You Belong to The City

New MM Music Badge

Former Eagles member Glenn Frey recorded ‘You Belong to The City’ during his solo career and he wrote it with Jack Tempchin.  It was written specifically for the television show Miami Vice season 2 episode The Prodigal Son and it reached #30 on the US Billboard Hot 100.  It was also used in the 1985 Pepsi commercial featuring James “Sonny” Crockett and Frey.  It was covered by Joe Walsh with Glen Frey in 2016.  This song deals with city dwellers and it points out that even in these crowded urban areas, people can still feel like they are in a very lonely place.  This song tells a story about a lone man who is walking through a large city at night.  He is alone, but due to all of the others around him, he is not really alone.  This song is a great representation of what it means to be on your own in an urban environment.

In 1984, Glen Frey recorded the Harold Faltermeyer and Keith Forsey song ‘The Heat Is On’, which appeared in Beverly Hills Cop, and one year later, American director, screenwriter, and producer Michael Mann called on him for the Miami Vice song.  The sax-driven song was kept out of the Number One spot on the Hot 100 by fellow 1970s survivors Starship and their song ‘We Built This City’, making this a big week for city songs.  The Miami Vice soundtrack album went to #1 for 11 weeks.

Tempchin is a personal friend of Glen Frey and they were friends for a long time before either one became world-famous.  Last year in 2019, Tempchin was inducted into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame for a variety of songs that he wrote for a list of artists that includes the Eagles, Glenn Frey, Randy Meisner, Glen Campbell, Emmylou Harris, Tom Waits, Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, Tanya Tucker, Johnny Rivers, George Jones, Dwight Yoakam, Trisha Yearwood and many others.  He contributed to the Eagles songs ‘Peaceful Easy Feeling’, ‘Already Gone’ and ‘Smuggler’s Blues’.

Jack Tempchin and Glenn Frey’s friendship started back in 1972 when Frey, then a member of the duo Longbranch Pennywhistle with J.D. Souther.  Frey spent a night at Jack’s big San Diego house and candle factory, which was a beloved hippie crash pad. Two years later when they were both at Jackson Browne’s L.A. home, Jack played Glenn a new song he’d written about a waitress in El Centro called ‘Peaceful Easy Feeling’.  Frey had just formed a new band eight days earlier called the Eagles and he told Jack that he wanted to play it for them and Jack responded, “Whoa, yeah!”

The sun goes down the night rolls in
You can feel it starting all over again
The moon comes up and the music calls
You’re getting tired of staring at the same four walls
You’re out of your room and down on the street
You can feel the crowds in the midnight heat
The traffic roars the sirens scream
Look at the faces it’s just like a dream
Nobody knows where you’re going
Nobody cares where you’ve been
‘Cause you belong to the city
You belong to the night
Living in a river of darkness beneath the neon light
You were born in the city
Concrete under your feet
It’s in your moves it’s in your blood
You’re a man of the street
When you said goodbye you were on the run
Tryin’ to get away from the things you’d done
Now you’re back again and you’re feeling strange
So much has happened but nothing has changed
Still don’t know where you’re going
Your still just a face in the crowd
You belong to the city
You belong to the night
Living in a river of darkness beneath the neon light
You were born in the city
Concrete under your feet
It’s in your blood it’s in your moves
For a man of the streets
You can feel it
You can taste it
You can see it
You can face it
You can hear it hey…
You’re getting near it hey…
You’re wanna make it
‘Cause you can take it
You belong to the city
You belong to the night
You belong to the city
You belong to the night
You belong…
You belong…
Oh… oh

The challenge today is to focus on this song and use it for inspiration in any form of creative expression (including but not limited to short stories, a piece of flash fiction, poems, lyrics, artwork, photography, (etc.) that you can share with the writing community.  If you are a musician, and you have played this song solo or in a group, then post a video to showcase your own work.  You could write about how you learned to play the chords or how you learned the lyrics.  There is no need to stick with this song, as if you like to write about another Glen Frey, or an Eagles song, or a song that was written by Jack Tempchin, that would work.  You might also go with a song about a city, or one that is about feeling lonely.

The whole point of this MM Music challenge is to get you to think, to trigger something so that you can show how creative you are and everyone is welcome to participate.  This challenge is very loose, so pretty much whatever you come up with will be acceptable. Most bloggers ignore me and very few actually participate in this music challenge, so I would be happy for anyone to submit anything.  I try to throw some ideas out there for you and if they seem right, then go with it.  If you want to write about getting tired of staring at the same four walls, how it feels to have concrete under your feet, or seeing the moon come up and hearing the music call, any of that would make an interesting story.

Dylan Hughes will be here on next Friday, January 17 with her First Line Friday and I suggest that everybody check out this fun prompt challenge.  I will be back on Friday, January 24 with another MM Music Challenge where we will discuss the song ‘Shakin’’. When you are finished writing your post, create a ping back to this post, but you can also place your link in the comments section below if you desire.  This Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie MM Music challenge has a special feature called Mr. Linky, which will allow you to instantly link your post after you click the Mr. Linky Button, and then follow the directions that are given.


  1. Reblogged this on A Unique Title For Me and commented:

    If you are seeking a fun writing challenge today stop in and smell the coffee. This challenge is pretty much wide open and anything that you write will most likely be accepted. I am reblogging my earlier post now, to share the interesting content with my followers, and it is quite possible that you may have been sleeping when I first posted it. Check it out, so you don’t get left out of the loop and as always have fun.


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