Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact
Album: Welcome To The Real WorldReleased: 1985Charted:
This classic pop song was inspired by a book the lyricist John Lang read called Broken Wings, which was written by the Lebanese poet-philosopher Kahlil Gibran. The book, which was written in 1912, is a story of a love that is doomed by social convention.
Its theme is echoed in this song: picking up the pieces of your life and moving on. There is a note of heartbreak, however, as the singer is asking the girl to spread her wings and fly away, hoping that love will bring her back.
The line, "Take these broken wings and learn to fly" appears in The Beatles song "Blackbird
." Paul McCartney and John Lennon both drew from the work of Kahlil Gibran, as the first two lines of The Beatles "Julia
" came from Gibran's 1926 poem Sand And Foam
: "Half of what I say is meaningless, but I say it just to reach you, Julia."
John Lang wrote this song with Mr. Mister frontman Richard Page and guitarist Steve George. According to Page, they were at his home in California when the three of them came up with the song in about 20 minutes and recorded it on Page's tape machine.
This was the first single from Mr. Mister's second album. Their record company, RCA, wanted to release an uptempo song first, but the band fought them on it and won out. Released ahead of the album, the song went to #1 US in December 1985, marking a breakthrough for the band, whose biggest hit from their first album was "Hunters of the Night," which peaked at #57.
The follow-up single, "Kyrie
," also went to #1.
The video did very well on MTV, which was only four years old but had become kingmaker in the industry. The black-and-white clip was directed by Oley Sassone, who would go on to direct episodes of Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.
Clay Aiken covered this on his 2006 album A Thousand Different Ways, adding an original poem spoken by Erin Taylor. Richard Page of Mr. Mister was very complimentary of Aiken's version of the song.
In 2001, this song was sampled for a posthumous Tupac Shakur song "Until The End Of Time," which featured Richard Page. It only reached #52 in the US but peaked at #4 in the UK.