After my mother finally passed away – which took a long time, even after she announced she was ready to go – this is the song I wrote. I just let my emotion and immediate gut reaction guide me, everything came out very simply and very directly. Possibly even trite or cliched, but this was honestly what my hurting soul felt at the time, and what needed to be expressed by this suddenly motherless boy. Man? When you think about your mother, you always feel like the baby you were in their care, it’s hard to be very grown-up or mature inspecting the mother-child relationship. Perhaps those who have their own children (which I have not) do graduate to a true sense of adulthood, but I always felt like a little boy when I really considered everything my mother meant to me.
So this song talks about the permanent impact your mother has on you, in that sense she is never gone. I don’t literally believe she (or anyone) is still consciously watching over from the other side; but metaphorically this is still true, because all that you are came from this person, and you see through eyes that they helped to form. Thus I veer from the ‘watching over’ image immediately into “Keep her in your heart there / That’s where she belongs”, something I do recognize, that our departed loved ones live on – in us, in everyone they affected, but especially in the children they raised.
Preparing for this album I was forced to admit that this song and “Mom” were very similar: both finger-picked slow songs with similar chord progressions in the same key. Not to mention lyrically, as I continued to struggle to put into words those feelings that seem too large to be contained. I couldn’t do anything about the words, they all came from an honest place, so they must stand; but I did take steps to distinguish the two songs musically. I used a capo to bring “Never Gone” up to A, then decided that I would record it on my electric guitar with full band, at a faster tempo. “Mom” I played solo on my most unique guitar, a 100-year-old Mexican folk guitar strung with ancient (never changed in 15 years I’ve owned it) steel strings, tuned down a full step. The only other instrument we added was Derek on a toy piano, because it really fit the childlike innocence of the song.
She is Never Gone When you lose your mother, she is never gone She’ll be watching over all that you become Keep her in your heart there, that’s where she belongs You are always with her when you sing her song Sing her song, mmm-mm While you carry on We move on, as you know she’d want But knowing where you’re from There can be no other person like your mom Source of all the love where you know you come from As you will discover whether here or gone You can hear your mother’s voice in every song Sing along, mmm-mm While you carry on We move on, as you know she’d want Yet knowing where you’re from When you lose your mother, she is never gone She’ll be watching over all that you will ever become
© 2022 Scott Perry (SOCAN/BMI) Recorded by Jackson Gardner at Flash Recording and Adrian Buckley at Chez Miaou Mixed & Mastered by Adrian Buckley Scott Perry: Vocals, Guitars Eric Lefebvre: Bass Derek Macdonald: Toy piano Adrian Buckley: Drums