Stumblin’ In

American singer-songwriter and actor Suzi Quatro and English rocker Chris Norman, the lead singer of the band Smokie, teamed up on the single “Stumblin’ In,” released in November 1978 in the United Kingdom and January 1979 in the USA.

At the time, I was recently out of school. I hated high school, having felt like I never fit in, and had been desperate to join most of my friends in dropping out. Thankfully, my parents were staunchly opposed to that and somehow convinced me to make it through that seemingly unending final year. Thinking back, I realize that must have been a colossal exercise in patience for them.

So there I was, out in the world, trying to make my way as a young adult, looking for love and a full-time job. I remember the song well from that time and recall feeling it had such a positive, hopeful and nostalgic vibe that contrasted a mood of listlessness that lingered after graduation.

“Our love is alive, and so we begin
Foolishly laying our hearts on the table
Stumblin’ in
Our love is a flame, burning within
Now and then firelight will catch us
Stumblin’ in

Wherever you go, whatever you do
You know these reckless thoughts of mine are following you
I’m falling for you, whatever you do
‘Cos baby you’ve shown me so many things that I never knew
Whatever it takes, baby I’ll do it for you

Our love is alive, and so we begin
Foolishly laying our hearts on the table
Stumblin’ in
Our love is a flame, burning within
Now and then firelight will catch us
Stumblin’ in

You were so young, and I was so free
I may been young, but baby that’s not what I wanted to be
Well you were the one, oh why was it me
‘Cos baby you’ve shown me so many things that I’ve never seen
Whatever you need, baby you’ve got it from me

Our love is alive, and so we begin
Foolishly laying our hearts on the table
Stumblin’ in
Our love is a flame, burning within
Now and then firelight will catch us
Stumblin’ in
Stumblin’ in
Stumblin’ in
Foolishly laying our hearts on the table
Stumblin’ in
Aagh stumblin’ in
Mm stumblin’ in
Now and then firelight will catch us
Stumblin’ in
Oh stumblin’ in
I’m stumblin’ in
Foolishly laying our hearts on the table
Stumblin’ in
Whoa stumblin’ in
Aagh stumblin’ in
I’m stumblin’ in
Keep on stumblin’ in
Now and then firelight will catch us
Stumblin’ in”

“Stumblin’ In,” by Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn.
Unofficial lyrics courtesy of AZLyrics.com.

Quatro’s recurring role from 1977 to 1979 as bass player Leather Tuscadero in the TV series Happy Days undoubtedly influenced the popularity of “Stumblin’ In.” Unfortunately, the association didn’t leave a lasting impact; it was her only top 40 song in an American music industry dominated by men. She was, however, very successful in the British and Australian musical scenes. I remember Quatro as having kind of a badass persona at the time; her name alone, not to mention the leather jumpsuit, made her super cool, I thought.

“Stumblin’ In” was written by frequent collaborators Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn, who also wrote hits for The Sweet, Tina Turner, Huey Lewis and the News, and other musical acts.

While released as a joint single, “Stumblin’ In” also appeared on some versions of the 1978 album If You Knew Suzi…. The song has appeared in several films, most recently director Paul Thomas Anderson’s Licorice Pizza (2021). After I hadn’t heard the piece for what seems like decades, it played in the car the other day on SiriusXM’s soft-rock stream, The Bridge, bringing up so many memories.

As we close the year and another holiday season in which COVID-19 has put up many obstacles, it’s easy to feel like we’re stumbling, in this chaotic world. In the coming year, may we all be gently “stumblin’ in” to happiness, good health, and togetherness.

Now you know a little about why this is My Song of the Day for Today. Thanks so much for joining me here, and please enjoy!

Here’s the audio for the song from the Suzi Quatro Official YouTube channel:

And, an unofficial but credited video of a 1978 TV appearance, obviously dubbed with the studio track:

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