♫ This Is It ♫

This song, written by Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald, has an interesting and touching etiology.  The two wrote the song after Kenny’s father had a serious heart problem and didn’t’ know what to do about it. So they came up with this song about a man who is suffering terrible pain, looks to find his miracle and needs to “stand up and fight.”

After Loggins won a Grammy for the song in 1980 (Best Male Pop Vocal) he played it for his father, who lived 4 more years.  Says Kenny Loggins of this song …

“The best musical statements are usually the ones that aren’t calculated and the ones that come out in the largest chunks. Michael McDonald and I must have written ‘This Is It’ four times. The first three times it was a love song, ‘Baby I this, baby I that…,’ and we both said, ‘Eh! This is boring. This song is not working as a love song.’

Then I had a fight with my dad when he was going into the hospital because he gave me the feeling that he was ready to check out. He’d given up, he wasn’t thinking in terms of the future, and I was so pissed at him. It was real emotional. That afternoon, I was meeting with Michael to work on new tunes and I walked in and said, ‘Man, I got it. It’s “This Is It”.’ And Michael said, ‘This is it?’ I said, ‘Trust me. This is it.’ But that one took a while.

And then one review said it was your average boy-girl song and the writer didn’t understand why people were making such a big deal out of it. The fact of the matter was, he didn’t understand the song and it didn’t move him because he wasn’t in a situation to be moved. But immediately after that, I got a letter from a girl who had just recently gotten out of the hospital from a life-and-death situation and that was her anthem. She was holding onto it. That means so much more to me. She hadn’t read the press about my father or anything. All she knew was that the song was on the nose for her, exactly what Michael and I intended. That makes you feel like you’re doing something important.”

This Is It
Kenny Loggins

There’ve been times in my life
I’ve been wonderin’ why
Still, somehow I believed we’d always survive
Now, I’m not so sure
You’re waiting here, one good reason to try
But, what more can I say? what’s left to provide?

Are you gonna wait for a sign, your miracle?
Stand up and fight

Make no mistake where you are
(This is it)
You back’s to the corner
(This is it)
Don’t be a fool anymore
(This is it)

The waiting is over, no where to run
No where to hide
No time for wonderin’ why
It’s here, the moment is now, about to decide
Let ’em believe
Leave ’em behind
But keep me near in your heart
Know whatever you do, I’m here by your side

For once in your life, here’s your miracle
Stand up and fight

Make no mistake where you are.
(This is it)
You’re goin’ no further
(This is it)
Until it’s over and done.
(No one can tell what the future holds)
Oh oh oh oh.
(Who makes the choice of how it goes?)
It’s not up to me this time.
(You know)
Comes a day in every life
(This is it)

Make no mistake where you are
(This is it)
You’re goin’ no further
(This is it)
Until it’s over and done
(This is it)
One way or another
(This is it)
(No one can tell what the future holds)
(This is it)
Your back’s to the corner
(This is it)
(You make the choice of how it goes)
(This is it)
(No one can tell what the future holds)
(This is it)
One way or another

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Loggins Kenneth Clark / Mc Donald Michael H
This Is It lyrics © Milk Money Music, Tauripin Tunes

♫ Ride Like The Wind ♫

Released in 1980, this song was written and recorded by Christopher Cross.  It features backing vocals by Michael McDonald and a guitar solo by Cross. The Michael McDonald connection came courtesy of Cross’ producer Michael Omartian – they knew each other from working with Steely Dan. Don Henley also contributed to the vocals.

Christopher Cross was on acid when he wrote the lyrics …

“We were living in Houston at the time, and on the way down to Austin to record the songs, it was just a beautiful Texas day. I took acid. So I wrote the words on the way down from Houston to Austin on acid.”

The song tells the story of a condemned criminal on the run to Mexico. Told from a first-person point of view, it describes how an outlaw and convicted multiple murderer, on the run from a death-by-hanging sentence, has to “ride like the wind” to reach “the border of Mexico,” where, presumably, the posse apparently in pursuit of him will not be able to reach him.

In 1999, the satirical newspaper The Onion published the following story …

Christopher Cross Finally Reaches Mexican Border

2/10/99 3:00 pm
NOGALES, MEXICO—After nearly 20 years on the run, Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Christopher Cross finally reached the Mexican border Monday. “I had such a long way to go,”said Cross, who fled south after gunning down 10 in 1980, “but I’ve finally made it to the border of Mexico.” Doctors, who described Cross’ body as “weak,” said much sleep would be necessary to restore the health of the fugitive adult-contemporary vocalist.

I chose this particular video for its … because I liked it!  This one was done in 1998, nearly two decades after the song was released, but it sounds every bit as good as it did in 1980, and I love the interaction between Cross and McDonald, love the visible energy.

Ride Like The Wind
Christopher Cross

It is the night
My body’s weak
I’m on the run
No time to sleep
I’ve got to ride
Ride like the wind
To be free again

And I’ve got such a long way to go (such a long way to go)
To make it to the border of Mexico
So I’ll ride like the wind
Ride like the wind

I was born the son of a lawless man
Always spoke my mind with a gun in my hand
Lived nine lives
Gunned down ten
Gonna ride like the wind

And I’ve got such a long way to go (such a long way to go)
To make it to the border of Mexico
So I’ll ride like the wind
Ride like the wind

Gonna ride like the wind

Accused and tried and told to hang
I was nowhere in sight when the church bells rang
Never was the kind to do as I was told
Gonna ride like the wind before I get old

It is the night
My body’s weak
I’m on the run
No time to sleep
I’ve got to ride
Ride like the wind
To be free again

And I’ve got such a long way to go (such a long way to go)
To make it to the border of Mexico
So I’ll ride like the wind
Ride like the wind

And I’ve got a long way to go (such a long way to go)
To make it to the border of Mexico
So I’ll ride like the wind
Ride like the wind
Gonna ride like the wind

Ride!

Gonna ride like the wind

Ride!

Songwriters: Christopher C. Cross
Ride Like The Wind lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ 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

♫ I Keep Forgettin’ ♫

Tonight I am tired and was just settling down after washing a mountain of dishes to decide on the song for the day, but my mind wasn’t cooperating.  Then all of a sudden, as if dropped onto my dashboard by karma, came a comment from friend Patty with a suggestion …

“How about,  I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near) by Michael McDonald? I love that one!!!!”, said she, and so it shall be!

Michael McDonald recorded this with his sister Maureen McDonald providing background vocals. It was featured on If That’s What It Takes, his first solo album away from The Doobie Brothers.  Greg Phillinganes, Steve Lukather and Jeff Porcaro of the band Toto played the clavinet, guitar and drums respectively. Noted bassist Louis Johnson laid down the song’s pronounced bassline.

This song was written by the legendary songwriting team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, and was originally recorded by R&B singer Chuck Jackson in 1962. The song was also recorded by The Checkmates Ltd. and The Hi-Fi’s before Michael McDonald put together a new version of the song with Ed Sanford of Sanford And Townsend. It was the first solo hit for McDonald.

And without further ado … here you go, Patty!

I Keep Fogettin’ (Every Time You’re Near)
Michael McDonald

I keep forgettin’ we’re not in love anymore
I keep forgettin’ things will never be the same again
I keep forgettin’ how you made that so clear
I keep forgettin’

Everytime you’re near
Everytime I see you smile
Hear your “hello”
Saying you can only stay a while

Hey, I know that it’s hard for you
To say the things that we both know are true
But tell me how come

I keep forgettin’ we’re not in love anymore
I keep forgettin’ things will never be the same again
I keep forgettin’ how you made that so clear
I keep forgettin’

Everytime I hear
How you never want to live a lie
How it’s gone too far
And you don’t have to tell me why

Why you’re gone and the game is through
If this is what’s real, if this is what’s true
Tell me how come

I keep forgettin’ we’re not in love anymore (baby)
I keep forgettin’ things will never be the same again
I keep forgettin’ how you made that so clear (yeah, baby)
I keep forgettin’

Don’t say that, don’t say that, don’t say that
I know you’re not mine anymore, anyway, anytime
But tell me how come

I keep forgettin’ we’re not in love anymore (How come I)
I keep forgettin’ things will never be the same again
I keep forgettin’ how you made that so clear
I keep forgettin’ (baby)

Everytime you’re near (I keep forgettin’ we’re not in love anymore)
Everytime you’re near (I keep forgettin’ things will never be the same again)
Oh Baby (I keep forgettin’ how you made that so clear)
Everytime you’re near (I keep forgettin’)

Songwriters: Jerry Leiber / Mike Stoller
I Keep Fogettin’ (Every Time You’re Near) lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC