♫ Endless Love ♫

Tonight there is no song in my heart … and so I turn back to that which I last played 3 years ago … Lionel Richie never fails to put a song where there was none … this one is for … well, you know who you are.


Lionel Richie originally wrote this song and recorded it with Diana Ross in 1981.  Lionel Richie had risen from saxophone player in the Commodores to lead vocalist and primary songwriter in the group. He was still with them when the movie, Endless Love, was being filmed and director Franco Zeffirelli asked him to write an instrumental theme along the lines of Henry Mancini’s theme from the 1971 film Love Story. Richie, who was eager to add “film soundtrack” to his resumé, used a piece of music he had written for the Commodores but was never recorded. But then Zeffirelli decided he wanted lyrics. And that it should be a duet, maybe with Diana Ross. So Richie’s assignment went from devising an instrumental theme song to composing and performing on a fully-formed duet with the most popular female vocalist in America. He was up for the challenge.

The movie did not do well, but the song, recorded under the Motown label, received Oscar and Golden Globe nominations and won a Marquee Award in 1982 for Best Original Song.

In 1994, Mariah Carey and Luther Vandross recorded this for Vandross’ album Songs. It became Luther’s biggest hit, going to #2 in the US.  I am a big fan of Luther Vandross, but tonight, as I listened to his and Mariah’s version, I found that I still preferred Lionel Richie and Shania’s.  Somewhere along the line, Kenny Rogers even recorded it … is there a song around that he hasn’t recorded???  I did not listen to Kenny’s version.  Three was enough for me.

Richie and Twain recorded their version in 2011, and the video you are about to watch was recorded in February 2012.

Endless Love
Lionel Richie and Shania Twain

My love
There’s only you in my life
The only thing that’s right
My first love
You’re every breath I take
You’re every step I make

And I
I want to share
All my love with you
No one else will do
And your eyes (your eyes, your eyes)
They tell me how much you care
Oh, yes
You’ll always be
My endless love

Two hearts
Two hearts that beat as one
Our lives have just begun
And forever
I’ll hold you close in my arms
I can’t resist your charms

And I
I’d play the fool
For you, I’m sure
You know I don’t mind
(No, you know I don’t mind)
And yes
You mean the world to me
I know I’ve found in you
My endless love

And love
I’d play the fool
For you, I’m sure
You know I don’t mind
(Whoa, you know I don’t mind)
Oh, yes
You’d be the only one
Cause no, I can’t deny
This love I have inside
And I’ll give it all to you
My love (my love, my love)

Songwriters: Lionel B. Richie / Jr.
Endless Love lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

♫ Hero ♫

I am playing this song tonight in honour of a man most of us know only as Padre Steve, one of only two ‘men of the cloth’, along with John Pavlovitz, that I both respect, and admire.  Padre Steve has served in both the Army and the Navy as a Chaplain, has seen active combat, and returned from the Middle East with PTSD, but still … he kept on.  Now, after a nearly 40-year career in the military, Padre Steve is retiring, and as you might expect, is experiencing some angst, some sadness, as memories flood in, as he wonders … what next?

I don’t know the Padre well, but I can tell you what I do know … he is a good man, a man of conscience, a man who would give his life to save another.  And if my word isn’t good enough … Padre has pups that love him!  That’s all I needed to know, for dogs are much more discerning than humans and if a dog loves you … then in my book you are good people!

This one’s for you, Padre.  Wherever you go from here, I ask only that you be at peace, that you take time for you, time to read, to walk in the forest, to … heck, take up painting or write a book!  Just be happy, my friend — you’ve earned it.


In 2001, Carey performed the song at the “Tribute To Heroes” telethon for the victims of the terrorist attacks in the US., and it was included on a benefit album, God Bless America, which helped the Twin Towers Fund.9-11_honor_heroes_full

This song was originally written, unsolicited, for the Dustin Hoffman movie of the same name, but the producers of the movie ultimately chose Luther Vandross’ Heart Of A Hero. According to Walter Afanasieff,  who wrote the music …

He was recording the Music Box album with Carey at the time, and during a break he, “was sitting at the piano and told Mariah about this movie. Within two hours, we had this incredible seed for this song, ‘Hero.’  It was never meant for Mariah to sing. In her mind, we were writing a song for Gloria Estefan for this movie. And we went into an area that Mariah didn’t really go into – in her words, it was a little bit too schmaltzy or too pop ballady or too old-fashioned as far as melody and lyrics.”

Hero was the subject of two copyright plagiarism cases; one by a former limo driver, Christopher Selletti and the other by Rhonda Dimmer, filed in 1993 and 1996.  Neither party’s suit was successful, but since Carey has been involved in similar suits over other songs, one wonders.

She insists on being photographed only from her right side, and during a 2000 tour, she insisted on a rider to the contract that Cristal champagne and bendy straws would be provided backstage at her concerts.

All that aside, though … I just like the song, and think she sings it beautifully, so without further ado …

Hero
Mariah Carey

There’s a hero
If you look inside your heart
You don’t have to be afraid
Of what you are
There’s an answer
If you reach into your soul
And the sorrow that you know
Will melt away

And then a hero comes along
With the strength to carry on
And you cast your fears aside
And you know you can survive
So when you feel like hope is gone
Look inside you and be strong
And you’ll finally see the truth
That a hero lies in you

It’s a long road
When you face the world alone
No one reaches out a hand
For you to hold
You can find love
If you search within yourself
And that emptiness you felt
Will disappear

And then a hero comes along
With the strength to carry on
And you cast your fears aside
And you know you can survive
So when you feel like hope is gone
Look inside you and be strong
And you’ll finally see the truth
That a hero lies in you, oh, oh

Lord knows
Dreams are hard to follow
But don’t let anyone
Tear them away, hey yeah
Hold on
There will be tomorrow
In time you’ll find the way

And then a hero comes along
With the strength to carry on
And you cast your fears aside
And you know you can survive
So when you feel like hope is gone
Look inside you and be strong
And you’ll finally see the truth
That a hero lies in you
That a hero lies in you
Mmm, that a hero lies in you

Songwriters: Mariah Carey / Walter Afanasieff
Hero lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ Endless Love ♫

I apologize that I am once again re-duxing.  The hour is late and my heart is heavy tonight, so please forgive me.  I last played this one in August 2018, just over two years ago.  It still resonates with me, and I hope you will enjoy it yet again, too.


Lionel Richie originally wrote this song and recorded it with Diana Ross in 1981.  Lionel Richie had risen from saxophone player in the Commodores to lead vocalist and primary songwriter in the group. He was still with them when the movie, Endless Love, was being filmed and director Franco Zeffirelli asked him to write an instrumental theme along the lines of Henry Mancini’s theme from the 1971 film Love Story. Richie, who was eager to add “film soundtrack” to his resumé, used a piece of music he had written for the Commodores but was never recorded. But then Zeffirelli decided he wanted lyrics. And that it should be a duet, maybe with Diana Ross. So Richie’s assignment went from devising an instrumental theme song to composing and performing on a fully-formed duet with the most popular female vocalist in America. He was up for the challenge.

The movie did not do well, but the song, recorded under the Motown label, received Oscar and Golden Globe nominations and won a Marquee Award in 1982 for Best Original Song.

In 1994, Mariah Carey and Luther Vandross recorded this for Vandross’ album Songs. It became Luther’s biggest hit, going to #2 in the US.  I am a big fan of Luther Vandross, but tonight, as I listened to his and Mariah’s version, I found that I still preferred Lionel Richie and Shania’s.  Somewhere along the line, Kenny Rogers even recorded it … is there a song around that he hasn’t recorded???  I did not listen to Kenny’s version.  Three was enough for me.

Richie and Twain recorded their version in 2011, and the video you are about to watch was recorded in February 2012.

Endless Love
Lionel Richie and Shania Twain

My love
There’s only you in my life
The only thing that’s right
My first love
You’re every breath I take
You’re every step I make

And I
I want to share
All my love with you
No one else will do
And your eyes (your eyes, your eyes)
They tell me how much you care
Oh, yes
You’ll always be
My endless love

Two hearts
Two hearts that beat as one
Our lives have just begun
And forever
I’ll hold you close in my arms
I can’t resist your charms

And I
I’d play the fool
For you, I’m sure
You know I don’t mind
(No, you know I don’t mind)
And yes
You mean the world to me
I know I’ve found in you
My endless love

And love
I’d play the fool
For you, I’m sure
You know I don’t mind
(Whoa, you know I don’t mind)
Oh, yes
You’d be the only one
Cause no, I can’t deny
This love I have inside
And I’ll give it all to you
My love (my love, my love)

Songwriters: Lionel B. Richie / Jr.
Endless Love lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

♫ All I Want For Christmas Is You ♫

I almost skipped the music post tonight … not, mind you, because I had no song in my heart, but because two days of shopping and a near-sleepless night has left me exhausted.  But … there are but a couple of nights left to play Christmas songs, and this is one that I really wanted to play, so … I got a couple of toothpicks to prop the eyelids open, poured another cuppa coffee, and convinced my body to hold up for just 30 minutes more.

This was co-written and co-produced by Mariah Carey and Walter Afanasieff, who started off as Whitney Houston’s arranger and has co-produced and co-written many of Carey’s hits, including One Sweet Day and Hero. He also won a 1999 Grammy award for co-producing Celene Dion’s My Heart Will Go On.

Carey and Afanasieff wrote it in the summer of 1994, with him coming up with musical ideas on a piano while she developed the melody and lyrics. They set out to write an uptempo Christmas track in the style of Phil Spector’s girl group productions of the ’60s. They achieved their goal, creating a very fun and memorable song, although Afanasieff worried it was too basic.

“It’s a very simple arrangement. In fact, it’s so simple that at the time I thought it was overly simple and I really didn’t like it. Music people know: ‘bah bah bah bah bah bah bah bah’… it’s almost a practice interval. So, keeping that tradition and then the oversimplified melody I guess made it so easily palatable for the whole world to go, ‘Oh, I can’t get that out of my head.'”

All I Want For Christmas Is You
Mariah Carey

I don’t want a lot for Christmas
There is just one thing I need
I don’t care about the presents
Underneath the Christmas tree
I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true oh
All I want for Christmas is you

I don’t want a lot for Christmas
There is just one thing I need, and I
Don’t care about the presents
Underneath the Christmas tree
I don’t need to hang my stocking
There upon the fireplace
Santa Claus won’t make me happy
With a toy on Christmas day

I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
All I want for Christmas is you

I won’t ask for much this Christmas
I won’t even wish for snow, and I
I just wanna keep on waiting
Underneath the mistletoe

I won’t make a list and send it
To the North Pole for Saint Nick
I won’t even stay awake
To hear those magic reindeer click

‘Cause I just want you here tonight
Holding on to me so tight
What more can I do
Oh, Baby all I want for Christmas is you

All the lights are shining
So brightly everywhere
And the sound of children’s
Laughter fills the air

And everyone is singing
I hear those sleigh bells ringing
Santa won’t you bring me
The one I really need
Won’t you please bring my baby to me quickly

I don’t want a lot for Christmas
This is all I’m asking for
I just wanna see my baby
Standing right outside my door

I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
Baby all I want for Christmas is you

All I want for Christmas is you, baby

Songwriters: Mariah Carey / Walter N. Afanasieff
All I Want For Christmas Is You (SuperFestive!) lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

♫ Where Are You Christmas? ♫

It started with rawgod telling me of a couple of his friend Gail’s favourite songs, the first on the list being Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer, which I played a few nights ago, as it also has special meaning for me!  And then I thought, what the heck, why not ask for a few fun, non-religious, Christmas-themed song requests, and I now have a list!  I promise that I will be playing each and every one of them over the next week, even if I need to double up on the music posts!  But tonight, I am playing my own request.

I don’t think I am alone … no, I know I am not alone … in feeling a certain sadness, a lack of joy this holiday season, as I watch what is happening not only in the U.S., but in countries around the globe.  I simply have no holiday spirit, no Joie de vivre, this year.  I had to be practically dragged out to shop, to get a tree, and while I’m usually a joyous holiday baker, I have made only a few things, most of which didn’t turn out right this year.  Thank you, Donald Trump and cronies.

Anyway, this song was in my mind today, and so …

Christmas, Why Can’t I Find You? is a song co-written by James Horner and Will Jennings for the movie How the Grinch Stole Christmas in 2000. In the film, it is first sung by Taylor Momsen, who played Cindy Lou Who.

Mariah Carey co-wrote a full-length version of the song with additional lyrics, renamed Where Are You Christmas?, for the film’s soundtrack. The song was originally recorded by Carey, but because of a legal case with her ex-husband Tommy Mottola, it could not be released, so it was re-recorded and released by Faith Hill. A CD single of Hill’s rendition was released December 11, 2000. A video was released featuring Hill singing from the Grinch’s mountaintop home, interspersed with clips from the film and a cameo appearance by Momsen as Cindy Lou Who.

Where Are You Christmas
Faith Hill

Oh, hmm
Where are you Christmas
Why can’t I find you
Why have you gone away
Where is the laughter
You used to bring me
Why can’t I hear music play

My world is changing
I’m rearranging
Does that mean Christmas changes too

Where are you Christmas
Do you remember
The one you used to know
I’m not the same one
See what the time’s done
Is that why you have let me go

Christmas is here
Everywhere, oh
Christmas is here
If you care, oh

If there is love in your heart and your mind
You will feel like Christmas all the time

Oh, I feel you Christmas
I know I’ve found you
You never fade away, oh
The joy of Christmas
Stays here inside us
Fills each and every heart with love

Where are you Christmas
Fill your heart with love

Songwriters: James Horner / Mariah Carey / Wilbur Jennings
Where Are You Christmas lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG Rights Management

♫ I’ll Be There ♫

Tonight’s song has nothing whatsoever to do with shirts, cats, cookies, dirty dishes, or coffee mugs …

Released in 1970, this was the first Jackson 5 hit not written by “The Corporation,” a collection of Motown writers lead by the chief of the label, Berry Gordy. The Corporation were based in California, unlike most Motown writers, who were in the Detroit offices. This song was written by Hal Davis (who also produced it), Bob West, Willie Hutch, and Berry Gordy.

In this song, a man tells his former lover that he will always be there for her, and that even if she finds someone new, she can always go back to him. This statement of unconditional fealty makes it one of the more touching and romantic songs of the era, sweetened by the innocence of Michael Jackson’s voice – he was just 11 years old when he recorded it.

Now, I like the Jackson 5 version quite well, but 22 years later, Mariah Carey would release her own version of this, and I like that quite well also.  Mariah’s is more of a romantic duet with Trey Lorenz.  In fact, if you asked me to choose between the two, I couldn’t … each is special in it’s own way.  So, I offer you both tonight … take your pick!

I’ll Be There
The Jackson 5/Mariah Carey

You and I must make a pact
We must bring salvation back
Where there is love, I’ll be there (I’ll be there)

I’ll reach out my hand to you
I’ll have faith in all you do
Just call my name and I’ll be there (I’ll be there)

I’ll be there to comfort you
Build my world of dreams around you
I’m so glad that I found you

I’ll be there with a love that’s strong
I’ll be your strength
I’ll keep holdin’ on (holdin’ on)
Yes I will, yes I will

Let me fill your heart with joy and laughter
Togetherness, girl, is all I’m after
Whenever you need me, I’ll be there (I’ll be there)

I’ll be there to protect you (yeah baby)
With unselfish love that respects you
Just call my name, I’ll be there (I’ll be there)

I’ll be there to comfort you
Build my world of dreams around you
I’m so glad that I found you

I’ll be there with a love that’s strong
I’ll be your strength
I’ll keep holdin’ on
Ooh ooh ooh
Yes I will (holdin’ on, holdin’ on)
Yes I will

If you should ever find someone new
I know he better be good to you
‘Cause if he doesn’t
I’ll be there (I’ll be there)

Don’t you know baby I’ll be there
I’ll be there I’ll be there

Just call my name, I’ll be there (I’ll be there)
Just look over your shoulders honey, ooh!
I’ll be there, I’ll be there,
Whenever you need me, I’ll be there (I’ll be there)

Don’t you know baby
I’ll be there, I’ll be there
Just call my name, I’ll be there (I’ll be there)
Oh oh oh oh I’ll be there, I’ll be there

Songwriters: Berry Gordy Jr / Bob West / Hal Davis / Willie Hutch
I’ll Be There lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ Open Arms ♫

Some nights, I struggle to find a song that I want to hear and that I haven’t already played, but then other nights, a song just pops into my head … usually either while I’m rolling smokes or taking a shower … and I know that’s the one.  Such was the case tonight, but while I had the tune in my head, I couldn’t think of the name of the song, the artist, nor more than a snatch of lyrics.  However, my friend Google (with whom I have a love/hate relationship) filled in the blanks and here I am with the song!

This song by Journey was released in early 1982, and would become their most recognizable radio hit and their biggest US Billboard Hot 100 hit, reaching number two in February 1982 and holding that position for six weeks.

Written by band members Steve Perry and Jonathan Cain, this song is about a couple who drifted apart but found each other again and realized how much they love each other.  Jonathan Cain came to Journey with this melody already written. It could have been a song for the Babys, his previous band, except that Babys’ vocalist John Waite rejected the melody as “too syrupy.”

Mariah Carey co-produced her cover of the song with Walter Afanasieff for her fifth album, Daydream. Carey’s career has crossed paths with Journey’s: the band’s drummer Steve Smith played drums on many of her earlier singles, and its bassist for a short period in the mid-1980s, Randy Jackson, has worked with her for a long time.

The single was released as the album’s third single between late 1995 and early 1996 in most markets outside the United States. It became a number 4 hit in the United Kingdom and was performed live on the BBC’s flagship chart television show, Top of the Pops. It also charted in the top ten in Ireland and New Zealand, and at number 15 in the Netherlands.

I wasn’t aware of Mariah Carey’s version until tonight, and I will say that while I do like much of Mariah Carey’s work, for this song I prefer Journey’s version.  However, in fairness, I shall play both and let you decide for yourself!

Open Arms
Journey/Mariah Carey

Lying beside you, here in the dark
Feeling your heartbeat with mine
Softly you whisper, you’re so sincere
How could our love be so blind
We sailed on together
We drifted apart
And here you are, by my side

So now I come to you with open arms
Nothing to hide, believe what I say
So here I am, with open arms
Hoping you’ll see what your love means to me
Open arms

Living without you, living alone
This empty house seems so cold
Wanting to hold you
Wanting you near
How much I wanted you home

Now that you’ve come back
Turned night into day
I need you to stay

So now I come to you with open arms
Nothing to hide, believe what I say
So here I am, with open arms
Hoping you’ll see what your love means to me
Open arms

Songwriter(s): Steve Perry, Jonathan Cain
Producer(s): Kevin Elson, Mike “Clay” Stone

♫ Endless Love ♫

Lionel Richie originally wrote this song and recorded it with Diana Ross in 1981.  Lionel Richie had risen from saxophone player in the Commodores to lead vocalist and primary songwriter in the group. He was still with them when the movie, Endless Love, was being filmed and director Franco Zeffirelli asked him to write an instrumental theme along the lines of Henry Mancini’s theme from the 1971 film Love Story. Richie, who was eager to add “film soundtrack” to his resumé, used a piece of music he had written for the Commodores but was never recorded. But then Zeffirelli decided he wanted lyrics. And that it should be a duet, maybe with Diana Ross. So Richie’s assignment went from devising an instrumental theme song to composing and performing on a fully-formed duet with the most popular female vocalist in America. He was up for the challenge.

The movie did not do well, but the song, recorded under the Motown label, received Oscar and Golden Globe nominations and won a Marquee Award in 1982 for Best Original Song.

In 1994, Mariah Carey and Luther Vandross recorded this for Vandross’ album Songs. It became Luther’s biggest hit, going to #2 in the US.  I am a big fan of Luther Vandross, but tonight, as I listened to his and Mariah’s version, I found that I still preferred Lionel Richie and Shania’s.  Somewhere along the line, Kenny Rogers even recorded it … is there a song around that he hasn’t recorded???  I did not listen to Kenny’s version.  Three was enough for me.

Richie and Twain recorded their version in 2011, and the video you are about to watch was recorded in February 2012.

Endless Love
Lionel Richie and Shania Twain

My love
There’s only you in my life
The only thing that’s right
My first love
You’re every breath I take
You’re every step I make

And I
I want to share
All my love with you
No one else will do
And your eyes (your eyes, your eyes)
They tell me how much you care
Oh, yes
You’ll always be
My endless love

Two hearts
Two hearts that beat as one
Our lives have just begun
And forever
I’ll hold you close in my arms
I can’t resist your charms

And I
I’d play the fool
For you, I’m sure
You know I don’t mind
(No, you know I don’t mind)
And yes
You mean the world to me
I know I’ve found in you
My endless love

And love
I’d play the fool
For you, I’m sure
You know I don’t mind
(Whoa, you know I don’t mind)
Oh, yes
You’d be the only one
Cause no, I can’t deny
This love I have inside
And I’ll give it all to you
My love (my love, my love)

Songwriters: Lionel B. Richie / Jr.
Endless Love lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

♫ Hero ♫

Tonight’s song, Hero, by Mariah Carey, has been the subject of a bit of controversy, but then Carey herself is steeped in a bit of controversy ranging from plagiarism to being a bit of a diva.

In 2001, Carey performed the song at the “Tribute To Heroes” telethon for the victims of the terrorist attacks in the US., and it was included on a benefit album, God Bless America, which helped the Twin Towers Fund.9-11_honor_heroes_full

This song was originally written, unsolicited, for the Dustin Hoffman movie of the same name, but the producers of the movie ultimately chose Luther Vandross’ Heart Of A Hero. According to Walter Afanasieff,  who wrote the music …

He was recording the Music Box album with Carey at the time, and during a break he, “was sitting at the piano and told Mariah about this movie. Within two hours, we had this incredible seed for this song, ‘Hero.’  It was never meant for Mariah to sing. In her mind, we were writing a song for Gloria Estefan for this movie. And we went into an area that Mariah didn’t really go into – in her words, it was a little bit too schmaltzy or too pop ballady or too old-fashioned as far as melody and lyrics.”

Hero was the subject of two copyright plagiarism cases; one by a former limo driver, Christopher Selletti and the other by Rhonda Dimmer, filed in 1993 and 1996.  Neither party’s suit was successful, but since Carey has been involved in similar suits over other songs, one wonders.

She insists on being photographed only from her right side, and during a 2000 tour, she insisted on a rider to the contract that Cristal champagne and bendy straws would be provided backstage at her concerts.

All that aside, though … I just like the song, and think she sings it beautifully, so without further ado …

Hero
Mariah Carey

There’s a hero
If you look inside your heart
You don’t have to be afraid
Of what you are
There’s an answer
If you reach into your soul
And the sorrow that you know
Will melt away

And then a hero comes along
With the strength to carry on
And you cast your fears aside
And you know you can survive
So when you feel like hope is gone
Look inside you and be strong
And you’ll finally see the truth
That a hero lies in you

It’s a long road
When you face the world alone
No one reaches out a hand
For you to hold
You can find love
If you search within yourself
And that emptiness you felt
Will disappear

And then a hero comes along
With the strength to carry on
And you cast your fears aside
And you know you can survive
So when you feel like hope is gone
Look inside you and be strong
And you’ll finally see the truth
That a hero lies in you, oh, oh

Lord knows
Dreams are hard to follow
But don’t let anyone
Tear them away, hey yeah
Hold on
There will be tomorrow
In time you’ll find the way

And then a hero comes along
With the strength to carry on
And you cast your fears aside
And you know you can survive
So when you feel like hope is gone
Look inside you and be strong
And you’ll finally see the truth
That a hero lies in you
That a hero lies in you
Mmm, that a hero lies in you

Songwriters: Mariah Carey / Walter Afanasieff
Hero lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group