is Christopher Geppert, won five Grammy awards in 1981: Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) for “Sailing,” Album Of The Year for Christopher Cross, and Best New Artist.

Dudley Moore, who starred in Arthur, was also an accomplished pianist. He and Cross became good friends and performed the song together a few times with Moore on piano and Cross singing.  Cross is best known for his song, Sailing, which you’ll probably hear here soon!

Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)
Christopher Cross

Once in your life you find her
Someone that turns your heart around
And next thing you know you’re closing down the town
Wake up and it’s still with you
Even though you left her way across town
Wondering to yourself, “Hey, what’ve I found?”

When you get caught between the Moon and New York City
I know it’s crazy, but it’s true
If you get caught between the Moon and New York City
The best that you can do
The best that you can do is fall in love

Arthur he does as he pleases
All of his life, he’s mastered choice
Deep in his heart, he’s just, he’s just a boy
Living his life one day at a time
And showing himself a really good time
Laughing about the way they want him to be

When you get caught between the Moon and New York City
I know it’s crazy, but it’s true
If you get caught between the Moon and New York City
The best that you can do,
The best that you can do is fall in love

When you get caught between the Moon and New York City
I know it’s crazy, but it’s true
If you get caught between the Moon and New York City
The best that you can do,
The best that you can do is fall in love

Songwriters: Burt F. Bacharach / Carole Bayer Sager / Christopher C. Cross / Peter W. Allen
Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do) lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, BMG Rights Management

11 thoughts on “♫ Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do) ♫

  1. Haven’t heard this before , it’s good to have the words laid out , ‘ laughing about the way they want him to be ‘ shaking of the shackles of education chasing after enjoyment — ah youth.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. While this was a great success for Christopher Cross, it is not my favorite song by him. My favorites are “Ride Like the Wind”, “Sailing” and “Think of Laura.” The latter received much acclaim for being featured on General Hospital’s Luke and Laura plot line and shot to #1 spot for weeks. The song was actually written for a college student he knew, named Laura, who was killed by a stray bullet…an unbelievably tragic story that I remember, being a native Pennsylvanian. Thank-you!

    Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t remember the exact details of the event anymore. Laura was a Pennsylvania girl away at college in another state. Her parents were visiting and while in the backseat of the family car, she was struck by a stray bullet. The bullet came from a gun being used in some turf war altercation between several young men. Justice was served, as several went to jail…but, I doubt it removed the horror of witnessing this needless loss for the parents. The song was written by Cross, he knew Laura as she was a friend of his then girlfriend, it was meant to comfort the girlfriend. I believe that it was included in his second album and was a single too. My youngest sister talked of this endlessly back then, a college student herself at the time.

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