Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes – Up Where We Belong

This is my contribution to Song Lyric Sunday for Jim Adams’s blog. This week’s prompt…Bird/Cat/Dog/Fish/Pet.

From the 1982 movie soundtrack An Officer and a Gentleman. The song peaked at #3 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart on October 29, 1982.

From Songfacts

This was written for the movie An Officer And A Gentleman, which won the Oscar for Best Original Song in 1983. The film is known for its closing scene, where Richard Gere, dressed in his Navy uniform, comes into the factory where Debra Winger is working, gets hot and heavy with her, then carries her out as her co-workers cheer. It’s perhaps the most famous “sweeps her off her feet” archetype in film.

The movie ends with a still frame of Winger in Gere’s arms as the credits roll and “Up Where We Belong” plays.

The entire process – from idea to inclusion in the movie and release – took only 30 days. Will Jennings wrote the lyrics. He’s responsible for the words to many famous songs, including “My Heart Will Go On,” “Looks Like We Made It,” and many of Steve Winwood’s hits. Jennings told us:

“Joel Sill, who was head of the music department of Paramount, asked me to consider writing a song for this film. I watched a rough cut, loved the film and I heard enough parts to make up a song. I asked Joel to send me the work track and I stitched together the verse, chorus, and bridge of the song and wrote the lyrics… Joel sent it to Stewart Levine, a fine music producer, and Stewart and I talked the song over on the phone and he went in to the studio and cut the hit track with Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes.”

Will Jennings told us about coming up with the words to this song: “I am a working class person and these people in the film trying to make it, they are my people. The mountain imagery is about striving for the top – people often don’t hear the lyric right – it is ‘Where eagles cry, on a mountain high’ instead of ‘Where eagles fly, on a mountain high’ – if you have ever heard an eagle cry, the power and beauty of it and all the wild freedom of it, you will get the distinction. As far as “All I know is the way I feel…’ well, if you have nothing else to tell you what to do in your life, you have to go with the way you feel… if you are lost, you have only your instinct and passion to guide you.”

Up Where We Belong

Who knows what tomorrow brings
In a world few hearts survive
All I know is the way I feel
When it’s real, I keep it alive
The road is long
There are mountains in our way
But we climb a step every day
Love lift us up where we belong
Where the eagles cry
On a mountain high
Love lift us up where we belong
Far from the world below
Up where the clear winds blow
Some hang on to used to be
Live their lives looking behind
All we have is here and now
All our lives, out there to find
The road is long
There are mountains in our way
But we climb a step every day
Love lift us up where we belong
Where the eagles cry
On a mountain high
Love lift us up where we belong
Far from the world we know
Where the clear winds blow
Time goes by
No time to cry
Life’s you and I
Alive today
Love lift us up where we belong
Where the eagles cry
On a mountain high
Love lift us up where we belong
Far from the world we know
Where the clear winds blow
Love lift us up where we belong
Where the eagles cry
On a mountain high
Love lift us up where we belong
 
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Jack Nitzsche / Buffy Saint-Marie / Will Jennings

11 thoughts on “Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes – Up Where We Belong

  1. I love this song. I run another music challenge every other Friday called the MM Music Challenge and I selected this song for the end of January. I basically like anything by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Wanes is also great.

    Liked by 1 person

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