May You Never

Written by: 
J. Martyn
1 Nov 1971

May you never lay your head down
Without a hand to hold;
May you never make your bed out in the cold.

You're just like a great and strong brother of mine;
You know that I love you true.
And you never talk dirty behind my back,
And I know that there's those that do. 1

Oh please won't you, please won't you
Bear it in mind:
Love is a lesson to learn in our time.
Now please won't you, please won't you
Bear it in mind for me.

May you never lay your head down
Without a hand to hold;
May you never make your bed out in the cold.

You're just like a good and close sister to me,
You know that I love you true.
And you hold no blade to stab me in the back,
And I know that there's some that do.

Oh please won't you, please won't you
Bear it in mind:
Love is a lesson to learn in our time.
And please won't you, please won't you
Bear it in mind for me.

May you never lay your head down
Without a hand to hold;
May you never make your bed out in the cold.

You're just like a great and strong brother of mine,
You know that I love you true.
And you never talk dirty behind my back,
And I know that there's those that do.

Oh please won't you, please won't you
Bear it in mind:
Love is a lesson to learn in our time.
And please won't you, please won't you
Bear it in mind for me.

May you never lose your temper,
If you get hit in a bar-room fight.
May you never lose your woman overnight.
May you never lay your head down
Without a hand to hold;
May you never make your bed out in the cold.

May you never lose your temper
If you get hit in a bar-room fight;
May you never lose your woman overnight.
May you never lose your woman overnight;
May you never lose your woman overnight.

1 There is a version with the following second verse:

You've been just like a good and close mother to me,
And you know I love you like I should.
You never talk about me behind my back,
And I know that there's times you could.

muffnote:
John's most famous song, May You Never is beautiful in its classic simplicity. It was written for either a friend or Beverley's son Wesley. It's basically a 12-bar blues pattern, altered to 16 bar and charged with harmonic density.
The John Wood liner notes claim the song was eventually recorded in one take. May You Never also featured in the Titanic Town movie soundtrack, however during the production credits. Judging by the guitar playing this was definitely another version from the same period.

John wrote the song just after having finished Bless The Weather, he told Richard Howell of Time Out magazine. In the first week of October 1971 the working title was "Close Brother".

First release: