“Have You Never Been Mellow”, originally from Olivia Newton-John, and covered by Juliana Hatfield on her New Cover Album, Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John is Today’s Song of the Day. Another favorite Song from my Olivia-Obsessed childhood, “Have You Never Been Mellow” was a Track I loved to Sing-a-Long to, but that I never quite understood. “Mellow” somehow in my mind had something to do with dessert food, soft and sweet and fluffy dessert food, like marshmallows, pudding, or ice cream shakes. I’m not sure where any of that correlation came from, nor why I thought it, but its where my mind went when I listened to this Song.
As I got older the Song took on a deeper meaning. It hit on a few different feelings in me. My anxiety issues wrapped up in insomnia and over-extending my time and energies made me wish for a chance to be “Mellow” (sans fluffy desserts). It also reminded me of people in my life who I’ve loved who never seemed to be able to slow down, relax, or open themselves up past themselves.
“Have You Never Been Mellow” by Juliana Hatfield
from the Album, Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John (2018)
“Have you never been mellow?
Have you never tried to find a comfort from inside you?
Have you never been happy just to hear your song?
Have you never let someone else be strong?”
“Have You Never Been Mellow” was written by John Farrar and originally recorded by Olivia Newton-John. It was the Title Track for Olivia’s Album of the same name.
In March of 1975, the Single became Olivia’s second consecutive #1 hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and also topped the Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Singles Chart. “Have You Never Been Mellow” was a crossover Hit, as well, peaking at #3 on the Hot Country Singles Chart in the U.S.
In the U.S. it was Olivia’s fourth straight Single to be certified Gold (sales of 1 million copies). “Have You Never Been Mellow” also reached #1 in Canada and peaked at #10 in Australia and #26 in Japan, but was not much of a success elsewhere in the world, failing to chart altogether in the U.K. (from Wikipedia)
John Farrar has said that he was inspired to write the Song while on tour with Olivia in the U.S. stating:
“All the guys in the band were using ‘mellow’ as their favorite word.”
I’m guessing they weren’t talking about fluffy desserts.