Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do) – Christopher Cross | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#1 for 3 weeks); 1981

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

For a couple of years, Christopher Cross was the hottest ticket in town with hit singles, a multi platinum debut album, and numerous industry awards. Thus, the San Antonio native was the logical choice to sing the theme song for Arthur with Dudley Moore, Liza Minnelli, and John Gielgud in starring roles.

Burt Bacharach had already worked up an overall foundation for the music, and an unrecorded song by Peter Allen and Carole Bayer Sager provided the key line, “When you get caught between the moon and New York City.”

Chris joined Burt and Carole, and the three songwriters knocked off Arthur’s Theme in just a couple of nights. Arthur gave Cross his second chart topping single (the first was Sailing), and – although it failed to win any of the three Grammies for which it was nominated – it won a Best Original Song Oscar for the four composers.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Michael Omartian

Lyrics Written by:

  • Christopher Cross
  • Burt Bacharach
  • Carole Bayer Sager
  • Peter Allen