Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)

Album: Singles Going Steady (1978)
Charted: 12

Songfacts®:

  • This punk classic was inspired by some dialogue ("Have you ever fallen in love with someone you shouldn't have") in the 1955 film Guys & Dolls.
  • The band's songwriter Pete Shelley described how he came to write this song in the Guardian newspaper February 24, 2006: "The song dates back to November 1977. We were on a roll. It was only six months since we'd finished the first album. Up in Manchester this was what we used to dream of... a whirlwind of tours, interviews, TV. We were living the life. One night in Edinburgh we were in a guest house TV lounge watching the musical Guys and Dolls. This line leaped out - 'Have you ever fallen in love with someone you shouldn't have?' The next day the van stopped outside a post office and I wrote the lyrics there. I did have a certain person in mind, but I'll save that for my kiss'n'tell. The music just seemed to follow, fully formed."
  • In 1987 when Fine Young Cannibals covered this, their more laid back, soulful version peaked at #9 in the UK. They recorded the song after being asked by the director Jonathan Demme to provide him with a song for his upcoming film Something Wild. It is featured on the film's soundtrack released as "Ever Fallen in Love."
  • In an interview with Uncut magazine, Shelley recalled: "The opening line was originally 'You piss on my natural emotions,' but because 'Orgasm Addict' hadn't been getting radio play because of it's title, I needed something a bit subtler. So I came up with 'spurn.' It had the same sort of disregard, but wasn't so likely to offend!"
  • In the same Uncut interview the song's producer Martin Rushent recalled: "Pete played me 'Ever Fallen In Love…' for the first time and my jaw hit the floor. I felt it was the strongest song that they had written-clever, witty lyrics, great hooklines. I suggested backing vocals-to highlight the chorus and make it even more powerful. No one could hit the high part-so I did it. I'd sung in bands in my youth and I also worked as a backing singer."
  • The story of how The Buzzcocks came up with their name: In February 1976 Shelley and guitarist Howard Devoto read an article about a band called the Sex Pistols who had just played in London. "It was a realization of someone else doing what we already wanted to do," Shelley told Reuters. The pair borrowed a car and drove from Manchester down to London to seek out the Sex Pistols. "We bought a copy of Time Out, which had no mention of them at all," recalled Shelley. "But in the magazine was a preview for a TV series called Rock Follies. The headline was, 'It's the buzz, cock." And that's how we got the name."
  • Thea Gilmore, Pete Yorn, Will Young, Billy Talent and Anti-Flag are among the acts to cover this song. The New York City band SUSU released their version in 2020 in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. They explained: "A good cover is hard to find. Turns out this one was a telling tale, a perfect sonic and energetic fit. We were a brand new band, consummated on Valentine's Day, in the pink of our five-week European honeymoon. We found ourselves leaving behind the tour we had just fallen in love with due to circumstances beyond our control - a pandemic. Proper heartbreak. But we all know the first breakup never sticks."

Comments: 4

  • Robert Whitford from CaRod, Anyone who would cease listening to a " Classic' Kickass band' because the discovered they might be gay' um' Secretly and with Self loathing diddles boys while'st they take a s--t' then get up off their knees cross themselves and go back to the pulpit!
  • Rod from Gainesville, FlI loved the buzzcocks and their songs for a long time before i found out they were gay. I often wonder if this fact changes the meaning of their love songs?
  • Dave from Hull, EnglandNouvelle Vauge do a good cover of this song too.
  • Andrew Horne from Richmond, VaThursday covered this song for the video game Tony Hawk's American Wasteland.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Loudon Wainwright III

Loudon Wainwright IIISongwriter Interviews

"Dead Skunk" became a stinker for Loudon when he felt pressure to make another hit - his latest songs deal with mortality, his son Rufus, and picking up poop.

Top American Idol Moments: Songs And Scandals

Top American Idol Moments: Songs And ScandalsSong Writing

Surprise exits, a catfight and some very memorable performances make our list of the most memorable Idol moments.

James Williamson of Iggy & the Stooges

James Williamson of Iggy & the StoogesSongwriter Interviews

The Stooges guitarist (and producer of the Kill City album) talks about those early recordings and what really happened with David Bowie.

Chris Fehn of Slipknot

Chris Fehn of SlipknotSongwriter Interviews

A drummer for one of the most successful metal bands of the last decade, Chris talks about what it's like writing and performing with Slipknot. Metal-neck is a factor.

Dean Friedman - "Ariel"

Dean Friedman - "Ariel"They're Playing My Song

Dean's saga began with "Ariel," a song about falling in love with a Jewish girl from New Jersey.

Andy McClusky of OMD

Andy McClusky of OMDSongwriter Interviews

Known in America for the hit "If You Leave," OMD is a huge influence on modern electronic music.