If You Ever Get Lonely

Album: Rough & Tumble (2011)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • In this song, Waite sings about losing a girl, but availing himself to her should she ever need an ear (another "call me anytime 'cause I still love you" song: "I'll Be Around" by the Spinners). Waite's love songs are typically tinged with melancholy, and like most romantic relationships, filled with a range of emotions.

    Many of the songs he wrote with his group the Babys and as a solo artist were composed by free association, as he let his heart dictate the lyrics in quick bursts (a great example is "Missing You"). As he ripened, his writing style changed. In our interview with Waite, he explained: "Being older, I don't want to be flying so high. I want to really address what's going on around me and write in a mature way. I look at songwriting now entirely different."
  • This song has a country feel, which you don't get from many British rock singers. Waite thinks that country music allows for a freedom of expression that you can't find in other genres. He told us: "The mid-'80s arena rock has nothing to do with anything. That's just white music. But rock and roll from back when Little Richard was giving it a good singing to, and Elvis, Big Bopper, Buddy Holly, all the early white rock singers, that was part country. Elvis was part country in a big way. You put blues in there with country and you've got rock and roll. That's where rock and roll comes from."
  • The songwriting credits on this one go to Waite, Kyle Cook, Lisa Drew, Michael Dulaney and Steven Dale Jones.

    Cook is a guitarist in Matchbox Twenty who wrote three other tracks on the album with Waite. Dulaney and Jones are songwriters who co-wrote the Tanya Tucker track "Little Things." Lisa Drew's compositions include "There Is No Arizona" by Jamie O'Neal and "I Should Be Sleeping" by Emerson Drive.
  • The country duo Love and Theft recorded this song in 2012 for their second album and made a video to go with the song.
  • According to John Waite, this song is about "getting a phone call at night perhaps the love of your life that you sort of lost track of dials you by mistake or maybe she's out at a party and after a bottle of wine thinks she'll just say hello. It's one of those things where you pick up the phone and you stop breathing. It's about distance. It's about lives going on after they've been damaged." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    DeeTheWriter - Saint Petersburg, Russia Federation

Comments: 1

  • S Torres from TexasThis song is utter perfection.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Scott Stapp

Scott StappSongwriter Interviews

The Creed lead singer reveals the "ego and self-fulfillment" he now sees in one of the band's biggest hits.

Danny Clinch: The Art of Rock Photography

Danny Clinch: The Art of Rock PhotographySong Writing

One of rock's top photographers talks about artistry in photography, raising funds for a documentary, and enjoying a County Fair with Tom Waits.

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?

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.

Graduation Songs

Graduation SongsFact or Fiction

Have you got the smarts to know which of these graduation song stories are real?

Jack Blades of Night Ranger and Damn Yankees

Jack Blades of Night Ranger and Damn YankeesSongwriter Interviews

Revisit the awesome glory of Night Ranger and Damn Yankees: cheesily-acted videos, catchy guitar licks, long hair, and lyrics that are just plain relatable.