Our theme for Song Lyric Sunday this week is “goodbye/farewell”.
There are dozens of great ‘goodbye’ songs but none have been with me as long as 1973’s Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye) by the amazing Gladys Knight & the Pips. I was just entering my teens and of course, that meant I was ‘grown’, right?
Neither One of Us was the title cut of the last album the group would record for Motown before moving to Buddah Records in February of 1973. Lead singer Gladys Knight recalled on A&E’s Biography that she and the group were regarded as a second-string act and that “Diana (Ross) & The Supremes, The Temptations and Marvin Gaye were given all the hits, while we took the leftovers”.
On March 17, 1973, the song reached number one on the Hot Soul Singles chart, staying there for four consecutive weeks. Due to the song’s strong crossover appeal, it eventually peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100, with Vicki Lawrence’s The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia blocking it from number one. However, it went number one on the U.S. Record World and Cashbox charts. It also crossed over to the adult contemporary chart, peaking at number 15. Worldwide, it was also successful, peaking at number 9 in France, number 11 in Canada and number 31 in the UK.
On March 2, 1974, at the Grammy Awards ceremony, Gladys Knight & The Pips won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group for Neither One of Us. Previously that same night, they had won their first Grammy for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group for Midnight Train to Georgia. [Wikipedia]
The Youtube video is of a live performance on The Midnight Special. I tend to be preoccupied (OBSESSED) with group dance moves, but for me, the Pips were second to none! (Sorry, Temptations! 😜)
See my Song Lyric Sunday selection for Nesie’s Place.
Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.
Written by James D. Weatherly
And it’s gotten to the point where we just can’t fake it (Ooo)
For some unGodly reason we just won’t let it die (let it die)
I guess neither one of us (neither one of us)
Wants to be the first to say good byeI keep on wondering (wondering)
What I’m gonna do with out ya (do without you)
And I guess you must be wondering that same thing too (Ooo)
So we go on, go on together living a lie (living our lie)
Because neither one of us (neither one of us)
Wants to be the first to say good bye
Oooooh ev’rytime I find the nerve
Everytime I find the nerve to say I’m leavin’ (leavin’)
Oh, memories, those old memories get in my way (my way my way)
Oh (Ooo) Lord knows it’s only me only knows it’s only me
That I’m deceiving
When it comes to saying good bye
That’s a simple word that I just cannot say
There can be no way, there can be no way
This can have a happy ending (happy ending)
So we just go on (we go on) hurting and pretending
And convincing ourselves to give it just one more try (one more try)
Because neither one of us (Neither one of us)
Wants to be the first to say
Neither one of us (neither one of us) Wants to be the first to say
Neither one of us (Neither one of us) wants to be the first to say
Farewell my love, goodbye (goodbye)