Keep Singing

Songfacts®:

  • Rick Astley is known for sprightly pop hits like "Never Gonna Give You Up" and "She Wants To Dance With Me," but his bares his soul on this track, which he consideres his most personal song.

    "That is a little story about my life," he said in a Songfacts interview. "In fact, the opening lines are, 'When I was a boy I saw my daddy crying at the steering wheel,' because I did see that sometimes. He wasn't that kind of a guy normally, but I've seen him just lose it. He had a child that passed away, he's got four kids, split up from my mum. I saw my mum lose it as well, but I was around my dad a bit more because I lived in his house. I saw my mum every weekend. I saw her every day at first when I was very young, and then I saw her at the weekends.

    But I saw my dad lose it a few times, and you don't ask him why, you just know. For me, getting into the church choir just felt good, even in that very British, white-as-can-be, northern little town in England. I wasn't particularly religious, but just going somewhere and singing with a bunch of other people felt good.

    Getting into school plays and musicals and stuff, that also felt good because I was right front and center, in front of people singing, and they liked it. And I felt I might belong here. This might be somewhere I can just forget about everything else. I didn't have the worst childhood, but somewhere in me there was something not quite comfortable because of the way my home was, and I think music helped me and singing helped me be somewhere else.

    Even listening to music does it for people, of course it does, and we read that and hear that all the time, and I think it definitely did it for me. And I think singing is the next step of that because you're actually doing it, you're making the music, never mind just listening to it. So, that song I definitely think is very personal to me."
  • This was the first single from 50, Astley's first widely released album of new material since Body & Soul in 1993. He performed the song on various British TV shows and BBC Radio 2 put it in rotation. Remarkably, 50 debuted at #1 in the UK, 29 years after his first album, Whenever You Need Somebody, hit the top spot there.

    Astley made the album in his garage studio, doing all the writing, production, instrumentation and singing himself. He had been making music under these conditions for a while, doing it for the love of it, but when he played the tracks to friends, they made it very clear to him that he had something special.

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