Every No. 1 Country Single of the Eighties: Anne Murray, “Blessed are the Believers”

“Blessed are the Believers”

Anne Murray

Written by Charlie Black, Rory Bourke, and Sandy Pinkard


#1 (1 week)

June 27, 1981

Anne Murray followed the wedding standard “Could I Have This Dance” with another No. 1 single, and this one could be dedicated to the newly divorced.

In a way, “Blessed are the Believers” is the perfect counterpoint to “You Needed Me.”  The latter classic has one of those titles and melodies that makes it sound like a heartbreak song, when it’s actually one of the most poignant love songs ever written.

“Blessed are the Believers” borrows from the New Testament as a devious misdirect, where the believers in love are rewarded with heartbreak and misery:

Blessed are the believersThey shall inherit a heartacheBelieving in you, babeThat was my greatest heartbreak

Blessed are all the left-behindFor their hearts shall one day mendWhen loving those same sweet liesMake us believers again 

The closing line of the second verse is especially brutal, as she caresses her cold coffee cup and ruminates: “Something you said rolls around in my head. Something that you didn’t mean.”  But it’s all delivered with Murray’s understated grace, so you really do need to listen carefully to know for sure that she’s getting a raw deal here.

Murray released three additional singles from Where Do You Go When You Dream. The top twenty “We Don’t Have to Hold Out” was followed by the top ten “It’s All I Can Do” and the top five “Another Sleepless Night.”  Her next album, The Hottest Night of the Year, produced an additional two top ten hits: a cover of Bruce Channel’s “Hey Baby!” and “Somebody’s Always Saying Goodbye.”

We’ll see Murray again in late 1983 with a song that earned her her first CMA Award and another Grammy for her mantle.

“Blessed are the Believers” gets a B+.

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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  1. If country music instead of Vince Guaraldi had scored the “Peanuts” T.V. specials, this song would be known as “Linus.”

    This is a song about faith in romantic relationships and the sincerity of that faith. Mark Chesnutt’s most memorably revisits this subject with his 1997 single “Thank God For Believers.”

    I am currently reading a collection of essays by writers and cartoonists exploring the “Peanuts” characters and the meaning of life. Author Rich Cohen has this to say about belief, ” In the end, it’s what you believe but also the sincerity of that belief that can give your life meaning. Sincere belief can order an otherwise formless succession of days, and it is meaningful days, collected together, that add up to meaningful life.”

    Meaning, sincerity, and order are all attributes I associate with time spent listening to Anne Murray. Here, she gives hopeful voice to the left-behind and the heart-broken.

    What a gorgeous song, in sound and message.

  2. I did not think I had heard this song, but I do have the compilation it’s on. I’m going to need to give it a re-listen to hear this song, which is not at all hard.

  3. I love just about everything Anne Murray sings. Her voice is like silk.

    This is a nice song but not one of her best. I was actually surprised when it hit number one. I actually prefer Lucky Me from her previous album that barely made the Top 10.

    But Anne can make any song sound incredible. B+ sounds like the correct grade.

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