Never Gonna Be Alone

Content warning:
This post mentions mental health issues.

Today I’ve been feeling scattered as if there was something I had to do but couldn’t remember what. Do you ever have days like that?

And despite having a long list of songs I want to post at some time, there wasn’t one burning in me to share today. So it was serendipitous to receive a text from one of our lads suggesting I give a listen to “Never Gonna Be Alone,” a song co-written by English singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jacob Collier (b. 1994) with American singer-songwriter Lizzie McAlpine (b. 1999) that they perform with singer-songwriter and musician John Mayer (b. 1977).

It wasn’t exactly the song I would have expected, having just spoken with him about heavy metal last night during a family birthday dinner. It’s a love song with a light, almost dreamy, calming melody. A 2022 Rolling Stone article I found describes the song’s origin and the writers’ intention: “Collier… and McAlpine cowrote (sic) the track during lockdown last year. (Collier says,) ‘I wanted to explore the deep, vivid emotional world of isolation, loss and memory, blurring the lines between reality and imagination, by piecing together a tapestry of soft orchestral sounds,’ he said. ‘It speaks to my experience of the world as a hugely beautiful and fragile place, and has helped me process some of the grief I think we’re all feeling for our pasts and futures, in a myriad of different ways.'”

I’m unfamiliar with McAlpine and Collier, but I have enjoyed Mayer’s music many times, though I don’t own any of his stuff.

“There’s a patch of sunlight in my room
On the carpet where I held you for a moment in June
There was something so sweet about it
Never been so unguarded
And it made me fall for you

There’s a tree that looks up at the moon
In the garden, where I held you for a moment in the gloom
There was something so sweet about it, I’m holding onto this moment
‘Cause it made me fall for you
Made me fall for you

Take me back to the window, take me back to the door
You’ll be right where I left you, sitting on the floor
Now I’m never gonna be alone
Take me back to the window, take me back to the door
You’ll be right where I left you, sitting on the floor
Now I’m never gonna be alone

And I know, I know
So much I wanna say to you
Even though I know
Nothing’s gonna change
But I’ll always find my way back here to you

Take me back to the window, take me back to the door
You’ll be right where I left you, sitting on the floor
Now I’m never gonna be alone
Take me back to the window, take me back to the door
You’ll be right where I left you, sitting on the floor
Now I’m never gonna be alone

There’s a patch of sunlight in my room
On the carpet where I held you for a moment”

“Never Gonna Be Alone,” by Jacob Collier and Lizzie McAlpine.
Lyrics retrieved from AZLyrics.com.

The song is a lovely way to reconcile the three years of turbulence and upheaval of living through a global pandemic. It sensitively speaks to the losses, isolation and loneliness people have suffered and which continue to have effects. For one, I know I am less socially confident and more introverted than before, and I don’t know whether those states will fully return to what they were before. Those three years included several periods where essential public health protection measures kept us from being with loved ones for important occasions and passages; these are losses that are, in most cases, irretrievable, though they were necessary to protect health-care systems already under threat by government mismanagement.

And, pandemic-related angst has led to more dysregulated behaviour and conflict among people and more anger expressed online and, sometimes, in person. If there’s a bright side, it’s that people have become more open about their struggles, and this is slowly helping to normalize and encourage open discourse on mental and emotional health.

The song cuts through all these issues with simple, appealing imagery of beauty and intimacy: who can deny the magical feeling of lying in a sunbeam with a lover or dear friend? “Never Gonna Be Alone” is pretty song, and I hope you enjoy it too.

Collier released the song as a single in October 2022.

Now you know a little about why this is my Song of the Day for Today. Thanks for joining me here.

Here is the official lyric video from the Jacob Collier YouTube channel:

And, here’s a live performance where Collier and Mayer make an appearance at a show being given by McAlpine in October 2022:

With warm wishes,

Steve

A note to readers: If you’re struggling with mental health, there is help out there. Please refer to the notes at the bottom of this post for a list of resources in North America.

4 thoughts on “Never Gonna Be Alone

  1. Beautiful. Calms me. Really enjoyed the video with the birds and the words floating in and around.I wonder if there are others, like me, who deeply enjoy the written word? Having the words right there, with the sound..a kind of ecstasy.
    Often , my enjoyment is limited by not making out the words.
    I would like to see this on every song I watch/listen to.
    Thanks for bringing music into my life in a way I never knew.
    Bill

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Bill. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I always think of you on those occasions when I find a lyric video, as I know you like them. This is part of the reason I began including the full lyrics from songs, so that readers can follow along while playing the video. I too like to know what is being sung and to find meaning in it.

      Like

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