Category Archives: DeBarge

Radio 73, side B, track 2: “Who’s Holding Donna Now” by DeBarge

DeBarge - Who's Holding Donna NowOh, DeBarge, wow does this take me back.  Your “Rhythm Of The Night” was one of the few tapes I actually owned when I was 10 years old, and I listened to it over and over and over.  This was one of my favorites from it.

At the time this came out, I was in fifth grade or thereabouts, and the only Donna I knew was our lunch lady.  I wasn’t really wondering who was holding her.  She was not a fan of mine.  Mostly because when I was just starting school, I didn’t know the difference between yes and no.  When we were coming into the lunch room every day, Donna would be there with a clipboard and was in charge of determining if we wanted a carton of milk with our lunch.  Being raised on a dairy farm, I would typically bring my own milk, but sometimes I didn’t.  The problem was, I could never quite figure out how to tell Donna what my choice was going to be for the day.  When she would ask me “Are you having milk today?”, I would respond with something like “No, I’m going to have milk today.”  Or “Yes, I’m not going to have milk today.”

In my head, I knew what I was trying to convey, and I’m sure I had a logical reason for my choice of sentence structure, but Donna would get really frustrated because she’d hear “No”, start marking me down as not getting milk for that day, and then realize that I actually meant “Yes”.  Luckily, I grew up in Minnesota, so she never yelled at me or even tried to correct me.  She just looked frustrated and silently judged me.

Now, while I was never concerned who was holding Donna, when I was in fifth grade I did have a hardcore crush on a girl named Jana, who was a year older than me.  And it was very easy to convert “Donna” to “Jana”.  So I spent a good part of 1985 singing “Who’s Holding Jana Now”.  I don’t know who was holding her at the time, but it was never me.

The main question here, though, is:  Do I still love this song, DeBarge?  And the answer:  No, I do still love it.

lyrics to “Who’s Holding Donna Now”

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