Meaning of I’ll Be There for You by The Rembrandts from Friends

You may not remember the title of this track. It is possible that the names of its performers will not tell you anything. However, you will recognize this melody from the first notes.

As the theme song to The Friends soundtrack, I’ll Be There for You proved so popular that it turned American duo The Rembrandts into a one-hit group and led to its decay.

History of I’ll Be There for You

The composition was originally intended for the Friends sitcom, so the history of its creation is directly related to the famous television series.

The Rembrandts recorded I’ll Be There for You thanks to Kevin Bright, producer of The Friends. He has long been a fan of The Rembrandts and invited the musicians to participate in the selection.

Danny Wilde says:

To him [Кевину Брайту – примета Blimey] and songwriters Marta Kauffman and David Krane needed the right song, not something concocted by a songwriter. He also wanted to invite a real band that already had its own audience.

The creators of the series invited Danny Wilde and Phil Solem (Phil Solem) to the film studio and showed them the pilot issue.

Wilde’s word:

We immediately liked it, and good people worked on it. So we thought, “Why not? No one will even know it was us anyway.” In the first season, we were not even listed in the credits.

Independent, 2004

The Rembrandts had previously performed only their own songs, but the words and music of this composition were composed by other people. Michael Skloff wrote the melody and Allee Willis wrote the lyrics. Martha Kauffman and David Crane also appear as co-authors.

Ellie Willis explained what I’ll Be There for You is about:

I watched the pilot episode. Michael Skloff gave me the line “I’ll be there for you”. He also took up music. It was supposed to be a song about the loyalty of friends. No matter what problems arise in your life, I will always be by your side.

Solem and Wild did a bit of editing on the lyrics and created the instrumentation.

Phil told how the work went in the studio:

It was there that we fully clarified the main idea and connected all the parts. Ellie constantly sent faxes with snippets of text: “Here’s a new line!”, “Try this one!”, “How about this?”. By the end of the day, we had a draft version. We worked on it for three days.

Buzzfeed, 2014

Release and achievements

The TV series “Friends” caused a real boom, and listeners flooded the radio stations with requests to air a musical composition from the soundtrack.

There were problems with this, because the song lasted less than a minute. Then Charlie Quinn (Charlie Quinn) and Tom Peace (Tom Peace) cut I’ll Be There for You into pieces and concocted from them a “full” track suitable for the radio.

The song became a hit and the producers forced The Rembrants to re-record it in an extended version. The band’s new album was already ready by that time, but the publishers forced the musicians to add I’ll Be There for You to the record.

Listen to Danny Wilde:

We felt that the song didn’t fit with the more serious, alternative vibe of the album. It sounded completely different from what we had recorded before. But we stopped complaining when we saw the sales data.

On May 1, 1995, I’ll Be There for You was released as a single. She topped several charts in different countries. The song peaked at number three on the UK charts. It only peaked at number seventeen on the Billboard Hot 100, but rose to the top of the US Adult Contemporary and US Mainstream Top 40.

The single sold best in Canada, where it stayed at number one on the Canada Top Singles chart for five weeks.

Subsequently, all and sundry accused the members of The Rembrandts of venality.

Wilde recalls:

We’ve gone from darlings of the alternative scene to a typical mainstream band. Before Friends, we played all the underground events. But I’ll Be There for You became such a hit that they would start playing stadiums almost immediately. We did afternoon concerts and saw ten-year-olds singing along with us in the crowd. When we were interviewed, we were constantly asked how many claps are in the song. I think during that period we lost a lot of our original fans and a lot of people stopped taking us seriously.

Independent, 2004

Wild believes the song contributed to the breakup of The Rembrandts:

It can be said that it has become something of a curse. We are tired of being known for only one thing, and we are tired of constant traveling. After the third album came out and was so successful, we spent three years on the road. We didn’t write new songs, we didn’t spend time in the studio. It all turned into a hard routine. There was no obvious hostility between us, but we needed a break from each other.

Independent, 2004

Several publications included I’ll Be There for You in the lists of the best musical compositions, but the popular Blender magazine included the track in the list of “The 50 Worst Songs of All Time”.

I’ll Be There for You – The Rembrandts

The music video features actors from the television series Friends. Work on the video was repeatedly postponed because it was difficult to get all the participants together.

The director proposed a scenario in which the actors sneak into The Rembrandts concert, taking frozen fish with them to beat the musicians with it. Needless to say, no one liked this idea. In the end, the sitcom stars only pretended to play with a rock band.

Let’s watch the clip I’ll Be There for You The Rembrandts.

Interesting Facts

The producers of Friends initially wanted to invite Michael Stipe of REM to sing the song, but he declined.

I’ll Be There for You Lyrics

So no one told you life was gonna be this way
Your job’s a joke, you’re broke
Your love life’s DOA
It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear
When it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month
Or even your year, but

I’ll be there for you
(When the rain starts to pour)
I’ll be there for you
(Like I’ve been there before)
I’ll be there for you
(‘Cause you’re there for me too)

You’re still in bed at ten
And work began at eight
You’ve burned your breakfast, so far
Things are going great
Your mother warned you there’d be days like these
But she didn’t tell you when the world has brought
You down to your knees


No one could ever know me
No one could ever see me
Seems you’re the only one who knows
What it’s like to be me
Someone to face the day with
Make it through all the rest with
Someone I’ll always laugh with
Even at my worst, I’m best with you, yeah

It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear
When it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month
Or even your year


I’ll be there for you
I’ll be there for you
I’ll be there for you
(‘Cause you’re there for me too)

Lyrics: Michael Jay Skloff, David L Crane, Marta Fran Kauffman, Allee Willis, Philip Ronald Solem, Danny C Wilde
Warner Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group

I’ll Be There for You Lyrics

Nobody told you life would be like this
Stupid job, you’re always broke
Personal life is not going well.
It’s like you’re forever stuck in second gear.
Constantly not your day, not your week, not your month
And not even your year, but …

I will be with you.
(When it rains.)
I will be with you.
(As always.)
I will be with you.
(Because you’re by my side too.)

At ten o’clock you’re still in bed
Work began at eight.
Your breakfast burned down, so
Things are just great.
Mother warned that days like this would happen
But she did not say that when the world puts
On your knees…


Nobody really knew me.
Nobody ever understood me.
Seems like you’re the only one who knows
What does it mean to be me.
With whom you can meet a new day,
Fight all the hardships
With whom I always laugh.
Even in the worst times with you, I’m at my best.

It’s like you’re forever stuck in second gear.
Constantly not your day, not your week, not your month
And not even your year, but …

I will be with you.
I will be with you.
I will be with you.
(Because you’re by my side too.)

Song quote

I don’t have any feelings for her anymore. At first she was a heavy burden, but now she has become part of pop culture, and there are moments when I am really very proud of her. In a time when bands are constantly trying to get their name out there through TV or movies, what happened to us doesn’t seem so extraordinary.

Danny Wilde, Independent, 2004

In fact, no one [из актёров «Друзей»] wasn’t a big fan of that theme song.

Jennifer Aniston, The One Show, BBC

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