♫ American Pie ♫

As I mentioned in the afternoon post, I have had mind bounce all day and that has carried over into the songs that have streamed endlessly through my head.  Willie Nelson resided there for a time, replaced by The Beatles, then the Nob Hill Trio (whom you’ve never heard of), Barbra Streisand, and somewhere along the way, Don McLean popped in with this song, American Pie, sometimes known as The Day the Music Died.

“The Day The Music Died” is February 3, 1959, when Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper were killed in a plane crash after a concert.  Don McLean was a 13-year-old paperboy in New Rochelle, New York when Holly died. He learned about the plane crash when he cut into his stack of papers and saw the lead story.

According to McLean …

“For some reason I wanted to write a big song about America and about politics, but I wanted to do it in a different way. As I was fiddling around, I started singing this thing about the Buddy Holly crash, the thing that came out (singing), ‘Long, long time ago, I can still remember how that music used to make me smile.’

I thought, Whoa, what’s that? And then the day the music died, it just came out. And I said, Oh, that is such a great idea. And so that’s all I had. And then I thought, I can’t have another slow song on this record. I’ve got to speed this up. I came up with this chorus, crazy chorus. And then one time about a month later I just woke up and wrote the other five verses. Because I realized what it was, I knew what I had. And basically, all I had to do was speed up the slow verse with the chorus and then slow down the last verse so it was like the first verse, and then tell the story, which was a dream. It is from all these fantasies, all these memories that I made personal. Buddy Holly’s death to me was a personal tragedy. As a child, a 15-year-old, I had no idea that nobody else felt that way much. I mean, I went to school and mentioned it and they said, ‘So what?’ So I carried this yearning and longing, if you will, this weird sadness that would overtake me when I would look at this album, The Buddy Holly Story, because that was my last Buddy record before he passed away.”

American Pie
Don McLean

A long long time ago
I can still remember how
That music used to make me smile
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make those people dance
And maybe they’d be happy for a while

But February made me shiver
With every paper I’d deliver
Bad news on the doorstep
I couldn’t take one more step

I can’t remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride
Something touched me deep inside
The day the music died
So

Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
And them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die

Did you write the book of love
And do you have faith in God above
If the Bible tells you so?
Do you believe in rock and roll?
Can music save your mortal soul?
And can you teach me how to dance real slow?

Well, I know that you’re in love with him
‘Cause I saw you dancin’ in the gym
You both kicked off your shoes
Man, I dig those rhythm and blues

I was a lonely teenage broncin’ buck
With a pink carnation and a pickup truck
But I knew I was out of luck
The day the music died
I started singin’

Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
And them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die

Now, for ten years we’ve been on our own
And moss grows fat on a rolling stone
But, that’s not how it used to be

When the jester sang for the king and queen
In a coat he borrowed from James Dean
And a voice that came from you and me

Oh and while the king was looking down
The jester stole his thorny crown
The courtroom was adjourned
No verdict was returned

And while Lennon read a book on Marx
The quartet practiced in the park
And we sang dirges in the dark
The day the music died
We were singin’

Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
And singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die

Helter skelter in a summer swelter
The birds flew off with a fallout shelter
Eight miles high and falling fast

It landed foul on the grass
The players tried for a forward pass
With the jester on the sidelines in a cast

Now the half-time air was sweet perfume
While sergeants played a marching tune
We all got up to dance
Oh, but we never got the chance

‘Cause the players tried to take the field
The marching band refused to yield
Do you recall what was revealed
The day the music died?
We started singin’

Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
And singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die

Oh, and there we were all in one place
A generation lost in space
With no time left to start again

So come on Jack be nimble, Jack be quick
Jack Flash sat on a candlestick
‘Cause fire is the devil’s only friend

Oh and as I watched him on the stage
My hands were clenched in fists of rage
No angel born in Hell
Could break that Satan’s spell

And as the flames climbed high into the night
To light the sacrificial rite
I saw Satan laughing with delight
The day the music died
He was singin’

Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die

I met a girl who sang the blues
And I asked her for some happy news
But she just smiled and turned away

I went down to the sacred store
Where I’d heard the music years before
But the man there said the music wouldn’t play

And in the streets the children screamed
The lovers cried, and the poets dreamed
But not a word was spoken
The church bells all were broken

And the three men I admire most
The Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost
They caught the last train for the coast
The day the music died
And they were singing

Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
And them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die

They were singing
Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die

Songwriters: Don McLean
American Pie lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ Runaway ♫

I had every intention of playing Donna Summer’s Last Dance tonight.  I have no idea where that trail derailed, but derail it did, and somehow I have ended up about about 17 years before Summer would record her hit.  The artist … Del Shannon.  Why?  Because it’s there?

This song was released in 1961 … fifty-eight years ago … I was ten years old.  Wow.

A lot of Shannon’s songs were about broken relationships. He once said he wrote the words to this about himself because he was forever running away from relationships.  The song came about, according to Shannon, thusly …

“We were on stage and Max [Crook] hit an A minor and a G and I said, ‘Max, play that again, it’s a great change.'” The drummer, Dick Parker, followed them and after 15 minutes, the manager of the club shouted, ‘Knock it off, play something else.’ That night I went back to the club and I told Max to play an instrumental on his musitron for the middle part, and when he played that solo, we had ‘Runaway.'”

This was Shannon’s biggest hit. His career trailed off a few years later, and sadly he killed himself in 1990.  Shannon was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame posthumously in 1999.

Runaway
Del Shannon

As I walk along, I wonder
A what went wrong whit our love
A love that was so strong

And as I still walk on
I think of the thing’s we’ve done
Together, while our hearts were young

I’m a walkin’ in the rain
Tears are fallin’ and I feel a pain
A wishin’ you were here by me
To end this misery

And I wonder, I wa wa wa wa wonder
Why a why why why why why
She ran away
And I wonder where she will stay
My little runaway
My run run run run runaway

I’m a walkin’ in the rain
Tears are fallin’ and I feel a pain
A wishin’ you were here by me
To end this misery

And I wonder, I wa wa wa wa wonder
Why a why why why why why
She ran awayway
And I wonder where she will stay
My little runaway
A run run run run
Runaway

Songwriters: Del Shannon, Max Crook
Publisher: BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

♫ Just The Two Of Us ♫

There seems to be a steady stream of songs that run through my head these days.  I no sooner banish one ear worm than another pops in.  No wonder there isn’t room in my head for coherent thoughts … it is filled up with tunes!  Ah well, they are all good tunes, old friends as it were.  Last night, when I was in search of a good version of Pastime Paradise, Google recommended another … Just the Two of Us … released in 1980 by Grover Washington and Bill Withers.

Grover Washington was a very respected Jazz saxophone player who died of a heart attack in 1999. Bill Withers is a songwriter and vocalist responsible for songs like Lean On Me and Ain’t No Sunshine. Withers sang lead on this, but it was credited to Washington and appeared on his album.

According to Withers …

“I’m a little snobbish about words, so they sent me this song and said ‘We want to do this with Grover, would you consider singing it?’ I said, ‘Yeah, if you’ll let me go in and try to dress these words up a little bit.’ Everybody that knows me is kind of used to me that way. I probably threw in the stuff like the crystal raindrops. The ‘Just The Two Of Us’ thing was already written. It was trying to put a tuxedo on it. I didn’t like what was said leading up to ‘Just The Two Of Us.'”

When Withers went in to record his vocals, it was the first time he met Washington. They were rarely together when they recorded this, and they never got to know each other very well. Withers admired Washington because Grover did the first cover version of any song he’d written – an instrumental version of Ain’t No Sunshine that appeared on his first album.

Just the Two of Us
Grover Washington Jr.

I see the crystal raindrops fall
And the beauty of it all
Is when the sun comes shining through
To make those rainbows in my mind
When I think of you sometime
And I wanna spend some time with you

Just the two of us
We can make it if we try
Just the two of us
(Just the two of us)
Just the two of us
Building castles in the sky
Just the two of us
You and I

We look for love, no time for tears
Wasted water’s all that is
And it don’t make no flowers grow
Good things might come to those who wait
Not for those who wait too late
We gotta go for all we know

Just the two of us
We can make it if we try
Just the two of us
(Just the two of us)
Just the two of us
Building them castles in the sky
Just the two of us
You and I

I hear the crystal raindrops fall
On the window down the hall
And it becomes the morning dew
And darling when the morning comes
And I see the morning sun
I wanna be the one with you

Just the two of us
We can make it if we try
Just the two of us, just
(Just the two of us)
Just the two of us
Building big castles way up high
Just the two of us
You and I

(Just the two of us)
(We can make it, just the two of us)
(Just the two of us)

Songwriters: Ralph Mac Donald / William Salter / William Harrison Withers Jr.
Medley: Just the Two of Us lyrics © Bleunig Music, BMG Rights Management

♫ Pastime Paradise ♫

A dear friend, whose name I shall not say except to note that the first and last letters of his first name are the same, shot this song into my brain last night, whereby it lodged and refused to budge.  All day, I have been humming or whistling this song, and so … sigh … sorry folks, but from my brain to yours it goes …

Pastime Paradise was first released on Songs in the Key of Life, which has become Stevie Wonder’s most highly praised album. Michael Jackson considered it Wonder’s best, whilst Elton John told interviewers it was “the best album ever made,” a sentiment shared by many in the listening public.

When one thinks of Stevie Wonder, “joy” is the operative word, but in Pastime Paradise the synthesizer strings – one of the first novel attempts at using this sort of string-synthesis in a song – create an edgy atmosphere of anxiety, substantiated by the lyrics which are insistently negative in tone until the final stanza. A combination of issues, from race and religion to the economy are vaguely alluded to by using catchwords like “Race Relations” and “Exploitation” without any further explanation. Anyone that would have been hearing these words in 1976 at the tail-end of the Black Power movement (1965-1975) would know exactly what they were referring to. However, Wonder’s final statement defines the actual message of the song: “Let’s start living our lives, living for the future paradise,” as opposed to living in the unhappy past, or the illusory future in order to escape present social issues.

Pastime Paradise
Stevie Wonder

They’ve been spending most their lives
Living in a pastime paradise
They’ve been spending most their lives
Living in a pastime paradise
They’ve been wasting most their time
Glorifying days long gone behind
They’ve been wasting most their days
In remembrance of ignorance oldest praise

Tell me who of them will come to be
How many of them are you and me
Dissipation
Race relations
Consolation
Segregation
Dispensation
Isolation
Exploitation
Mutilation
Mutations
Miscreation
Confirmation, to the evils of the world

They’ve been spending most their lives
Living in a future paradise
They’ve been spending most their lives
Living in a future paradise
They’ve been looking in their minds
For the day that sorrows gone from time
They keep telling of the day
When the savior of love will come to stay

Tell me who of them will come to be
How many of them are you and me
Proclamation
Of race relations
Consolation
Integration
Verification
Of revelations
Acclamation
World salvation
Vibrations
Stimulation
Confirmation, to the peace of the world

They’ve been spending most their lives
Living in a pastime paradise
They’ve been spending most their lives
Living in a pastime paradise
They’ve been spending most their lives
Living in a future paradise
They’ve been spending most their lives
Living in a future paradise
We’ve been spending too much of our lives
Living in a pastime paradise

Let’s start living our lives
Living for the future paradise
Praise to our lives
Living for the future paradise
Shame to anyone’s lives
Living in the pastime paradise

Songwriters: Stevie Wonder
Pastime Paradise lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ It’s The Same Old Song ♫

This is the song I was planning to play last night, until Clapton’s Wonderful Tonight wouldn’t leave me alone.  This song had an interesting inception.  Like so many of the Motown songs, it was written and produced by the team of Holland–Dozier–Holland.  The song was reportedly created—from initial concept to commercial release—in just 24 hours!

The story goes, according to SongFacts …

The Four Tops were signed to Columbia Records in 1960, releasing just one single – “Ain’t That Love” (written by their lead singer, Levi Stubbs) – before moving on to Riverside Records and eventually joining Motown in 1963. As “I Can’t Help Myself” was coming off the charts, word got out that Columbia was going to re-release “Ain’t That Love” to capitalize on the group’s sudden success. Motown head Berry Gordy made a big push to thwart this, and put the rush on a new song. Fortunately, Holland-Dozier-Holland were very good at reworking their hits – they did it the previous year when they followed up their Martha & The Vandellas smash “Heat Wave” with the copycat “Quicksand.” The Four Tops were also up for the task, as they were one of the most seasoned Motown acts.

HDH quickly wrote the song, and on Thursday, July 8, it was furiously recorded and pressed. It was delivered to radio stations the next day, and by that Monday, it was in stores.

Columbia did issue “Ain’t That Love,” but it stalled at #93 on the Hot 100.

It’s the Same Old Song
Four Tops

You’re sweet as a honey bee
But like a honey bee stings
You’ve gone and left my heart in pain
All you left is our favorite song
The one we danced to all night long
It used to bring sweet memories
Of a tender love that used to be

Now it’s the same old song
But with a different meaning
Since you been gone
It’s the same old song
But with a different meaning
Since you been gone
I, oh I

Sentimental fool, am I
To hear a old love song and wanna cry
‘Cause the melody keeps haunting me
Reminding me how in love we used to be
Keep hearing the part that used to touch my heart
Saying together forever, breaking up never

It’s the same old song
But with a different meaning
Since you been gone
But it’s the same old song
But with a different meaning
Since you been gone

Precious memories keep a lingering on
Every time I hear our favorite song
Now you’re gone, left this emptiness
I only reminisce the happiness we spent
We used to dance to the music
Make romance through the music

Now it’s the same old song
But with a different meaning
Since you been gone
It’s the same old song
But with a different meaning
Since you been gone
I, oh I

It’s the same old song
But with a different meaning
Since you been gone
It’s the same old song

Songwriters: Edward Jr. Holland / Lamont Dozier / Brian Holland
It’s the Same Old Song lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ Wonderful Tonight ♫

I was planning to play a Four Tops song, It’s the Same Old Song, tonight, but for some reason this one popped into my head, made itself at home, and wouldn’t leave.  So, the Tops will just have to wait a night.  I am not a huge fan of Eric Clapton, but there are four or five I do like … Lay Down Sally being my favourite.

The story goes that Clapton wrote this while waiting for his wife, Pattie, to get ready to attend a Buddy Holly tribute that Paul McCartney put together.  Now, a bit of backstory … Pattie had previously been married to Beatle George Harrison.  Eric Clapton wrote his famous song, Layla, to express his love for Pattie while she was still married to Harrison.  Despite all that, Clapton and Harrison remained good friends, and Harrison even played at their wedding in 1979.  Their marriage lasted nine years, and they divorced in 1988.  But, back to the song …

According to SongFacts …

Pattie Boyd recalled to The Guardian December 13, 2008 that Clapton “was sitting round playing his guitar while I was trying on dresses upstairs. I was taking so long and I was panicking about my hair, my clothes, everything, and I came downstairs expecting him to really berate me but he said, ‘Listen to this!'”  In the time she had taken to get ready Clapton had written this song.

Wonderful Tonight
Eric Clapton

It’s late in the evening; she’s wondering what clothes to wear
She puts on her make-up and brushes her long blonde hair
And then she asks me, Do I look all right?
And I say, “Yes, you look wonderful tonight”

We go to a party and everyone turns to see
This beautiful lady that’s walking around with me
And then she asks me, Do you feel all right?
And I say, “Yes, I feel wonderful tonight”

I feel wonderful because I see
The love light in your eyes
And the wonder of it all
Is that you just don’t realize how much I love you

It’s time to go home now and I’ve got an aching head
So I give her the car keys and she helps me to bed
And then I tell her, as I turn out the light
I say, “My darling, you were wonderful tonight
Oh my darling, you were wonderful tonight

Songwriters: Eric Patrick Clapton
Wonderful Tonight lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

♫ Three Times A Lady ♫

Y’know how some nights you’re just in the mood for something and nothing else will do?  Like … cracked pepper potato chips, or jalapeño cheese dip … or Lionel Richie!  So, tonight I had a whole medley of Lionel going through my head, from Lady to Still, but of course I’ve already played most of the ones I heard in my mind.  The two I hadn’t played were Easy and Three Times A Lady.  I looked all around for a coin to toss, finally found a penny, tossed it, and it came up heads, and thus … you get this song tonight!

Three Times a Lady, released in 1978, was written by Lionel Richie who said …

“I wrote it back in 1978 and it was a very personal meaning to me. I attended the wedding anniversary of my parents and my father made a speech about how much he loved my mother and appreciated the way she had stood beside him for 37 years. It was beautiful and I started to think about my own life and how my wife stands by me, how she does so many things without being asked or thanked. So, I wrote ‘Three Times A Lady’ as a dedication to my wife and my mother. I think my next door neighbor summed it up when she said that if a man wanted to buy her a present, all he need do is buy her that record and he wouldn’t have to say anything else.”

Awwww … doesn’t it bring a tear to your eye?  Ladies, if you are ever lucky enough to have a man say that to you, hold him tight and never let him go, for he’s a keeper!

This was the first #1 hit Lionel Richie wrote, but far from his last: he wrote songs that were #1 US hits in each of the next seven years, giving him the record for most consecutive #1 songs by a songwriter who was never a Beatle (Paul McCartney wrote songs that went to #1 1964-1971).  In the UK, this was #1 for five weeks. It was the biggest UK hit for Motown Records.

Three Times a Lady
Commodores

Thanks for the times that you’ve given me
The memories are all in mind
And now that we’ve come
To the end of our rainbow
There’s something I must say out loud!

Your once, twice
Three times a lady
And I love you
Yes, your once, twice
Three times a lady
And I love you!

You shared my dreams
My joys
My pains
You made my life worth living for
And if I had to live my life over again, dear
I’d spend each and every moment with you

Your once, twice
Three times a lady
And I love you
Yes, your once, twice
Three times a lady
And I love you!

When we are together
The moments I cherish
With every beat of my heart
To touch you, to hold you
To feel you, to need you
There’s nothing to keep us apart
You’re once, twice
Three times a lady
And I love you!
I love you !

Songwriters: Lionel Richie
Three Times a Lady lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ Another Day In Paradise ♫

I’ve had a song stuck in my head all day, and I have no idea where it came from or why it chose today to pop into my poor head, but it did.  I was rather mindlessly humming it, with intermittent bursts of lyrics emitting in my warbling, wheezy voice that nobody would mistake for Patti LaBelle, when I decided that I rather liked having the song in my head after all.  First, I love … that’s LOVE with a capital ‘L’ … Phil Collins, love the tune to this song, but perhaps what I like most is that it has meaning … is socially conscious.  And so … since I need to sleep for a few hours without Phil Collins singing in my ear … wait a minute, what am I saying???  Anyway, I shall try to transfer my earworm to you for a few hours, eh?

The song, published in 1989, is about the consequences of ignoring the needy and homeless.  According to Collins …

“It was begun at the piano. I started playing and put it down on a tape so I wouldn’t forget it. Then I decided to see what would happen when I started singing. When I began, the words just came out, ‘She calls out to the man on the street.’ I didn’t set out to write a song about the homeless. Those were just the words I happened to sing. It was only then that I decided that was what the song would be about.”

This song was Collins’ seventh and final Billboard Hot 100 #1 single, the last #1 single of the 1980s and the first #1 single of the 1990s. It was also a worldwide success, eventually becoming one of the most successful songs of his solo career. It won Collins and co-producer Hugh Padgham the Grammy Award for Record of the Year at the 1991 awards ceremony, while it was also nominated for Song of the Year, Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male and Best Music Video, Short Form. Another Day in Paradise also won an award for British Single at the 1990 Brit Awards.

Despite the awards gained following its release, the song also generated some controversy over its subject matter and has received a largely negative reaction from music critics.  Singer-songwriter and political activist Billy Bragg was scathing of the song.

“Phil Collins might write a song about the homeless, but if he doesn’t have the action to go with it he’s just exploiting that for a subject.”

Andrew Collins described the song as a “bland redress” for the subject of homelessness.  Caroline Sullivan of The Guardian dismissed the track in 2007 as “a song that addressed the issue of homelessness with the same insight as Sporty Spice’s ‘If That Were Me'”.  David Sheppard described the song’s lyrics as “cringe-worthy” and gave it as an example of Collins “painting the bull’s-eye on his own forehead” when it came to his negative status with music critics.  Hugh Wilson contrasted Collins’ concern for the homeless in the song with his concern as a multimillionaire at the prospect of the UK’s election of a tax-raising socialist government.

Despite all that criticism, the fact remains that this song was a hit in many countries from Australia to Zimbabwe!

Another Day in Paradise
Phil Collins

She calls out to the man on the street
‘Sir, can you help me?
It’s cold and I’ve nowhere to sleep,
Is there somewhere you can tell me?’

He walks on, doesn’t look back
He pretends he can’t hear her
Starts to whistle as he crosses the street
Seems embarrassed to be there

Oh think twice, it’s another day for you and me in paradise
Oh think twice, ’cause it’s just another day for you,
You and me in paradise, think about it

She calls out to the man on the street
He can see she’s been crying
She’s got blisters on the soles of her feet
She can’t walk but she’s trying

Oh think twice, ’cause it’s another day for you and me in paradise
Oh think twice, it’s just another day for you,
You and me in paradise, think about it

Oh Lord, is there nothing more anybody can do
Oh Lord, there must be something you can say

You can tell from the lines on her face
You can see that she’s been there
Probably been moved on from every place
Cause she didn’t fit in there

Oh think twice, ’cause another day for you and me in paradise
Oh think twice, it’s just another day for you,
You and me in paradise, just think about it, think about it

It’s just another day for you and me in paradise
It’s just another day for you and me in paradise, paradise
It’s just another day for you and me in paradise
It’s just another day for you and me in paradise, paradise
It’s just another day for you and me
It’s just another day for you and me
It’s just another day for you and me in paradise
In paradise

Songwriters: Phil Collins
Another Day in Paradise lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Concord Music Publishing LLC

♫ Private Number ♫

Last night, I hadn’t yet decided on a song, when I was reading an email from a friend that mentioned this song … one that I have always loved, but like so many, hadn’t heard or thought about in ages.  So, I found the song, found a bit of trivia about the song, and realized I was just too exhausted to put this post together.  So, I’m playing it tonight instead.

Private Number, released in 1968, was written by William Bell and Booker T. Jones for Otis Redding.  Sadly, Otis Redding died in a plane crash on December 10, 1967, just before the recording session was scheduled to take place.

William Bell was the first male vocalist ever signed to Stax Records and he remained a mainstay with them throughout the ’60s, as one of the main architects of the Stax sound. This was his biggest UK hit while in the States his only Top 40 hit was the 1977 #10 charting song Tryin’ To Love Two. Judy Clay had previously linked up with white singer songwriter Billy Vera with whom she recorded her only American Top 40 hit Country Girl-City Man. As the first racially integrated duo, Vera and Clay unfortunately received much racist criticism. Judy Clay tragically died in a car accident in 2001.

Others would later cover this song, including an English ‘boy band’, 911, but this remains my favourite.

Private Number
William Bell, Judy Clay

Since I’ve been gone you’ve had your number changed
But my love for you girl still, remains the same
Now I’ve been lovin’ you, and you been lovin’ me, so long
Baby, what’s wrong
So I’m beggin’

Baby, baby, baby
Please let me have your number
Baby, baby, baby
Please let me have your number

I’m sorry you couldn’t call me when you got home
But other fellahs kept on callin’ while you were gone
So I had the number changed
But I’m not actin’ strange
Welcome home
Nothin’s wrong
So I’m saying

Baby, baby, baby
You can have my private number
Baby, baby, baby
You can have my private number

Baby, baby, baby
You can have my private number (thank you, baby)
Baby, baby, baby
You can have my private number (thank you, baby)
Baby, baby, baby
For giving me your private number (you can have it)
Baby, baby, baby
Thank you baby (you can have it)
Baby, baby, baby
Thank you honey (anytime you want it)
Thank you baby
You can have my private number (thank you Judy)

Songwriters: Booker T. Jr. Jones / William Bell
Private Number lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ A World Without Love ♫

I’m taking you way back tonight … 1964.  I was thirteen years old and had just gotten my first full-time job … making $100 per week!  I thought I was rolling in dough!  That was also the year I became a serious smoker, learned to drive a stick shift, and learned to kiss with my eyes closed!  It was, obviously, a memorable year.  Among the memories from that year is this song by British duo Peter and Gordon.

I did not know that John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote this song. It is the biggest hit they wrote that was not released by The Beatles. It became the first and biggest hit for Peter & Gordon.  The song was originally meant to be recorded by The Beatles, but that plan was vetoed by John Lennon. Peter Asher explained: “John thought the first line ‘Please lock me away’ was laughable.”

Peter Asher and Gordon Waller, then (1965) and 40 years later (2005)

Peter & Gordon were Peter Asher and Gordon Waller. Paul McCartney went out with Asher’s sister, the actress Jane Asher, which is how he met Peter. This song found its way to Peter Asher when Paul McCartney was living in the Asher household at 57 Wimpole Street in London during his time dating Jane Asher. He played the song for Peter while in his bedroom.  According to Asher …

“Paul had played Gordon and me that song at some point, just in passing. It was really just half a song. It didn’t yet have a bridge. Gordon and I were working at clubs in London at that time, and we got offered a record deal by EMI, who saw us as an English version of The Kingston Trio, or a Peter, Paul and Mary type of thing. We did the American folk song ‘500 Miles,’ and that was the song they were thinking would be our first single. Anyway, we signed the record deal with EMI, and set the date for our first recording session. At that point I went to Paul and asked him if that orphaned song was still up for grabs, since we needed three or four songs to record on that first day in the studio. Paul said we could have it, so I asked him to finish the bridge. And he did. As I recall, the bridge came in the nick of time for us to record; World Without Love’ at that first session.”

An interesting side note:  Peter Asher would go on to become the manager of James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt.  Asher is still alive and active in the music business today, but Gordon Waller died in 2009.

A World Without Love
Peter and Gordon

Please lock me away
And don’t allow the day
Here inside where I hide
With my loneliness

I don’t care what they say I won’t stay
In a world without love

Birds sing out of tune
And rain clouds hide the moon
I’m OK, here I’ll stay
With my loneliness

I don’t care what they say I won’t stay
In a world without love

So I wait and in a while
I will see my true love’s smile
She may come, I know not when
When she does I lose
So baby until then

Lock me away
And don’t allow the day
Here inside where I hide
With my loneliness

I don’t care what they say I won’t stay
In a world without love

So I wait and in a while
I will see my true love’s smile
She may come, I know not when
When she does I lose
So baby until then

Lock me away
And don’t allow the day
Here inside where I hide
With my loneliness

I don’t care what they say I won’t stay
In a world without love

I don’t care what they say I won’t stay
In a world without love

Songwriters: John Lennon / Paul Mccartney
A World Without Love lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC