There have been a lot of tears shed over the song I’ve Never Been To Me, but it appears none more so than by the singer of the classic ballad, Charlene.
As the former Motown diva talks about the history of the song, she tells how she cried the first time she had it played for her by the songwriter Ron Miller, then again when it became an international hit in 1982.
She then admits she had cried just hours earlier during a rehearsal for the song and, as she sits chatting to the Star, the tears begin to flow again.
I always get so emotional about it, Charlene says, while sitting in the new Priscilla Bar in the Dress Circle of the Lyric Theatre.
This song is so deep and sad and it contains metaphors, as this woman is so lonely. The first time I heard it, I started crying so hard, I was sobbing.
My whole life was unfolding before me in this song -“ it was the story of me as I was trying to find out who I was. And that is why the song is still here today, because other women discover who they are.
The other reason why Charlene’s mini-drama of a song continues to live on is because it was revived so dramatically in the opening scene of the 1994 movie, The Adventures Of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert.
And it is used once again in the new stage version, with Jeremy Stanford as Mitzi wringing the song for every moment of drag queen pathos he can drip from it.
Charlene admits she loved the way Priscilla has put her song back into the spotlight. I loved the drag version of the song, she says. It pulled all the drama out of it, and told of the sadness and the loneliness of this woman. It has made the song live on.
Charlene flew in to perform at the musical’s opening night party, as well as at Monday’s launch of the pink-themed cocktail drinking spot, the Priscilla Bar.
She performed both the original version of the song and the new dance mix, which has proven a hit at the various gay pride events she has played at around the world.
I just love the song and the way it just keeps coming back. I will be long gone, and that song will still live on strongly somewhere.
The Priscilla Bar is located at the Dress Circle level of the Lyric Theatre, Star City.