Ain't Even Done With The Night

Album: Nothin' Matters And What If It Did (1980)
Charted: 17
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • John Mellencamp got married at 18 and had his first child a short time later. He knew the vagaries of young romance and fear of commitment quite well, which certainly qualified him to write this song about a couple deeply in love, with the guy unsure what to do and the girl reassuring him.

    Mellencamp, though, is an observational songwriter and hardly ever writes about himself. "I see things that other people don't see," he said in his Plain Spoken DVD. "I pay attention to detail. That's where my songs come from. They're not about me."

    This method of songwriting proved very successful and comes into play on this song: There was probably a time when your heart was beating like thunder, etching a memory so powerful you can remember the song that was playing on the radio.
  • This song came during a transitional period for Mellencamp, after his first hit but before his star turn. In 1978, "I Need A Lover," a song from his second album, took off in Australia, giving him a leg up on the other young rockers he was competing against. From there, he set out to create hits, which he felt was essential to his survival - he was a strong-willed, hard-headed country boy who didn't get along with his record label and most industry folks, so unless he could become invaluable, he wasn't going to make it.

    "Ain't Even Done with the Night" came from his quest to make hit pop songs, and even thought he has shown no affinity for it, the song became one of his most enduring, showing up on playlists decades after it was first released.

    It helped keep him on the charts until his breakthrough fifth album, American Fool, with the hits "Hurts So Good" and "Jack & Diane." After that, he no longer had to care even a little what people think. His songs that followed are the ones he considers his best work.
  • This song falls smack in the middle of the "John Cougar" years - the name he used from 1979-1983; before that he was "Johnny Cougar." In 1983 he started using "John Cougar Mellencamp," then in 1990 just John Mellencamp.
  • Steve Cropper, who produced Otis Redding and many other acts at Stax Records, produced the Nothin' Matters And What If It Did album.

Comments: 3

  • Johnny Straws from Weston, MeI perform this song with my band and it is one of the most requested covers we do by the ladies.

    http://reverbnation.com/darkroots
  • AnonymousI wondered if he wrote it, and now I love it even more.
  • Tony Velizio from SeattleBrilliant songwriting. Pops and hits the head and heart.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Muhammad Ali: His Musical Legacy and the Songs he Inspired

Muhammad Ali: His Musical Legacy and the Songs he InspiredSong Writing

Before he was the champ, Ali released an album called I Am The Greatest!, but his musical influence is best heard in the songs he inspired.

Rock Revenge Songs

Rock Revenge SongsMusic Quiz

John Lennon, Paul Simon and Lynyrd Skynyrd are some of the artists who have written revenge songs. Do you know who they wrote them about?

Gene Simmons of Kiss

Gene Simmons of KissSongwriter Interviews

The Kiss rocker covers a lot of ground in this interview, including why there are no Kiss collaborations, and why the Rock Hall has "become a sham."

History Of Rock

History Of RockSong Writing

An interview with Dr. John Covach, music professor at the University of Rochester whose free online courses have become wildly popular.

Michael Franti

Michael FrantiSongwriter Interviews

Franti tells the story behind his hit "Say Hey (I Love You)" and explains why yoga is an integral part of his lifestyle and his Soulshine tour.

Charlotte Caffey of The Go-Go's

Charlotte Caffey of The Go-Go'sSongwriter Interviews

Charlotte was established in the LA punk scene when a freaky girl named Belinda approached her wearing a garbage bag.