I'm Just Happy To Be Here

Album: Fighting Words (2021)

Songfacts®:

  • Ellen Foley sang with Meat Loaf on his 1977 hit "Paradise by the Dashboard Light," playing the role of a young girl who won't let him go all the way until he commits to marry her. The song was huge, and Foley performed it with Meat Loaf on the road until she took a role in the Broadway production of Hair. She was replaced on tour by Karla DeVito, who was also a stage actress.

    By the time Meat Loaf convinced his record company to pony up for a video, DeVito was on board, so when they shot it, she lip-synched Foley's part. This wasn't a big deal until MTV went on the air in 1981 and started playing the video (they didn't have much to choose from). That same year, Foley released her second solo album, which got no love in America, so she found it frustrating when someone else was getting credit for her singing on "Paradise."

    But there was never any animosity between Foley and DeVito, and they became friends. Both had war stories to tell about performing "Paradise" with Meat Loaf, who acted out the part as literally as possible on stage, with a big sloppy kiss and a slide into second. "I'm Just Happy To Be Here," they join forces, singing the song as a duet for Foley's album Fighting Words.

    In a 2021 Songfacts interview with Foley, she said, "For me, singing with Karla made me 'just happy to be here' because it felt like sweet revenge for the way in which the men who were in charge back in the day created this false enmity between Karla and I - they made it seem like we were engaged in some sort of catfight when in reality we didn't know one another. Both Karla and I were a part of a Steinman tribute a few years ago, and we started talking. We talked about our families, our experiences with the Bat Out Of Hell characters, and our similarities and differences. Since then, we've stayed in touch and we even recorded together with Meat Loaf for his album Braver Than We Are. There's a kind of intimacy that comes with sharing a history like that."
  • Foley's producer, Paul Foglino, wrote this song. They started collaborating in 2008 on a play called Hercules in High Suburbia.

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