My college sweetheart and I used to joke about avoiding the words
'never,' 'ever,' 'always' and 'forever' because whenever we used them,
we invariably broke up soon after. That alone should have told me that
the relationship was doomed to fail, but alas, it took another four
years before that lesson finally sank in. It is in her honor that I
present this list of songs with 'never,' 'ever' (the red-headed stepchild
of the bunch), 'always' and 'forever' in the title. She and I may have
avoided the words, but songwriters sure didn't.
Gonna Come Back Down," BT
in Still Life)
This is the only song featuring Mike Doughty that I can listen to more than once, and that is probably because BT doesn't let him repeat the same words over and over repeat the same words over and over repeat the same words over and over…you get the idea. All electronic music should rock this hard. As an added bonus, the video features the smoking hot DJ Rap. No girls named Charise, though.
Sun Always Shines on TV," a-ha
High and Low)
Let me guess: you haven't heard this song since MTV stopped playing it in late 1985, right? Give it another spin. You might be surprised at how well constructed it is for a bunch of so-called teeny boppers. Indeed, one clever mash-up artist back in the golden age of Napster found a shocking similarity between this and U2's "Beautiful Day."
Sun Never Shone That Day," a-ha
Earth, Major Sky)
I surely gave one Will Harris a chuckle by putting those two songs back to back, since he and I are the last two members of the a-ha Apologists Association. But I couldn't help it: Minor Earth, Major Sky was a damned good little pop record, and it's a shame that no one saw fit to release it on these shores. These guys are still huge everywhere else in the world, you know.
"Hang on to Forever," The Rembrandts (Untitled)
Poor Danny Wilde and Phil Solem. They will forever be trapped in 1995, permanently linked to Ross, Rachel, Monica, Joey, Phoebe and Chandler. This despite the fact that they achieved chart success a good five years before that. And in between "Just the Way It Is, Baby" and "I'll Be There for You" was this, a dandy little song from their best, and completely overlooked, album.
Never," Finn Brothers
There are few people on this planet that love Neil Finn, Split Enz and Crowded House as much as I do, but those Finn Brothers albums leave me cold. They seem labored and weary, while the rest of Neil's songs bounce around the room like an over-caffeinated toddler. This song, though, I like, if for no other reason than the fact that I never knew they had big, cock rock guitar riffs in them. Neil would unleash another big riff two years later, on "Loose Tongue." Check ch-check check check, check it out.
Leaving," Cowboy Mouth
Atlantic completely screwed the pooch when it came to marketing this album. They put all their money behind "How Do You Tell Someone," which sounds like Hootie and the Blowfish…a good five years after sounding like Hootie was a good thing. I had a genius marketing plan involving three or four songs from the album. Had the label followed it, who knows. Maybe Rob and Paul would still be in the band, and this would have been the album's fifth or sixth hit single. Sigh.
Never Marry," Morrissey
Definitely hunt down the version on Just Say Yo if you can find it, as it's two mopetastic minutes longer than the ridiculously short version that appears on Bona Drag. Moz outdoes himself here, declaring "I will live my life as I will undoubtedly die: aloooooooooone." And while we're talking about people nicking songs on this list, Aimee Mann totally stole her chorus for "Par for the Course" from this.
Forever," Ween (White Pepper)
I was extremely late to the Ween party – I really, really hated that "Push th' Little Daisies" song with a passion – but damned if White Pepper isn't a great little pop record. You have to give props to any album that features tributes to Jimmy Buffett, Motorhead and Tears for Fears. That is not a misprint. Buffett, Motorhead, Tears for Fears. And Jellyfish. Oh, and there's this song, which sounds like Little River Band.
"Never Be Mine," Kate Bush (The Sensual
It's funny to have a song talk about how the association people make to certain sensory inputs. "The smell of burning fields will now mean you and here," she says, which is funny because the sound of her song will always mean senior year of college to me, when I was emotionally torn between Never Ever Always Forever Girl and her predecessor, The First Love. Both now live outside of Indianapolis, strangely enough. I wonder if they ever see each other.
Forever Be," The Chemical
I love this song, but the linguist in me wants to smack Noel Gallagher for using "How does it feel like" as a refrain. Not "How does it feel" or "What does it feel like," no no. "How, does, it, feel, like." Moron. Of course, the music geek in me wants to smack Noel Gallagher for, well, being Noel Gallagher. He wished Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon of Blur would die of AIDS. Classy with a K, that's Noel Gallagher.
"They Never Will Know," Marshall Crenshaw
Jean & 9 Others)
Marshall Crenshaw's music is generally overlooked, but this album, recently put back in print by Wounded Bird – who didn't even bother to send Marshall a copy of his own album – is criminally overlooked. This is the final song, and it's a doozy of a ballad.
you Evah," Iggy Pop
and Debbie Harry (Red
Hot & Blue)
I had to go all the way back to Cole Porter's song catalog to find a good 'ever' song. (You Foo Fighters fans can stop protesting right now: the addition of 'long' to 'ever' led to that song's exclusion.) And what's better than Cole Porter? Cole Porter covered by Debbie Harry and Iggy Pop. It's, dare I say, swellegant.