We Belong Together

Songfacts®:

  • This song starts out making references to scenes from the James Dean movie Rebel Without A Cause. The opening line, "I say this was no game of chicken," refers to the "chicken run" scene in the film where Dean and his nemesis each race their cars to a cliff, agreeing that whoever jumps out first is the chicken. Dean's co-star, Natalie Wood, gets a mention in the line, "How could a Natalie Wood not get sucked into a scene so custom tucked?"
  • Rickie Lee Jones dated Tom Waits in the late '70s - she appears on the cover of his album Blue Valentine. Traces of their relationship show up on this song, which describes an untamed couple trying to convince themselves that they are right for each other.
  • Pirates was Jones' second album. She brought Lenny Waronker and Russ Titelman back to produce, but this time the session were much more difficult. "We Belong Together" was especially challenging because she couldn't get the drums to her liking. It took three different sessions, all with different sets of musicians, to get it right. "I just could not find the right drum patterns," she told Uncut. "I was referencing Jackson Browne and Steely Dan, neither of which was leading us to the right feel. Then Steve Gadd asked me to play it for him again, and he sat and watched my body as I played, looking at where I stamped my foot in the last verse. He did this genius thing of playing what sounded like a shuffle or a 3/4. He found this other time and it pulled the whole song together, and it was majestic."

Comments: 4

  • Jim from Boston, MaYes, this song is about Tom Waits, as is "A Lucky Guy" from the same album. Waits' one mistake.
  • Alita from Spokane, Wacandice, you are obviously very young. Mariah Carey ain't got nothing on ricky lee jones, and it is almost an abomiation to compare the two. Mariah Carey should think of original song titles
  • Kate from New York, NyIs this song about Tom Waits?
  • Candice from Vancouver, CanadaMariah Carey has a #1 hit song with the same title but sounds completly different to this one.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Keith Reid of Procol HarumSongwriter Interviews

As Procol Harum's lyricist, Keith wrote the words to "A Whiter Shade Of Pale." We delve into that song and find out how you can form a band when you don't sing or play an instrument.

Sending Out An SOS - Distress Signals In SongsSong Writing

Songs where something goes horribly wrong (literally or metaphorically), and help is needed right away.

Dan ReedSongwriter Interviews

Dan cracked the Top 40 with "Ritual," then went to India and spent 2 hours with the Dalai Lama.

Mike Scott of The WaterboysSongwriter Interviews

The stories behind "Whole Of The Moon" and "Red Army Blues," and why rock music has "outlived its era of innovation."

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."

Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake & PalmerSongwriter Interviews

Greg talks about writing songs of "universal truth" for King Crimson and ELP, and tells us about his most memorable stage moment (it involves fireworks).