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MusicalmusingsSo Helen’s theme this week for Song Lyric Sunday is to post a song about forgiveness.

I’ve previously reflected on this idea in one of my posts for 1000 Speak where I posted “I Forgive You” the song that most often comes to my mind on this theme. Being raised Roman Catholic, it is where my mind immediately goes:

I forgive you, I love you
You are mine, take my hand.
Go in peace, sin no more,
Beloved one.

But I’m big on not repeating here on the blog. So today you get the Pet Shop Boys from 1987 covering Always on My Mind:

As requested by our hostess, here are the lyrics:

Maybe I didn’t love you
Quite as often as I could have
And maybe I didn’t treat you
Quite as good as I should have
If I made you feel second best
Girl I’m sorry I was blind

You were always on my mind
You were always on my mind

And maybe I didn’t hold you
All those lonely, lonely times
And I guess I never told you
I’m so happy that you’re mine
Little things I should have said and done
I just never took the time

But you were always on my mind
You were always on my mind

Tell me
tell me that your sweet love hasn’t died
And give me
Give me one more chance
To keep you satisfied
I’ll keep you satisfied

Little things I should have said and done
I just never took the time

But you were always on my mind
You were always on my mind
You were always on my mind

– From A-Z Lyrics

Now, I know this isn’t the original, or even likely the most well-known cover of the song. But it’s the one that hit big when I was first getting into music, so it’s the version that plays in my head when I think of this song.

That said, it’s had quite the history of those singing it wistfully for forgiveness. Written by Johnny Christopher, Mark James and Wayne Carson, it was first recorded in 1972 by Gwen McCrae and Brenda Lee.

Since then, Elvis also famously recorded it in 1972, a few weeks after his separation from Priscilla. And, of course, Willie Nelson did quite a well-known version of it in the early 1980s.

However, while it is the Pet Shop Boys that first play in my head, the other piece of pop culture ephemera that bounces around in there on this song is the image of the late night drinking scene from the 1998 movie Practical Magic, where “the aunts” famously answer the question as to where the tequila came from by belting out in time with this tune that:

Someone left it on the porch!
Someone left it on the porch.

I always love finding and thinking about the different ways songs are used in various stories.

song_lyric_sundayI gave some thought to whether the use in this movie related to forgiveness and I think, given it’s use here is to harken back to the abusive boyfriend they ended up killing, it is instead representative of when the intention of the sentiment is not honest.

That said, I think you could argue the whole song is less about forgiveness than regret. Maybe a bit of both? Perhaps I’m just past the age to find enough of the romance to forgive someone who didn’t appreciate and treat me well when they had the chance. So maybe the use in Practical Magic is about using an extreme scenario to point out the probable lack of sincerity in the request for forgiveness in the whole song to begin with?

What do you think? And do you have a favourite version of this song?

Also, if you enjoyed this post, take a moment to surf through some of the other entries for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday.