A Bit Like You And Me Radio

December 31, 2011

The G-Clefs - I Understand (Just How You Feel) (1961)

This group, formed in Massachusetts in 1952, consisted of four brothers and one childhood friend. Growing up, the Scott brothers created their own gang, “The Band of Angels,” to guard what police referred to as “Scotty’s Alley”. The group had two moderate successes in the charts: 1956’s “Ka-Ding-Dong” and the song heard below.

This song is an amalgam of the group’s lyrics with the tune of the New Year’s traditional song, “Auld Lang Syne,” which is also sung in the background. “Auld Lang Syne” itself is the combination of a Scottish poem written in 1788 by Robert Burns and a traditional folk song. The phrase “auld lang syne” translates to “long long ago” and “for auld lang syne” therefore indicates “for old time’s sake”.

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The G-Clefs - I Understand (Just How You Feel) (1961)

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Lyrics:

I understand just how you feel
(Should old acquaintance be forgot)
Your love for me; why not be mine?
(And never brought to mind?)
It's over now but it was grand
(Should old acquaintance be forgot)
I understand; I understand
(And days of auld lang syne?)

If you ever change your mind
(For auld lang syne, my dear)
Come back to me and you will find
(For auld lang syne)
Me waiting there at your command
(We’ll spill a cup of wine, my dear)
I understand; I understand
(For auld lang syne)

I miss you so
Please believe me when I tell you
I just can't stand to see you go
You know

If you ever change your mind
(Should old acquaintance be forgot)
Come back to me and you will find
(And never brought to mind?)
Me waiting there at your command
(Should old acquaintance be forgot)
I understand; I understand
(And days of auld lang syne)

I understand just how you feel. Let bygones be bygones. But always remember: I love you, I love you, I love you.

(We'll sip a cup of wine, my dear, for Auld Lang Syne)
I understand

December 30, 2011

The Staccatos - Where Did Holly Go? (1968)

Wanting to attract a young market, the Canadian Coca-Cola company made the choice to release a record featuring two moderately successful bands. One of the bands was The Guess Who?, which would have great success in the coming years. The other group was this one, which went on to have the hit “Signs” (1971) after changing their name to the Five Man Electrical Band in 1969.

This song comes from the Coca-Cola record mentioned above, titled A Wild Pair. In comparison to the group’s later work, this song (and the other songs by them) is much more relaxed.

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The Staccatos - Where Did Holly Go? (1968)

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Lyrics:

Spirit alive
Secrets of life
Understood she was straight
She was solid good
She took her light away
They called her ‘Holly’

(Where did Holly go?)
Did she (have to fly away?)
If I knew where she was goin’
I’d be goin’ that way (too)

Holly had a way of smiling
That could turn the sunshine on you
(Holly had a way of smiling)
And she could make the morning glories
Come out any time she wanted
Nothing stayed outside her beauty

(Where did Holly go?)
Did she (have to fly away?)
If I knew where she was goin’
I’d be goin’ that way (too)

Holly lived in ways forgiving
Ways in which I could not follow
(Holly lived in ways forgiving)
Spoke about the land she knew of
But a place she could not take me
I could never walk the circle

(Where did Holly go?)
Did she (have to fly away?)
If I knew where she was goin’
I’d be goin’ that way (too)

Tonight the wind might carry me
To the place where I will find her
If I spend my lifetime chasing myself
(Chasing myself…)
Holly spoke of San Francisco
Said it was a nice place to die

December 29, 2011

Mouse - A Public Execution (1966)

Formed in Tyler, Texas in 1965 by Ronnie “Mouse” Weiss, the group altered their name after the release of their first single, heard below, to their more widely-remembered name, Mouse & The Traps. Although they never released a full-length album, they had moderate success in the southern US with a handful of singles.

Having enormous respect for Bob Dylan, the group’s first released single was molded after Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone”. The melody and singing style was so close to Dylan’s hit, listeners couldn’t figure out if it was a parody of or homage to him. What is sure is that the song was their largest hit, reaching #121 on the Billboard charts.

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Mouse - A Public Execution (1966)

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Lyrics:

Some words are best not spoken
Some things are best not said
But since this is your public execution
I think I'm gonna go right on ahead

The mailman brought your letter, babe
Where you told me how you feel
And about the things he said and told you
That is, I'm such a heel
But I could never be honest; that to you I'd always lied
When he saw me take some other hide for a two-wheel pony ride

You at least might have asked me
If the scene was really what it seemed
But like a queen ruled by her jester
Your conclusions was “a scheme”

You said I disappointed you wherever all the things I've done
And that you had convinced yourself I was the only one
To really make you happy- satisfy your soul
Now you say I've failed you since we've spent up all my gold

Have you ever seen the truth, therefore
Have you ever made a try
Such a thing for you, so impossible
With them beams all in your eyes

Whoa, I read where you said you want one good chance to really put me down
And how you'd love to smear my name all over my home town
Said some Mouse made a fool of you and said, “Don't waste a dime”
Your phone is out of order now, babe, for me you've got no time

If this is really what you're thinkin'
That it's really, really all my fault
You’d better find yourself a welder, baby
'Cause you got locked up in your vault

Yeah, you got your point put over now
It seems you’ve found a match
Burn the bridge behind you, babe
Slam your door; throw the latch
I know just how you're hurtin'
From your feelings as they burn
I'd like to say I'm sorry
But it's no longer my concern

So goodbye
Go on and have a real good cry
I've found me a brand-new high
She just loves a two-wheel pony ride
You better get yourself a welder, babe
Go on, get on out of here

December 28, 2011

The Velvet Underground - After Hours (1969)

Formed in 1964 and featuring Lou Reed and John Cale, this group is often cited as one of the most influential group’s of the 1960s. They were managed by Andy Warhol and frequently played at Warhol’s studio, the Factory. Although they never achieved much commercial success while together, it was said that “the first Velvet Underground album only sold 10,000 copies, but everyone who bought it formed a band.”

This song comes from the group’s self-titled 1969 album. It was written by Lou Reed and is one of the rare times a song was sung by the group’s drummer, Maureen “Moe” Tucker. Reed said that he could not sing it himself because the lyrics were far too “innocent and pure.”

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The Velvet Underground - After Hours (1969)

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Lyrics:

One, two, three
If you close the door
The night could last forever
Leave the sunshine out
And say hello to ‘never’

All the people are dancing
And they're havin’ such fun
I wish it could happen to me

But if you close the door
I'd never have to see the day again

If you close the door
The night could last forever
Leave the wineglass out
And drink a toast to ‘never’

Oh, someday I know
Someone will look into my eyes
And say “Hello,”
“You're my very special one”

But if you close the door
I'd never have to see the day again

Dark party bars; shiny Cadillac cars
And the people on subways and trains
Looking gray in the rain as they stand disarrayed
Oh, but people look well in the dark

And if you close the door
The night could last forever
Leave the sunshine out
And say hello to ‘never’

All the people are dancing
And they're having such fun
I wish it could happen to me

‘Cause if you close the door
I'd never have to see the day again
I'd never have to see the day again; once more
I'd never have to see the day again

December 27, 2011

Davy Jones & The Lower Third - You've Got a Habit of Leaving (1965)

After leaving The Manish Boys in 1965, Davy Jones started to record with this group, The Lower Third. They released two singles together before splitting up, at which point Jones decided to change his stage name. In an effort to avoid confusion with the Davy Jones of The Monkees, he renamed himself after a frontiersman he admired, Jim Bowie, and took his new stage name: David Bowie.

Previously recording R&B sounding songs, this release marked the first time Bowie ventured into a more mod-sounding style. In 2000, Bowie recorded a new version of the song, twice as long, which eventually appeared on the single “Slow Burn”.

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Davy Jones & The Lower Third - You've Got a Habit of Leaving (1965)

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Lyrics:

You've got a habit of leaving me
And you've got a habit of deserting me

Sometimes I cry
Sometimes I'm so sad
Sometimes I'm so glad- so glad

You could grow up if you wanted to
Wanted to
Wanted to
Wanted to, oh
If you wanted to, yeah
Oh yeah

You've got a habit of leaving me
And you've got a habit of deserting me

Sometimes I cry
Sometimes I'm so sad
Sometimes I'm so glad- so glad

You could grow up if you wanted to
Wanted to
Wanted to
Wanted to, oh yeah, yeah
Oh, if you wanted to
If you wanted to, yeah, yeah
Wanted to

December 26, 2011

Optikler - Köylü Kizi (1967)

This is the only band I’ve seen from the ‘60s (or any other decade) to be from Turkey. Composed of mostly nineteen year old students and one sixteen year old lead guitarist, the group’s name translates to “The Optics” in English.

They were headlined “future stars are born” by the Milliyet newspaper after appearing, and winning, a contest which was broadcast to more than twenty-thousand people. Played in their final set list at that contest, this song’s title translates to “Peasant’s Daughter” in English. The song starts off sounding baroque and then takes an awesome surf-sounding twist.

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Optikler - Köylü Kizi (1967)

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Lyrics:

Hey-hey!

Hey-hey!

Hey-hey!

December 25, 2011

Jimi Hendrix and his Band of Gypsys - Little Drummer Boy / Silent Night / Taps / Auld Lang Syne (1969)

In early 1969, after Jimi Hendrix decided to dissolve The Jimi Hendrix Experience, he formed Gypsy Sun and Rainbows, a band primarily created to fulfill contractual obligations that required Hendrix to play at Woodstock. The band’s nickname was “Band of Gypsys” and it eventually became the most well known name of the short-lived group. The band broke up in January 1970, eight months before Hendrix’s death.

On December 25th, 1969, Jimi Hendrix and his band, bassist Billy Cox and drummer Buddy Miles, recorded this track. It was originally released in 1974, four years after Hendrix’s death. Given the day it was recorded and that it ends with Auld Lang Syne, the song traditionally associated with New Year's Day, it seemed fitting for today.

Merry Christmas…and a Happy New Year!

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Jimi Hendrix and his Band of Gypsys - Little Drummer Boy / Silent Night / Taps / Auld Lang Syne (1969)

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Lyrics:

(instrumental)

December 24, 2011

John & Yoko/Plastic Ono Band - Happy Xmas (War Is Over) (1971)

When John Lennon and wife Yoko Ono had finished their second experimental album, Unfinished Music No. 2: Life with the Lions, they decided from that point on anyone who performed with them would be referred to as the Plastic Ono Band. Famous past members of the group have included Eric Clapton, Klaus Voorman, Alan White of Yes, Delaney and Bonnie, Keith Moon of The Who, Billy Preston, and as John and Yoko always reminded, “YOU are the Plastic Ono Band.”

This song was released too late in the year of 1971 to make any dent in the American charts, but when it was released in the UK the following year, it climbed to the fourth spot. The lyrics were based on an advertising campaign paid for by John and Yoko, where the couple paid for billboards around the world to remind everyone that “WAR IS OVER! (If You Want It) Happy Christmas from John and Yoko”. The backup choir heard in the song is the Harlem Community Choir.

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John & Yoko/Plastic Ono Band - Happy Xmas (War Is Over) (1971)

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Lyrics:

John and Yoko: War is over if you want it.
John: Peace.
Yoko: Peace.
Yoko: Happy Christmas, Kyoko.
John: Happy Christmas, Julian.


So this is Christmas
And what have you done?
Another year over
And a new one just begun

And so this is Christmas
I hope you had fun
The near and the dear ones
The old and the young

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Christmas
(War is over)
For weak and for strong
(If you want it)
The rich and the poor ones
(War is over)
The road is so long
(Now)

And so happy Christmas
(War is over)
For black and for white
(If you want it)
For yellow and red ones
(War is over)
Let's stop all the fight
(Now)

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Christmas
(War is over)
And what have we done?
(If you want it)
Another year over
(War is over)
And a new one just begun
(Now)

And so happy Christmas
(War is over)
We hope you had fun
(If you want it)
The near and the dear ones
(War is over)
The old and the young
(Now)

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear

War is over if you want it
War is over now

Happy Christmas! Happy Christmas! Happy Christmas!

December 23, 2011

The Beatles - From Then To You (1963-1969)

Unable to respond to the countless fan mail that they received each year, The Beatles decided that they would send out a special album every Christmas to the members of their fan club. Released annually from 1963 to 1969, the albums contained impromptu sketches, songs, humor, and messages of thanks from John, Paul, George, and Ringo. In 1970, a compilation LP was sent out combining all previous recordings.

Merry Christmas!

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The Beatles - The Beatles' Christmas Record (1963)

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The Beatles - Another Beatles Christmas Record (1964)

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The Beatles - Christmas Message Outtake (1964)

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The Beatles - The Beatles' Third Christmas Record (1965)

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The Beatles - The Beatles' Fourth Christmas Record (1966)

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The Beatles - Christmas Time is Here Again! (1967)

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The Beatles - Christmas Time (Is Here Again) (1967)

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The Beatles - The Beatles' 1968 Christmas Record (1968)

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The Beatles - The Beatles' Seventh Christmas Record (1969)

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December 22, 2011

The Beach Boys - Merry Christmas, Baby (1964)

This song comes from the group’s 1964 album, The Beach Boys' Christmas Album. The group used five original Christmas-themed songs for the album as well as recording seven traditional Christmas tracks. The biggest song from the album, “Little Saint Nick,” had originally been released in 1963, featured sleigh bells, and continues to get regular airplay each year.

This song was written by Brian Wilson and featured lead vocals by Mike Love.

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The Beach Boys - Merry Christmas, Baby (1964)

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Lyrics:

My baby she told me
She don't wanna hold me
And kiss my lips anymore
She's gonna leave me
And she don't believe me
That I'll be true now

Well maybe she don't love me
And not thinkin' of me
But why'd she do it this time of year?
She knows that I'll miss her
And I'll wanna kiss her
If just for Christmas

Merry Christmas, baby
Merry Christmas, baby
Merry Christmas, baby

Tell me, what did I do
To really convince you
That I'm not the guy anymore?
Take back my ring now
I'll do anything now
But please forgive me

I made my mistake, but
I'm willing to wake up
And never mess around anymore
Oh, why did we break up?
There's still time to make up
If just for Christmas

Merry Christmas, baby
Merry Christmas, baby
Merry Christmas, baby

I made my mistake but
I'm willing to wake up
And never mess around anymore
Oh, why did we break up?
There's still time to make up
If just for Christmas

Merry Christmas, baby
Merry Christmas, baby
Merry Christmas, baby
Merry Christmas, baby…

December 21, 2011

Bill Haley & His Comets - Jingle Bell Rock (1968)

Led by former country and western singer, Bill Haley, this band is credited as being the earliest group of white musicians to bring rock and roll music to a white audience. Although they had success in the charts with earlier rock and roll releases, it was their hit “Rock Around the Clock” that was noted for thrusting rock and roll into the mainstream culture of the 1950s.

This song, written by Joseph Beal and James Boothe, was first and most popularly recorded by Bobby Helms in 1957. The version heard below was intended to be released in 1968, but became lost for nearly thirty years before finally being released in the mid-1990s. Although I’m partial to the original, it’s interesting to hear an alternate version that was thought to have been lost.

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Bill Haley & His Comets - Jingle Bell Rock (1968)

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Lyrics:

Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock
Jingle bells swing and jingle bells ring
Snowin’ and blowin’ up bushels of fun
Now the jingle hop has begun

Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock
Jingle bells chime in jingle bell time
Dancin’ and prancin’ in Jingle Bell Square
In the frosty air

What a bright time; it's the right time
To rock the night away
Jingle bell time is a swell time
To go glidin’ in a one-horse sleigh
Giddy-up, jingle horse, pick up your feet
Jingle around the clock
Mix and a-mingle in the jingling feet
That's the jingle bell rock

Woah jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock
Jingle bells chime in jingle bell time
Dancin’ and prancin’ in Jingle Bell Square
In the frosty air

What a bright time; well it's the right time
To rock the night away
Jingle bell time is a swell time
To go glidin’ in a one-horse sleigh
Giddy-up, jingle horse, pick up your feet
Jingle around the clock
Mix and mingle in the jingling feet
That's the jingle bell-
That's the jingle bell-
That's the jingle bell rock

December 20, 2011

Otis Redding - Merry Christmas, Baby (1967)

At the age of fifteen, he dropped out of school and worked with Little Richard’s backing band, The Upsetters, in an effort to earn money for his family. By the age of seventeen he had joined The Pinetoppers, and toured the southern United States. By twenty-three, he had his big break and was signed as a solo artist, gaining popularity with both black and white audiences. Unfortunately, in 1967, at the age of twenty-six, he died in a plane crash, crippling the failing record company he was signed to.

This song was originally released in 1947 by Johnny Moore’s Three Trailblazers. It has also been covered by B.B. King, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, and Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band.

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Otis Redding - Merry Christmas, Baby (1967)

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Lyrics:

Merry Christmas, baby
Sure did treat me nice
Merry Christmas, baby
Sure did treat me nice
You bought me a diamond ring for Christmas
I feel like I'm in paradise

I feel mighty fine, y'all
I've got music on my radio
Feel mighty fine, girl
I've got music on my radio, oh, oh, oh
I feel like I'm gonna kiss you
Standing beneath that mistletoe

Santa came down the chimney
Half past three, y'all
Left all them a-good ol’ presents
For my baby and for me- hahaha

Merry Christmas, baby
Sure did treat me nice
Ya bought me all those good ol’ presents
I’ll love you baby- rest of my life

Merry Christmas, girl
Merry, merry, merry Christmas, baby
Sure did treat me nice
Merry Christmas, baby
I said, “You sure did treat me nice”
You bought me all those lovely things, yeah
I feel like I'm in paradise

I wish you a Merry Christmas, baby
Happy New Year
Merry Christmas, honey
Everything here is beautiful

I love you, baby
For everything that you give me
I love you, honey
More, Lord, have mercy
A merry Christmas…

December 19, 2011

The Kingston Trio - We Wish You A Merry Christmas (1960)

Responsible for influencing countless artists of the 1960s and beyond, this trio was largely responsible for the folk revival movement in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Although they were frequently shunned by folk music purists for being politically neutral, they still, even to this day, ranked on lists such as “most weeks with a number one album,” “most consecutive number one albums,” “most top ten albums,” and other acclamations.

This song comes from sixteenth-century England. This particular version was released by the trio in 1960 on their album The Last Month of the Year. It failed to reach the commercial success anticipated and was quickly removed from the shelves. In 1992, it was re-released on CD, but was again taken off of the shelves before too long. The album was said to be one of the most sophisticated albums for the group, but also one of the least well known.

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The Kingston Trio - We Wish You A Merry Christmas (1960)

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Lyrics:

Once in a year it is not thought amiss
To visit our neighbors and sing out like this:

We wish you a Merry Christmas
We wish you a Merry Christmas
We wish you a Merry Christmas
And a Happy New Year

We want some figgy pudding
We want some figgy pudding
We want some figgy pudding
And a cup of good cheer

We won't go until we get some
We won't go until we get some
We won't go until we get some
So bring it out here

Of friendship and love, good neighbors abound
And peace and good will the whole year around
Why can't we have Christmas the whole year around?
Why can't we have Christmas the whole year around?

We wish you a Merry Christmas
We wish you a Merry Christmas
We wish you a Merry Christmas
And a Happy New Year

We wish you a Merry Christmas
We wish you a Merry Christmas
We wish you a Merry Christmas
And a Happy New Year

December 18, 2011

Donovan - Hurdy Gurdy Man (1968)

A life full of interesting stories and occurrences, this Scottish man taught John Lennon and Paul McCartney of The Beatles a finger picking guitar technique that resulted in the songs “Dear Prudence,” “Blackbird,” “Julia,” and “Mother Nature’s Son.” Sometimes thought of as a Bob Dylan copycat, he was often inspired by his future wife (and ex-girlfriend to Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones), Linda Lawrence.

This song was written in honor of his friend, Mac MacLeod, who was in a Danish hard rock band called Hurdy Gurdy. He thought the song was a lot more psychedelic and harder than the material he was used to putting out and wanted to give it to Jimi Hendrix when his manager, Mickie Most, insisted he release it himself. John Paul Jones, soon of Led Zeppelin fame, played bass on the song.

Donovan - Hurdy Gurdy Man

Donovan - Hurdy Gurdy Man (1968)

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Lyrics:

Thrown like a star in my vast sleep
I'm opening my eyes to take a peep
To find that I was by the sea
Gazing with tranquility

'Twas then when the hurdy gurdy man
Came singing songs of love
Then when the hurdy gurdy man
Came singing songs of love

“Hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy gurdy,” he sang
“Hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy gurdy,” he sang
“Hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy gurdy,” he sang

Histories of ages past
Unenlightened shadows cast
Down through all eternity
The crying of humanity

'Tis then when the hurdy gurdy man
Comes singing songs of love
Then when the hurdy gurdy man
Comes singing songs of love

“Hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy gurdy,” he sang
“Hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy hurdy gurd”
“Hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy gurdy,” he sang

“Hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy gurdy” he sang
Here comes the roly-poly man
He's singing songs of love
“Roly poly, roly poly, roly poly poly,” he sang
“Hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy gurdy,” he sang
“Hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy gurdy,” he sang
“Roly poly, roly poly”…

December 17, 2011

The Merry-Go-Round - Live (1967)

Featuring a not-yet famous Emitt Rhodes and Joel Larson (of The Grass Roots), this pop rock group released one self-titled album in 1967. They performed both days at the Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival, but unfortunately garnered no large success from it since it had not been recorded on camera. Fairport Convention covered their song “Time Will Show the Wiser” for their first album and it remained a popular song for them at their concerts.

This song, the best selling single from the album was a top-ten hit in Los Angeles and San Diego. It failed to reach the top fifty on the national charts, but was later covered by the ‘80s group The Bangles in 1984.

The Merry-Go-Round - Live

The Merry-Go-Round - Live (1967)

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Lyrics:

Oh, you're the kind of girl who's got herself wound up in a ball
Oh, you think you live, but how can ya?
Locked up in four walls

If you gotta go
You better live your life before you pass away
Don't waste a day
All your life's been spent locked in your room
You never had a chance to roam away from home

So you're gonna go
Go today
Don't waste any time
For in life, a day is worth a million
Soon you will find

If you gotta go
You better live your life before you pass away
Don't waste a day
All your life's been spent locked in your room
You never had a chance to roam away from home

Live, live, live, live
Live, live, live, live

Now do what you want
Go where you want
It's all up to you
For in life the rule is just to do
What you want to do

If you gotta go
You better live your life before you pass away
Don't waste a day
All your life's been spent locked in your room
You never had a chance to roam away from home

If you don't know now what life's about
Go on now and live
And if you don't know how, it's not so hard
Just let go and live

If you gotta go
You better live your life before you pass away
Don't waste a day
All your life's been spent locked in your room
You never had a chance to roam away from home

Live, live, live, live

December 16, 2011

Glenn Miller and His Orchestra - In the Mood (1939)

He was the most popular bandleader there was in the late 1930s and early ’40s, the era of swing. He led his orchestra to achieving great amounts of success with songs like “Moonlight Serenade,” “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” “At Last,” “(I’ve Got a Gal In) Kalamazoo,” “Tuxedo Junction,” and his largest hit heard below. On December 15th, 1944, he was on his way to entertain American troops in France, during World War II, when his plane disappeared in the bad weather over the English Channel. He was pronounced missing in action and presumably died that day.

This song is the epitome of big band and swing music. Despite being released in 1939, it wasn’t until 1940 that it held the number one spot for thirteen weeks. You may also recognize the opening of this song from being sampled by The Beatles in 1967. At three minutes and three seconds in, on their song "All You Need Is Love," you can hear the start of this song.

Glenn Miller and His Orchestra - In the Mood

Glenn Miller and His Orchestra - In the Mood (1939)

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Lyrics:

(instrumental)

December 15, 2011

Eric Clapton - Let It Grow (1974)

As of yet, this artist is the only man to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame three times: as a member of The Yardbirds, as a member of Cream, and as a solo artist. He also found success in Derek and the Dominos, Delaney and Bonnie, Blind Faith, and The Bluesbreakers. He is unquestionably one of the most influential and greatest guitarists of all time. He is one of the many artists to be featured on this site that cannot be accurately summed up in such a small space.

This song comes from his second solo album, 461 Ocean Boulevard, released in 1974. The highlight of the album was his cover of Bob Marley’s “I Shot the Sheriff,” which went to number one, but this song has also been noted as one of the album’s best tracks. It’s suggested that you turn your speakers up a bit as he sings at a low whisper for the entire track.

Eric Clapton - Let It Grow

Eric Clapton - Let It Grow (1974)

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Lyrics:

Standing at the crossroads trying to read the signs
To tell me which way I should go to find the answer
And all the time I know
Plant your love and let it grow

Let it grow, let it grow
Let it blossom, let it flow
In the sun, the rain, the snow
Love is lovely, let it grow

Looking for a reason to check out of my mind
Trying hard to get a friend that I can count on
But there's nothing left to show
Plant your love and let it grow

Let it grow, let it grow
Let it blossom, let it flow
In the sun, the rain, the snow
Love is lovely, so let it grow (let it grow)
Let it grow

Time is getting shorter and there's much for you to do
Only ask and you will get what you are needing
The rest is up to you
Plant your love and let it grow

Let it grow, let it grow
Let it blossom, let it flow
In the sun, the rain, the snow
Love is lovely, so let it-

Let it grow, let it grow
Let it blossom, let it flow
In the sun, the rain, the snow
Love is lovely, so let it grow

December 14, 2011

The Guess Who? - And She's Mine (1966)

Using various band names, most notably Chad Allan & The Expressions, this Canadian group didn’t find as much success as they would have liked in their first five years of existence. In an effort to create mystery around their next release, the group’s record company took their 1965 single, a cover of the song “Shakin’ All Over,” and released it under the mysterious “Guess Who?”. The single resulted in a hit, but when the band was revealed responsible, radio DJs still continued introducing them as “The Guess Who?” and the band had to adopt the name (eventually dropping the "?").

Though they’re primarily remembered for their later works, such as “American Woman,” “These Eyes,” “No Time,” and others, this song comes from the group’s early and lesser known stage of success. In 1966 they released an album titled It’s Time. This song, released as one of three singles from the album, reached number thirty-two in the Canadian charts.

The Guess Who? - And She's Mine

The Guess Who? - And She's Mine (1966)

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Lyrics:

Don't try to get her
Because she's mine
If you don't believe me
Just ask around and you'll find
That her clothes are all in line
Her family's well-refined
She's faithful all the time
And she's mine
She's mine
Yeah, she's all mine

Don't try to call her
Because she's mine
If you don't believe me
Just ask around and you'll find
That the stars above her shine
Her words are all in rhyme
She's happy all the time
And she's mine
She's mine
Yeah, she's all mine

There comes a time in everyone's life
When you choose somebody to love
She chose me and I chose her
And that's all we're thinking of
All we're thinking of

She's not for you
Because she's mine
If you don't believe me
Just ask around and you'll find
That her clothes are all in line
Her family's well-refined
She's faithful all the time
And she's mine
She's mine
Yeah, she's all mine

There comes a time in everyone's life
When you choose somebody to love
She chose me and I chose her
And that's all we're thinking of
All we're thinking of

She's not for you
Because she's mine
If you don't believe me
Just ask around and you'll find
That her clothes are all in line
Her family's well-refined
She's faithful all the time
And she's mine
She's mine
Yeah, she's all mine

She's all mine
She's all mine
She's all mine

December 13, 2011

The Buoys - Timothy (1971)

Formed in 1970, this group found one-hit wonder success in a song written by Rupert Holmes that they released in 1971 (heard below). They went on to have minimal success in 1972 with “Give Up Your Guns” before disbanding. Holmes went on to write and record the largely successful “Escape (The Piña Colada Song)” in 1979.

Originally written to be recorded by The Glass Prism, this song was intentionally written to get banned. If you’ve never heard it before, I won’t ruin the reason it was censored, but you can be assured that its content is rather mild by today’s standards. Unfortunately for The Glass Prism, they were under contract to RCA and Holmes had to go with his second choice, this group, to record the song. It reached number seventeen on the Billboard Hot 100.

The Buoys - Timothy

The Buoys - Timothy (1971)

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Lyrics:

Trapped in a mine what had caved in
And everyone knows the only ones left
Were Joe and me and Tim
When they broke through to pull us free
The only ones left to tell the tale
Was Joe and me

Timothy, Timothy
Where on Earth did you go?
Timothy, Timothy
God why don't I know?

Hungry as hell- no food to eat
And Joe said that he would sell his soul
For just a piece of meat
Water enough to drink for two
And Joe said to me, "I'll take a swig”
“And then there's some for you"

Timothy, Timothy
Joe was looking at you
Timothy, Timothy
God what did we do?

I must have blacked out just ‘round then
'Cause the very next thing that I could see
Was the light of the day again
My stomach was full as it could be
And nobody ever got around
To finding Timothy

Timothy, Timothy
Where on Earth did you go?
Timothy, Timothy
God why don't I know?

Timothy…

December 12, 2011

The Four Aces - Mr. Sandman (1954)

Formed in 1950 by Al Alberts, this vocal group reached the top ten on ten different occasions. When they couldn’t find a record company to release their first single, “(It’s No) Sin” in 1951, Alberts started his own record company, Victoria Records, to release the song. It sold one million copies and the group was quickly signed by Decca Records.

This song was a hit for the group in November 1954. It was written by Pat Ballard earlier that year and often had the lyrics substituted between “he” and “she” depending on what group was performing the song. This group’s rendition of the song was featured in Back to the Future.

The Four Aces - Mr. Sandman

The Four Aces - Mr. Sandman (1954)

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Lyrics:

(Mr. Sandman)
(Mr. Sandman)

Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream
Make her complexion like peaches and cream
Give her two lips like roses and clover
Then tell me that my lonesome nights are over

Sandman, I'm so alone
Don't have nobody to call my own
Please turn on your magic beam
Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream

Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream
Make her the cutest that I've ever seen
Give her the word that I'm not a rover
Then tell her that my lonesome nights are over

Sandman, I'm so alone
Don't have nobody to call my own
Please turn on your magic beam
Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream

(Mr. Sandman)
(Mr. Sandman)
(Mr. Sandman, Sandman, Sandman, Sandman)

Please Mr. Sandman, won't you bless me with a dream?
Make her complexion just like peaches mixed with cream
Give her two lips that look like roses and clover
Then tell me that my lonesome nights are over

Sandman, I'm so alone
Don't have nobody to call my own
Please turn on your magic beam
Mr. Sandman, bring me-
Please, please bring me a dream

(Mr. Sandman)
(Sandman)

December 11, 2011

Jonathan Edwards - Sunshine (1971)

After having dropped out of Ohio University, this artist was in a string of bands with his friend and guitarist Joe Dolce across New England in the late ‘60s. He played in Headstone Circus, St. James Doorknob, and the Finite Minds before finally signing a record deal with Metromedia Records under the name Sugar Creek.

After mild success and opening for The Allman Brothers Band and B.B. King, he left his band and signed with Capricorn Records to release a self-titled solo album. When the engineer accidentally erased a song titled “Please Find Me,” he was fired and this song was used to fill up the new empty slot. It reached number four on the Hot 100.

Jonathan Edwards - Sunshine

Jonathan Edwards - Sunshine (1971)

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Lyrics:

Sunshine, go away today
I don't feel much like dancin’
Some man's gone- he's tried to run my life
He don't know what he's askin’

When he tells me I better get in line
I can't hear what he's sayin’
When I grow up, I'm goin’ to make it mine
But these aren't dues I been payin’

Well how much does it cost?
I'll buy it
The time is all we've lost
I'll try it
And he can't even run his own life
I'll be damned if he'll run mine
Sunshine

Sunshine, go away today
I don't feel much like dancin’
Some man's gone- he's tried to run my life
He don't know what he's askin’

Workin’ starts to make me wonder where
The fruits of what I do are goin’
‘n’ he says, “In love and war, all is fair”
But he's got cards he ain't showin’

Well how much does it cost?
I'll buy it
The time is all we've lost
I'll try it
And he can't even run his own life
I'll be damned if he'll run mine
Sunshine

Sunshine come on back another day
I promise you I'll be singin’
This old world- she's gonna turn around
Brand new bells’ll be ringin’

December 10, 2011

The Rare Breed - Beg, Borrow and Steal (1966)

Coming out of Brooklyn, New York, this group was made up of sixteen and seventeen year olds who recorded at Attack Records in 1966. They released their first single, the song below, without having a band name or being under contract. Without the group’s consent, the record company chose a band name for them, sold 500,000 copies of the single, and never gave the group their recognition. Unaware, the group released one more single before catching on, signing with Cameo Parkway Records, changing their name to Ohio Express, and releasing a remixed version of their first single.

This song is the original version released in 1966. The August 1967 re-release, under the name Ohio Express, reached number one in Columbus, Ohio and became a national hit by September 1967.

The Rare Breed - Beg, Borrow and Steal

The Rare Breed - Beg, Borrow and Steal (1966)

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Lyrics:

You threw me out the night before last
And now you want me back in your arms again
You think I'm a fool; you treat me like dirt
You pull the string and hope I will be your friend
But I know what's on your mind
So I'd rather stay out in the street without a dime

And I'd rather beg, borrow, and steal
I'd rather beg, borrow, and steal
I'd rather beg, borrow, and steal
Than go back to you (go back to you)
Than go back to you (go back to you)
Than go back to you (go back to you)
Than go back to you (go back to you)
Yeah!

How long did ya think I'd hang around
Pretending not to see the tricks you pulled on me?
There's only so much a man can take
Before his life turns into a tragedy
So I'm gettin' out now while I can
‘Cause I don't want to crawl
I want to walk out like a man

And I'd rather beg, borrow, and steal
I'd rather beg, borrow, and steal
I'd rather beg, borrow, and steal
Than go back to you (go back to you)
Than go back to you (go back to you)
Than go back to you (go back to you)
Than go back to you (go back to you)

I'd rather beg, borrow, and steal…

December 09, 2011

Oglethorp and Othelow - Please Don't Go Away (1966)

Composed of sixteen and seventeen year old high school students, this small-town local group came from somewhere near Springfield, Illinois. They appeared on local television three times as well as local radio programs numerous times. In a spur of the moment decision, they entered a battle of the bands at a town fair and placed second. Unbeknown to them, the winners of the contest were awarded with opening for Paul Revere & The Raiders in front of twelve thousand people.

This song, which sold five hundred copies, featured Donnie Bearup (Oglethorp), Greg Carlock (Othelow), and Richard Dean. Mick Presnell, who wasn’t an official member of the group, can be heard playing percussion in this song, which was two Coke bottles being hit together.

Oglethorp and Othelow - Please Don't Go Away

Oglethorp and Othelow - Please Don't Go Away (1966)

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Lyrics:

I’m giving you all my loving
And I’ve done what I can
Please say you’ll be my woman
And I’ll be your man, if I can
I’ll be true to you someday
Please don’t go away

You said that you loved me
And that it was right
But darlin’ I can’t ever fit in
If I can’t sleep at night
‘Cause I love you
And I want you
For my girl, pretty one
Please don’t go away

‘Cause I love you
And I want you
For my girl, pretty one
Please don’t go away

December 08, 2011

The Champs - Tequila (1958)

When Dave Burgess (known professionally as Dave Dupree) needed a B-side for his single “Train to Nowhere,” the executives at Gene Autry’s Challenge Records made him put together a band for the purpose of filling the empty side. This band was the result.

The band recorded this song, written and sung by their saxophonist Danny Flores. It quickly reached the number one spot in three weeks and vastly outshone its A-side counterpart. But because it was the group’s only success, it labeled them as a one-hit wonder.

The Champs - Tequila

The Champs - Tequila (1958)

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Lyrics:

Tequila

Tequila

Tequila!

December 07, 2011

The Lewis and Clarke Expedition - Daddy's Plastic Child (1967)

In 1966, founding members of this group, Travis Lewis (known better as country singer Michael Martin Murphey) and Owen "Boomer" Castleman wrote a song for The Monkees, “What Am I Doing Hangin’ Round?”, having been acquainted with Michael Nesmith in their hometown of Dallas, Texas. Their talent was noticed by Colgems Records and they were signed. They released one self-titled album and a few singles.

This song was from the first single they released after their album failed to chart. The people at Colgems were investing most of their time promoting The Monkees and little was done to advance this group's career. Unfortunately, their album and this single failed to chart and the group dissolved before releasing anything else. Luckily, we have this single, with the B-side “Gypsy Song Man,” that made it out of the studio.

The Lewis and Clark Expedition - Daddy's Plastic Child

The Lewis and Clarke Expedition - Daddy's Plastic Child (1967)

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Lyrics:

Her hair sparkles red and blue
Her feet, they touch the sun
All of life is on a blade of grass for her
But she has done what must be done

Sally’s from the wrong side of the tracks, you know
It’s not the going over
But the coming back that’s oh so wrong
She’s daddy’s best child
And she must learn to bend to things like this
Because her parents tell her
What is right for her is not the same
As what is right for them

Daddy’s plastic child is bending
Doing what you tell it to do
Daddy’s plastic child pretending
Reaching out to feel the sun
Never telling anyone
Crying out to melt away
What fun

Linda’s from the right side of the tracks, you know
She’s not in love
But she’ll be married
Sunday afternoon at three
And everyone will be there
Giving her congratulations
Never asking if it’s what she really wanted
But just happy she’s like them
She’ll be happy ever after just like them

Daddy’s plastic child is bending
Doing what you tell it to do
Daddy’s plastic child pretending
Reaching out to feel the sun
Never telling anyone
Crying out to melt away
What fun

December 06, 2011

Tom Paxton - Jennifer's Rabbit (1968)

One of the biggest names in American folk music, this artist has performed thousands of concerts all around the world for over forty years. He’s released songs that are comical, enlightening, educational, and everything outside and in-between. He has been covered by countless artists, including Joan Baez, Simon & Garfunkel, Willie Nelson, The Move, John Denver, and many, many other top names. As with many other Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winners, his life and work cannot be summed up here.

Despite having songs about concentration camps from World War II, anti-Vietnam protest songs, and songs about civil rights, this artist also had a catalog of songs with a more light-hearted nature. This song is one of those light-hearted songs. It was the first track on Morning Again, released in 1968.

Tom Paxton - Jennifer's Rabbit

Tom Paxton - Jennifer's Rabbit (1968)

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Lyrics:

Jennifer slept in her little bed
With dreams of a rabbit in her little head

Jennifer's rabbit, brown and white
Left the house and ran away one night
Along with a turtle and a kangaroo
And seventeen monkeys from the city zoo
Jennifer, too

They ran through the forest and they all held hands
They came to the ocean with the cookie-crumb sands
Called it “The Sea of the Very Best Dreams”
And they all built a castle of the best moonbeams
And milky way streams

And there on the sands where the starfish play
The ship sailed in from the moonbeam bay
They all went sailing on the starlight sea
Where they all had cookies with oolong tea
And Jenny had three

They danced on the decks of the red-sailed brig
The monkeys and the sailors did a whirling jig
Turtle played the fiddle and the rabbit played kazoo
And they bowed to each other as polite folks do
And Jenny bowed, too

And then, "My!" said the turtle as the clock struck three
"The hour is growing very late for me"
"Not at all," said the rabbit, "and I'll tell you why”
“We still haven't counted every star in the sky"
Said Jenny, "let's try"

So they counted on the ship and they counted on the shore
They counted through the forest to the bedroom door
They counted in bed ‘til they could count no more
Then they all fell asleep and the final score
Was a trillion and four

Yes the rabbit and the turtle and the kangaroo
And Jenny fell asleep as sleepy folks do
Just like you

December 05, 2011

Crosby, Stills & Nash - Lady of the Island (1969)

This supergroup, abbreviated CSN, was composed of some of rocks greatest icons: David Crosby, previously of The Byrds; Stephen Stills, previously of Buffalo Springfield; and Graham Nash, previously of The Hollies. Later in their career they would occasionally be accompanied by Neil Young (previously of Buffalo Springfield, as well) and then referred to as CSNY.

This song comes from the group’s first album, Crosby, Stills and Nash. It was written by Graham Nash about Joni Mitchell, his love interest at the time. Quite interesting is that another song on the album, “Guinnevere,” was also written about Joni Mitchell, but by her other love interest in the group, David Crosby.

Crosby, Stills & Nash - Lady of the Island

Crosby, Stills & Nash - Lady of the Island (1969)

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Lyrics:

Holding you close, undisturbed before the fire
The pressure in my chest when you breath in my ear
We both knew this would happen when you first appeared
My lady of the island

The browness of your body in the fire glow
Except the places where the sun refused to go
Our bodies were a perfect fit in afterglow
We lay; my lady of the island

Letting myself wander through the world inside your eyes
You know I'd like to stay here until every tear runs dry
Doo, doo, doo…
My lady of the island

Wrapped around each other in the peeping sun
Beams of sunshine light the stage; the red light's on
I never want to finish what I've just begun with you
My lady of the island
Doo, doo, doo…

December 04, 2011

Dionne Warwick - Walk On By (1964)

When it comes to the most charted female vocalists in history, this artist is second only to Aretha Franklin. In thirty-six years, she had fifty-six singles chart on the Billboard Hot 100. She later pursued acting and guest starred in television episodes of The Bold and the Beautiful, Walker, Texas Ranger, and others. She is also the cousin of singer Whitney Houston.

This song, composed by Burt Bacharach and lyrics by Hal David, was the second hit for Warwick. It has been covered by numerous artists, including Gloria Gaynor, Isaac Hayes, Cyndi Lauper, Alicia Keys, and Seal. Warwick also recorded a German version of the song, titled “Geh Vorbei”.

Dionne Warwick - Walk On By

Dionne Warwick - Walk On By (1964)

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Lyrics:

If you see me walking down the street
And I start to cry each time we meet
Walk on by
Walk on by

Make believe
That you don't see the tears
Just let me grieve
In private 'cause each time I see you
I break down and cry
Walk on by (don't stop)
Walk on by (don't stop)
Walk on by

I just can't get over losing you
And so if I seem broken and blue
Walk on by
Walk on by

Foolish pride
That’s all that I have left
So let me hide
The tears and the sadness you gave me
When you said goodbye
Walk on by (don’t stop)
Walk on by (don’t stop)
Walk on by (don’t stop)
Walk on

Walk on by
Walk on by
Foolish pride
That’s all that I have left
So let me hide
The tears and the sadness you gave me
When you said goodbye
Walk on by (don't stop)
Walk on by (don't stop)

Now you really gotta go, so walk on by (don’t, don’t stop)
Baby, leave; you never see the tears I cry (don’t, don’t stop)
Now you really gotta go, so walk on by (don’t, don’t stop)
Baby, leave; you never see the tears I cry (don’t, don’t stop)...

December 03, 2011

Marianne Faithfull - As Tears Go By (1964)

In the 1960s, this singer was known for her beautiful soft voice. In 1966 she started a highly publicized relationship with Mick Jagger and co-wrote “Sister Morphine” for The Rolling Stones. By 1970, the couple had split and any memory of her pop career was consumed by her new highly publicized battle with drugs. Having a library of songs written about her by top artists of the time, including the one found here, she has a life that cannot be summarized in this space.

This song, her first major hit, was written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards and featured Jimmy Page as a session musician. The Rolling Stones covered a successful version of it a year later in 1965. It’s a wonderful example of what a talented voice this singer had before her long battle with drugs, after which her voice took on a raspy and more gravelly nature.

Marianne Faithfull - As Tears Go By

Marianne Faithfull - As Tears Go By (1964)

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Lyrics:

It is the evening of the day
I sit and watch the children play
Smiling faces I can see
But not for me
I sit and watch as tears go by

My riches can't buy everything
I want to hear the children sing
All I hear is the sound
Of rain falling on the ground
I sit and watch as tears go by

It is the evening of the day
I sit and watch the children play
Doing things I used to do
They think are new
I sit and watch as tears go by

Hmm…

December 02, 2011

The Troggs - I Can't Control Myself (1966)

Originally called The Troglodytes, this group came together in 1964 and was signed by The Kinks manager Larry Page in 1965. They’re primarily remembered for their largest hit, “Wild Thing,” that reached the top of the charts in the US and number two in the UK. Their success in the US dwindled due to not touring there until 1968, and in 1969 the band finally called it quits.

This song was first released as a single in 1966 with the B-side “Gonna Make You”. It met some censorship around the globe for its provocative lyrics, but ultimately became a hit for the group.

The Troggs - I Can't Control Myself

The Troggs - I Can't Control Myself (1966)

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Lyrics:

Oh no!

(Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba)
(Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba)

I can't stand still 'cause you've got me goin'
(Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba)
Your slacks are low and your hips are showin'
(Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba)

I thank you girl as you're standing there
Your low-cut slacks and your long black hair
I want you going; I want no one else
'Cause when I'm with you I can't control myself

Defenses down and you got me shakin'
(Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba)
You got me so that my nerves are breakin'
(Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba)

If you knew me like I know you, girl
Your knees would bend and your hair would curl
You make me move, yeah, like no one else
And when I'm with you I can't control myself

I've got this feeling that's inside of me
It makes me think of how things used to be
It makes me feel all right
When I'm with you at night
And we love
And we love

(Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba)
(Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba)

You fill me so, with this big temptation
(Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba)
This kind of feeling could move a nation
(Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba)

But I'm ok when I'm here with you
I do the things that you want me to
I do these things for no one else
But when I'm with you I can't control myself

(Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba)
I can't control myself
(Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba)
I can't control myself
(Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba)
I can't control myself, baby
(Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba)
Ahh!
(Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba)…

December 01, 2011

The Merseybeats - I Stand Accused (1965)

Before settling on their final name, this group had been known as The Mavericks, The Pacifics, and The Mersey Beats, finally settling on their final name in 1962. They played along Gerry and The Pacemakers and The Beatles at the famous Cavern Club in their hometown of Liverpool. The band claims to have played more shows with The Beatles at The Cavern Club than “any other band” did.

In comparison to their larger hits, such as “Don’t Turn Around” and “Wishin’ and Hopin’,” this song was a smaller success. It was released as a single in 1965 and featured the B-side “All My Life”.

The Merseybeats - I Stand Accused

The Merseybeats - I Stand Accused (1965)

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Lyrics:

Girl, I stand accused; people say I love you
Yeah, I stand accused, oh, but what can I do?

You belong to some other guy
I hope I never have to testify
If loving you is a big crime
I've been guilty a long time

Girl, I stand accused with so much evidence
Yeah, I stand accused but I got no defense

All’s I need is a touch from your hand
To find myself on a witness stand
I'd be unable to lie, girl
I got a love that won't die, girl

I’ll tell the world that I was guilty
I wouldn't stand a chance
I’ll tell the world that I was a victim
A victim of circumstance

They might show some mercy if I could explain
Girl, I love you so much that I'm almost insane

You disturbed my balance of mind
I couldn't help what I did at the time
I stand accused and I'm guilty
Oh, baby, I always will be
I need a witness, baby

You disturbed my balance of mind
I couldn't help what I did at the time
I stand accused and I'm guilty
Oh, baby, I always will be
I need a witness, baby

I stand accused of loving you
(So guilty baby)
(Oh yeah)
I stand accused of loving you…