St. Elmo's Fire (Man in Motion)

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"St. Elmo's Fire (Man in Motion)"
Single by John Parr
from the album St. Elmo's Fire (soundtrack)
B-side "Treat Me Like an Animal"
"Somebody Stole My Thunder"
"One Love" (instrumental)
Released June 23, 1985 (1985-06-23) (U.S.)
August 26, 1985 (1985-08-26) (UK)
Format 7" single
Recorded 1984
Genre Dance-rock
Length 4:11
Label Atlantic
Producer(s) David Foster
John Parr singles chronology
"St. Elmo's Fire (Man in Motion)"
"Love Grammar"
"St. Elmo's Fire (Man in Motion)"
"Love Grammar"
Music video
"St. Elmo's Fire (Man in Motion)" on YouTube

"St. Elmo's Fire (Man in Motion)" is a song by English singer John Parr from the 1985 film St. Elmo's Fire. It hit number-one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart on September 7, 1985, remaining there for two weeks. It was the main theme for Joel Schumacher's film, and first single from the soundtrack.

The song also peaked at number six in the United Kingdom, Parr's home country,[1] and became a number-one hit for John Parr around the world and provided many awards and a Grammy nomination.

The song was originally written by David Foster and John Parr for the Canadian athlete Rick Hansen, who at the time was going around the world in his wheelchair to raise awareness for spinal cord injuries. His journey was called the "Man in Motion Tour."[2][3]

The song did not initially feature on Parr's studio albums, only appearing on the London Records re-release of his self-titled debut album in the United Kingdom[4] and on a very rare 1985 West German CD re-release of the album.

Several members of Toto appear on the recording.


In popular culture[edit]

The song is briefly heard in an episode of The Simpsons, "Sideshow Bob Roberts".

The song is used at the end of an episode of The Goldbergs when the family prepares a Thanksgiving dinner.

The line "Gonna be your man in motion" is repeated by Jason Sklar in an episode of Cheap Seats.

It was featured heavily in the 2007 movie The Brothers Solomon.

The song is briefly heard in an episode of The Facts of Life.

In 2012, John Parr re-recorded the song with new lyrics, dubbed "Tim Tebow's Fire", to honor Tim Tebow of the Denver Broncos.[5] Parr stated to Denver FOX affiliate KDVR, "I was inspired by Tim Tebow so I wanted to modify the his honor of the way that he lives his life as being a great example."[6] The re-recorded song was featured on an episode of SportsNation. Both the original and Tim Tebow versions were available for download for the video game Rock Band 3 via the Rock Band Network.

In 2016, the song was used in a TV commercial named 'Rock, Paper, Scissors' for Google's Android operating system.[7]

In 2017, the song was heard on the short film Deadpool: No Good Deed.[8]

Music video[edit]

The music video features all seven of the main cast of the film St. Elmo's Fire looking sadly through the foggy windows of a run-down and fire-damaged version of the St. Elmo's Bar set. The video was directed by Kort Falkenberg III, who devised the concept with the film's director, Joel Schumacher. The production company only had Parr for a single day before he had to go back to England, so the shoot had to be done in exactly 24 hours.

The Canadian version of the video intersperses images of Rick Hansen's trek with those of the film.

The ending of the video shows Parr singing to each individual cast member from the film before he disappears into the night, and the cast follows him.


The Ventures performed an instrumental cover version of the song on their 2006 album, Major Motion Picture.

It was remixed by Tommyknockers in May 2006 with the title "New Horizon", which reached #43 in Britain, but failed to chart at all in the United States.

It was remixed by 2-4 Grooves in 2008 with the title "Writing on the Wall".

Parr performed two other versions ("unplugged" and "acoustic") for the film The Brothers Solomon.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1985-86) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[9] 4
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[10] 8
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[11] 12
Canadian RPM Singles Chart 1
French Singles Chart 62
Germany (Official German Charts)[12] 6
Irish Singles Chart 5
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[13] 22
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[14] 5
Norway (VG-lista)[15] 3
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[16] 4
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[17] 4
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[18] 6
US Billboard Hot 100[19] 1
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[20] 16
US Mainstream Rock (Billboard)[21] 2
Chart (2016) Position
Poland (Polish Airplay Top 100) [22] 81
Preceded by
"The Power of Love" by Huey Lewis and the News
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
September 7, 1985 – September 14, 1985
Succeeded by
"Money for Nothing" by Dire Straits
Preceded by
"Crying Over You" by Platinum Blonde
Canadian RPM Singles Chart number-one single
September 14, 1985 – September 28, 1985
Succeeded by
"Dancing in the Street" by Mick Jagger and David Bowie


  1. ^ Farrar, Doug (2012-01-10). "John Parr re-records the 'St. Elmo's Fire' theme song with Tebow-centric lyrics | Shutdown Corner - Yahoo! Sports". Retrieved 2013-03-28. 
  2. ^ (January 12, 2012). "John Parr Rewrites 'St. Elmo's Fire' As Valentine To Tebow", NPR. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
  3. ^ (October 27, 2010). "Foster's song struck chord with Johns", The Province. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
  4. ^ Original copy of album #LOnLP 12
  5. ^ KDVRDenver (2012-01-09). ""Tim Tebow's Fire" by John Parr". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-01-10. 
  6. ^ Web Staff, FOX 31 Denver (2012-01-10). "'St. Elmo's Fire' singer reworks 1980's hit for Tim Tebow". FOX 31 Denver. Retrieved 2012-01-10. 
  7. ^ Google (2016-02-28). "Android: Rock, Paper, Scissors". YouTube. 
  8. ^ Dan Wickline (2017-03-04). "Deadpool: No Good Deed Brings A Basket Of Easter Eggs". Bleeding Cool. 
  9. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  10. ^ " – John Parr – St Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion)" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  11. ^ " – John Parr – St Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion)" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  12. ^ " – John Parr – St Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion)". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  13. ^ " – John Parr – St Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion)" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  14. ^ " – John Parr – St Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion)". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  15. ^ " – John Parr – St Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion)". VG-lista. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  16. ^ " – John Parr – St Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion)". Singles Top 100. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  17. ^ " – John Parr – St Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion)". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  18. ^ "John Parr: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  19. ^ "John Parr Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  20. ^ "John Parr Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  21. ^ "John Parr Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  22. ^ "Listy bestsellerów, wyróżnienia :: Związek Producentów Audio-Video". Polish Airplay Top 100. Retrieved April 11, 2016.

External links[edit]