Come from the Heart

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"Come from the Heart"
Come from the heart kathy.png
Single by Kathy Mattea
from the album Willow in the Wind
B-side"True North"
ReleasedApril 1989
Songwriter(s)Richard Leigh, Susanna Clark
Producer(s)Allen Reynolds
Kathy Mattea singles chronology
"Life as We Knew It"
"Come from the Heart"
"Burnin' Old Memories"

"Come from the Heart" is a country music song written by Richard Leigh and Susanna Clark and published in 1987. It is most known through the 1989 single by Kathy Mattea, released in conjunction with her album Willow in the Wind, though the song was first recorded and released on the 1987 Don Williams album Traces and also released in 1988 by Clark's husband on his album Old Friends.[1]

Mattea's single was her third number one on the country chart, spending 14 weeks on that chart including a single week at the top.[2]

Hard Working Americans (with front man Todd Snider) recorded the song in 2014 as a duet with Rosanne Cash.


The song includes the lyrics:

You’ve got to sing like you don’t need the money,
Love like you’ll never get hurt.
You’ve got to dance like nobody’s watchin’.

which The Yale Book of Quotations attributes as the source for similar aphorisms sometimes attributed to others[3] (e.g. Annie's Mailbox attributes a version of the lyric to a combination of William Watson Purkey and Satchel Paige[4]). In 2004 in response to an inquiry by a group of librarians Richard Leigh stated

For some reason, people have a great deal of trouble attributing this lyric to its creators: Susanna Clark and Richard Leigh. The reason you can not find any printed or recorded support for these assertions dating back any earlier than our song, is because they don’t exist.... I think the folks out there must be unconsciously disappointed that something that cool came from such ordinary people, so they keep giving it the loftier authorship they believe it deserves.

— Richard Leigh[5]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1989) Peak
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[6] 1
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[7] 1

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1989) Position
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[8] 67
US Country Songs (Billboard)[9] 32


  1. ^ "Albums containing a track with the title: 'Come From the Heart'". Allmusic. Retrieved March 23, 2011.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 217.
  3. ^ Shapiro, Fred (July 23, 2009). "Quotes Uncovered: Songs and Dancing". Freakonomics blog. The New York Times. Retrieved March 3, 2010.
  4. ^ Mitchell, Kathy; Sugar, Marcy (April 25, 2006). "Annie's Mailbox, April 25". Annie's Mailbox. Creators Syndicate. Archived from the original on 2009-10-20. Retrieved March 3, 2010. William Watson Purkey is credited with writing, "Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth." Later, the phrase "Work like you don't need the money" was added, often credited to baseball great Satchel Paige. This poem obviously speaks to a lot of people, because over the years, many others have created their own additions. We think the sentiments are life-affirming.
  5. ^ O'Toole, Garson. "Dance Like Nobody's Watching". Quote Investigator. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
  6. ^ "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 6383." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. July 10, 1989. Retrieved August 28, 2013.
  7. ^ "Kathy Mattea Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  8. ^ "RPM Top 100 Country Tracks of 1989". RPM. December 23, 1989. Retrieved August 28, 2013.
  9. ^ "Best of 1989: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 1989. Retrieved August 28, 2013.

External links[edit]