I’ll Ride Like the Wind

‘Ride Like The Wind’ was written by Christopher Cross and released on his 1979 self-titled debut album Christopher Cross.  It reached #69 in the UK and went to #2 in the US and Cross won five Grammy Awards for this album.  Christopher Cross dedicated this song to Lowell George, formerly of the band Little Feat, who had died in 1979.  It features backing vocals by Michael McDonald who was in The Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan and this helped to make this song a big hit.  This song tells the story of a condemned man who is on the run and heading to Mexico.  Christopher Cross said that he was on acid when he wrote the lyrics for this song as he was going from Houston to Austin.  Cross said that when he was young, he watched a lot of cowboy movies where the bad guy was always being chasing as he was trying to get to Mexico, to escape the authorities.  He knew that Mexico was a place where you could go to and drink and do all this debauchery which sounded really cool when he was a kid, so getting to the border in Mexico was fascinating for him.

Cross first played with a San Antonio-based cover band named Flash and in 1978 he signed a solo contract with Warner Bros.  Cross had been sending in demos to Warner Bros. for the past 4 years and nobody seemed to notice him till Michael Omartian told him that he would like to produce him.  Omartian had worked with Steely Dan and that is how they got Michael McDonald involved in this song.  In 1970, Cross played guitar during a Deep Purple concert when Ritchie Blackmore fell ill shortly before the show.  In 1978, he was invited to play with Donald Fagen and Walter Becker of Steely Dan.  Christopher Cross sings lead vocals, and plays electric and acoustic guitar with Andy Salmon on bass, Tommy Taylor playing drums, Michael Omartian on acoustic piano, Rob Meurer playing synthesizers, Jim Horn, Jackie Kelso and Don Roberts all playing saxophone, Lew McCreary and Chuck Findley on trumpet, Assa Drori as the first chair violinist and Michael McDonald provided backup vocals on this song.

It is the night
My body’s weak
I’m on the run
No time to sleep
I’ve got to ride
Ride like the wind
To be free again

And I’ve got such a long way to go (such a long way to go)
To make it to the border of Mexico
So I’ll ride like the wind
Ride like the wind

I was born the son of a lawless man
Always spoke my mind with a gun in my hand
Lived nine lives
Gunned down ten
Gonna ride like the wind

And I’ve got such a long way to go (such a long way to go)
To make it to the border of Mexico
So I’ll ride like the wind
Ride like the wind

Gonna ride like the wind

Accused and tried and told to hang
I was nowhere in sight when the church bells rang
Never was the kind to do as I was told
Gonna ride like the wind before I get old

It is the night
My body’s weak
I’m on the run
No time to sleep
I’ve got to ride
Ride like the wind
To be free again

And I’ve got such a long way to go (such a long way to go)
To make it to the border of Mexico
So I’ll ride like the wind
Ride like the wind

And I’ve got a long way to go (such a long way to go)
To make it to the border of Mexico
So I’ll ride like the wind
Ride like the wind
Gonna ride like the wind

Ride!
Gonna ride like the wind
Ride!

Written for Thursday Inspiration #160 Everybody Wants You where the prompt is wind.

9 thoughts on “I’ll Ride Like the Wind

  1. Great info Jim…I would have never guessed he played guitar…even for a few hours for Deep Purple! It just doesn’t fit.

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