Forging Change – ‘That’s What Friends Are For’

Go Lean Commentary

It seems simple enough:

Keep smiling, keep shining
Knowing you can always count on me, for sure
That’s what friends are for
For good times and bad times
I’ll be on your side forever more
That’s what friends are for – Song, sung by Dionne Warwick & Friends; (see Appendix below).

This is a song; but not just “pie in the sky” sentiment.

VIDEO – Dionne Warwick, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Gladys Knight – That’s what friends are for –

Published on Feb 27, 2013 – For educational purposes only and no copyright infringement intended. All materials used belong to their respective rightful and lawful owners.

About the artist: Dionne Warwick (born Marie Dionne Warrick; December 12, 1940) is an American singer, actress and TV show host, who became a United Nations Global Ambassador for the Food and Agriculture Organization, and a United States Ambassador of Health.

Having been in a partnership with songwriters Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Warwick ranks among the 40 biggest hit makers of the entire rock era (1955–2012), based on the Billboard Hot 100 Pop Singles Charts. As of January 2013, Warwick ranks second behind only Aretha Franklin (who has a total of 88 charted Billboard singles) as the most-charted female vocalist of all time with 56 of Dionne’s singles making the Billboard Hot 100 between 1962 and 1998.

  • Category: Education 
  • Music in this video
    Song: That’s What Friends Are For
  • Artist: Dionne Warwick with Elton John, Gladys Knight & Stevie Wonder
  • Writers: Carole Bayer Sager, Burt Bacharach
  • Licensed to YouTube by: SME (on behalf of Legacy Recordings); UBEM, ASCAP, CMRRA, BMI – Broadcast Music Inc., BMG Rights Management, LatinAutor – Warner Chappell, AMRA, UMPI, PEDL, Warner Chappell, LatinAutor, ARESA, and 10 Music Rights Societies

In the Caribbean, we want and need a cohesive neighborhood of friendly member-states; we want a brotherhood, a Union, a Caribbean Union. This regional quest is conceivable, believable and achievable. Yes, we can!

Ms. Dionne Warwick was just here, in concert in Miami, Florida on July 6, 2019. This writer got to consume her fabulous show. I was not the only one to acknowledge her and celebrate her; no, the State of Florida, Miami-Dade County and the City of Miami all made special tributes to her; she was presented with accolades, awards, presentations and the “Key to the City” –

She closed her show with that iconic song … and she reminded us that “collaboration & friendship” is also key for forging change in society. This is the quest for the 2013 book Go Lean … Caribbean; it serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). That song is best known as a collaboration effort – Dionne Warwick with Elton John, Gladys Knight & Stevie Wonder – to advocate for change, support and social justice during the 1980’s AIDS Crisis.

The 4 “friends” assembled in 1985 and recorded the song for the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmFAR) charity; this was during the early days of the disease affliction. It raised over $3 million for the cause.

Today, there is also a crisis for Caribbean unity; we need our friends. The Go Lean book opens (Page 3) with a declaration:

There is something wrong in the Caribbean. It is the greatest address in the world for its 4 language groups, but instead of the world “beating a path” to these doors, the people of the Caribbean have “beat down their doors” to get out. For some Caribbean countries, their population has declined or been flat for the last 3 decades. This is only possible if despite new births and the absence of war, people are fleeing. This scenario, human flight, is a constant threat to prosperity for all the Caribbean despite their colonial legacies. Our youth, the next generation, may not be inspired to participate in the future workings of their country; they may measure success only by their exodus from their Caribbean homeland.

Many people love their homelands and yet still begrudgingly leave; this is due mainly to the lack of economic opportunities. The Caribbean [must] … look for other opportunities for economic expansion. The requisite investment of the resources (time, talent, treasuries) for this goal may be too big for any one Caribbean member-state. Rather, shifting the responsibility to a region-wide, professionally-managed, deputized technocracy will result in greater production and greater accountability. This deputized agency is the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). This book advocates that all Caribbean member-states (independent & dependent) lean-… to this plan for confederacy, collaboration and convention.

This Go Lean roadmap is calling for confederacy and camaraderie among the Caribbean Community; as if we are all brothers and friends. In fact, this has been a prominent advocacy as of late; see this theme highlighted in these previous blog-commentaries from this Go Lean movement: ‘Free Market’ Versus … Cooperatives – Simple Solution
One of the original motivations for communism was a supposed camaraderie and fraternity among its adherents. In fact, the expression “Comrade” is usually interchangeable for “fellow communist”, “Brother” or “friend”. With “cooperatives”, we can still have camaraderie and friendship without any communism. Caribbean Unity? Religion’s Role: False Friend
It has long been established that just because these lands are “Christian”, that fact itself does not make them “Brothers”. More is needed than just a nominal “Christian” label; there must be the concerted effort for fellowship, camaraderie and friendship. Wait, ‘We Are The World’
After Hurricane Maria devastated several Caribbean member-states in 2017; Puerto Rico was gravely impacted. In the mode of ‘We Are The World‘, many “friends” – led by Lin-Manuel Miranda – assembled and recorded a song to aid Puerto Rico. Forging Change: Collective Bargaining
This is part of the technocratic process that we must employ in the neighborhood to get along and work together. We must come together as friends and then collectively bargain with other stakeholders so as to get the greatest benefits for our region. This is the scientific method to solving social & economic problems, in counter distinction to the traditional political or philosophic approaches. ‘Like a Good Neighbor’ – Being there for Puerto Rico
he US Territory of Puerto Rico needs a Good Neighbor right now. They do not need State Farm; they need the US Government to change the laws to allow them to re-structure their heavy debt “load”. In effect, this community is in crisis, facing financial disaster and needs a helping hand. Lin-Manuel Miranda was on a mission to help Puerto Rico by getting Congress to change Bankruptcy Laws to apply to PR again.

Music has a certain power … to reach people and motivate them to feel and move. A previous blog-commentary stated:

… “music” can be used to forge change. The Go Lean book declares that before any real change takes root in the Caribbean that we must reach the heart, that there must be an adoption of new community ethos – the national spirit that drives the character and identity of its people. We must therefore use effective and efficient drivers to touch the heart and forge this change. How? Here’s one suggestion:

    Oh, my music makes you dance
    And gives you spirit to take a chance
    And I wrote some rock ‘n roll so you can move
    Music fills your heart
    Well that’s a real fine place to start

Dionne Warwick has the soundtrack to make people feel and move.

[She] ranks among the 41 biggest hit makers of the entire rock era, based on the Billboard Hot 100 Pop Singles Charts. She is one of the most-charted female vocalists of all time, with 56 of her singles making the Billboard Hot 100 between 1962 and 1998, and 80 singles making all Billboard charts combined.[1]

This afore-mentioned song – “That’s What Friends Are For” – was a massive hit, becoming the number-one single of 1986 in the United States, and winning the Grammy Awards for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and Song of the Year. In total, Ms. Warwick has been nominated for 14 Grammys, while garnering 5 wins; see the full chart here:

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1965 Walk On By (song) Best Rhythm and Blues Recording Nominated
1968 Alfie Best Female Pop Vocal Performance Nominated
I Say a Little Prayer Best Contemporary Female Solo Vocal Performance Nominated
1969 Do You Know the Way to San Jose Best Female Pop Vocal Performance Won
1970 This Girl’s in Love with You Best Female Pop Vocal Performance Nominated
1971 I’ll Never Fall in Love Again Best Female Pop Vocal Performance Won
1975 Then Came You” (with The Spinners) Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group with Vocals Nominated
1980 I’ll Never Love This Way Again Best Female Pop Vocal Performance Won
Déjà Vu Best Female R&B Vocal Performance Won
1987 That’s What Friends Are For
(with Elton JohnGladys Knight & Stevie Wonder)
Record of the Year Nominated
Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal Won
Friends Best Female Pop Vocal Performance Nominated
1992 “Superwoman” (with Gladys Knight & Patti LaBelle) Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group Nominated
2014 Now Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album Nominated

In the CU/Go Lean roadmap to change the Caribbean, music gets it’s due respect. This point is detailed in the  Declaration of Interdependence at the outset of the book, pronouncing this need for regional solutions (Page 14):

xxxii. Whereas the cultural arts and music of the region are germane to the quality of Caribbean life, and the international appreciation of Caribbean life, the Federation must implement the support systems to teach, encourage, incentivize, monetize and promote the related industries for arts and music in domestic and foreign markets. These endeavors will make the Caribbean a better place to live, work and play.

The Go Lean roadmap does accept that the burden to change and elevate the societal engines of the Caribbean is too big for any one Caribbean member-state alone – we need our friends.

That’s what friends are for!

Thusly, the Go Lean book and roadmap advocates for a fellowship and collaboration among all Caribbean member-states, despite any differences in languages or colonial heritage. The strategy is to confederate all the 30 member-states into an integrated Single Market.

Thank you Ms. Dionne Warwick for entertaining us and reminding us that we can forge great friendships with our neighbors and that great benefits await us:

For good times and bad times
I’ll be on your side forever more

Yes, forging a [regional] friendship is one way to make the Caribbean homeland a better place to live, work and play. We urge all Caribbean stakeholders to lean-in to this roadmap to elevate Caribbean society. Yes, we can! 🙂

About the Book
The book Go Lean…Caribbean serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), for the elevation of Caribbean society – for all member-states. This CU/Go Lean roadmap has these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion and create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies.

The Go Lean book provides 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions on “how” to adopt new community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to reboot, reform and transform the societal engines of Caribbean society.

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Who We Are
The movement behind the Go Lean book – a non-partisan, apolitical, religiously-neutral Community Development Foundation chartered for the purpose of empowering and re-booting economic engines – stresses that reforming and transforming the Caribbean societal engines must be a regional pursuit. This was an early motivation for the roadmap, as pronounced in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 – 13):

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xvi. Whereas security of our homeland is inextricably linked to prosperity of the homeland, the economic and security interest of the region needs to be aligned under the same governance. Since economic crimes … can imperil the functioning of the wheels of commerce for all the citizenry, the accedence of this Federation must equip the security apparatus with the tools and techniques for predictive and proactive interdictions.

xxiv. Whereas a free market economy can be induced and spurred for continuous progress, the Federation must install the controls to better manage aspects of the economy: jobs, inflation, savings rate, investments and other economic principles. Thereby attracting direct foreign investment because of the stability and vibrancy of our economy.

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.


Appendix – Song Lyrics: “That’s What Friends Are For” – (1985)

And I never thought I’d feel this way
And as far as I’m concerned
I’m glad I got the chance to say
That I do believe, I love you

And if I should ever go away
Well, then close your eyes and try
To feel the way we do today
And then if you can remember

Keep smiling, keep shining
Knowing you can always count on me, for sure
That’s what friends are for
For good times and bad times
I’ll be on your side forever more
That’s what friends are for

Well, you came and opened me
And now there’s so much more I see
And so by the way
I thank you

Oh and then for the times when we’re apart
Well, then close your eyes and know
The words are coming from my heart
And then if you can remember

Keep smiling and keep shining
Knowing you can always count on me, for sure
That’s what friends are for
In good times and bad times
I’ll be on your side forever more
That’s what friends are for

Keep smiling, keep shining
Knowing you can always count on me, for sure
That’s what friends are for
For good times and bad times
I’ll be on your side forever more
That’s what friends are for

Keep smiling, keep shining
Knowing you can always count on me, for sure
‘Cause I tell you, that’s what friends are for
Whoa, good times and the bad times
I’ll be on your side forever more
That’s what friends are for

Source: Retrieved July 9, 2019 from:

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