I Still Love You

‘Don’t You Want Me’ is a super-sad male/female duet that features a pathetic dude who pined away for his lost unrequited love.  Lead singer Phil Oakey was recruited by keyboardists/composers Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh to join the English synth-pop band Human League, but Ware and Marsh quit to form a new group known as Heaven 17.  Human League had debts and contractual obligations, so Oakey hooked up with keyboardist Philip Adrian Wright, synth player Ian Burden and a pair of schoolgirls that Oakey spotted dancing in a nightclub Susan Ann Sulley and Joanne Catherall and they became the backing singers.  Oakey was inspired to write the lyrics after reading a photo-story in a teen-girl’s magazine.

In this song, Oakey is a svengali figure (Svengali is a fictional character in George du Maurier’s 1895 novel Trilby) and he sings the male part and the female waitress who becomes a successful star part is sung by Susan Ann Sulley.  They meet when she is working as a cocktail waitress and five years later, she is a star, which he wants to take all the credit for her success.  She leaves him after she becomes famous.  The song is dark, cold and lonely, filled with jealousy and romantic obsession.  She tells him that she still loves him, but she wants her own life now.  He gets angry and says, “You’d better change it back or we will both be sorry”, giving this song a psycho killer theme.

Producer engineer Martin Rushent, began working with the group and Phil Oakey and Ian Burden wrote ‘Don’t You Want Me’.  They added guitarist and songwriter Jo Callis, who quickly learned to play synths, and Human League started recording their multi platinum third album Dare, which remained on the UK charts for 71 weeks.  The song charted #1 in both the UK and the US and it became the band’s biggest hit and one of the highest selling singles of all time in the UK. Martin Rushent told Jo Callis to reach through an open window and flush the loo while Phil was singing, because he thought it sounded good.

You were workin’ as a waitress in a cocktail bar
When I met you
I picked you out, I shook you up and turned you around
Turned you into someone new
Now five years later on, you’ve got the world at your feet
Success has been so easy for you
But don’t forget, it’s me who put you where you are now
And I can put you back down too
Don’t, don’t you want me?
You know I can’t believe it when I hear that you won’t see me
Don’t, don’t you want me?
You know I don’t believe you when you say that you don’t need me
It’s much too late to find
You think you’ve changed your mind
You’d better change it back or we will both be sorry
Don’t you want me, baby?
Don’t you want me? Oh
Don’t you want me, baby?
Don’t you want me? Oh
I was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar
That much is true
But even then, I knew I’d find a much better place
Either with or without you
The five years we have had have been such good times
I still love you
But now, I think it’s time I live my life on my own
I guess it’s just what I must do
Don’t, don’t you want me?
You know I can’t believe it when I hear that you won’t see me
Don’t, don’t you want me?
You know I don’t believe you when you say that you don’t need me
It’s much too late to find
You think you’ve changed your mind
You’d better change it back or we will both be sorry
Don’t you want me, baby?
Don’t you want me? Oh
Don’t you want me, baby?
Don’t you want me? Oh
Don’t you want me, baby?
Don’t you want me? Oh
Don’t you want me, baby?
Don’t you want me? Oh
Don’t you want me, baby?
Don’t you want me? Oh
Don’t you want me, baby?
Don’t you want me? Oh
Don’t you want me, baby?
Don’t you want me? Oh
Don’t you want me, baby?
Don’t you want me? Oh
Don’t you want me, baby?

Written for Song Lyric Sunday where the prompt is Did/Didn’t/Do/Don’t/Does/Doesn’t.

21 thoughts on “I Still Love You

  1. Creepy stalker alert! Yikes! I always liked this song, but never paid much attention to what the lyrics were. First time I’ve seen the video. Good choice, and super topic for today. So many great songs, I’m hearing. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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