Meaning of I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You) by Aretha Franklin

On August 16, 2018, one of the brightest singers of our time, Aretha Franklin, an unsurpassed performer of songs in the genres of soul, gospel and rhythm and blues, passed away. Thanks to her outstanding vocal abilities and inimitable style, she has earned the titles of “Queen of Soul” (The Queen of Soul) and “Lady Soul” (Lady Soul).

Eighteen Grammy awards, seventy-five million records sold, dozens of songs in the most popular charts – you can devote a separate article to her achievements, which will take more than one page. She became the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She is also inducted into the Gospel Hall of Fame and the UK Music Hall of Fame.

It’s hard to believe, but Aretha Franklin’s path to fame has been rocky. Columbia Records released nine of her albums and more than twenty singles, but commercial success bypassed the singer. In 1966, the company refused to continue cooperation, and the singer was signed by Atlantic Records.

The first song released on the new label was I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You). It also became Franklin’s first major hit.

The history of creation and the meaning of the song I Never Loved a Man

It was composed by Ronnie Shannon. He later explained what the song was about:

The idea was to write an extraordinary message from the heart. Not knowing exactly where to start, I decided to let my vivid imagination be my guide.

The Billboard Book of #1 R&B Hits

The composition began to be recorded at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. The producer was Jerry Wexler and the sound engineer was Tom Dowd.

While working on the track, Aretha Franklin’s husband and manager, Ted White, got into an argument with one of the session musicians, who was either constantly asking for advice or trying to flirt with the singer. The quarrel ended in a major scandal, which is why the song continued to be recorded at the New York City studio in Atlanta.

Aretha recalled:

…they just told me to sit down at the piano and sing.

From the very first minutes it was clear to everyone present in the studio that the song would become a hit.

Release and achievements

On February 10, 1967, I Never Loved a Man was released as a single from the album I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You. It topped the Billboard rhythm and blues chart and climbed to number nine on the Hot 100.

This release marked a turning point in Aretha Franklin’s career. The track made her a superstar.

It was subsequently included in Rolling Stone magazine’s “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s “500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll” lists.

Clip I Never Loved a Man

Check out the music video for I Never Loved a Man, which features Aretha Franklin performing the song at the White House.

Cover versions

The composition was performed by Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Clarkson and other artists. On MTV Unplugged, the song I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You) was played by the Swedish band Roxette.

The legendary rock band Aerosmith presented their version of the track, called Never Loved a Girl.

Interesting Facts

  • I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You) was featured on the soundtracks of The Commitments, Night and the City, Love Potion No. 9, ” Connection” (Bound) and “Steal this movie” (Steal This Movie).

I Never Loved a Man Lyrics Aretha Franklin

You’re a no good heart breaker
You’re a liar and you’re a cheat
And I don’t know why
I let you do these things to me
My friends keep telling me
That you ain’t no good
But oh, they don’t know
That I’d leave you if I could

I guess I’m uptight
And I’m stuck like glue
Cause I ain’t never
I ain’t never, I ain’t never, no, no (loved a man)
(The way that I, I love you)

Some time ago I thought
You had run out of fools
But I was so wrong
You got one that you’ll never lose
The way you treat me is a shame
How could ya hurt me so bad
Baby, you know that I’m the best thing
That you ever had
Kiss me once again

Don’t ya never, never say that we we’re through
Cause I ain’t never
Never, Never, no, no (loved a man)
(The way that I, I love you)

I can’t sleep at night
And I can’t even fight
I guess I’ll never be free
Since you got, your hooks, in me

Yeah! Yeah!
I ain’t never loved a man
I ain’t never loved a man, baby
Ain’t never had a man hurt me so bad

Well this is what I’m gonna do about it

Aretha Franklin – I Never Loved a Man Lyrics

You’re not that good at breaking hearts
You are a liar and a cheat.
I do not know why
I let you do this to me.

My friends say
That there’s nothing good about you
But they don’t know
That I would leave you if I could

Guess I’m too stressed
And froze like glue
Because never
Never, never loved anyone
The way I love you

I used to think
That you’ve run out of fools
But I was wrong.
You have one that you will never lose.
It’s a shame how you treat me
How much pain you could have caused me.
Baby you know I’m the best
What did you have.
Kiss me one more time.

Never, never dare to say we’re done
‘Cause I never
Never, never loved anyone
The way I love you.

I can’t sleep at night
I can’t even fight.
I don’t think I’ll ever be free
Since you hooked me with your hooks.

Yes! Yes!
I never loved anyone
I never loved nobody baby
I have never loved anyone who would hurt me so much.

Well, here’s how I’m going to deal with it.

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