“Never, Never Love” by Simply Red (1996)

The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Music by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II, 21 May 2023
Photo by author, Sacred Heart Novitiate, Novaliches, Quezon City, 20 March 2023.

It’s the Lord’s Ascension this Sunday with our readings showing us again that inevitable reality in every love experience, that of leaving, of departures. Last Sunday we reflected that leaving is the most painful hurt in every experience of love.

This Sunday we are reminded that despite that pain, leaving can be the source of joy when every departure is because of love, and for the sake of love because there is the relationship that persists (https://lordmychef.com/2023/05/20/the-joy-of-leaving/).

And that is why we have chosen Simply Red’s 1996 hit single Never, Never Love from their album Life. Written by frontman Mick Hucknall, Never, Never Love is a modern soulful ballad of a love lost. We describe it as modern ballad because of Hucknall’s so refreshing approach by giving it with touches of jazz and electronic pop with smooth dashes of disco making it so cool and danceable especially the intro’s breezy lalalala. Notice also the thought-provoking query “what are we gonna do with it” that can be piercing at times.

So now we've got our independence, uh, uh, uh, uh
What are we gonna do with it
Learning to play different games
Already using different names
'Cause now our love bears no resemblance, uh, uh, uh, uh
To what we had before

The song, especially the video, for many would surely not instantly remind us of Jesus and his gospel or much less his Ascension but Never, Never Love teaches us a lot about the joy of leaving and separation. We really can’t say that any love is lost at all in a relationship. Remember the saying “It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all”? In this Simply Red song, we find the separation giving rise to a different kind of relationship and most of all to a more meaningful life and existence for the man.

Never never love, can never be enough
Never be enough, just ain't good enough (oh, oh) yeah
Never never love, can never be enough now
Never be enough, oh no

So now we've got our independence, uh, uh, uh, uh
What are we gonna do with it
Building the houses, claiming back the land
Burning the bridges, cleaning up your hands
'Cause now our love bears no resemblance, uh, uh, uh, uh
To what we had before

Now our love has something for the future
Now our love will grow the seeds to sow this real revolution
This good revolution baby
Where you're not below me anymore, oh, oh

There are many interpretations to what Hucknall meant in saying “building the houses, claiming back the land” and the following lines due to his political affiliations when he was younger but that last stanza sounds like the gospel, “Now our love has something for the future… will grow the seed to sow this real revolution… where you’re not below me anymore.”

Here we find a higher level of relationships borne out of their separation that has become more promising than before. Many times we are afraid of separations, of leaving whether temporary or permanent like death because of not knowing what would happen next. The disciples of Jesus felt the same way at Christ’s Ascension when they worshipped him and doubted themselves if they could keep up to the Lord’s commission. It is here in this aspect that we find Never, Never Love is related with the gospel and our feast of the Ascension: we grow and mature in life even after separations when we continue, when we boldly step forward to forge on in life, still believing, still hoping, and most of all, still loving!

Enjoy one of Simply Red’s early hits, Never, Never Love and try reflecting on your own relationships, of how you could level up to higher or deeper love for each other.

We have no intentions of infringing into the copyrights of this music and its uploader except to share the song’s beauty and listening pleasure.

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