What is a song that can relate to Stand by Me?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Outside of the Ben E. King song at the end of Stand by Me, there are a handful of songs directly related to the film's emphasis on friendship.

One song that captures the essence Chris and Gordy's friendship would be Jeff Silbar's and Larry Henley's "Wind Beneath My Wings." On first glance, a Bette Midler song from Beaches might not immediately relate to Stand by Me, but the song's lyrics capture the sacrifice in Chris and Gordy's friendship. The song's suggestion that "You were content to let me shine, that's your way/ You always walked a step behind" relates to Chris's sacrifices for Gordy. Chris knows Gordy is withdrawn because of his brother's death and the effect it had on his parents and the town of Castle Rock. To compensate, Chris wants Gordy to shine in his storytelling and writing abilities. He tells Gordy he has a gift, something he will not let him lose. Chris "walked a step behind" when Gordy told the story of Davey Hogan to the boys' applause. Before finding the body, Chris tells Gordy he is "going to be a great writer someday." In these moments, Chris is content to let Gordy "shine." The ending where Gordy has become a professional writer reflects how he "would be nothing without" Chris.

Another song that captures the friendship of the four boys in Stand by Me would be "That's What Friends Are For" by Burt Bacharach and Carole Sager. The song's refrain is the lyrical version of what the boys demonstrate:

Keep smilin', keep shinin'
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

These lyrics capture moments such as when the boys rally around Teddy as he is taunted about his father, when Vern must overcome his fear of the pursuing train, and when Gordy finds a leech in his underwear. In each of these situations, the boys support one another and are on each other's side "forever more." The film's ending shows Gordy typing that he will never have friends like he did when he was twelve. This is because he realizes the friends he had when he was younger were the ones he could "count on for sure."