Monday, May 20, 2024

For Knockout Title Track “Walls,” Barbra Streisand Turned to the Best Songwriters: Marilyn & Alan Bergman, and Walter Afanasieff, Who Wrote Mariah Carey’s Greatest Hits



Barbra Streisand’s going to have a big hit album now with “Walls,” released today. It’s not just a bromide against Donald Trump. It’s a terrific example of Streisand’s amazing instrument, soaring, and used as a metaphor.

The title track, “Walls,” is written by her old friends, Marilyn and Allan Bergman, who always wrote for other people but are Streisand’s favorite lyricists. The music for the “Walls” song comes from Walter Afanasieff, who wrote so many of Mariah Carey’s original hits and worked with Whitney Houston, as well.

Walter wrote “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” as well as “Hero” and “One Sweet Day,” among others. Barbra was very smart (with credit to Marty Erlichman) to get Walter, Desmond Child, and Carole Bayer Sager for the “Walls” album. It’s her strongest set of new songs in years.

Irony: “A Star is Born” is keeping Barbra from number 1 on Amazon. She’s number 3 on iTunes.




Walls, high and low
Thick and thin
They keep you out, they keep you in
Walls narrow and wide
Round the square with warning signs “Watch out”, “Beware”

Brick by brick they built them but it seems to me
Brick by brick they built them where they shouldn’t be
We should be building bridges to a better day
Where no walls would stand in the way

Walls here and there, everywhere
In every city, every town we would have that better day
If all the walls came tumbling down

Brick by brick at times they’re of a different kind
Brick by brick they built around the heart and mind
Sometimes lasting longer than the walls that are made of stone
Keeping us apart and alone

These are walls that we don’t see but we built between the you and me
Made of broken dreams and wounded feelings that go on
Like walls we wished to go away
Could we have ourselves that better day
If we took the chance to simply say that we forgive
And if we forget they’d be gone


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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