♫ Can’t We Try ♫

Dan Hill is probably best remembered for Sometimes When We Touch, which is a good song and you will likely see it here (if I didn’t already play it once upon a time) in the future, but I love this one, too.  No, Jerry, I’m not pining for a lost love, I promise — I just like the song.

Dan Hill’s wife, Beverly, got songwriting credit on this one.  This was a duet with Vonda Shepard, who would go on to fame as the musical voice of the hit TV show Ally McBeal. She was 23 years old and working as a backup singer when she got the opportunity to record the song in 1986.  According to Ms. Shepard …

“Dan Hill was recording at a place five blocks from my house in Los Angeles, and I used to go there and work sometimes. The studio manager was a woman who knew me. They were auditioning singers and he wasn’t happy with any of them, and she said, ‘You should check out this girl, Vonda. She’s really good. She always plays at this little club here.’ She had my number, so she called me. I literally walked to the studio that day, auditioned, sang with him, and he said, ‘That’s great. Come back tomorrow.’ And that was the 4th of July. I just have such a visual of that. The 4th of July, went up to the studio again and recorded the song. Totally fun and easy and he was great to work with. We really only met once or twice, that’s the irony of it.

I was on the road with Al Jarreau, and the bus driver was playing the radio. And all of a sudden, there my voice comes – there’s Dan Hill and then my voice coming over the radio. It became a huge hit and I was on the road, so I had to fly home and do a video on an off day. We shot the video, and I flew back out on the road with Al. And then eventually I got my record deal on Warner Brothers.”

Can’t We Try was released as a single from Dan Hill’s 1987 self-titled album. The song reached No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and also on Cash Box, making it Dan Hill’s second-biggest hit behind Sometimes When We Touch, which hit No. 3 back in 1978, and was Vonda Shepard’s only Top 10 Pop hit.

Can’t We Try
Dan Hill, Vonda Shepard

I see your face cloud over like a little girl’s
And your eyes have lost their shine
You whisper something softly I’m not meant to hear
Baby, tell me what’s on your mind

I don’t care what people say
About the two of us from different worlds
I love you so much that it hurts inside
Are you listening?

Listen to me, girl

Can’t we try just a little bit harder?
Can’t we give just a little bit more?
Can’t we try to understand
That it’s love we’re fighting for?
Can’t we try just a little more passion?
Can’t we try just a little less pride?
Love you so much baby
That it tears me up inside

I hear you on the telephone with God knows who
Spilling out your heart for free
Everyone needs someone they can talk to
Girl, that someone should be me

So many times, I tried to tell you
You just turned away

How did I know?

My life is changing so fast now
Leaves me lonely and afraid

Don’t be afraid, girl

Can’t we try just a little bit harder?
Can’t we give just a little bit more?
Can’t we try to understand
That it’s love we’re fighting for?
Can’t we try just a little more passion?
Can’t we try just a little less pride?
Love you so much baby,
That it tears me up inside

Don’t let our love fade away
Don’t let our love fade away
No matter what people say
No matter, no matter what they say
I need you more and more each day
Don’t let our love fade away
No matter what people say
No matter, no matter what they say

Can’t we try just a little bit harder?
Can’t we give just a little bit more?
Can’t we try to understand
That it’s love we’re fighting for?
Can’t we try just a little more passion?
Can’t we try just a little less pride?
Love you so much baby,
That it tears me up inside

Can’t we try just a little bit harder?
Can’t we give just a little bit more?
Can’t we try to understand
That it’s love we’re fighting for?
Can’t we try just a little more passion?
Can’t we try just a little less pride?
Love you so much baby,
That it tears me up inside

Songwriters: Bev Hill / Daniel Grafton Hill
Can’t We Try lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

19 thoughts on “♫ Can’t We Try ♫

  1. I have been a huge Dan Hill fan since the early days of his career and I love this song. One of the most moving books that I have ever read is Hill’s, “I Am My Father’s Son : A Memoir of Love and Forgiveness”, that was published in Feb. of 2009. Among my favorite albums is the Dan Hill Intimate released in 2010. On this album is the deeply touching song : “I Am My Father’s Son”, it brings me to tears every single time that I listen to the CD. There used to be a video that was available at the time, where he explains why he wrote the song and about singing it to his Father just before the man died…talk about tears! Dan Hill is one of Canada’s treasures that we share.Thank-you!

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    • I don’t think I’ve ever heard that one … I’ll have to go check it out later. I would like to find that video. He’s already gotten his time for this month, but give it a little while and you’ll see him again. He’s on the list!

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  2. OH my gosh, you once again are so much my twin when it comes to music! LOL! I haven’t heard this song for ages, but I loved it and used to listen to it so much when I was younger. Thanks for reminding me of it and for the story behind it. 🙂 She literally just walked right into that music deal. 🙂

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        • Here’s a funny one for you. I never realized it until a couple of years ago when my daughter pointed it out, but if I’m happy, I sing, even if I don’t know the words! But if I’m angry or disturbed, I whistle. Once she mentioned it, I started noticing, and it is sub-conscious, but it happens every time. So, when the girls hear me in the kitchen whistling, they stay away! 😀

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  3. I’m betting you knew most of the words to this song before you looked them up.
    It’s a good quetion to ask, but usually one that will almost always come too late. One partner is oblivious to the other’s pain, and by the time the one realizes it the other has prepared to move on. You cannot have a love affair one person at a time.
    Jerry still thinks this is a subconscious cry in the desert, but maybe not Jill’s desert. The sound travels like a whalesong through miles and miles of ocean, hoping to fall on ears that are not deaf yet. Whales might not be deaf, but most people are.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I probably knew half of them, but by no means all of them. No subconscious cry in the desert or in the vast ocean either! Maybe in someone’s desert, but not mine. And yes, most people are both deaf and blind in the figurative sense.

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      • Well, at least I came up with my first new “love” poem in years, thanks to you. My line, You cannot have a love affair one person at a time, struck me as very poetic. I quickly wrote a rough draft, and published it at wordartbyrawgod.wordpress.com right away so as not to forget it. It will be improved at a later date.

        Liked by 1 person

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