"Never Let Me Go" (also known as "Like Your Friends Did") is an unreleased song by Lana Del Rey. It was recorded in 2010 and co-written and produced by Steven Mertens. The song leaked on May 18, 2012 and was registered on ASCAP ACE Repertory in March of 2017.
Background and composition
A soft rock ballad, "Never Let Me Go" runs at a length of 4 minutes and 8 seconds, set in the key of A major with a tempo of approximately 70 beats per minute. It features a four-on-the-floor drum beat which is referenced lyrically, a shimmering electric lead guitar accompanied throughout by a strumming acoustic guitar, strings, soft vocal harmonies and piano. The track has influences of surf rock and pop and is musically similar to songs such as "On Our Way" and "Hawaiian Tropic". The song tells a story of Del Rey asking a drug dealer and musician she is romantically involved with to stay with her as she follows her aspirations of a music career.
A conceptual demo of Del Rey composing the song in-studio leaked on July 7, 2016, and revealed the first verse of the song was conceived while Del Rey improvised over the song "Strings of Nashville" by Pavement, a Californian indie rock band.
- Reference to Sid and Nancy, a biopic portraying the relationship of Sid and his girlfriend Nancy.
- Del Rey references a quote from Scarface; references to this film can also be found in "Live or Die", "Playground" and the titular song.
- The phrase "live fast, die young" also appears in "Driving in Cars with Boys" and in the "Ride" music video monologue.
- The phrase "the world is ours" was a potential title of Del Rey's first major-label studio album, now known as Born to Die.
- References to a "game being played" are present in "Noir", "Serial Killer", "Betty Boop Boop" and "Guns and Roses".
- To be "born bad" is also referenced in "So Legit" and "Kinda Outta Luck".
- Del Rey uses the phrase "kid" in "Ultraviolence", "Old Money" and "Love".
- Studio version — 4:08
- Concept demo — 1:12