“Sister Christian”

“Sister Christian”

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Story Behind the Song

Kelly Keagy
“Sister Christian”

Written by Kelly Keagy
Recorded by Night Ranger

The song started with a visit to my sister in Oregon, where she lived. She was about 16 at the time, in high school, and hanging out as we all did at that age, on the main street of the small town. I went out with her and her friends and realized how quickly she was growing up, chasing boys, and I wanted to give her big brotherly advice.

I was in dire circumstances at the time. I was living on a buddy’s couch in the San Francisco area. I had a motorcycle that had stopped running. The parts were in a box next to my “bed.”

When I got home, I picked up my acoustic guitar and wrote the first lines:

Sister Christian

Oh the time has come

And you know that you’re the only one

To say okay.

I wanted her to know that the boys were going to want more than she would be willing to give and it was up to her — this was me, as a big brother, sending some kind of a message to my little sister.

Where you going?

What you looking for?

You know those boys

Don’t want to play no more with you,

It’s true.

Once I started writing it, I realized that I was writing it for myself, too, and others in my situation. Where am I going from here? Often we write the best things when we’re down and out.

The title was a working title. Once I’d written the song, I brought it to the band. They thought I said “Sister Christian” when, in fact, I had said “Sister Christy.” When I corrected them, we all agreed that we preferred the new title. It was just spontaneous.

The song came out on our second album, “Midnight Madness.” We hadn’t had a hit single on that record yet, so when the record company released a third single, Christy heard it on the radio and she thought it was amazing. It was a big rock ballad with a simple chorus that captured people’s imaginations:

You’re motoring,

What’s your price for flight,

In finding mister right?

You’ll be alright tonight.

Once it became popular, Christy started to call herself Christian for awhile. Fans even starting writing her letters.

“Sister Christian”

Sister Christian

Oh the time has come

And you know that you’re the only one

To say okay.

Where you going?

What you looking for?

You know those boys

Don’t want to play no more with you.

It’s true.

You’re motoring

What’s your price for flight

In finding Mister Right?

You’ll be alright tonight.

Babe you know

You’re growing up so fast

And mama’s worrying

That you won’t last

To say, let’s play.

Sister Christian

There’s so much in life.

Don’t you give it up

Before your time is due.

It’s true,

It’s true yeah.

Motoring

What’s your price for flight?

You’ve got him in your sight

And driving thru the night

Motoring

What’s your price for flight

In finding Mister Right?

You’ll be alright tonight.

Motoring

What’s your price for flight

In finding Mister Right?

You’ll be alright tonight.

Sister Christian

Oh the time has come

And you know that you’re the only one

To say okay

But you’re motoring,

You’re motoring

Written by Kelly Keagy. © 1983 Figs. D Music and Rough Play Music/The Bicycle Music Company

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