Out Here On My Own

1983, I sat in my little apartment in Vienna, Austria, and listened to a song I didn’t fully understand. My Grandma had passed away and without any family or friends, I was out there on my own. I didn’t know the big city, and the University of Vienna overwhelmed me. I was a young adult, very insecure and uncertain of my future. Equipped with invisible wings but afraid to fly.

Sometimes I wonder where I’ve been,
Who I am,
Do I fit in.

The English language had never been on my ‘radar’. Surely I wouldn’t need it and so I concentrated on every other language because I just knew I would never interpret or translate English, so why learn it?

Dubbing artists* had professionally translated the American movie “Flashdance” into German, and it was a hit in our movie theaters and in many other countries. Like so many teenagers and young adults, I had fallen in love with it as well.

Flashdance, a romantic story of a beautiful young woman who works a job in a steel mill during the day and dances in a bar at night. Her boss, both interested in her and her performing career, is supporting and helping her all the way and of course, we get the happy ending we so long for.

“Out here on my own” yes, the song spoke to me.

I learned the song before I understood English. I translated it word for word with the help of an English dictionary.

Two years later I would fall in love with an American (my husband) and became a first-generation love immigrant, who wanted to learn English after all.

Irene Cara died way too young, but I suppose no matter how you toss and turn it, there isn’t a right age for death anyway.

I still remember the lyrics so well and proudly and bravely sang them to my husband yesterday, when he didn’t recognize Irene Cara’s name right away when her picture was shown in the news.

Sometimes I wonder where I’ve been,
Who I am,
Do I fit in.
Make believe in’ is hard alone,
Out here on my own.

We’re always provin’ who we are,
Always reachin’
For that risin’ star
To guide me far
And shine me home,
Out here on my own.

When I’m down and feelin’ blue,
I close my eyes so I can be with you.
Oh, baby be strong for me;
Baby belong to me.
Help me through.
Help me need you.

Until the morning sun appears
Making light
Of all my fears,
I dry the tears
I’ve never shown,
Out here on my own.

But when I’m down and feelin’ blue,
I close my eyes so I can be with you.
Oh, baby be strong for me;
Baby, belong to me.
Help me through.
Help me need you.

Sometimes I wonder where I’ve been,
Who I am,
Do I fit in.
I may not win,
But I can’t be thrown,
Out here on my own,

Out here on my own.

Artist: Irene Cara (RIP)
Songwriters: Songwriters: Lesley Gore / Michael Gore
Album: Fame

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20 thoughts on “Out Here On My Own

  1. What a wonderful story, and the power of music, in any language. I loved the music of Irene Cara, and probably had my first real introduction through the television show “Fame,” which I adored. She had a wonderful voice, and infectious smile and I have to agree, “too soon.” Thanks for remembering her talent in this way, Bridget. I loved your story.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I only found out today that you lived in Vienna. I am Viennese….

    But what I would like to write: Your “The Happy Quitter” made me think and is certainly one of the reasons why I have now stopped smoking – hopefully! Thank you and best regards!

    Liked by 2 people

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