Song of the Day #5,296: ‘Don’t Forget Me’ – Harry Nilsson

The title cut from Lana Del Rey’s upcoming album, featured yesterday, includes this verse:

“Harry Nilsson has a song, his voice breaks at 2:05 / Something about the way he says “Don’t forget me” makes me feel like / I just wish I had a friend like him, someone to get me by / Lennon in the back, whisperin’ in my ear / “Come on, baby, you can thrive” / But I can’t”

The song she’s referencing is Nilsson’s ‘Don’t Forget Me,’ which appeared on the John Lennon-produced 1974 album Pussy Cats.

Indeed, at the 2:05 mark you can hear the strain in Nilsson’s voice. Apparently Nilsson ruptured one of his vocal cords during recording sessions for the album but kept the news from Lennon. He pushed through and caused permanent damage to his vocals.

‘Don’t Forget Me’ has been covered by a number of artists, including Neko Case, whose version on 2009’s Middle Cyclone was my first exposure to the song.

In the winter time, keep your feet warm
But keep your clothes on and don’t forget me
Keep your memories
But keep your powder dry, too

In the summer, by the poolside
While the fireflies are all around you
I’ll miss you when I’m lonely
I’ll miss the alimony, too

Don’t forget me, don’t forget me
Make it easy only just for a little while
You know I think about you
Let me know you think about me, too

And when we’re older and full of cancer
It doesn’t matter now, come on get happy
‘Cause nothing lasts forever
But I will always love you

Don’t forget me, please don’t forget me
Make it easy only just for a little while
You know I think about you
Let me know you think about me, too

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #5,296: ‘Don’t Forget Me’ – Harry Nilsson

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    That’s a very cool reference by Del Ray and story behind it. I must admit though that I was expecting a much more obvious break/crack in the vocals. I guess it’s more obvious given how smooth Nilsson’s vocals normally are.

  2. Amy says:

    Damn. I assumed when I heard the song yesterday (for the first time actually) that the voice crack was due to emotion. Not sure Lennon was being the most supportive friend if he didn’t suggest Nilsson take a break and drink a warm cup of throat coat!

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