“Always and Forever” by Heatwave was released in 1976, five years before I was even born. Why do I, and SO many other people know it from beginning to end? Because our Moms and Dads played it like it was some sort of hymn, often and highly regarded. When I think of this song, I envision a few things. The first is Summer time on Evergreen St., where I grew up; ALL the windows open trying to stay cool because back then AC was a luxury. I hear it playing at max volume from the top floor making all the window frames rattle because my Dad only knew how to play music one way… loud AF. I miss him.
This song also holds a special place in my heart for another reason. It was the theme for my “Classical High School Class of 1999 Prom”. It came down to this song and another that I can’t remember, but “Always and Forever” won. I was shocked to say the least, but so proud that my graduating class made the right decision. I still have my prom favor with the song title and my graduation year etched on it. Oh the memories… seeing teenagers dance to and appreciate lyrics like, “Every day, love me in your own special way, melt all my heart away… with a smile.” It was beautiful, but I have to also mention, probably just a couple songs before that we were dancing to… “Step back you dancing kind of close, feel a little poke coming through… on you.” Oh, the 90s.
“Always and forever… each moment with you, is just like a dream to me that somehow came true…” Hell of an opening line. I had an man tell me I was his dream come true years ago, it didn’t work out… but songs like this make me feel like it will one day. I mean, I’m outchea tryna melt somebody’s heart away with a smile, can’t always be out here with just “W.A.P”. Gotta get sentimental sometimes. This song provides you with the perfect means to do just that, get sentimental.
I straddled the fence a bit about whether or not this song should make the list. Clearly you see which way I ended up leaning. “Always and Forever” is not just a beautiful song, but for me, it also carries a lot of sentimental value. It’s a song I want to play at my wedding, a song I want my kids to know from beginning to end like I do. Granted, maybe only 90% of Black people know this song from top to bottom instead of 100%, but I’m willing to vouch for it anyway. So if you’re in that 5% I just mentioned… get to it.
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