This was the love theme to the movie Footloose
, starring Kevin Bacon as a city kid who moves to a small town where dancing in public is outlawed. Dean Pitchford wrote the screenplay for the movie and the lyrics to all the songs. He wanted a lot of variety in the music, so he used 7 different co-writers, including Eric Carmen, who wrote this with him. In our interview with Dean Pitchford
, he said: "I had a one bedroom bungalow in West Hollywood, and we were seated in the living room, and we were tossing out ideas. I had come in with the title 'Almost Paradise,' because I had been riffing on a lot of titles that had to do with religion and salvation, very much in keeping with the tone of the minister and the preacher and the church background of the motion picture. So 'Almost Paradise' was the given. But I remember sitting there and tossing out lines and coming up with, 'I thought that dreams belonged to other men, because each time I get close they'd fall apart again.' And he liked that very, very much. I was sitting there and I said, 'Oh, how about this, 'I feared my heart would beat in secrecy'?' And he jumped up from the keyboard and he ran over and he hugged me, and he said, 'That's f--king GREAT! That's one of the most brilliant lines I've heard!' And he said, 'We've got to do a lot more of this writing.' And it was that line, 'I feared my heart would beat in secrecy' that sort of joined us at the hip. From that point on, we wrote all day.
That song was written in a day, but in an 11-hour, 12-hour day. The next morning we went into the studio and into the office of our director, who had an upright piano installed in his office specifically to hear all the songs as I created them, with my various collaborators. Eric and I went in and we sang - I brought a girlfriend of mine in to sing the female part, and Eric sang the male part, and that sold that song."