Mariah Carey Wiki
Mariah Carey Wiki
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Open Arms is the fourth track and third single from Mariah's fifth studio album Daydream. It was released on December 5, 1995 through Columbia Records. The song was written by Stephen Perry & Jonathan Cain and produced by Mariah and Walter Afanasieff.[1]

"Open Arms" is arguably one of Mariah's biggest hits outside the United States. Internationally, the song peaked number 4 on the UK Singles Chart and number 7 on the Irish Charts.[2][3]

Mariah has also recorded a Spanish version of Open Arms called "El Amor Que Soñé."


Open Arms was originally recorded by the rock band Journey for their albums Heavy Metal and  Escape in 1981. The meaning behind the song "Open Arms" is a live story about a couple who drifted apart over time and then found their way back to each other again. Once they found their way back together they then realized how much they loved each other after all and that they were meant to be. Basically, the ballad is a plea from one lover to another begging them to forgive their wrong doings of the past and asking them to start the relationship fresh. This song was one of Journey's biggest hits which reached #2 on the Billboard top 100 charts in 1982.[4]

It has been said that it was Mariah's idea to cover the song for her album Daydream.[5] She has stated the following about the song:

"For years I have been a fan of [Journey singer] Steve Perry. He has a fantastic voice. I have been singing his songs since my youth! I already have sung a lot of covers, but I keep enjoying it. I used to love singing along with the songs I heard on the radio. The version of ‘Open Arms’ is my own interpretation.”

Critical reception[]

"Open Arms" received numerous negative reviews from critics. The New York Times described the cover as being a "sobbing remake."[6] Critic Bill Lamb felt the track was "simply an uninspired song selection."[7] On website such as Pitchfork, critics describe the cover as being a "failure" because it wasn't written by Mariah.[8] Author Chris Nickson also didn't care for the cover. He stated the following in his book Mariah Carey Revisited:

"If anything, “Open Arms,” the Journey song, seemed out of place here. Although it brought back memories for Mariah, the song itself was rather overblown. Thankfully, she and Walter had toned down the arrangement, but it still somehow sounded too glossy, particularly coming after the very heartfelt “One Sweet Day.” And even the added background vocals of Melonie Daniels and Kelly and Shanrae Price, with their gospel edge, couldn’t save what had never been a very good tune. Still, as missteps went, it was a small one, one track that didn’t live up to the excellence of all the others."[5]

Live performances[]

During Daydream Era, "Open Arms" was performed numerous times, especially internationally. In 1995, Mariah performed the song in Sweden and Italy.[9][10] In 1996, Mariah performed the song at Multiple TV shows and events such as:

  • Sacree Soiree
  • MTV Studio[11]
  • Gold Disc Awards
  • Wetten Dass
  • Des O Conner
  • Top of the Pops
  • Tros TV Shows (Holland)
  • 4 Uur Show (Netherlands)

Open Arms was also a part of the set-list for the Daydream World Tour (1996). Mariah has not perform the song live after 1996.


[Verse 1]

Lying beside you, here in the dark
Feeling your heart beat with mine
Softly you whisper, you're so sincere
How could our love be so blind?
We sailed on together, we drifted apart
And here you are by my side

So now I come to you with open arms
Nothing to hide, believe what I say
So here I am, with open arms
Hoping you'll see
What your love means to me
Open arms
Yeah, yeah

[Verse 2]
Living without you, living alone
This empty house seems so cold
Wanting to hold you
Wanting you near
How much I wanted you home
But now that you've come back
Turned night into day
I need you to stay

So now I come to you with open arms
Nothing to hide, believe what I say
So here I am, with open arms
Hoping you'll see
What your love means to me
Open arms




October 3, 1995 • 46:29 • Columbia Records
Released Always Be My BabyDaydream Interlude (Fantasy Sweet Dub Mix)FantasyForeverI Am FreeLong AgoLooking InMelt AwayOne Sweet DayOpen ArmsUnderneath the StarsWhen I Saw You
Bonus El Amor Que SoñéFantasy (Def Club Mix)Slipping Away
Mariah CareyBoyz II Men
Daydream World Tour