♫ Where Is The Love ♫

Tonight, I was going to play Midnight at the Oasis … until I realized that I had played it not once, but twice in just over a year already, and it didn’t go over all that well last time I played it.  So as I listened to the song, I scrolled down the YouTube suggestions on the right of my screen, and hit upon this song, originally by Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway.  

This was written by percussionist Ralph MacDonald and bass player William Salter. They wrote the song hoping The 5th Dimension would record it, but MacDonald was working on the session for the Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway album, and when they needed one more song, he offered it to them.

Flack and Hathaway were good friends who both attended Howard University. Their first collaboration was a cover of Carole King’s You’ve Got a Friend. This led to an entire album of duets, which contained this hit.  Six years later, Flack and Hathaway teamed up again for The Closer I Get To You, which hit #2 in the US. Flack also recorded successful duets with Peabo Bryson (Tonight, I Celebrate My Love) and Maxi Priest (Set The Night To Music).

The song won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.  It charted at #1 in the U.S., #29 in the UK, and #35 in Canada.  It has been covered by numerous people, including Helen Reddy, but the one I find I liked best, after Flack & Hathaway’s version of course, is the one by Sérgio Mendes & Brasil ’77, so I am including that one here as well.

Where Is the Love
Donny Hathaway and Roberta Flack

Where is the love?
You said, was mine, all mine
Till the end of time
Was it just a lie?


Where is the love?
If you had, had a sudden change of heart
I wish that you would tell me so
Don’t leave me hangin’ on the promises


You’ve got to let me know
Oh, how I wish, I never met you
I guess, it must have been my fate
To fall in love with someone else’s love
All I can do is wait
That’s all I can do, yeah yeah


Where is the love? (Where is the love?)
Where is the love? (Where is the love?)
Where is the love? (Where is the love?)
Where is the love? (Where is the love?)
Where is the love? (Where is the love?)
Where is the love? (Where is the love?)
Where is the love? (Where is the love?)
Where is the love? (Where is the love?)


Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Mac Donald Ralph / Salter William
Where Is the Love lyrics © Universal Music – Z Tunes Llc, Reservoir 416, Tennman Tunes, Bmg Ruby Songs, Printz Polar Publishing, Songs Of Universal Inc., Antisia Music Inc

♫ The Closer I Get To You ♫

I was washing dishes this afternoon (no, they haven’t fixed the #@$% dishwasher yet!) when this song popped unbidden into my head.  I hummed it for a while, sang a bit of it (no doubt with the wrong lyrics, but hey … at least the cats didn’t start howling as they sometimes do when I belt out a tune!)  Then it left my head, to be replaced with other ‘stuff’ such as laundry, the Electoral College, supper preparation, writing an a.m. post, and more.  But then, this evening as I put the finishing touches on my morning post, it popped back into my head once again and I took that as a sign that I ought to play it here! 

According to SongFacts …

“In 1972, Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway, who were good friends from their days at Howard University, recorded an album of duets containing the hit “Where Is The Love”. Five years later, they reunited for this track, which is a much happier tale of a couple falling in love. 

This song was not conceived as a duet. It was written by Reggie Lucas and James Mtume, who were members of Flack’s touring band and played on Blue Lights in the Basement. They wrote the song between tours, and during the sessions for the album brought the song to Flack’s producer Joe Ferla, who played it for Flack. Her manager David Franklin also worked with Hathaway, and decided to bring him in and turn the song into a duet. Hathaway suffered from severe bouts of depression, and hadn’t worked with Flack in years. He was hospitalized at the time, and the producers had to get permission from the hospital to fly him out and come to the sessions. Hathaway died in 1979 of an apparent suicide.”

Following Hathaway’s death, Roberta Flack told Jet magazine …

“I tried to reach out to Donny. That’s how we managed to do the song we did last year. I felt this need because I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t save him, I knew he was sick. But I knew when he sat down at that piano and sang for me it was like it was eight or nine years ago because he sang and played his ass off.”

Flack announced that The Closer I Get to You would forever be a dedication to Hathaway, and that all money made from the song would be donated to Hathaway’s widow and two children.  And on that sad note, let’s just listen to the music …

The Closer I Get to You
Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway

The closer I get to you
The more you make me see
By giving me all you got
Your love has captured me

Over and over again
I tried to tell myself that we
Could never be more than friends
And all the while inside I knew it was real
The way you make me feel

Lying here next to you
Time just seems to fly
Needing you more and more
Lets give love a try (oh, oh, oh)

Sweeter than sweeter love grows
And heaven’s there for those
Who fool the tricks of time
With the hearts of love they find true love
In a special way

The closer I get to you
The more you make me see
By giving me all you got
Your love has captured me

Over and over again
I try to tell myself that we
Could never be more than friends
And all the while inside I knew it was real
The way you make me feel

The closer I get to you
The more you make me see
By giving you all I got
Your love has captured me

The closer I get to you
The feeling comes over me (me too)
Pulling closer, sweet as the gravity

to you

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: James Mtume / Reggie Lucas
The Closer I Get to You lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC