Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact
Album: Waking And DreamingReleased: 1976Charted:
John Hall of Orleans explained how the song came to be written in the liner notes to the Best of Orleans
CD: "A friend of ours was going through a divorce and asked Johanna (Hall's wife and lyricist) to write a song about a couple staying together. So she did, and she handed me the finished lyric on the back of an envelope and said, 'Do you think you can do anything with this?' I wrote the music to it in 10 minutes, which was a good sign."
This song lays bare the malaise that can set in with a relationship that has lasted a while:We've been together since way back when
Sometimes I never want to see you again
"I don't think there's any marriage or any relationship where people don't have ups and downs," John Hall said in his Songfacts interview
. "There's no perfect human being, there are no perfect husbands or perfect wives or boyfriends and girlfriends. It's a song that tries to reflect a reality that you can be in love with someone, and they can be in love with you, and you can have mostly really great times together, and still go through troubled times and difficult spots. And it's an opportunity for spiritual growth, or for personal growth. The test is whether you get through them."
In the late '70s, ABC's slogan was "Still The One," and the network used different versions of this song in their promotional campaigns. Many renditions were recorded by studio singers - often with female vocalists - for the spots.
During the presidential elections of 2004, George W. Bush tried to use this song as his campaign theme but was immediately ordered to cease. John Hall demanded that his campaign stop using the song and had two different arguments: that Bush's campaign never obtained permission, and that Hall was a Democrat who never supported Bush nor Republicans whatsoever from the beginning.
Hall did something about it: In 2006, he ran for congress and, helped by campaign appearances by Bonnie Raitt and Jackson Browne, defeated Republican incumbent Sue Kelly in his district in New York. At the victory party, Hall didn't play this song, but sang "I Am A Patriot," which was written by his friend Steven Van Zandt from Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band.