Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go

Music and Lyrics by Adrian Pountney

Say you love me and never let me go
Haven’t known you that long but I love you so
You let me be the way that I feel
I’ve never known
Anybody so real as you appear
You’re so sincere to me
You make me feel like I’m finally free

You’ve got to tell me if you want me
You already know how I feel so now you’ve got to help me
I couldn’t have been any clearer
I gave you everything I had inside
The least you could do is just love me or leave me alone

Maybe someday we could be as one
We’ll be just like the rising sun
We’ll never set ‘til the day we day we die
We’ll soar through the air just like two birds we’ll fly
We’ll be as one just like the rising sun
We’ll never set until the day we die

Yet sometimes I feel like I’m pushing my luck
I don’t know how you can take so much
I feel fragile and ready to fall
I wonder if I really know you at all
So say you love me
And never let me go

I’ve been playing this song longer than anything else I’ve written, and really most of the songs I wrote around the same time are long forgotten. It’s a cheesy love song at best, but the lyrics don’t make me cringe, even now, it’s a catchy riff, and also my first attempt at two guitar arrangement and vocal harmonies.
It was the high school musical Grease that introduced me to the muse for this song when I was 16. I played guitar in the "pit", which was really inside a lighted jukebox on stage. and she worked on the show off stage. As I was busing to this high school with 14 or so other "halfway house kids" in this small town a couple of hours away from home, she was the brightest thing in my dark life, and the words came naturally and instantly once I came up with the music. She worked on the set, and my involvement in the musical gave me opportunities the other guys at the house didn’t have, as far as being alone with a girl is concerned. I could walk her home on my way back to the house.

When I wrote the music I was thinking about Sting’s “If I Built This Fortress” and the way he just pulled a couple of strings at the beginning of each chord change. I wrote something with very much the same rhythm, but different chords (I only use two). I used this song in a one act musical I wrote for my theatre class that semester. The musical was based on the theory that Hell is really a rehab, and the Devil’s not evil, he’s a sponsor. ‘Never Let Me Go’ is one of two songs that had reprises in this musical with different lyrics, a great way to add to your show without having to write a new song.To complete the assignment I had to score piano music for all of these songs, and that’s when the signature riff came to me. Once I created the rhythm between my left and right hands on the piano, I could never go back to the Sting version again. I mimicked the piano riff on the guitar, and for the first time I felt like I had written a bona fide hit.

Tony and I played this song all the time. I would introduce it in my best British accent, “This is a song I wrote for the band, it’s called, ‘Never Let Me Go’”.
I don’t remember when I wrote the bridge, but was after high school. I know I had been playing the song a long time when I decided it needed a third part and it came pretty naturally. It was the first song on the Tracers 1989 release, Sunday at Sam’s. By that time I had worked up what I thought was a decent solo, and I had Todd and Tony singing harmony backups. That's what you hear in the mp3 above.    I prefer this version, and if you do want to hear it with distortion, check out the version on Chronic Jaywalker’s Religious Holiday, which adds a fourth part to the song as well.

‘Never Let Me Go’ was also one of a couple of originals performed by The Attitudes caught on video at my dad's 40th birthday with Tony on Drums and Simon on Sax. On that same video there are several covers, some pretty ugly improv, and Simon did Steven Wright jokes in between. Having sat and watched the video a couple of times since, there are definitely some sad spots and I think there are also some moments of genius. I’m glad there’s a video at all, as I didn’t know too many people with video cameras in the mid eighties.

One night in college I was caught in a storm while I was playing my acoustic guitar walking the campus. I went under the shelter of an overhang at a college dorm, and I was getting some brilliant natural reverb. Feeling a million miles away from anyone, I had my eyes closed and I was giving the song the passion of a real broken heart. At some point I got the feeling there was someone standing right there, but I didn’t open my eyes until the song was over. There was a guy about my age standing there, pretty wet, and admittedly impressed to hear the song was an original. Those are the kind of moments that make songs. If even an audience of one is touched by a song you wrote just once, that’s a great song.You’re a songwriter, don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.

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One thought on “Never Let Me Go

  1. Always one of my favorites of yours. Very interesting back story, which i was only vaguely aware of. Great opener to this blog!

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