Our Song

Islands In The Stream (Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton)
(Barry Gibb/Maurice Gibb/Robin Gibb)

Baby, when I met you there was peace unknown
I set out to get you with a fine tooth comb
I was soft inside, there was somethin’ going on

You do something to me that I can’t explain
Hold me closer and I feel no pain
Every beat of my heart
We got somethin’ goin’ on

Tender love is blind
It requires a dedication
All this love we feel
Needs no conversation
We ride it together, ah-ah
Makin’ love with each other, ah-ah

Islands in the stream
That is what we are
No one in-between
How can we be wrong
Sail away with me to another world
And we rely on each other, ah-ah
From one lover to another, ah-ah

I can’t live without you if the love was gone
Everything is nothin’ if you got no one
And you did walk in tonight
Slowly loosen’ sight of the real thing

But that won’t happen to us and we got no doubt
Too deep in love and we got no way out
And the message is clear
This could be the year for the real thing

No more will you cry
Baby, I will hurt you never
We start and end as one, in love forever
We can ride it together, ah-ah
Makin’ love with each other, ah-ah

Islands in the stream
That is what we are
No one in-between
How can we be wrong
Sail away with me to another world
And we rely on each other, ah-ah
From one lover to another, ah-ah

Sail away
Oh, come sail away with me

Why Islands in the Stream you ask? Pathetic, I know. But quite simple really — you can’t choose your song! Songs just happen.

In the fall of 1984, Kenny and Dolly were at the top of the charts. You could not turn on the radio without hearing this. And it wasn’t just on the country stations either, it was a cross-over hit. At night the radio would pick up WNBC out of New York. Songs like Break My Stride, Dirty Laundry . . . and Islands in the Stream. I had a curfew, had to be in the yard by 10. This sucked but at least I didn’t have to be in the house. Ronnie and I would sit in Dad’s car, listen to the radio and make out. It was the black LTD, a massive beast, we could lay quite comfortably across the seat. And we did. And nobody ever checked on us!

I was 14 and he was 17, a mess of raging teenage hormones. Lord, I do not envy anyone having to run that gamut of emotion again. It felt like you’d just bust from the feelings, like there was no way your body could possibly contain it all. We were crazy nuts about each other.

Anyway, back to the song. The first night I took Ronnie home it was pouring rain. We were soaked and had no place to go. So I went home early to get out of the weather and we went outside and for the first time sat in Dad’s car so we could be alone, and also because Ronnie was so shy it was killing him to be in the house and have to talk to Dad. We were still very new. I’d only seen him a couple of times. I was nervous being alone with him. The radio was on, you couldn’t see out the windows because it was raining so hard, rain thrumming the roof, and we talked, you know the kind of things you talk about when you’re just getting to know someone — who are your parents? any siblings? what do you want to do when you graduate? I asked the questions mostly, many of them were questions Mom had asked me about the boy and I didn’t know any of the answers, so I thought I’d better find out.

So we talked for awhile and then the conversation petered. Islands in the Stream came on the radio. Our eyes locked. I was trembling, felt like my heart leapt into my head and was pounding so loud they’d hear it inside. He brushed my face with his hand, cupped my chin, leaned in, kissed me, and I saw fireworks. This was no ordinary kiss, it lasted hours, but I was completely in love with him after the first verse. After that night I thought I’d die if I couldn’t be with him. Back then we’d make mixed cassette tapes, recording current songs off the radio. So that week when I was making a tape I put Islands in the Stream on it so I could be reminded of that night in the car. The next time I saw Ronnie he also had made a new tape, and he’d put the song on it too.

And that’s how it became our song. It wasn’t planned, wasn’t discussed, just happened. A shared moment neither one of us ever wanted to forget.

Mood: hyper
Drinking: coffee
Listening To: Kenny & Dolly
Hair: oy! you DO NOT want to know!

Categories: Uncategorized

2 replies »

  1. AWWWWWWWWWWWWW! ……..But it’s still kinda weird to hear you talk like that about Ronnie. Funny even. So much time has passed since then, like another lifetime or past life.


  2. Hah! I know. Too funny. It was totally another lifetime ago. Also weird for me to talk about Ronnie like that, but it was the way it was at the time. We had some good times, me and him. There was a time when he was my best friend (even later on, when we were both in Toronto but not together as a couple). We grew up together.


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