Editor’s Note: Song lyrics denoted in bold italics.
OK, first thing’s first: C’mon, you knew this song was going to come eventually. I mean, it was really only a matter of time before I unleashed the most greatest thing to ever happen to the decade of shoulder pads and Alex P. Keaton.
Because, you know, not to brag or anything, but I was an Astley superfan WAY BEFORE it become some sort of trendy thing to hop on the Rick Rolled bandwagon. I’m not some newly minted fan, believe you me. I fell in love with that velvety smooth voice when I wasn’t even in the double digits yet. Yes, I may have been young, but I most certainly wasn’t naive; I knew what was hip and cool back in the day! And at the top of what made Astley uber cool? Oh, just a little ditty so infectious that you practically beg it to stay in your head…
Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up”
From Whenever You Need Somebody
My love affair with Mr. Astley started during the hundreds of car rides back and forth from Chicago for medical appointments. I’d be nervous about seeing the doctor and then that soothing voice would come over the car speakers. At the beginning, I had no idea just who this musical Adonis was — all I knew was that he was quickly calming me down. I was hooked from that very first day.
We’re no strangers to love
You know the rules and so do I
A full commitment’s what I’m thinking of
You wouldn’t get this from any other guy
I just wanna tell you how I’m feeling
Gotta make you understand
Wait, what? Do men of such high caliber exist? Looking back now, I suppose I only have Astley to blame for my exceptionally high standards when it comes to finding The One, but that’s such a grand notion, isn’t it? A guy who is looking for a FULL COMMITMENT and actually putting it all out there for the entire world to see. And he’s right when he says we wouldn’t get this from any other guy. If they’re out there, well, I most definitely have not come across them yet. Maybe they’re hiding at some secret compound or something and waiting for us to make the first move? That is very 21st Century of them, so they get bonus points for that, but at the end of the day, I do wish they’d just show themselves already.
Never gonna give you up
Never gonna let you down
Never gonna run around and desert you
Never gonna make you cry
Never gonna say goodbye
Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you
Now, this is what I truly love. It all goes back to the idea of that Relationship Contract I once wrote about, and, really, there is something so downright refreshing to be said for something like this — something that takes a complicated concept like love and dating and boils it down to understandable, bite-sized bullet points. Imagine how easier everything would go if people entered in relationships with a document like this. Less confusion. Less hassle. More happiness. Everyone would be on the same page…hello, romance! Goodbye, stress! After all, Astley isn’t going to make us cry…EVER!
We’ve known each other for so long
Your heart’s been aching but
You’re too shy to say it
Inside we both know what’s been going on
We know the game and we’re gonna play it
And if you ask me how I’m feeling
Don’t tell me you’re too blind to see
What I also love? Astley isn’t just a dreamer — he’s also a realist. Not a full-on cynic or one of those Down With Love types, but he isn’t oblivious to the realities and trappings of love. Heck, even I am not immune to it. Believe it or not, I find myself playing “the game” far more than I probably should and far, far more than is probably emotionally and mentally healthy. And each time, I think I’m going to win. This is it, I’ll tell myself. I’ve got this all figured out. It’s in the bag. Every. Time. But, really, it never works all that well and I usually end up even more confused than I was to begin with, if that makes any kind of sense.
But it’s nice to see Astley addressing something like this and admitting that he is guilty of the same behavior. So maybe I’m not so abnormal after all? Maybe I’m just one of the millions of people just trying to figure this whole Game of Love thing out, one step at a time. Sure, we all may stumble and even find ourselves falling back at times, but at least we’re engaged in it and trying to make the best of a confused situation. Rome wasn’t built in a day and something tells me a solid relationship, like all great things in life, isn’t going to come easily either. It’s going to take time and work and patience. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to keep going. I’d say the fight is worth it. Wouldn’t you agree, friends? xoxo