My Sunday Song – “Once” by Van Halen

For My Sunday Song #142, we are going with a song by underrated Van Halen singer Gary Cherone.  The song is “Once” off the album Van Halen III.  The song wasn’t a single and the album wasn’t a hit, but it had some great songs and Gary Cherone (singer for Extreme) never got the recognition he deserved for this album.  So we will give it here.

“Once” is an epic song at over 7 minutes long.  It opens with the piano and is a much slower tempo song.  There is a mystical and yet eerie feel to the song.  And even a sadness as it seems to be about love loss.  It is filled with so many layers and textures that you hear something different each time you give it a listen.  It has an almost early Genesis feel to it.

The song focuses on the groove with the piano and Gary’s voice which is actually also understated in the song.  but Eddie’s guitar work is also sensational.  He dances in and out of the song and during the long instrumental break of the song, he is trying all sorts of things.  It seems to be a very experimental song for them and I thought it worked as it was so different than everything else Van Halen had done.

Interesting on the song is that bass is played by Eddie and not Michael Anthony.  In fact, on Van Halen III, Michael only played bass on 3 tracks.  His time was numbered with the band by this point for sure.


If you ignored this album, shame on you.  At least give this song a try, even if it is only once!!  Let me know what you think.  Have a great and a Happy Sunday!!!


Once embraced, can’t ever be let go
Once revealed, can’t ever be not shown
Once believed, can’t ever lose faith
Once shared, can’t ever be separate
Once sown, once can’t ever be not reapedLike the dawn of a brand new day
With the power of deity
Well, I can feel it inside of me
Feel it. Can you feel it?Once born, can’t ever be not conceived
Once present, can’t ever be past
Once first, once can’t ever be not everlastReturning home of the prodigal
Holding the intangible
To believe in a miracle
Believe it. Can you believe it?

Have you ever been touched?
Once whoa, really touched?
Could it ever be too much?
Whoa-oh-oh, can you tell me?

Once seen, can’t ever lose sight
Once dawn, can’t ever be not light
Once, once felt, once felt
Can’t ever be untouched

The assurance only hope can bring
With the conviction of the unseen
See it’s greater than everything
See it, oh can you see it?

Have you ever been touched?
Once whoa-oh really, really touched?
Could it ever be too much?
Whoa-ooh-oh oh, can you tell me?
Have you ever really touched love once?

[Guitar Solo]


Oh! Have you ever been touched?
Once whoa-oh-oh really touched?
Could it ever be too much?
I don’t know. Did you tell me?
Have you ever really touched
Once. Whoa-oh really, really touched?

Could it ever be too much?
Oh-ooh somebody tell me
Have you ever really touched
Love once?

Ah, have you ever really touched
Love once?
Have you ever really touched love
Touched love?
Oh, love once. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!

Credited to Eddie Van Halen, Michael Anthony, Gary Cherone and Alex Van Halen

12 thoughts on “My Sunday Song – “Once” by Van Halen

  1. I’m quite interested in these albums where the lineup was different/wasn’t fully embraced at the time – I remember you having a Motley Crue album with a different singer listed among your favourites.
    I recall with this one, the story was more about the revolving door lead singer role, so good to hear that there were some solid tunes in there too

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Good pick John! This album got pasted as we all know by the public. A different VH for sure but nothing wrong with most of the songs from this album except the last track! HAHA…
    I had tickets to see this tour with Creed opening and it got scrapped..two shows in two surrounding areas and the one we had tix to got the axe… we didn’t bother..
    I going to dig ths one out and toss it in for old times sake…
    Your right Anthony’s time was up. EVH was taking control which was a shame…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, the DLR years are the VH peak years, I reckon. Roth just had that spark that made what they were doing special… after that they could have been any mainstream rock band.


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