Friday Night Music, March 5, 2010: Des’ree, “You Gotta Be,” 1994

I played her album with this song yesterday, and you could say that I am sharing it with you, and making its words a part of me once more. Sometimes, you need a song to tell you, yeah, you are on the right track, and keep on going no matter what.

I never figured out why she came in like a lioness and then flamed out here in the States. A BBC Radio poll in 2007, however, voted one of her lyrics in the song, “Life,” as one of the worst on record, an assumption I think is a cruel appraisal of her work.

Wiki sez:

Des’ree was born in Barbados, where she spent the first years of her life until she and her parents moved to South London. There, she was introduced to reggae, calypso and jazz music by her parents. Des’ree’s interest in pursuing a musical career followed a three year trip to Barbados with her family at the age of fourteen to Barbados. In 1992, the single “Feel So High” got extensive international airplay and reached #13 in the UK and #28 in Australia, but didn’t do very well in Barbados.

In 1994, her single “You Gotta Be” hit the Billboard Hot 100 Top 5, peaking at #5, and was a hit in the UK three times. “You Gotta Be” became the most played music video on VH1 and remained on the Billboard recurrent airplay chart for 80 weeks.

Following the single’s success, Des’ree’s second album, I Ain’t Movin’ , sold in excess of 1.6 million copies worldwide. Her success lead to an American tour with Seal in 1995. The following year, she contributed the song “Kissing You” to the soundtrack of the film William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet.

In 1997, her single “Crazy Maze” was featured on the soundtrack of the movie Nothing to Lose with Tim Robbins and Martin Lawrence.

In 1998, her single “Life” became a hit in Europe. In 1999, she won a BRIT Award for the British Female Solo Artist category.

She released Dream Soldier in 2003.

Des’ree got into it with Janet Jackson and Beyoncé over what she saw as their illegal use of her songs. With Jackson, an undisclosed amount was awarded to Des’ree, and songwriting credit given. Her suit against Beyoncé is pending.

The lyrics to “You Gotta Be” are:

Listen as your day unfolds
Challenge what the future holds
Try and keep your head up to the sky
Lovers, they may cause you tears
Go ahead release your fears
Stand up and be counted
Don’t be ashamed to cry

You gotta be
You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold, you gotta be wiser
You gotta be hard, you gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger
You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm, you gotta stay together
All I know is that love will save the day

Herald what your mother said
Read the books your father read
Try to solve the puzzles in your own sweet time
Some may have more cash than you
Others take a different view
My oh my, yeah, eh, eh

You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold, you gotta be wiser
You gotta be hard, you gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger
You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm, you gotta stay together
All I know is that love will save the day

Time ask no questions, it goes on without you
Leaving you behind if you can’t stand the pace
The world keeps on spinning
Can’t stop it, if you tried to
This best part is danger staring you in the face

Remember listen as your day unfolds
Challenge what the future holds
Try and keep your head up to the sky
Lovers, they may cause you tears
Go ahead release your fears
My oh my, eh, eh, eh

You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold, you gotta be wiser
You gotta be hard, you gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger
You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm, you gotta stay together
All I know is that love will save the day
Yeah, yeah, yeah

You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold, you gotta be wiser
You gotta be hard, you gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger
You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm, you gotta stay together
All I know is that love will save the day
Yeah, yeah

Got to be bold
Got to be bad
Got to be wise
Do what others say
Got to be hard
Not too, too hard
All I know is love will save the day

You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold, you gotta be wiser
You gotta be hard, you gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger
You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm, you gotta stay together

Listen to it before you go out for those jobs. Before you meet with your estranged lover/partner. Before you make the move to the next level. This song is like a prayer. Use it.

~ by blksista on March 5, 2010.

 
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