I’ve Never Been To Me — Charlene

No Words, No Song
6 min readOct 21, 2022
Photo by Paul Szewczyk on Unsplash

When Charlene released “I’ve Never Been To Me” in 1982, self-appointed musical sophisticates were inclined to sneer.

I never understood why. I’ve always liked the song. And I wasn’t the only one — “I’ve Never Been To Me” reached Number 3 in the Billboard Hot 100 and Number One here in the UK.

Somehow I don’t think millions of people bought the record just to poke fun at it. I think those people bought the record because they liked the song.

Remember, in those days, you didn’t just book a “sale” when your streaming service popped up a suggestion for the next track into your playlist. People had to tramp down to the shops and buy a piece of black vinyl with real cash money if they wanted to listen to your record.

That’s not the sort of thing you do by accident, or because you were at a loose end for half an hour. “I’ve Never Been To Me” was a huge commercial success because people liked the record and bought millions of copies of it, whatever the sneering cognoscenti might have thought.

I suspect that’s because “I’ve Never Been To Me” hit a nerve.

Charlene sings it from the perspective of a middle-aged woman, but people of all genders, age groups, and backgrounds can identify with the sentiment. Even if the specifics are a little different, they can still channel…



No Words, No Song

Without words, it’s just a nice tune. Add words — now you’ve got a song. And songs can change your world. I write about some that changed mine.