“Its sometime since we said goodbye
And now we lead our separate lives
And where was I, where was I to go?”
“Driving alone to a movie show
So I tune to the sounds in my car…”
© Bryan Ferry, Oh Yeah, from the album Flesh & Blood, 1980
This one…. was written in or around this time nearly two years ago in 2014. It has sat in its first draft form in my notebook all that time, but is one that I was hoping to include on the KOAS London Road album project, so I decided to blow the dust off it and see if I could breathe new life into it.
In its original form, it told the story of the night of a Summer Ball at a military base that I was stationed at a long time ago as a young serviceman, in the late 1980s. Someone walked into my life that year who, to this day, is the only person to ever make me feel every single one of the emotions that a man can feel: heart pounding infatuation, love, sadness, a sense of longing and anticipation, a burning jealousy that I’ve never felt before or since (thank heaven) – a truly beautiful, gentle, innocent soul.
Probably even now, despite all that I have learned, she remains the only girl I know who can still have that effect, after all these years and despite all that has happened.
The reality is that such beauty and gentleness can often be overwhelmed by the intensity of what is projected on them by someone who is a binary all or nothing person like I am – and the person beaming out all this intensity is easily blinded to how intimidating such feelings may be (even from afar) to the limerant recipient… especially if this was not actively sought in the first place.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, going back to the late 1980s and the original story: the fear of failure and lack of self confidence prevented me acting on my instincts and at the end of the evening, I watched her leave hand in hand with another guy and lets just dignify it by saying that my youthful pride did not take it well, but knew deep down that I only had myself to blame and, like a lot of others, found it to be something that I just buried or pushed away or block out… Faint heart never won fair lady and all that old stuff.
I thought no more about it for another 25 years, apart from the fact that I told myself that she was just another youthful infatuation, one that had got away – or conversely, had a lucky escape – depending on the eyes that you see it through.
Circumstances brought us together again in 2014 briefly. This particular weekend also inspired No Getting Over You, Talk To Me and Doesnt Matter Now, which tells its own story as to how that weekend went; initially promising, but the cold winds of reality were quick to blow in from the north to put that fire back out again.
While I did act on my instincts this time and at least had the courage to say it, as the other songs listed here are testimony, the signs proved not to be what I thought they were. Hence the title of this track as reality dawns and is accepted and then you learn to move on.
Never Be Mine was originally conceived to be a longer story, but on revisiting it today, I’ve decided to cut it down quite a bit and take some of the detail out of it. Otherwise, it would have been too long and, too personal.
Whereas here, in its present form, there isnt really anything specific – it is quite generic and could be about anyone, which from a writers viewpoint at least widens the potential base for it to be licensed or covered.
I am hoping this will find its way onto London Road as the closing track; it is shorter, but in two parts with a change of tempo and feel half way through where it goes from recalling the past to contemplation of the here and now. And the moral of the story is pretty self evident.
Musically, the intended feel is somewhere between late 70’s Roxy Music (along the lines of Oh Yeah/My Only Love) and Dire Straits’ Private Investigations. There is no chorus, but there is a bridge/pre-hook that repeats twice in the first part and could act as a turning point.
Never Be Mine
It was just another seaside town
Miles from anywhere
That late night in the summer
Just like any other night
There was something else in the air
I watched you walk through the door
So young and so beautiful
Never seen anyone quite like you at all
Captured me without a single look
As you moved across the floor
Never thought that I would fall so hard for you
Never thought I’d end the night so blue
My memory tells me you left with another guy
Hand in hand if I recall it right
But my minds forgotten a whole lot more
That isn’t true besides,
(Change in feel/rhythm)
Now I know I’ve always loved you and I know part of me always will
Even though all these years have gone by I know I feel it still
I cant help what is inside for you, the way I burn for you
I know deep down you don’t feel that way, but you made me believe you do
All well and good to say that’s what happened that day, why I fell for you
You can walk away any time you like and I’ll know better than to bother you
Maybe I should have told you, all those years ago.
But I was too scared you’d break my heart and leave me nowhere to go
I don’t know whats going to happen next
I just know I think about you all the time
Maybe I’ll see you again later this year
But I know you’ll never be mine.
© Words & Music, Steve McCarthy-Hunt, 2016