Today’s Song Snippet: The Opening Lines to “I Never Mention Your Name”

February 26, 2018

Today’s song snippet: the opening to “I Never Mention Your Name” (Mack Davis/Don George/Walter Kent).

The couplet intro is less often recorded, with singers generally going straight to the hook, but it succinctly sets up the number.

So many things that I think of so much
But there is one memory my lips never touch

I never mention your name, oh no
I never dream of your eyes
I never go where we used to go
To hear the echo of your sighs

“I never” is the hook, repeated throughout the lyric, until the final couplet contradicts it. So there is a set-up (the couplet intro) for the set-up (the repeated hooks) for the final couplet. And the final couplet is:

Except for every minute of every hour
Of every night and day

An ingenious form for a song lasting under 3 minutes that keeps the attention throughout and makes the song very memorable. One might only remember this as “The I Never” song and still have marched in to a store to buy the record or the sheet music.

The melody is rather ordinary and the rhythmic content a bit lackluster, so the vocal delivery means everything. I tend to prefer Audrey Morris. Who was she, you ask? A Chicago girl singer in the 50s. Here in a Marty Paich arrangement (he was the bandleader as well).

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