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Charlene - I've Never Been To Me (1977/1982)

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Uploaded on Sep 5, 2011

Click "Show More" for complete lyrics, and see my YouTube Channel for an HD version of this song that also includes the spoken bridge in the middle that is missing from this version. This seems to be a polarizing song, people either love it or hate it. I expect a lot of thumbs up and thumbs down on this one :)

From Wiki:

Charlene Marilynn D'Angelo (born June 1, 1950, Hollywood, California) is an American R&B singer best known as Charlene. She is known for her 1982 popular song "I've Never Been to Me", and is considered a one-hit-wonder. Charlene originally recorded "I've Never Been to Me" in 1976, and the single reached #97 on the US Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in 1977. When released again in 1982, the single reached #3 in the United States (US), and #1 by June 1982, in the UK Singles Chart. The song has been her only Top 40 hit.

In 1982, Tampa, Florida disc jockey Scott Shannon, then at WRBQ, started playing the song at the behest of a girlfriend, by which time Charlene had lost her recording contract, moved to England and was working in a sweetshop in Ilford, London. Audience reaction was impressive, resulting in the song's second release with the original spoken bridge. The second release was a hit in England as well.

When the song was first released in the US in 1976, Charlene's legal name was Charlene Duncan from her marriage to record producer Larry Duncan; by the time the song was released in 1982, her name was Charlene Oliver by her subsequent marriage to Englishman Jeff Oliver. The single reached the top of the US pop and adult contemporary charts that year, and the concurrent release of her album I've Never Been to Me, was also relatively successful. The single was one of the year's biggest hits, and the video for the song was filmed at Blickling Hall, Norfolk, England and Charlene wore the wedding dress that she got married in.

"I've Never Been to Me" was featured as the opening song to the 1994 film The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. The song is mimed onstage by two Sydney drag queens at the Imperial Hotel in Erskineville, Sydney, Australia. The latter performance includes a scene where a plastic "baby doll" (actually a rubber chicken) is hurled into the audience by one of the performing drag queens.

Lyrics:

I've Never Been To Me (R. Miller / K. Hirsch - Motown Records, Inc)

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 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
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 a million lives

Oh, I've been to Nice and the isle of Greece
When I sipped champagne on a yacht
I moved like Harlow in Monte Carlo
And showed them what I've got
I've been undressed by kings
And I've seen some things that a woman ain't s'pose to see
I've been to paradise but I've never been to me...

Hey, you know what paradise is?
It's a lie
A fantasy we created about people and places as we like them to be
But you know what truth is?
it's that little baby you're holding
And it's that man you fought with this morning
The same one you are gonna make love to tonight
That's truth, that's love

Sometimes I've been to crying for unborn children
That might have made me complete
But I, I took the sweet life
I never knew I'd be bitter from the sweet
I spent my life exploring
The subtle whoring
That costs too much to be free
Hey lady I've been to paradise
But I've never been to me...

I've been to paradise but I've never been to me...

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