Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact
Album: Keep The FireReleased: 1979Charted:
Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald wrote this 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.
Michael McDonald sang backup and played keyboards on the track. The two also collaborated on "What a Fool Believes
." McDonald would go on to write several other songs for Loggins (and vice versa).
The Gospel singer Kirk Franklin
rewrote this song as "Declaration (This is It)." for his 2007 album The Fight Of My Life
. Franklin's version is about faith in God.
Kenny Loggins spoke to American Songwriter magazine November/December 1987 about 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."