Charlene - I've Never Been To Me (1976/1982)

Charlene Marilynn D'Angelo, born 1 June 1950 in Hollywood
Charlene - I've Never Been To Me (1976/1982) 1976: US#97 1982: UK#1, US#3 Lyrics: Hey lady, you lady, cursing at your life You're a discontented mother and a regimented wife I've no doubt you dream about the things you'll never do But, I wish someone had talked to me Like I wanna talk to you..... Oh, I've been to Georgia and California and anywhere I could run I took the hand of a preacher man and we made love in the sun But I ran out of places and friendly faces because I had to be free I've been to paradise but I've never been to me Please lady, please lady, don't just walk away 'Cause I have this need to tell you why I'm all alone today I can see so much of me still living in your eyes Won't you share a part of a weary heart that has lived million lies.... Oh, I've been to Niece and the Isle of Greece while I've sipped champagne on a yacht I've moved like Harlow in Monte Carlo and showed 'em what I've got I've been undressed by kings and I've seen some things that a woman ain't supposed to see I've been to paradise, but I've never been to me [spoken] Hey, you know what paradise is? It's a lie, a fantasy we create about people and places as we'd like them to be But you know what truth is? It's that little baby you're holding, it's that man you fought with this morning The same one you're going to make love with tonight That's truth, that's love...... Sometimes I've been to crying for unborn children that might have made me complete But I took the sweet life, I never knew I'd be bitter from the sweet I've spent my life exploring the subtle whoring that costs too much to be free Hey lady...... I've been to paradise, (I've been to paradise) But I've never been to me (I've been to Georgia and California, and anywhere I could run) I've been to paradise, never been to me (I've been to Neice and the isle of Greece while I've sipped champagne on a yacht) I've been to paradise, never been to me (I've been to cryin' for unborn children that might have made me complete) I've been to paradise, never been to me (I've been to Georgia and California, and anywhere I could run) I've been to paradise, never been to me Cover Versions in other languages: Cantonese Vivian Chow's Cantonese version '孤單的心痛' ('The solitary heartache') is a Cantopop love song based on I've Never Been to Me. Japanese There are two different versions of the lyrics in Japanese. One largely follows the original theme, while a newer version has completely different lyrics written by Keiko Aso(麻生圭子) with the title "LOVE IS ALL ~愛を聴かせて~"(Love is All -Let me hear your love-). Japanese female singer Megumi Shiina(椎名恵) recorded it for a TV period drama of the unrequited love between Takeda Shingen's daughter and Oda Nobunaga's son. The latter, positive version is often used as a wedding song in Japan; the chorus line "never been to me" is replaced with "my love is true". This reappropriation of the song's melody for use in a wedding is quite ironic, as the original song's lyrics describe a single, lonely, aged, childless, promiscuous woman who never got married and wishes she had borne children; further, the singer describes the life of a married woman - the implied listener of the song - as a "discontented mother and a regimented wife" who "dream[s] about the things you'll never do". The original lyrics' meaning would be a rather poor fit for a wedding. However, the wild and free-wheeling lifestyle of the singer, even if presented in lurid detail (having "been undressed by kings, and ... seen some things that a woman ain't supposed to see") is presented as a warning to the bored housewife, that the boring married lifestyle is, in the end, better than a life of free-love that ends in loneliness and solitude. Seen this way, this warning could be construed as appropriate for a wedding. In any event, this adaptation uses different lyrics, so younger Japanese listeners may be unaware of the original lyrics' meaning. By the way, in Japan the original English version itself is known with another title "Ai wa Kagerou no you ni"(roughly meaning 'love seems ephemeral'), as is often the case for oversea songs released there. Mandarin '三月的玫瑰' ('Rose of March'), performed by Taiwanese singer, Jin Rei-Yao (金瑞瑤). Taiwanese singer Teresa Teng recorded versions of this song both in Mandarin and in English Female group S.H.E. performed this song in one of their albums without altering the lyrics. The spoken bridge was missing, possibly because of the catchier tempo and melody that the group used to cover this song. Spanish Charlene herself recorded a Spanish version of this song called 'Nunca He Ido A Mi' with the spoken bridge portion intact. It was released concurrently with the English version. Swedish With the lyrics 'Jag har sett himmelen' ('I have seen heaven') in Swedish, Kikki Danielsson recorded the song on her 1983 album 'Singles Bar'. Finnish Seija Simola recorded the Finnish version 'En tunne itseäin' ('I do not know myself') in 1984. It was released as a single, as well as on the compilation 'Jokamiehen suosikit 10'. Korean 'As One' (에즈원), Korean female duo, Crystal (Dahee Chae 채다희) and Min (Minyoung Lee 이민영). Lyric by Sara Yun (윤사라), and re-arranged by Jaehong Shin (신재홍). Album Day by day, released on November 11, 1999. German A German version with the same sentiment as in the original version, but a softer choice of words (avoiding phrases like 'exploring the subtle whoring', which can be found in Charlene's original version) was recorded by Swiss-born singer Paola under the title 'Ich hab' ins Paradies geseh'n (I've peeked into paradise)'. Mary Roos recorded the German rendering 'Doch mich selber kenn ich nicht' for her 1978 album Maryland: Michael Kunze wrote the lyrics for this version whose title translates as "But I do not know myself". Leonard remade this version for his 2001 Rhythmus der nacht album. In 2009, German singer Ina Müller recorded the song in the German minority language of 'Plattdütsch' (Low German) as 'De Wind vun Hamborg' (meaning 'The breeze of Hamburg'). The Low German lyrics, written by Müller herself, tell about the singer's experiences during her travels of Northern Germany and concluding that the most happy times have always been when she felt the breeze of Hamburg blowing, thereby transporting the sentiment that there's no place like home. Prior to the studio recording, "De Wind vun Hamborg" had been part of Ina Müller's stage act for several years and still is. Vietnamese A Vietnamese version of 'I've Never Been To Me' was written and sung by Vân Quỳnh. The title of the song is called 'Thiên Đường Ảo' ('Virtual Heaven').

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