I would quite often hear “ba da da da, da da, da da” as a kid on the radio. There was awe listening to those specific vocals, but I never knew what the song was called. Fast-forwarding years later to 2014, I finally found out what this song was after all those years of wondering: “Ride Like the Wind,” by Christopher Cross. With an uncommon “storyline [that] is one not often heard on Adult Contemporary radio,” Cross was able to gain instant fame as a result (“Ride Like the Wind” par. 1). Within “Ride Like the Wind’s” promo video, Cross and his band are shown playing as part of a studio recording. Though there was rarely anything portrayed that would make the video display a visual message, Christopher Cross romanticizes the idea of a wanted man escaping the law to Mexico through the lyrics.
“Ride Like the Wind” was the song that brought Christopher Cross into the lime-light. In an interview with CBS News, Cross stated that the idea of the song started “as a jam in the middle of a song by Paul McCartney called ‘1985’…” (4:30). Cross would replay this song many times at the club he was at, and he started doing “ba da da da, da da, da da.” These specific vocals later became the center of the entire song.
Christopher Cross also had inspirations from cowboy movies he watched as a kid. He thought that Mexico was a place where the bad guys can escape authority, and have carte blanche; this captivated Cross’s thoughts as a kid. In another interview with Song Facts, Cross admitted that he was on acid when writing the lyrics. He says that “…on the way down to Austin to record the songs, it was just a beautiful Texas day. I took acid. So I wrote the words on the way down from Houston to Austi...
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... man was sentenced to death in the U.S. (much like the character in the song) and hides out in Mexico, the government of Mexico would have him extradited if “that individual [is guaranteed that he/she] will not face the death penalty upon return to the United States,” but given a life sentence instead (Al-Khatib, paragraph 11).
Freedom is within the eye of the beholder. In “Ride Like the Wind,” freedom is miles across a Texas desert: Mexico. The notion that a person can get away with murder if he/she moves to another country has never been glorified as much as it is in this song. Even today, fugitives of the law consider countries outside of their homeland to be safe havens. They do not realize that they can be extradited, even if they were not caught for many years. Christopher Cross illustrates the ideal great escape through his lyrics in “Ride Like the Wind.”
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