Sunday, October 20, 2013

For Lovers Facing the Apocalypse: “If You Never Say Goodbye” by P.M. Dawn

Love songs don’t get any darker than this. Chris Carter, creator of The X Files (whatever happened to him?) gets co-writing credit for this song that appeared towards the end of the 1996 TV soundtrack album, Songs in the Key of X. He was a decent writer back in the day, so I’m guessing he’s the one responsible for the we’re-all-going-to-die, no-hard-feelings lyrics, which, thanks to Prince Be’s delivery amid Don Was’ thick, atmospheric production, get mangled seven ways to Sunday on Internet song lyric sites.

Fortunately, this has been one of my favorite songs since I first heard it, and a necessary part of my seasonal playlist come Halloween, so I’ve got the definitive words to the music right here. I especially love the lines that cap the main verses, which essentially boil down to: “It’s not this, it’s not that/It’s just your sorry ass/Suffering and dying.” 

Read these lyrics as you listen to the song, and good luck resisting the urge to kill yourself. At least the apocalypse isn’t upon us. Yet. But, “If I say (and I say)/It’s coming any second...” we’ve got all the closure we need between us. It’s all good, babe. Enjoy your Sunday!


Legs of a calf, head of a man,
Eyes on the camera, shaking everyone’s hand.
Vultures circle and smack their lips,
The sky goes black as the lightning rips.

Stars are immune, moon without pity,
As waves of blood roll over the city.
It’s not a rehearsal or special effects,
It’s the end of the story,
It’s what happens next.

If I say, and I say
It’s coming any second,
If I say, and I say,
In the blink of an eye
And I say, and I say,
With a bang and a whimper,
And I say it’s OK
If you never say goodbye. 

Song of a child, song of a beast,
As it slouches and slithers its way from the east
I dreamt a dream, but what can it mean?
Angels in armor devoured the queen.

All the people danced, and tore at their clothes,
The sky caught fire and the oceans froze.
It wasn’t a fable, it wasn’t a hoax
It was seventeen devils
Just making up jokes.


And I say, and I say
It’s coming in a second
And I say, and I say
In the blink of an eye
And I say, and I say
With a bang and a whimper
And I say it’s OK
If you never say goodbye.

I saw a temple made of gold,
The sky was so blue and the air was so cold,
Seraphim howled on a microphone
As the rats kept rhythm
On chicken bones.

People wept and swallowed their jewels,
Entered like soldiers, departed as fools. 
It isn’t a sentence, it’s not a reward,
It’s a black parachute with a noose for a cord.

And I say, and I say
It’s coming any second
And I say, and I say,
In the blink of an eye,
And I say, and I say,
With a bang and a whimper
And I say it’s OK
If you never say goodbye. 

Written by Attrell Cordes/David Was/Chris Carter. Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, IMAGEM US LLC, BMG Gold Songs OBO Microdot Songs, FOX Music, Inc., BMG Rights Management US, LLC.

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