Song of the Day: Buzzcocks – Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)

Back to 1978, when the Buzzcocks released the masterpiece “Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve).” Here’s how lead singer Pete Shelley told the Guardian the genesis of the song:

We’d just been on the White Riot tour with the Clash, the Slits and Subway Sect. It was the first time that people really got to see what punk was about. We were in a van from Salford Van Hire. It was the first time we’d spent more than a day away from home. That tour kickstarted people to take more of an active interest in punk, rather than just a passive one. It all happened so fast.

At the bigger shows, like at Manchester’s Electric Circus, kids were ripping the seats out. We signed to United Artists on the day Elvis died [16 August 1977] and suddenly had an album to do and an audience who wanted to see us. After one of our shows in Edinburgh, we were in the Blenheim guest house with pints of beer, sitting in the TV room half-watching Guys and Dolls. This line just leapt out at me: “Have you ever fallen in love with someone you shouldn’t’ve? Wait till it happens to you.” I thought, “Ooh. That gives me an idea.” The next day, while our driver was posting something, I sat in the van outside the post office and came up with the first line, “You piss on my natural emotions.” Then I changed “piss” to “spurn”, which had a more barbed edge to it.

I wrote it about Francis, who was the social sec at Warrington Tech. I was going through self-discovery, shall we say, a fertile ground for writing songs. In the initial courtship he was resistant to my charms. I loved the word “shouldn’t’ve” and all its apostrophes. The song hurtles into the intro. We were trying to pare things back from the norm of what music should be. There’s a tension that resolves when the chorus starts and I put in a magic dip – a tiny pause – before the last chorus to give the listener a lift.

Enjoy this classic!