Drift Right Into Space

‘Up On The Roof’ was written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin and recorded in 1962 by The Drifters.  Laura Nyro recorded this song in 1971 for her Christmas And The Beads Of Sweat album and it became her sole Hot 100 appearance, peaking at number 92.  Gerry Goffin cited ‘Up on the Roof’ as containing his all-time favorite lyrics of songs that he wrote.  Carole King suggested that her husband write lyrics for the tune which had occurred to her while she was out driving, recommending the title ‘My Secret Place’.  Goffin focused on a haven, modifying the song because of his enthusiasm for the movie musical West Side Story, which contained several striking scenes set on the rooftops of Upper West Side high rise buildings.  In April 2010, The Drifters’ ‘Up on the Roof’ was named number 114 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list.  It is one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.

Living in a big city can make anyone want to get away from the crowds of people and this song has an escapist concept that allows the listener to go to a place “where the air is fresh and sweet.”  It also contains romance expressing a desire to be all alone with your significant other with the lyrics, “At night the stars put on a show for free, and darling, you can share it all with me.”  It contains a simple message that by just climbing the stairs up to the roof, this will let you get out of the rat race, take you to a secluded place away from the frustrating pace set by society, where it is peaceful and then you don’t have to worry about the world below.

When this old world starts getting me down
And people are just too much for me to face
I climb way up to the top of the stairs
And all my cares just drift right into space
On the roof, it’s peaceful as can be
And there the world below can’t bother me
Let me tell you now

When I come home feelin’ tired and beat
I go up where the air is fresh and sweet (up on the roof)
I get away from the hustling crowd
And all that rat-race noise down in the street (up on the roof)
On the roof, the only place I know
Where you just have to wish to make it so
Let’s go up on the roof (up on the roof)

At night the stars put on a show for free
And, darling, you can share it all with me

I keep a-tellin’ you

Right smack dab in the middle of town
I’ve found a paradise that’s trouble proof (up on the roof)
And if this world starts getting you down
There’s room enough for two
Up on the roof (up on the roof)
Up on the roo-oo-oof (up on the roof)
Oh, come on, baby (up on the roof)
Oh, come on, honey (up on the roof)

Everything is all right (up on the roof)

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie MM Music Challenge “Eli’s Comin’’.

7 thoughts on “Drift Right Into Space

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