I Don’t Want To Say Goodbye

I Don’t Want to Say Goodbye (M. Steele)

Year: 1994
Band: Crash Wisdom
Album: Unreleased
First Live Performance: 5/12/94
Last Live Performance: 6/2/94


Lyrics: (6/2/94 version)

Feel the wind blow through the trees
The rhythm of the sea
The things you meant to me
Love is just a photograph
I hold it in my hands
And I want you to come back

The time has come
And we can’t hold on any longer
And I feel so lost inside
As time goes on we will find an understanding
But I don’t want to say goodbye

Dreams, the whispering inside
The wisdom of a child
The struggle to survive
Now, another morning comes
The promise of the sun
Now I want to feel alive

The time has come
And we can’t hold on any longer
It’s a sadness I can’t fight
Time passes by and we will find an understanding
But I don’t want to say goodbye

I can’t let go
But I can’t hold on any longer
And it hurts so much inside
I know some day we will find an understanding
But I don’t want to say goodbye
No I don’t want to say goodbye


I Don’t Want To Say Goodbye is another of Michael’s songs only known at present from its live performances, appearing in the setlist of both taped Crash Wisdom gigs.  As the lyrics of the 5/12/94 and 6/2/94 versions differ slightly, it is safe to assume that the song was still being rewritten between these two performances. Whether it was subsequently changed further is currently difficult to judge, although what is already known is rich for interpretation.

Lyrically, the song tells of the narrator’s feelings towards a relationship’s end, depicted by literally stating her thoughts and on occasion combining them with nature metaphors, i.e. “The promise of the sun/Now I want to feel alive…’ The main tension of the song comes in the narrator being at once aware that ‘the time has come’ and wishing that she never had to say goodbye, a tension that is deliberately not resolved by the end of the song. In addition to Michael’s vocal performance it is perhaps this lyrical device that makes the song feel so heartfelt, in acknowledging that human feelings are rarely so simple as to only be feeling one emotion at a time.

What makes the song even more interesting is how easily it can be related to other situations. Although as noted above the song is most likely about the end of a romance, several lines also strongly evoke the feelings of loss, yearning and acceptance experienced by those who mourn the death of a loved one, an interpretation in which the image of what was lost now only being a photograph in her hands gains an extra poignance.


  1. This song, more than anything else, helped me through the sudden, unexpected loss of a very dear friend. It continues to be one of my favorite songs by Michael, or any other artist. I’ll forever be grateful to her for this song!

  2. I think this song is about her father. He was diagnosed with cancer in 1993. He died five years later but I think she was dealing with the feeling of loss in advance. In the Behind the Music (1999 or 2000) she said that 6 years ago she suffered a nervous breakdown that would have happened between 1993 or 1994 (I suppose). Then she was dealing strongly with the feeling of loss, in many ways: The Bangles, her father’s health, her frustration with music , etc.
    It‘s a very beautiful song. Micki has a very poetic and intelligent way of express herself.

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