Say You, Say Me

Album: White Nights soundtrack (1985)
Charted: 8 1


  • Lionel Richie was tasked by director Taylor Hackford to write the title theme to the 1985 movie White Nights. Richie, however, couldn't come up with a song with that title, so instead wrote "Say You, Say Me." It's a soft R&B ballad, with an upbeat dance bridge, about the pain of loneliness and the power of friendship. The film follows a Russian ballet dancer's (Mikhail Baryshnikov) ill-fated defection from the Soviet Union and his unlikely friendship with a tap dancer who defected from America (Gregory Hines).
  • Motown refused to let Atlantic Records include this on the movie's soundtrack album because they didn't want Richie's first release since his 1983's Can't Slow Down to be from a different label. Richie included the song on his next album, Dancing On The Ceiling (he was going to call it Say You, Say Me, but too much time passed between the single going to #1 in 1985 and the album's release in 1986). The single topped the Hot 100, the R&B chart, and the Adult Contemporary chart.
  • This earned Richie an Oscar for Best Original Song, beating out another #1 single from the movie, "Separate Lives," performed by Phil Collins and Marilyn Martin. It also won a Golden Globe in the same category.
  • In 2012, Richie released the album Tuskegee, which featured country interpretations of his hits. Jason Aldean joined him on a version of this tune.
  • This was used on The Simpsons in the 2007 episode "He Loves to Fly and He D'ohs" and Family Guy in the 2017 episode "Petey IV." It was also featured in the 2017 movie Baywatch, starring Dwayne Johnson.


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Al Kooper

Al KooperSongwriter Interviews

Kooper produced Lynyrd Skynyrd, played with Dylan and the Stones, and formed BS&T.

Justin Hayward of The Moody Blues

Justin Hayward of The Moody BluesSongwriter Interviews

Justin wrote the classic "Nights In White Satin," but his fondest musical memories are from a different decade.

Kip Winger

Kip WingerSongwriter Interviews

The Winger frontman reveals the Led Zeppelin song he cribbed for "Seventeen," and explains how his passion for orchestra music informs his songwriting.

Art Alexakis of Everclear

Art Alexakis of EverclearSongwriter Interviews

The lead singer of Everclear, Art is also their primary songwriter.

Dave Edmunds

Dave EdmundsSongwriter Interviews

A renowned guitarist and rock revivalist, Dave took "I Hear You Knocking" to the top of the UK charts and was the first to record Elvis Costello's "Girls Talk."

Real or Spinal Tap

Real or Spinal TapMusic Quiz

They sang about pink torpedoes and rocking you tonight tonight, but some real lyrics are just as ridiculous. See if you can tell which lyrics are real and which are Spinal Tap in this lyrics quiz.