♫ Elenore ♫

Ever since a few nights ago, when I played Happy Together by the Turtles and our friend David mentioned Elenore in a comment, this song has been bouncing about in my head.  Of course, I knew only one line, “Elenore, gee I think you’re swell …” and the rest was filled in by my vivid imagination.  Do you know just how many words rhyme with ‘swell’???  Anyway, in order to get it out of my head, I must first install it in yours!

In the liner notes of The Turtles’ Anthology Solid Zinc, Howard Kaylan of The Turtles explained:

“Elenore was a parody of ‘Happy Together.’ It was never intended to be a straight-forward song. It was meant as an anti-love letter to White Whale (their record company), who were constantly on our backs to bring them another ‘Happy Together.’ So I gave them a very skewed version. Not only with the chords changed, but with all these bizarre words. It was my feeling that they would listen to how strange and stupid the song was and leave us alone. But they didn’t get the joke. They thought it sounded good. Truthfully, though, the production on ‘Elenore’ WAS so damn good. Lyrically or not, the sound of the thing was so positive that it worked. It certainly surprised me.”

According to his autobiography Shell Shocked, Kaylan stated that the Turtles had agreed that any song written by one or more members would be credited to the entire group. He added that he regretted this arrangement when Elenore became a hit. Describing the song in liner notes to the 1974 compilation Happy Together Again, Kaylan claimed to have written the song in just an hour after locking himself in a hotel room. In his 2013 autobiography, the time of composition has become 30 minutes.

This song hit #4 in Canada, #6 in the U.S., and #7 in the UK.

Elenore
The Turtles

You got a thing about you
I just can’t live without you
I really want you, Elenore, near me
Your looks intoxicate me
Even though your folks hate me
There’s no one like you, Elenore, really

Elenore, gee I think you’re swell
And you really do me well
You’re my pride and joy et cetera
Elenore, can I take the time
To ask you to speak your mind?
Tell me that you love me better

I really think you’re groovy
Let’s go out to a movie
What do ya say now, Elenore, can we?
They’ll turn the lights way down low
Maybe we won’t watch the show
I think I love you, Elenore, love me

Elenore, gee I think you’re swell
And you really do me well
You’re my pride and joy, et cetera
Elenore, can I take the time
To ask you to speak your mind?
Tell me that you love me better

(One more time)

Elenore, gee I think you’re swell, ah-hah
Elenore, gee I think you’re swell, ah-hah-hah

Writer/s: Al Nichol, Howard Kaylan, Jim Pons, John Barbata, Mark Volman
Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

23 thoughts on “♫ Elenore ♫

  1. Whatever Howard wanted to do, he wrote a great song. I just thought he was being colloquial with et cetera and sticking it to the man with intoxicated. Musically, I know nothing about chord changes, I could eat one and not know it.
    Lovely song. Happy music. Great sound. What more needs to be said.
    Sorry, Howard.

    Liked by 2 people

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