“Think of Laura” by Christopher Cross
As the story goes, circa the composition of “Think of Laura”, Christopher Cross, who was about 30 at the time, was dating a college student named Paige McNinch (who appears on some versions of this song’s cover art).
Paige’s bestie was another attendee of Ohio’s Denison University by the name of Laura Carter.
And unfortunately, Laura was the victim of a stray bullet in the capital city of Columbus and died at the age of 18. So all of the above considered, Laura’s tragic death did have a profound impact on Chris, since he was personally associated with her and all.
The Lyrics of “Think of Laura”
The lyrics do an exceptional job of enlightening listeners to the idea that the subject is in fact deceased, without ever stating such forthrightly.
In the song, Cross does admit that Laura was “a friend of a friend”. But that said, his interactions with Laura, as cursory as they may have been, did leave him with a lasting impression of the young lady. Furthermore, the lyrics depict Laura as having had a brightening smile and also having been extraordinarily perceptive.
And what seems to bother the vocalist the most is the fact that she was “taken away so young”. The saddest part is that her death came “without a warning”.
So in remembering Laura, Chris is compelled to ‘laugh not cry’, for he believes that “she’d want it that way”.
Put simply, Chris believes that Laura would want the loved ones she left behind not being devastated by her passing but rather using her life as a source of celebration. This is why in remembering her, Chris chooses not to weep.
And relatedly, there is also this permeating theme of the departed still being around, as is commonly found in songs of bereavement.
Christopher Cross isn’t a name you commonly come across, due to the fact that in actuality, his moment in the sun was short-lived. But there was a time, back during the early 1980s, when the San Antonio native was one of the most notable artists in the music industry.
When did Christopher Cross release “Think of Laura”?
“Think of Laura” was formally released on 16 November 1983. It marks one of a handful of times in which Cross was able to score within the top 10 of the US Hot 100. It actually peaked at number 9 on the chart in question. Also to note, it did actually top Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart.
This track is from Cross’s second album, a 1983 project titled “Another Page”. This album did interestingly prove to be a chart topper in Japan (as opposed to peaking at number 11 on the Billboard 200). Warner Bros (who Christopher signed with in 1979) financed the entire album.
Usage in “General Hospital”
This song’s success was in part attributable to the fact that it was utilized on the iconic American soap opera, General Hospital.
More specifically, it was utilized as the theme song for an uber-popular couple thereupon known as Luke and Laura. This couple was like the Ross and Rachel of their day, albeit of daytime television.
Luke (played by Anthony Geary) and Laura (played by Genie Francis) were one of the program’s most loved couples. Whenever Laura was mentioned, “Think of Laura” would often play in the background.
That said, it is interesting to note that the producers of General Hospital did not get Cross’ permission to use this song.
Notable Covers of “Think of Laura”
Apparently, the most prominent act to have covered this song to date has been Boyz II Men. However, they did so unofficially with modified lyrics, in the name of memorializing the late Aaliyah (1979-2001). As such, their rendition is actually known as “The Aaliyah Song” or “Think of Aaliyah“.