The Story of Mr. Mister’s “BROKEN WINGS” (1985)

There’s nothing more satisfying and life-enriching than seeing how a beloved song of yours materializes on a stage, performed by the artist who wrote it and introduced it to your life. In November 2016, I had the chance to go to a concert of Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band and as we all know, Richard Page is a respectful member of that glorious supergroup. So, naturally, Mr. Mister’s biggest hit – “Broken Wings” had to be a part of the program. I will never forget that marvelous moment, Page brought so much magic into the whole arena, I even got too emotional.

“Broken Wings” is one of those tunes that can instantly build a bridge between itself and your soul, so that the connection can remain forever. The thrilling opening bass chords signal the arrival of something strong and meaningful, but when Page appears with its soulful “Baby, don’t understand, why we can’t just hold on to each others’ hands…”, your heart just knows that this is going to become one of your songs.

 MV

 

– “Broken Wings” was released in 1985 as the lead single from Mr. Mister’s sophomore album Welcome to the Real World. Co-written by Richard Page, Steve George and lyricist John Lang, the idea of the song, was taken from a poetic novel of the same name, written by Khalil Gibran. The book is about the tragic love between two people, who cannot enjoy their freedom and ultimately their affection, due to social circumstances and pressure.
The three of them wrote the song in about half an hour, which once again proves my theory – when there is talent, passion and an idea, great things happen instantaneously.

–  “Broken Wings” topped the charts in Canada and the States and became a top 10 hit in countries all over the world, including Germany, Australia and Norway.

broken-wings– The iconic black/white MV, featuring Page driving a convertible, became a huge MTV hit and one of the earliest staples of VH1, as the network station was launched on the same year the song was released – 1985.

– The lines, “Take these broken wings and learn to fly” also feature in The Beatles’ song “Blackbird” Paul McCartney and John Lennon were both influenced by Kahlil Gibran’s work.

– The lyrics are probably the most compelling part of the song. The protagonist is singing about a relationship that went downhill, but he hasn’t given up yet. He wants to have a new start and hold her hand once again, as “the book of love” let them in. The role of the broken wings in the context is open to interpretation but the way I see it, he truly loves her and wants her to “learn to live and love so free”. She is the blood that makes him whole and that’s why he is giving her those “broken wings”. She has to learn how to fly again and he will be there to help her. The theme is immensely inspiring and soul-healing, urging you to live life again, love, give second chances and be happy.


Mr. Mister – Broken Wings – 12/14/1985


Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band – “Broken Wings” Live


Broken Wings Lyrics

Baby, don’t understand
Why we can’t just hold on to each others’ hands
This time might be the last, I fear
Unless I make it all too clear
I need you so…

Take these broken wings
And learn to fly again
Learn to live so free
When we hear the voices sing
The book of love will open up and let us in
Take these broken wings

Baby, I think tonight
We can take what was wrong and make it right,
Baby, it’s all I know
That you’re half of the flesh
And blood that makes me whole
I need you so

So take these broken wings
And learn to fly again
Learn to live so free
And when we hear the voices sing
The book of love will open up and let us in

Take these broken wings
You’ve got to learn to fly
Learn to live and love so free
And when we hear the voices sing
The book of love will open up and let us in…

Let us in
Let us in

Baby, it’s all I know
That you’re half of the flesh
And blood that makes me whole
Yeah yeah yeah, yeah yeah

So take these broken wings
And learn to fly again
Learn to live so free
And when we hear the voices sing
The book of love will open up and let us in

Take these broken wings
You’ve got to learn to fly
Learn to live and love so free
And when we hear the voices sing
The book of love will open up for us and let us in…


 

– “Broken Wings” was sampled for Tupac Shakur’s song “Until The End Of Time”, which became a top 5 hit in the UK.


References:
“Broken Wings”, retrieved from http://www.azlyrics.com
“Broken Wings” Songfacts Page: http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=7823
P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers.
The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.
Cheers~

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