♫ On My Own ♫

I thought I had already played this song, but it was still on my list.  I looked back through my archives and couldn’t find where I had played it, so if I did already play it, my apologies.  I’m old and forgetful, you know.  👵

Sayer-BacharachReleased in 1986, this was written by Carole Bayer Sager and Burt Bacharach, who were married (to each other) at the time. They promised the song to Patti LaBelle, but LaBelle’s producer Richard Perry was less than impressed, and agreed to let Sager and Bacharach produce it instead. They cut their own backing track, which Patti LaBelle recorded on her own (pun unintended) but it wasn’t until Michael McDonald was persuaded to contribute that the song came together.

The duo recorded their parts separately. Patti LaBelle filmed the video in New York and recorded her part in Philadelphia. Michael McDonald did both in LA. The video used a split screen effect to show them each on their own.  According to Ms. LaBelle …

“The success of ‘On My Own’ came as a shock. I don’t record for commercial value. With ‘On My Own’ I went into the Studio thinking, I’m gonna record something I love. Usually if I love it, it bubbles under. And I was surprised it made a hit.”

The song became the biggest hit single ever for both McDonald and LaBelle as it reached number one on the Billboard chart for 3 weeks and number two on the UK Singles chart.

On My Own
Patti LaBelle, Michael McDonald

So many times
Said it was forever
Said our love would always be true
Something in my heart always knew
I’d be lying here beside you
On my own
On my own
On my own

So many promises never should be spoken
Now I know what loving you cost
Now we’re up to talking divorce
And we weren’t even married
On my own
Once again now
One more time
By myself

No one said it was easy
But it once was so easy
Well I believed, I believed in love
Now here I stand
I wonder why

I’m on my own
Why did it end this way
On my own
This wasn’t how it was supposed to be
On my own
I wish that we could do it all again

So many times
I know I could have told you
Losing you it cut like a knife, hey
You walked out and there went my life
I don’t want to live without you
On my own
This wasn’t how it was supposed to end
On my own
I wish that we could do it all again
On my own
I never dreamed I’d spend one night alone

By myself
On my own, I’ve got to find where I belong again
On my own
I’ve got to learn how to be strong again
On my own
I never dreamed I’d spend one night alone
By myself by myself, by myself
I’ve got to find out what was mine again
On my own
My heart is saying that it’s my time again
On my own
And I have faith that I will shine again
On my own
I (on my own) have faith (on my own) in me

Songwriters: Carole Bayer Sager / Burt Bacharach
On My Own lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, BMG Rights Management

27 thoughts on “♫ On My Own ♫

  1. Somehow I missed ever hearing this song………but it is absolutely gorgeous! The harmonies are sublime…….and the video is absolutely perfect for the lyrics. You said ’86 though..so now it makes sense. I was busily having a child and becoming homeless.

    Like

    • Ah yes … I can relate! Often somebody mentions a song that I never heard, or at least don’t remember hearing, and then I realize that I was otherwise occupied raising 3 kids, getting a divorce, becoming homeless, though thankfully only for a few days, and going to grad school, plus working 3 jobs at one time! Life does interfere sometimes 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jill, thanks for sharing the background on this. It is always interesting to hear of the rejection of a song before it becomes a hit. I remember Meatloaf’s first album almost not being released, but now it is viewed as one of the best albums ever. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Meatloaf!!! That’s another one I haven’t thought of in a while … I’ll add them to my list! Yes, I am having much fun increasing my knowledge with music trivia. It’s a welcome respite from my normal fare on this blog.

      Like

  3. Not to boast, well given how this day has gone so far, what the heck…I’ll boast and take credit for putting the bug of this song in your ear! Not so very long ago, if memory serves me correctly it was mid April, you played Michael McDonald’s I Keep Forgettin’ that was suggested by Patty. I clearly remember that in my comment I said that this duet is my favorite song by him. LOVE this song!! Thank-you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heh heh … the credit is well-deserved, and it was simply oversight on my part that it wasn’t mentioned. Yes, you planted the seed on that day, and at that time I added it to my list with your name next to it. So take a bow, for this was your idea! Now, what is wrong with your day so far? It’s barely past noon!

      Like

  4. We never expect to break up, eternal optomists when it comes to love. But life happens, and fewer and fewer love affairs are ending in death. But that is actually a good thing, I think. Was a time when people would stay together for the kids, or for appearances, even though one or both (or more) participants were no longer happy. My own sister has cried most of her life away because she doesn’t want to break the wedding ties she vowed to uphold, and that is much sadder than breaking up. The man she married changed just after she married him–60 years ago. On one’s own is much preferable to that, esp when you consider that she could have found happiness elsewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree … a couple who stays together for any other reason than love and mutual respect is much sadder than the couple who breaks up. People grow and change over time, and not always in the same direction. It happens. Not necessarily the fault of either one.

      Like

      • Never the fault of either one. If we could only fall in love once, life would not be worth living. It is a very odd couple who change in the same direction, at the same pace. The more times we fall in love, the more different peole we get to meet who we can learn from, and who can learn from us. One love, one life is not progressive. If it happens, well and good. But if it doesn’t happen, use each opportunity to improve…

        Liked by 1 person

        • Oh, I dunno. I have friends who have recently celebrated their 50th anniversary and they are genuinely still in love and both very happy to be so. It’s not for everyone, but it really is nice when it works out that way. We do learn from every experience, though often the lessons are negative rather than positive. And at some point, I think we harden our hearts and give up believing that there is such a thing.

          Like

          • I have never given up on love, but I find as I get older I don’t give love as easily as I once did. I have put guards around my heart–not walls, but guards.
            Certainly a life with one love is possible. My oldest brother thought that was his life, until his wife died. He wasn’t looking to get involved again, just enjoyed his memories, when a new woman swept him off his feet. She showed him a whole new meaning for love, and I never saw him so happy as when he was with the new wife. And she told me it was the same for her. She too had married young, and stayed with her hubby until he died. But she said my brother made her happier than she ever thought possible. They had seven wonderful years together, and that changed both their lives. One never knows who, when, or where.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. This duet is beautifully performed. Michael McDonald’s voice is simply dreamy, I can’t imagine anyone else singing this song and doing it justice. Patti LaBelle is THE Queen Diva, divine as usual.
    I like it as much as “On my own” from the Broadway play Les Mis. Similar powerful emotional theme about losing a significant other, a once in a lifetime love. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

I would like to hear your opinion, so please comment if you feel so inclined.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s