♫ It’s Not Unusual ♫

Tash & Nala

Miss Goose & Princess Nala — circa June 2010

We had to have our oldest kittie, Princess Nala, put to sleep today.  It made for a solemn day for us all, and I’m still feeling quite down, so I decided I needed to play something upbeat tonight.  After a few false starts, I was just about to revert to re-posting Kermit the Frog singing Rainbow Connection when Tom Jones popped into my head.

This was written by the classical music arranger and conductor Les Reed along with Tom Jones’ manager Gordon Mills. They wrote it for the British singer Sandie Shaw, but she turned it down. Tom Jones saw the song’s potential, recorded it, and it became his first hit single.

“I did the demo on this song when it was being offered to Sandie Shaw. I was just starting out and, God bless her, she said: ‘Whoever’s singing this, it’s his song.’  Finding great new songs is never easy, and back in those days, finding one that would fit me – the way I felt and sang anyway – was difficult. I’m indebted to Sandie for being so generous.”

Tom Jones’ real name is Thomas Jones Woodward. Early on, manager Gordon Mills suggested the name Tom Jones and secured him a deal with Decca. After a succession of hit singles in the UK and US he moved to California in 1969, performing regularly in Las Vegas.

In 2006 he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for services to music.  His personal life has been … um … shall we just say “interesting” and leave it at that.  By the way … the header photo is Tom Jones, then and now.

 

It’s Not Unusual
Tom Jones

It’s not unusual to be loved by anyone
It’s not unusual to have fun with anyone
But when I see you hanging about with anyone
It’s not unusual to see me cry,
I wanna die

It’s not unusual to go out at any time
But when I see you out and about it’s such a crime
If you should ever wanna be loved by anyone,
It’s not unusual it happens every day
No matter what you say
You’ll find it happens all the time
Love will never do what you want it to
Why can’t this crazy love be mine?

It’s not unusual to be mad with anyone
It’s not unusual to be sad with anyone
But if I ever find
That you’ve changed at anytime
It’s not unusual to find that I’m in love with you

Songwriters: Gordon Mills / Les (gb) Reed
It’s Not Unusual lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG Rights Management

♫ Delilah ♫

David mentioned this song the other day when I erroneously claimed that Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler was the first song by a Welsh artist to top the U.S. charts.  I stand corrected on that, by the way, as Tom Jones’ Say You’ll Stay Until Tomorrow claimed the #1 spot in the U.S. on February 26th, 1977.  Anyway, long story short, after he mentioned Delilah, it became stuck in my head, and the entire time I was in the kitchen preparing lemon-chicken and teriyaki noodles this evening, I was belting out “my, my my, Delilah …”, and my favourite line of all, “I felt the knife in my hand and she laughed no more”.  And so, as always, in order to send it packing from my head, I share it with you and let it take up residence in your heads for a day or so!tom-jonesTom Jones released this song in December 1967, but it had previously been recorded by P. J. Proby in late November, 1967. Proby hated the song and refused to include it on his album Believe It Or Not, which was being compiled and recorded at the time.

Is there a real Delilah? Depends who you ask. The official writer credits for this song go to the English team of Les Reed and Barry Mason.  However, Sylvan Mason, who was married to Barry when these songs were written, claims that she is a co-writer.  Her claims have been verified through court records from her divorce settlement that prove her authorship. She has also been vetted by major newspapers that acknowledge her as a co-writer, and Tom Jones mentions her as a lyricist on the track in his autobiography.

In 2001, Barry Mason told the UK newspaper The Sun that he based the song (minus the bloodshed) on a girl he met on vacation in Blackpool, England when he was 15. They had a summer fling, but when it came time for her to return home to Llandudno in North Wales, she told Barry that she had a boyfriend, and it was over between them. Mason is quoted in the paper as saying, “I was shattered. I never shook it off and I became sick with jealousy and a whole lot of pain. She had dark hair, brooding eyes and she was really feisty. If there’s a typical Welsh girl, she was the one.”

Mason said that her name was Delia, which was impossible to integrate into a song (“Why, why, why Delia” didn’t work). A decade later, working with Reed, he got the idea to change her name to Delilah, and they wrote the famous song.

“I just got more and more worked up with each line. I put my heart and soul into that song – and that’s how ‘Delilah’ was born.”

The Sun embarked on a search for the mystery woman who inspired the song, asking readers to call in if they knew Delia from Llandudno. They called off the search when they heard from Sylvan Mason, who explained that she co-wrote the song and that there was no Delia. According to Sylvan, Les Reed had already written the chorus “Why, why, why Delilah,” and the lyric is based on the 1954 musical Carmen Jones. “Les Reed’s idea was to write a modern-day Samson and Delilah song but we got carried away and it ended up like Carmen Jones.”

Asked to respond, Barry Mason told The Sun, “I have no comment on the opinions of my former wife.”

Delilah
Tom Jones

I saw the light on the night that I passed by her window
I saw the flickering shadow of love on her blind
She was my woman
As she deceived me I watched and went out of my mind

My my my Delilah
Why why why Delilah
I could see, that girl was no good for me
But I was lost like a slave that no man could free

At break of day when that man drove away I was waiting
I crossed the street to her house and she opened the door
She stood there laughing
I felt the knife in my hand and she laughed no more

My my my Delilah
Why why why Delilah
So before they come to break down the door
Forgive me Delilah I just couldn’t take any more

She stood there laughing
I felt the knife in my hand and she laughed no more

My my my Delilah
Why why why Delilah
So before they come to break down the door
Forgive me Delilah I just couldn’t take any more

Forgive me Delilah I just couldn’t take any more

Writer/s: BARRY MASON, LES REED
Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind