In a 2018 Songfacts interview with Rick Astley
, he talked about the meaning and inspiration for the song: "It's that thing that you can go through life and you can be around someone and you know that there's something wrong, you know there's something going on, but they don't want to say anything. They don't want to do it.
I co-wrote that song in 1991 and I think the world has changed even since then. People do talk more about their feelings and they do open up. I'm feeling very, very conflicted about saying this, but I wrote it with Rob Fisher, who was a great songwriter and had his own band as well with a guy called Simon Climie called Climie Fisher, the band was. Rob passed away quite early, and I think he had some problems. I'm not even sure I was aware of it at the time, and I don't know whether that was connected to that, but I sensed that not everything was completely okay in his life.
But, I've definitely been around people like that. My mum and dad even had a son that passed before I was born, and they never talked about it. That is the hardest possible subject to talk about, I guess, for parents to their other children, but it just never got spoken about.
I'm not saying that's exactly what it's about, but it's the theme of it. It's that moment when you can cry for help and you can actually say to someone, 'I'm dying here. I'm bleeding.' We all need that moment where we sort of say, 'Right, I've just got to talk to someone,' and that's what it's about."