Gloria Estefan, “Anything For You” and Heart-Wrenching Lyrics

A bit of a strange thing happened on Sunday that left me momentarily discombobulated, but it also led me to revisit an album from the late 1980s I had all but forgotten about. I had taken my mum out of the care home for a wee outing, and we went to one of those big garden centres that also has a coffee shop. We were just leaving when I saw a long shelf of picture frames, all shapes and sizes. I’m still adding the final touches to the holiday hideaway, so thought I might find something suitable.

A middle-aged chap with a bald head was standing right in front of the shelf however, and thought I was staring at him. I wasn’t wearing my glasses at the time (vanity dictates I leave them in the car) which means I never recognise people in shops or in the street if they’re more than a few feet away, but once I focused I realised it was Mr WIAA’s predecessor, a chap I had a whirlwind romance with 30 years ago before deciding it was all just too safe, secure and dare I say, boring. Why settle down with someone who has a good job, a nice car, is kind and considerate, when you could potentially meet a penniless artist who lives in his Mum’s sewing room, but could make life a bit of an adventure. Well, regular visitors to this place will know which route I took, and no regrets, but it was weird to have this blast from the past standing in front of me.

What did we do? Nothing. There was a knowing look, and nod of acknowledgement from both of us, but he was with his wife/partner (?) and I was with my mum whom he hadn’t laid eyes on since she was a vital, working woman of 53. Getting into any kind of conversation was going to be complicated, so we obviously both made the split-second decision to just go our separate ways, again. I do find it really bizarre that we can still be in touch with people we worked with for just a short time decades ago, but people we knew on a whole different level are, once the magic ends, usually out of our lives for good. Doesn’t happen in all cases I know, but in my case it always has.

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Anyway, later on that evening I remembered that a few months after we split it was my birthday, and he kindly showed up with a present, a Gloria Estefan album. She was really popular at the time, so it made sense. Thanks very much I said, and casually added it to the shelf of other albums in my “corner unit” which housed the telly, the VCR and the music centre (lets face it we all had them). I probably did play it quite a bit, but back then I was a party-going flibbertigibbet and was more interested in the danceability of records rather that the lyrical content, so it’s taken me thirty years to actually listen to the title track properly, and boy are the lyrics heart-wrenching.

Anything For You by Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine:

Anything For You was written by Gloria Estefan and recorded with Miami Sound Machine. The song appeared on their 1987 album “Let It Loose” (although it was released as “Anything for You” in Europe). The song became their first US No. 1 in the summer of 1988 and reached No. 10 in the UK by the September.

Estefan had famously been married to Miami Sound Machine founder Emilio Estefan Jr., for 10 years when she wrote this song, and fans wondered how this supposedly happily married singer could write such a heart-wrenching ballad about love gone wrong. She explained to Billboard in 1988:

“I think that’s where the artist uses his creative license. I might have experienced these feelings awhile back or maybe vicariously through somebody else, maybe friends of mine who have gone through a similar thing. I think the artist always writes from within, from the soul, and even if you didn’t experience it yourself, you have to feel how would people in this situation feel, and how would they say it. I always try to write very conversationally, and think how would someone want to say it to someone else and then I try to make it more musical.”

Thirty years on, and suddenly I feel a bit of a heel.

Until next time….

Anything For You Lyrics
(Song by Gloria Estefan)

Anything for you
Though you’re not here
Since you said we’re through
It seems like years
Time keeps dragging on and on
And forever’s been and gone
Still I can’t figure what went wrong

I’d still do anything for you
I’ll play your game
You hurt me through and through
But you can have your way

I can pretend each time I see you
That I don’t care and I don’t need you
And though you’ll never see me cryin’
You know inside I feel like dying

And I’d do anything for you
In spite of it all
I’ve learned so much from you
You made me strong
But don’t you ever think that I don’t love you
That for one minute I forgot you
But sometimes things don’t work out right
And you just have to say goodbye

I hope you find someone to please you
Someone who’ll care and never leave you
But if that someone ever hurts you
You just might need a friend to turn to

And I’d do anything for you
I’ll give you up
If that’s what I should do
To make you happy

I can pretend each time I see you
That I don’t care and I don’t need you
And though inside I feel like dying
You know you’ll never see me cryin’

Don’t you ever think that I don’t love you
That for one minute I forgot you
But sometimes things don’t work out right
And you just have to say goodbye

Author: Alyson

Whenever I hear an old song on the radio, I am immediately transported back to those days - I know I'm not alone here and want to record those memories for myself and for the people in them. 50 years ago the song "Alfie" was written by my favourite songwriting team Bacharach and David - The opening line to that song was "What's it all about?" and I'm hoping that by writing this blog, I might find the answer to that question.

18 thoughts on “Gloria Estefan, “Anything For You” and Heart-Wrenching Lyrics”

  1. For reasons I can’t remember, I bought the “Cuts Both Ways” album – the only album of Gloria Estefan’s I ever owned. But I knew “Anything for You” from her previous album. As you say, it’s heart-wrenching stuff. It’s strange meeting up with former partners years after they were “The One”. Can be awkward and it can be fun. Years ago, I was invited to meet up with a woman I’d lived with for a few years and we spent a couple of hours just talking to each other while mutual friends pretended not to notice what was going on. Later, on the way home with a female friend, she said to me: “The two of you sounded like an old married couple.” Sometimes, that’s how it goes. An awkward meeting turns into remembering the good times.

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    1. You have often mentioned purchases from the ’80s that I somehow wouldn’t have expected you to have, but good to know. Heart-wrenching stuff indeed and hadn’t really put two and two together until now. What can I say, I was a flibbertigibbet.

      That’s good to hear that your meeting with an ex went well – And why shouldn’t it really. You would have had loads to catch up on and obviously had loads in common in the first place. Just awkward when other people are around really and what with my dementia-ridden mum being with me, just impossible to stop and chat. Shouldn’t have written this one really but the song just got to me when I listened to it again properly. A real late ’80s video as well (I had permed hair like that back then and he had a mini-mullet!).

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      1. I just blub at every version of that song. Turns out I wrote about it only 4 days after John and this was long before I discovered you guys – A strange synchronicity strikes again.

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  2. I’m only in touch with one ex at the moment. I even went to her wedding a year or so after we split up – that was a weird day! I subsequently also became friends with her husband, who actually came to stay with us a couple of times when he was in town for a gig.

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    1. There haven’t been many (not that much of a flibbertigibbet), but I’ve not kept in touch with any of my exes. Not fair on Mr WIAA and most now live in a totally different part of the country anyway. A few of my girl friends asked their exes to their weddings, but I always felt sorry for them. I usually ended up at the same table and during the speeches (there are many at Scottish weddings and can be quite long), they visibly winced when having it reinforced how the happy couple were just so perfect for each other – the implication being that the ex hadn’t been. Having said that, it can sometimes work, and here you are becoming friends with the new husband. A new gig buddy!

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  3. I’m rather late here but just wanted to say how much I enjoyed this post, you’ve expressed something that is quite a strange phenomenon really when you think about it and pick it apart – as you say, the fact that many people lose complete contact with those they’ve been in a much closer relationship with than others with whom a far less significant friendship can be maintained through the years. It’s lovely when exes and new partners can get along well (and how very civilised and benevolent too – hats off to TS!) but seems to be quite a rare thing.
    Just want to say too that my favourite part of this post is your wonderful summation: “Why settle down with someone who has a good job, a nice car, is kind and considerate, when you could potentially meet a penniless artist who lives in his Mum’s sewing room, but could make life a bit of an adventure.” Brilliant!

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    1. You’re not late, it’s just that I’m being unusually productive this week on account of trying to put off writing this awful essay for my course. Submitted it earlier today though so off my hands now – Could have done better but was hanging over me and I have so much to be getting on with.

      Yes it is a weird one isn’t it how you sometimes have to “walk on by” when you bump into an ex in the street, yet you will stop and have a long chat with an old colleague. Then again, not so weird really, as would be impossible to just make small-talk. Anyway, I did walk on by but that old song really got to me later in the day. I think I missed the “message” in the song 30 years ago, and am having a delayed guilt trip.

      Glad you like my summation which was basically true. And yes, it certainly has been a bit of an adventure!

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  4. A fascinating read, Alyson, made even more fascinating for me because I have been with the one I ended up marrying since we were in our middle teens. This is a part of life I guess I will never experience. I can’t empathize, but I can sympathize with you during this unexpected and bizarre flash of time. Given the circumstances, I think you both handled it perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Shouldn’t really be quite so open around here, but when songs really grab you because of something that’s happened, it’s hard not to share them.

      Yes, I know you’ve mentioned before that you have been with your wife since you were teens – I do have a few friends that did the same and are still happily married but have just as many that didn’t last the distance. I don’t think it really matters when you meet your special person, just important that you wait until you do. You are one of the lucky ones that didn’t have to go through all the heartbreak that goes with a break-up, but hey, all part of life’s rich tapestry.

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