Never Let Me Down Again: beyond the meaning of Depeche Mode’s song

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Never Let Me Down Again is a song included in the album Music For The Masses by Depeche Mode, published in 1987. The title of the album itself indicates the will of the band to produce music that could be more “pop”, to set themselves free – but not that much in the end – from the dark image conquered with the previous albums.

Actually, even if with this LP Depeche Mode open the cycle that will continue with Violator and that will state their worldwide success, the music in contains isn’t properly commercial.

Never Let Me Down Again is a song about friendship. Some say that the “best friend” mentioned in the song is really drugs, that were so dear to Dave Gahan especially in that timeframe. And really, by reading the lyrics, this meaning could well apply. But I prefer to give a more literal meaning, besides , the lyrics were written by Martin Gore, therefore we will read it this way.

Two friend and a journey by car: a moment that is nothing special in the end, but that becomes extraordinary because it is lived together. Who hasn’t tried that feeling of perfection, of completeness, by being with a friend, a true friend, the “best” friend? The moment when you feel free, when you feel you could do anything, he’ll be by your side and together we’ll travel serene.

I am taking a ride with my best friend, he knows where he’s taking me, where I want to be. You trust a true friend, you leave him the wheel and enjoy the trip, he know where we want to go and that’s where he’s going to take us.

Together we’re flying high, we’re watching the world pass us by. Never want to come down, never want to put my feet back down on the ground. When a moment is perfect, we would like it to last forever.  Nothing special is really happening, but we feel alright, we feel everything is going just as it should go, and we’re fine just by looking at the world  from our bubble of perfection (yes, the recall to drugs is there, undeniable), hoping it would never end.

Not all friends are the same. Some are just passing, some will stay for life. With some, few, we can really be ourselves and reach a level of trust that brings us to completely relax in their presence, to totally rely on them. These friends are precious, and precious are those moments like that described in the song that, just like falling in love, makes us feel the calm of happiness – which is made by instants to remember all life long.

Played live, Never Let Me Down Again is a stadium anthem: everyone is singing and all arms are raised to the sky, waving rhythmically form left to right. We all know what it feels like, and we all feel happy, we feel again this emotion – the magic of music is done, makes our hearts beat and reminds us we’re alive , we are all human beings and we all have the same feelings.

And if it was about drugs instead of a friend, who cares, what’s important is the result.

Rating: 4.5/5. From 2 votes.
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