The Real Thing

Album: Leap Of Faith (1991)
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Songfacts®:

  • As Loggins explains in the liner notes of Leap Of Faith, this was to be a christening song for his daughter Isabella (originally named Amanda), then he divorced his first wife, Eva Ein, and he wanted to express his feeling in song.
  • When Loggins sings, "I did it for you and the boys," he is referring to his first two sons Cody and Crosby. After he divorced, he married Julia, a healing therapist with whom he wrote The Unimaginable Life with and had two more children.
  • This is not the first time Loggins wrote a song with his kids in mind. Other than "Danny's Song," which had been written for his brother's son, he wrote "Only a Miracle" for Crosby (with Mike McDonald), "Isabella's Eyes" for his daughter and "Cody's Song," which appears on the same album. He dedicated "Return to Pooh Corner" to his fourth son Luke even before he was born. On his second Pooh Corner album he wrote "Hana Aluna Lullaby" for his second daughter whose name was chosen because he and Julia had met on the island of Hana.
  • "The Real Thing" was co-written with Canadian songwriter David Foster, and is one of Loggins' most serious songs. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Sara - Silver Spring, MD, for all above
  • Loggins spoke about the song's meaning in a 1991 interview with Good Morning America's Joan Lunden. He said, "At a certain point you have to realize that what you're doing in separating is actually in the best interest of the children. A lot of people think if they stay together, they're staying together for the children, which I think is not necessarily true because if there's no love there, and if you've gone as far as you can with that relationship, what you're teaching the children is more detrimental than staying together. You're teaching them that there's no such thing as love, that relationship is jail. We're the model for their relationships."

    Cody didn't share his dad's opinion and blamed him for the split. They were estranged for a time until Kenny wrote "The One That Got Away" about the situation.
  • This was used in the 2019 movie Dark Waters, starring Mark Ruffalo and Anne Hathaway.
  • Loggins said the music and lyrics came to him simultaneously about a year and half before his separation from Eva. He told Later with Bob Costas the song was "that deeper place of me, the muse, the place I write from, coming up and looking me in the eye and saying, 'This is happening in your life.'"

Comments: 10

  • Smilechurch from Portland, OrI'm sickened by the comments here about Kenny Loggins singing about shirking marital and family commitment. We don't know what was in his heart and we certainly don't know how it is to walk in his shoes. Staying together for the sake of the kids is a form of emotional child abuse. I am not advocating abandoning a marriage at the first sign of trouble or whenever someone "better" comes along. I just wish more married couples would stop using the excuse of "we're staying together for the kids" when in a loveless marriage they have both tried hard to repair. My own parents stayed together for twenty years, which was about fourteen years too many. It ended up in murder during their final year of marriage, and I lost both of my parents in one fell swoop. They could've, should've been happier apart than together...and so would their three children including me.
  • Ed H. from Sugar Land, Tx Gary Chapman has a good discussion on saving marriages in his "Five Love Languages" book. It is not easy. It takes at least on person willing to sacrifice and love unconditionally. Extremely difficult but possible. Divorcing "for you and boys" (the children) is a very poor excuse to say the least.
  • Seventhmist from 7th HeavenSince this was made to "celebrate" his divorce, more than a bit of biting irony here, since the woman he dumped his wife for dumped him a few years later.
  • Randa from Fredericksburg, VaI picked up right away that there are more men commenting than women on this post. Anyway, I've always liked this song, but it wasn't until 2012 during a trip to see my Dad for the first time in 10 years that the words truly spoke to me. My grandparents had both died within 11 months of each other, so I was at a very low, dark place emotionally. Also, during this same time period, my brother and sister in law legally separated, leaving my nieces feeling much like "Amanda." This song speaks to the little girl in my heart, the grown up who mentally understands why and has seen first hand the destruction a toxic marriage can cause for countless generations.
  • Bill from PasadenaI did it for you, and the boys,
    Because love should teach you joy,
    And not the imitation,
    That your momma and daddy tried to show you.
    I did it for you, and for me, and little Kenny...
  • Andrew from Cebu City, Philippinesto brian, kathryn and everybody, some people leave the commitment because their partners are the first one to forget the true meaning of the commitment of marriage. some people confuse marriage with just living together even without love. however, i still believe, in fact i know, that the true meaning of the commitment of marriage is to love. i left because my wife no longer loves me. she has an abusive personality. she wants us to stay together, even without love, just for the children. for her, that is our commitment to marriage and to the family. she forgot that the true commitment to marriage is to love.
  • Brett from Broadview Heights, OhCharlie Peacock
    "Almost Threw It All Away"

    I remember when you were just a girl
    I was a boy in a big man's world
    We had no idea what time would reveal
    Little did we know that
    Over a million tears had to fall
    That is no exageration
    'Cause I've counted them all
    Every sad and senseless incident
    Has been mine to recall

    You never gave up, you never gave in
    You didn't say no...I can't take anymore of this
    You never gave up on me, you never gave in
    You refused to believe that love had come to and end

    I almost threw it all away
    Traded truth for a lie, diamonds for clay
    Oh I, almost threw it all away

    Through some clever thinking and a strong imagination
    I could twist the truth into any configuration
    And find myself doing things
    That I never dreamed I could do

    I've know the kind of pain
    Where you can't catch your breath
    You sat if this is life
    Then please bring me death
    Thank God that that wish I made never ever came true

    You never gave up, you never gave in
    You didn't say no...I can't take anymore of this
    You never gave up on me, you never gave in
    You refused to believe that love had come to an end

    True love doesn't come and go
    Here today then gone tomorrow
    Doesn't speak the wicked word
    That breaks the heart in two
    Doesn't renegotiate
    What it knows is true
    Doesn't give up, give in, throw it all away.
  • Jim from Garden Grove, CaA battle-cry song for those who wish to avoid the very real consequence of breaking up a marriage. The hardest choice, highest path, would be to stay together and - beyond the pretend or surface facade - get real and honest about the barriers to connection and love. In honor of the connection and love underneath it all, we commit to burn through all negative thoughts and judgments, to see it arise again. Now that would be an inspiring song.
  • Kathryn from Houston, TxCopping out to many might be living an image instead of an actuality, Brian. The choice was a braver choice than pretending/imitating, and gives the children more actual and authenticity basead models of and for life. The reality is that pretending/not rocking the boat, is the EASIER thing to do. It offers no growth to either person, and sets the example to the children that they need not seek that which spiritually sustains them.
  • Brian from Wilkes-barre, PaBeautiful song but a cop out for an explanation; "I did it for you, and the boys.....because love should teach you joy and not the immitation that your momma and daddie tried to show you". How about showing the kids what commitment is?
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