‘My Life’ At 15: ‘Don’t Go’

Words such as "pleading," "longing," "desperation" have been used thus far to describe Mary J. Blige's seminal opus, My Life. You may be tired of reading such descriptions. I'm here to tell you that reading the rest of this post isn't going to be any easier for you if you fall into this category. "Don't Go" pathetic in its pleading that it rivals Lenny Williams' "Cause I Love You" with its woeful tale of how planets will smash into each other and Armageddon will begin if, boy, you just can't get it into your thick head that you can't leave me. Previous to this song in the tracklisting, Mary has sung of wanting to save herself even though she really wants to stay with the man she rightfully knows is hers. This is the one song that so unapologetically lets the floodgates open so that every bar is awash with tears. The sucker punch is that the song is set to the beat of Guy's "Goodbye Love." Aaron Hall may have been attempting to be classy and sing his way out of your heart, but Mary simply won't stand for it. Out of all the songs on this album, this is the song I always come back to. Yes, the track is hot melodically, but it's a great reminder of where I've been and that I never have to feel that way again. Hopefully, it's the same experience for you.

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9 Responses

  1. Not only was the Guy sample used perfectly in this song, but I've often wondered was Donnie McClurkin or someone in his camp affiliated with this song. Maybe they just borrowed a refrain from the song, because in "Don't Go" there's a refrain that goes:
    You've got my heart boy
    You are the only one
    If I can't be with you
    I don't know what to do

    And in Donnie McClurkin's song, "Speak to My Heart" the chorus goes:
    Speak to my heart, Lord
    Give me your Holy Word
    If I can hear from you
    Then I'll know what to do
    I won't go alone
    Never go on my own
    Just let your Spirit guide
    And let your Word abide

    Same melody as Mary's refrain, just switched up with Christian lyrics. Now I know that Faith (one of the co-writers of "Don't Go") was tight with NY gospel artists, and Donnie McClurkin is a from Amiityville, NY, so I'm wondering if there was some intermingling with songwriting. Could be just the regular case of Gospel borrowing from R&B the same as R&B borrows from Gospel. Anyway, seeking the answer to that question for years.

  2. I have been living for your posts on the My Life album. It seems as if I I have been waiting for you to get to this song. I love this album but this song...its the part when she says "I know you're a busy man..but you dont understand how it feels to be alone..." that would just make me break down! Love this series!! Keep up the phenomenal work.

  3. "Don't leave me, leave me, leave me...Don't goooo, don't goooo...Don't leave me, leave me, leave me...I love you soooooo!"

  4. "When times get hard and I want to feel you sweet and tender touch, that's all I'm asking baby 'cause I never ask for much..." Now that's how to beg. She couldn't have put it any plainer than that. Take notes, Keith Sweat.

  5. Yes, this is my favorite song off of the My Life, hands down. It doesn't get any more heart wrenching than this. The writers also borrowed "Don't go, don't go/I love you so" from Debarge's "Stay With Me." I noticed the similarities b/w "Don't Go" and "Speak to My Heart" as well, although I could not determine who borrowed from whom. Either way, it works in both songs. I put "Don't Go" on repeat. It makes the album.

  6. Soulrific, thats my favorite line as well. This song is just awesome. I almost forgot how much so...I have really been appreciating the revisit of My Life. I listen to my music so much on shuffle that its been awhile that I've heard all the songs together...

  7. This song has been my absolute favorite Mary joint since I first heard it 15 years ago when I was just 13! Over the years I have done my own share of begging and pleading but Mary killed it! Using Mary, Faith, Jo Jo (who she's begging!) and I think Big Bub or Chucky Thompson for vocals was genius and so beautiful (especially the refrain). Needless to say Don 't Go stays in rotation and I'm not begging at all these days! I'm loving this series as it perfectly captures the depth of this classic album- thank you!

  8. i was 20 when My Life dropped and I had lost love by that point in my life so...this cut spoke to my heart as did this whole album. This record had it all ....classic

  9. This song OMG this song breaks my heart each time i hear it im only 29 this joint came out and i didnt wanna go "If i cant be with you"(faith evans supplied the background give her props)"You've got my heart"(Mary J went crazy) 'oooh your the only One" ...Must i go on lol for real no one can break a song like that No ONE is why she is still here i will buy every joint untill i pass