“Up wherein We Belong” is just one of those songs from the 1980s the you’ve certainly heard before but may not know exactly who sings it. Nor may one be specifically aware that what is being stated in the lyrics external of the expression “up wherein we belong”, i beg your pardon comes throughout quite plainly and properly in the chorus. 

So now our intent is the failure the wording and make an effort to understand exactly what’s going on here. And interesting to keep in mind that at the finish of the all, this song isn’t necessarily what one would define as gift romantic.

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But is in truth a love song, albeit in the most-general feeling of the word “love”. Or declared differently yes, this is verily a romantic-sounding duet between a sweet-voiced woman and a masculine-toned man.

Moreover it was verily featured on one that the most-iconic romantic end in American movie history. But honestly, over there is naught in the text pointing to amorous affection. Instead they check out as being more akin to an inspirational piece than something else.

A tune that Inspires

Or put an ext precisely, the titular “up” is a metaphor, together you likely currently know. But what that alludes to isn’t anything romantic every se. Instead it is an ideologically state where the vocalists room able come “far” transcend “the civilization below”.

And “the human being below” is indistinguishable to one allegory because that the humdrum that everyday, unedifying living.

This premise has actually been proved by will certainly Jennings, one of the co-writers the the song. He based the lyrics on his very own background, and that the the characters in the renowned 1980s movie “An Officer and a Gentleman“, who are working-class people.

And essentially the narrator that this track is someone that is down and also out and at the finish of the road. That is the idea which the line “all I recognize is the method I feel” in the very first verse is plan the point to.

Or as Jennings explained, “if you have nothing rather to tell girlfriend what to do in your life, you have to go with what friend feel”. 

Also concerning the imagery of the “mountain high”, such as in reality symbolic the “striving because that the top”. And the eagle crying is representative the “wild freedom”.


So this tune is kind of prefer an practice in optimistic thinking, if girlfriend will. There is “no time to cry”, i.e. Harp ~ above the bad breaks life may have actually thrown your way. Instead you are “alive today”, for this reason affording friend the chance to enhance your lot. And also of food ‘there are hills in the way’, as in the roadway to together a lofty ambition gift filled through challenges. 

But every day” the vocalists “climb a step”, gradually working their way to the top, i.e. The end of their present unfavorable existence and into one which is much more edifying, everything that may mean to them.

Perhaps it might be endeavoring in the direction of a fruitful romance. But honestly such aspirations would be interpreted differently by different listeners.


In Conclusion

But conclusively, every one of this is no to suggest that this tune is every vision and grind. “Love” is obviously an essential factor, if not the most-important, in their aspirations. For the vocalists are encouraged that the is love – not tough work or patience or perseverance – which an ext so than anything else has the power to ‘life them up wherein they belong’.

Jennifer Warnes and Joe Cocker

Concerning who it is that actually sings this song, that would be Jennifer Warnes and the so late Joe Cocker (1944-2014). The previous is from the USA (Seattle) and the latter the UK.

In both of their cases, all points considered, this to be the most-successful track of their careers, although they enjoyed other number ones as well.

In Warnes case she topped the Billboard warm 100 again with “(I’ve Had) the moment of mine Life” (1987) alongside bill Medley, an additional song made renowned by a movie, in that instance being 1987’s “Dirty Dancing”.

And means prior to “Up whereby We Belong”, in 1968, Joe Cocker score a UK Singles graph number one through his covering of The Beatles’ “With a small Help from mine Friends“.

When to be “Up where We Belong” released?

It came out on 22 July 1982, being part of the soundtrack to “An Officer and a Gentleman” (1982), a film starring Richard Gere and Debra Winger.

The movie chin was a an essential success, and also the track also achieved a variety of notable accomplishments. For instance, it topped the Billboard hot 100 and Cashbox optimal 100. In addition to these achievements, it also achieved number one condition in Canada, Australia and also South Africa. Additionally it has actually been certified gold in the joined States.


Even an ext Accolades

“Up whereby We Belong” earned the performers a Grammy Award and its composers an Academy Award, on peak of a gold Globe Award. All of the transpired in 1983.

The Grammy was in the category of Best Pop performance by a Duo or team with Vocals. And also both the gold Globe Award and also Academy compensation were for what is probably the most-distinguished music accolade linked with those events, Best initial Song.

And just to note, the adhering to year the tune additionally took residence a BAFTA award, again gift named Best original Song

The RIAA ultimately went top top to rank it amongst the “Songs of the <20th> Century”, a list that only made up 365 tracks in total.

Did Joe Cocker compose “Up where We Belong”?

No. The writers of this hit track are Buffy Sainte-Marie (Canada), will certainly Jennings (USA) and the so late Jack Nitzsche (USA, 1937-2000). And interesting to keep in mind is that Nitzsche and Sainte-Marie married in 1982, the exact same year in i beg your pardon this track was officially reduce (having excellent so after it came out).

Challenges prior to Recording

As the story goes this track sort of came about as the result of an underground project between Frank Mancuso, who functioned for big Pictures, the agency that distributed “An Officer and a Gentleman” and Taylor Hackford, the director of the film.

That is to say that they wanted to develop an initial song for the movie yet didn’t have any money left over from the budget plan to perform so. Castle proceeded anyway, at some point getting in contact with Jennifer Warnes who then argued she drop a duet through Joe Cocker.

This was since they understood her voice to be “too sweet” because that the sound lock desired. Moreover Cocker was in reality a musician whom Warnes looked up to.

At one point the track’s producer, Stewart Levine, was hesitant to get affiliated but did so anyway due to his admiration of will Jennings.

On height of the Cocker showed to be “terrified” as soon as it pertained to actually record the song and also had to be coaxed right into participating by Levine.

Challenges after recording

Then also after all that, big Pictures and others in the video game thought the track to be a bust. But it ended up on the final cut of the movie regardless since time did not permit Hackford and co. To come up with another song.

And also then for everything reason, radio stations were reluctant to play it until the movie itself blew up. And ultimately, such an unorthodox and even challenging origin resulted in what is taken into consideration to be one of the greatest songs in American history.

Interestingly, also after it go out up, “Up wherein We Belong” still brought about a considerable lot of discontent in Joe Cocker’s career. For instance, his label, Island Records, was cheesed off that a track he tape-recorded in just a matter of hrs instantly outperformed whole album, “Sheffield Steel” (1982), the he reduce under them simply prior which took whole year to put together.

Also the ton of this monitor deviated indigenous Cocker’s norm. Or placed differently, ~ the relax of “Up whereby We Belong”, no one, not also industry execs, knew specifically which genre come classify Joe Cocker in.

Live Performances

Jennifer and Joe made an agreement with each various other to never ever lip sync this song while performing the live. Moreover Warnes in specific has noted that ‘never observed him off stage’, she and Cocker took pleasure in a “beautiful” professional relationship and always worked perfect in unison as soon as rendering this tune.

Popular consist of

This song has been extended by the brother-and-sister team of BeBe & CeCe Winans, being triggered by Tammy Faye Bakker (1942-2007), originally in 1984 and again in 1996.

And the latter went ~ above to success a GMA Dove compensation in 1998 in the classification of Contemporary Gospel song of the Year.

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Co-writer Buffy Sainte-Marie likewise came out v her own rendition of “Up wherein We Belong” in 1996.

TV Appearances

“Up wherein We Belong” has also been featured – in part way, shape or kind – on few of the most-popular television reflects in history, together as the following:

“The Simpsons” (1990)“Friends” (1996)“South Park” (2005)“The Office” (2007) “Scrubs” (2007)