Life Lessons from Never Songs

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In this post are the mind health messages and ideas generated by songs that have "never" in the title or the lyrics.

You'll Never Know | 1927 …Ish 1988

There are no guarantees about how our lives will turn out. We fall truly, madly, deeply in love, our hearts get broken. We land that dream job, we experience job losses. We take that once in a life time risk that pays off and we do that one silly thing that everybody finds out about. With a myriad of choice at our beck and call and a bucket load more that we think are beyond our grasp it could all turn on the toss of a coin.

But how will your life be if you spend it worrying or keeping score and comparing versus living the best life you can right here right now? If you know that score keeping and comparing yourself to others is part of the way you operate, how’s that working for you?

Are you getting what you want or feel like you need or are you stuck in a rut?

1927 were on the money …you’ll never know.

What will it take for you to make new choices, different decision and maybe even do something that steps you outside of your known zone into something as yet unknown?

We Never Change | Coldplay Parachutes 2000

So many of us desperately want things in our lives to be different, to change. But we won’t or don’t ever do anything to make that change happen. Have you ever thought about why that is?

There’s a cliché: Life wasn't meant to be easy.
This cliché is not widely recognised as being a paraphrased line from George Bernard Shaw's play Back to Methuselah which goes:

"Life is not meant to be easy, my child; but take courage: it can be delightful."

I think the marketing and material commercialisation of our Australian way of life has taught us that we can easily and readily have that next gadget, the designer clothes and the right car and we’ll be happy.

The trap here is that no sooner have we acquired one car or gadget that the next model comes out and we feel like we have to update or be left behind. We Never Change speaks of making friends more easily and living where the sun comes out.

So rather than focusing on your next material acquisition what might it be like if you worked on being a better friend or stepping into opportunities where new friends are possible? And in winter, remember the rare times you can feel the warmth of the sun on your face, be grateful and let it soak in.

History Never Repeats | Split Enz Spellbound 1979

The invitation I hear from this Split Enz song that is to : Be optimistic in spite of your history. Don’t let it define you. Most of us have had something happen in our life that has significantly affected us. It might be a childhood loss or trauma, it might be heart breaking the loss of your first love as a teenager or the end of a marriage. For many the death of an animal companion can be heart wrenching.

The being optimistic message isn't about shaking these things off as soon as they happen. It’s about moving through the shock, the anger, the bargaining, and the melancholy to reach a place of acceptance so you can move on. It’s getting stuck in any of these stages that is unhelpful.

If language generates reality, which I believe it does, if you expect, wait, fear, anticipate that bad things will happen in your life, like that awful thing that happened in the past, then there is a better than good likelihood that you will have another similar experience.

Move forward .

The only one in the driver’s seat is YOU. If you hope I never… then you just might. How about you focus on what you want to see and experience and feel in your life?

Never Gonna Give You Up | Rick Astley Whenever You Need Somebody 1987

I think Mr Astley’s invitation in this never song is for us to be open to taking risks that might reward us with a love unexpected. And at the same time he is demonstrating the importance of commitment and the importance of recognising the needs and desires of the one we love. They will all be different. The easiest way to find out is to ask. And if that certain someone expects that “you should know” what they want and need, maybe a different conversation is in order. I don’t know about you, but I don’t know too many people that can actually read another’s thoughts…do you?

Best Thing I Never Had | Beyonce Single 2011

All that glitters is not gold is a well-known saying, meaning thatAesop's Fables, not everything that looks precious or true turns out to be so. This can apply to people, places, or things that promise to be more than they really are. The expression, in various forms, originated in or before the twelfth century and may date back to Aesop of Aesop’s Fables Fame.

This never song is about the glittering thing not being gold, it’s about close calls, the lucky you missed it moments. For you it might have been that nightclub you didn't walk into in the 80’s, that car you didn't get into, or that relationship you didn't start. Often we think we want something so badly that our life could never be complete without it.

The Best Thing I Never Had is a reminder that sometimes the things we think we want are not always all that great.

I Hope I Never | Split Enz Spellbound 1979

Sometimes moving on and not looking back is the best thing ever!

There’s another cliché that says "Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

Have there been times in your life where you have let people repeatedly treat you in ways that you don’t like or would not do to anyone else? What did you do about it? Or is it still happening now?

If so, here’s a question for you… with a warning that you might not like it overly much. How’s that working for you?

And here’s another question, especially relevant if your answer to the last question was "no, it’s not working very well" for you.
What would you like to have happen? Would you like to be beaming and smiling? What kind of happiness would you like to be back in style?

Never Coming Home | Sting Sacred Love 2003

I have a lot of Sting music in my collection at home and this is one that I don’t recall ever hearing before selecting it to be a part of the never song list. The key take from the song was that sometimes the best thing for you to do is to move on.

Indecision happens in all sorts of moments in our lives. Is it time to break up with my high school sweet heart? What’s the best university for me? Which university would be best for the degree I want? Which jobs would be best to apply for? Shall I go for that promotion? Leave this job? Marry this partner? Is it time to have children? Do I even want to have children? Is it time to leave the other parent of my children? Is it time to look for aged care facilities for my parent?

Any time you are asking yourself these big decision moments remember that not making a decision is a decision to do nothing to change the situation you’re in. My invitation to you is to think about how you want your life to be? Who are the people that would be suitable to have those conversations to get you what you want in your life. Remember what I said earlier: show me a person who is suffering and I’ll show you a person who is not making enough requests. And yes, asking someone for a conversation to help you clear things up is a request.

Never Going Back Again | Fleetwood Mac Rumours 1977

Fleetwood Mac’s Never Going Back Again has a rather limited range of lyrics to take never messages from. The Rumours album was written at a time when the band’s personal lives disarray. Of 'Never Going Back Again' Wikipedia suggests that Lindsay Buckingham was inspired to write the song after a short fling with a New England woman. It’s suggested that song is about the illusion of thinking that sadness will never occur again once feeling content with life.

In an age where we are constantly told, coerced, inspired and encouraged to pursue happiness as an end product… I have a different message.
Our lives are filled with ups and downs, some lives more than others. Our lives are filled with so many average and mundane moments. To expect that we’ll be the next Oprah, when there’s only one of her in the world, or a supermodel, when there’s only a handful in the world is unhelpful and unrealistic.

The invitation I put out there for you based on this song is to embrace and be content with the mundane of life when it happens and appreciate you ups for what they are. Moments of joys, achievement and happiness… knowing that this too shall pass.

As Charles Spurgeon said,

It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness."

Never Surrender | Corey Hart Boy in the Box 1985

Never Surrender is the “no matter how tough it gets don’t give up” anthem. So as Corey says when nobody wants to know you now, and nobody wants to show you how...

  • use a little perseverance
  • watch out for blind adherence to the advice, rules and dictates of others

Remember no one can take away your right to fight and to never surrender. You are the only one who can choose to throw in your towel or keep on going. Take your time, sometimes to get where you’re going can take far more time than you think.

It’s August, nearly a year since I started writing my book. It thought I’d be published by March. Things take time and I have not surrendered or given up! As the shampoo ad says, It won’t happen overnight…

You'll Never Walk Alone | John Farnham The Spirit of Christmas 1998

Of all the never songs this song's message and invitation is the clearest. When you have a certain someone in your life, you’ll never walk alone.

Why? Because your mind health matters...

Jacqui Chaplin | | +61 (0)412 741 531

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