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) and John Parr
  • "Treat Me Like an Animal"
  • "Somebody Stole My Thunder"
  • "One Love" (instrumental)
  • "Georgetown"
ReleasedUnited States 23 June 1985 (1985-06-23)
United Kingdom 26 August 1985 (1985-08-26)
Format7" single
Producer(s)David Foster
John Parr singles chronology
"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 British singer John Parr from the 1985 film St. Elmo's Fire. It hit number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart on 7 September 1985, remaining there for two weeks. It was the main theme for Joel Schumacher's film, and first single from the soundtrack. The song was created and edited within 24 hours.[1]

The song also peaked at number six in the United Kingdom, Parr's home country,[2] and became a number-one hit for John Parr around the world and provided many awards and a Grammy nomination.

David Foster and John Parr were contracted to write a song for the film, but Parr struggled inspiration for the lyrics. Foster showed Parr a news clip about 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." Parr decided to help the campaign by writing words that would fit vaguely with the film, but which directly referenced Hansen's efforts.[3][4]

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.[5] It also appeared on a very rare 1985 West German CD re-release of the album, which has since been deleted and is therefore unavailable.

Members of the bands Toto, REO Speedwagon and Mr. Mister appear on the recording.


In popular culture[edit]

During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Ford played the song in advertisements for its Mustang pony car.

In 2012, John Parr re-recorded the song with new lyrics, dubbed "Tim Tebow's Fire", to honor Tim Tebow of the Denver Broncos.[6] 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."[7] 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 2017, the song was heard on the short film Deadpool: No Good Deed.[8]

In 2018, the song was featured in the animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

In 2019, the song was used in an episode of Mixed-ish, where Rainbow faces a tough dilemma of asking a boy to her school dance.

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]


  1. ^ John Parr (2018-03-10), John Parr The One Show Interview, retrieved 2019-03-06
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ (January 12, 2012). "John Parr Rewrites 'St. Elmo's Fire' As Valentine To Tebow", NPR. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
  4. ^ (October 27, 2010). "Foster's song struck chord with Johns Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine", The Province. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
  5. ^ Original copy of album #LOnLP 12
  6. ^ KDVRDenver (2012-01-09). ""Tim Tebow's Fire" by John Parr". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-01-10.
  7. ^ 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.
  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. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". 1985-11-02. Retrieved 2019-08-08.
  13. ^ " – John Parr – St Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion)". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  14. ^ " – John Parr – St Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion)" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  15. ^ " – John Parr – St Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion)". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  16. ^ " – John Parr – St Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion)". VG-lista. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  17. ^ "SA Charts 1965–March 1989". Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  18. ^ " – John Parr – St Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion)". Singles Top 100. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  19. ^ " – John Parr – St Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion)". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  20. ^ "John Parr: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  21. ^ "John Parr Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  22. ^ "John Parr Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  23. ^ "John Parr Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  24. ^ "Listy bestsellerów, wyróżnienia :: Związek Producentów Audio-Video". Polish Airplay Top 100. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  25. ^ "RPM's Top 100 Singles of 1985". RPM. Vol. 43 no. 16. 28 December 1985. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  26. ^
  27. ^ Cash Box Year-End Charts: Top 100 Pop Singles, December 28, 1985
  28. ^ "Top 20 Hit Singles of 1986". Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  29. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 60th Anniversary Interactive Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 10 December 2018.

External links[edit]