Dan Hill helps boxer Manny Pacquiao punch up ‘Sometimes When We Touch’

Marc Weisblott
Daily BrewMay 4, 2011

The ballad that became a staple of Worst Songs of All Time lists after its release in 1978 has refused to fade away.

Dan Hill, the man responsible for "Sometimes When We Touch," has also spent the last couple of years self-actualizing the experience of being blamed for it.

The latest chapter, published by The Globe and Mail, started with the experience of seeing boxer Manny Pacquiao croon the song on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" in November 2009. A duet between the Toronto pacifist and the Filipino pugilist was eventually proposed.

"Within minutes, Pacquiao and I are singing together at the same mike," Hill wrote of their Hollywood recording session last October. "He is blessed with a superb musical ear and a champion's ability to hyper-focus; despite cameras whirring, people whispering and makeup artists hovering, he loses himself in the song."

Hill admitted to wondering whether Pacquiao would be able to nail the last line, "I wanna hold you till the fear in me subsides." But he did. And followed it with a fist pump.

Writing has been a long-time sideline for Hill, who authored a novel called "Comeback" in 1983, as he struggled with the highs and lows of worldwide success in his 20s.

When brother Lawrence Hill scored his own global hit with the 2007 novel "The Book of Negroes," though, Dan also stepped up his autobiographical game. "I Am My Father's Son," about growing up in the suburbs of Toronto, was published a couple years ago.

Stories about the struggle of steering his own teenage son on the right path, a personal battle with depression, and the experience of writing a song about dying with his late friend Paul Quarrington have also been graced with Hill's byline in the pages of Maclean's.

"Sometimes When We Touch" was also the subject of an article in which Hill confessed he could no longer tolerate listening to other people's versions, even though singing it once saved him from being shot by the Bahamian police who suspected him of dealing drugs.

Also, even though he turned to American songwriter Barry Mann to find the write melody to match the lyric, it made Hill a bit of money.

Watch a clip of a Manny Pacquiao puppet singing "Sometimes When We Touch" below:

(Reuters Photo)