“Open Arms” by Journey – SLS

This week for Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams has prompted us with songs pertaining to Arms/Elbows/Knees/Legs.

I’ve never been a big concert goer. First of all, we were poor when I was a kid so there was no money. Second of all, I wasn’t into partying, didn’t indulge in alcohol or drugs so I didn’t see the point. I channeled my music in my bedroom on my record player. As the years went by, I yearned to see Journey in concert. Never got the opportunity.

I started working at age 15 to help my mom pay the bills. It just so happened I was 15 in 1981. That is the year Journey released the “Escape” album with “Open Arms” on it. Jonathan Cain began writing “Open Arms” while still with the band “The Babys”. John Waite, “The Babys” vocalist didn’t like the song and said it was “sentimental rubbish”. Cain & Journey’s lead singer Steve Perry finished the song in the writing sessions of the “Escape” album. They changed the key from A to D & reworked the melody. Cain would collaborate on many other Journey albums throughout the years.

“Open Arms” was almost left off the “Escape” album because the band didn’t want ballads on their albums. They were a rock band, after all. The song was referred to as sounding kinda like Mary Poppins by guitarist Neal Schon. The song was so far outside the box and against everything the band had produced before. It could shatter their image. Well, it didn’t and just added to their popularity.

“Open Arms” is one of Journey’s most recognizable songs, however. It never reached #1 which I was shocked when I looked it up, because it was #1 in my heart. The week of February 27, 1982, it reached #2, jumping 2 spots from #4 on the US Billboard Hot 100 where it stayed for 6 weeks, never reaching #1. “Centerfold” by The J. Geils Band & “I Love Rock n’ Roll” by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts kept it from the #1 spot. Click on the Billboard link to see all the songs from that week in 1982.

Journey was my favorite rock band in high school and “Open Arms” got me through a troubled time of abuse at the hand of my step-dad. Afterall, it was my formidable years and I had mental & physical scars! I listened to all types of music, fantasizing for a different life than the one that I was living.

In July, 2017, I was minding my own business at work when an “Evil Eye” popped up on my monitor. Evil Eye is the way our company communicates on a grand scale to get a message to the entire company in real time. This Evil Eye was not like any others before it, nor those that appear on the norm. It stated that there were 4 tickets available for the Journey concert in 2 days. “First 2 people see me in production if you want to go”. This was from the President of the company. OMG! I’m going to see Journey. I didn’t buy tickets because they were $350 each. Now, I’m going & for FREE!

I shot out of my chair and ran to production. I got there at the same time another employee got there. Her name is Dottie and that is her & her husband in the photo below with me & Frank.

Journey concert 2017 - Daily's Place Amphitheatre in Jacksonville, Florida
Journey concert at Daily’s Place, Jacksonville, FL – 2017

I was so emotional that night. When the lights shut off, the darkness fell over Daily’s Place Amphitheatre, the waterworks began. Tears flowed freely down my face. All the emotion pent up since the 80’s came out of me. The excitement was real! Bucket List – CHECK! Pathetic really! None-the-less, it was the best time ever. To share it with my husband & 2 good friends, it was unforgettable. The video below was taken from my phone. Sorry for the late start, but I was Living in the Moment. I was shaky until I got my emotions in check. I could have easily been a girl in 1957 when Elvis came out on stage. That must have been how those girls felt.

Journey was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the class of 2017 (same year as the concert, definitely fate). Inductees included lead singer Steve Perry, guitarist Neal Schon, keyboardists Jonathan Cain and Gregg Rolie, bassist Ross Valory and drummers Aynsley Dunbar and Steve Smith. Steve Perry and Neal Schon left the band in 1987 to pursue solo careers. After years of reforming the band and many trial runs, the band hired YouTuber and Filipino singer Arnel Pineda from the cover band “The Zoo”. Arnel became Journey’s new frontman in 2007 and is seen belting out “Open Arms” in the video above in 2017.

Open Arms

Lying beside you
Here in the dark
Feeling your heartbeat with mine
Softly you whisper
You're so sincere
How could our love be so blind
We sailed on together
We drifted apart
And here you are
By my side

So now I come to you
With open arms
Nothing to hide
Believe what I say
So here I am
With open arms
Hoping you'll see
What your love means to me
Open arms

Living without you
Living alone
This empty house seems so cold
Wanting to hold you
Wanting you near
How much I wanted you home

But now that you've come back
Turned night into day
I need you to stay

So now I come to you
With open arms
Nothing to hide
Believe what I say
So here I am
With open arms
Hoping you'll see
What your love means to me
Open arms

12 Comments on ““Open Arms” by Journey – SLS

  1. Lisa Journey was a favorite band for so many people and I loved your story about how much they meant to you. It is awesome that you also include your own private videos.,

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Your story about what Journey means to you makes this song all the more precious. I love Steve Perry’s voice and this is one of Journey’s most romantic songs. I’m glad they persisted until it was included on the album!

    Liked by 3 people

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