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"Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)" is a 1978 song written by Pete Shelley and performed by his group, Buzzcocks. It was a number twelve hit on the UK Singles Chart.

Background and writing

Sometime during November 1977, the band watched the musical Guys & Dolls in the TV lounge of a guesthouse in Edinburghmarker, Scotland. It was the dialogue "Have you ever fallen in love with someone you shouldn't have" from the film which inspired the song. The following day Pete wrote the lyrics of the song, in a van outside a post office, with the music following soon after.

Music and lyrics

The song features a simple lead riff which forms the verse interludes and the bridge of the song which is based on an open E chord. (The song uses the following chords: C#m, B, E, D, A and is in the key of C# minor, or arguably E). Unlike its live brethren, the studio version features vintage "classic chorus effect" sounding guitar. Like most Buzzcocks songs, the words follow a theme of sexual politics, feature high-octave-range tenor vocals with accurate and rich vibrato from Pete Shelley. Incidentally, this almost ad-lib Shelley vibrato pattern is emulated by Ramones vocalist Joey Ramone on the 1983 album Subterranean Jungle.

Critical reception

Critic Ned Raggett describes the song as a "deservedly well-known masterpiece".



  1. Dorian Lynskey, Dave Simpson. "Twelve artists talk about making one of their classic tracks", The Guardian, 24 February 2006.

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