Song of the Day: Ready or Not (by After 7)

Like I tend to do with a special holiday coming around the corner I do a themed series of posts. This time it will be a new ballad for “Song of the Day” until Valentine’s Day arrives on the 14th. What better way to begin this romance-themed of songs than choosing a classic ballad from my high school days: “Ready or Not” by After 7.

This song comes from the R&B group After 7 and their self-titled debut album from 1989. “Ready or Not” was released as a single in 1990 and quickly became a staple of most R&B and urban contemporary radio stations. It also became a favorite ballad to be played during high school dances especially winter balls and proms (at least in the Bay Area). It was difficult not to like this ballad once one heard it. The late 80’s was a major era for the rebirth of Motown-infused R&B groups and After 7 was one of the better ones to make themselves known during this era.

“Ready or Not” was a very earnest sounding ballad and spoke to the romantic heart of those who listened to it both old and young. I think one reason why high school teens and young adults liked this song (and continue to do even as these same people are now in their 30’s and 40’s) is now it vocalized just exactly what their thoughts were when it came to their significant others. It didn’t just vocalize it, but did so in the most heartfelt way that some people today might call too sugary.

I, for one, still cling to the thought that this song represents romance in it’s most honest form. There’s barely a hint of cynicism in the lyrics and one could believe that Keith Mitchell and Kevon Edmonds (the two out of the trio in the group who sing solos in the song) also believed what they were singing about. They believed in the lyrics not as a way to manipulate their audience the way R&B singers of this current era do now.

“Ready or Not” will continue to be one of those songs which remains a favorite to this day and also one that helps me think back to the good days of my high school days.

Ready or Not

I’ll give the sun
The Rain
The Moon
The Stars and The Mountains
I’ll give you the world
And all that you wish for
And even more
Girl I love you more than you could know
And that’s for sure
I’d climb the highest hill
Cross the widest sea
Nothin could discourage me
And I pray that you will be
Always there for me
Forever more

Ready or not**
I’ll give you everything
and more
All that I’ve got–it’s yours
I’ll give you everything
All that you’re looking for

I’ll give you my heart
My soul
my time
My love is a fountain
I will be your earth
And all that you need for
and even more
Cause girl I love you more than words can show

My love is pure
I’ll walk a thousand miles
Sail a thousand seas
Nothin will discourage me
And I pray that you will be
Always there for me
Forever more

(Repeat Chorus** 3x)