♫ Green Tambourine ♫

I told you a few days ago that David had sent me a list of songs to consider for my music posts.  (Rawgod also sent me a list, and I’ll be playing a few from his list in the next few days)  This one from David’s list, Green Tambourine, is one of those songs that has been forgotten by most, but once you hear it, or even hear the title, you’re hooked and it will be stuck in your mind until you can exorcise it in some way.  My favourite method of song exorcism is to play it here on my blog, thus transferring those earworms from my head to yours!  Lest you think I don’t like this song … I do!  I just don’t need to keep waking en el medio de la noche hearing “listen while I play play play play …”

I really like the origins of the lyrics to this song.  According to SongFacts, lyricist Rochelle ‘Shelley’ Pinz wrote the words to this song after reading a newspaper article about an elder UK street musician who used a tambourine to collect money as he performed in front of a bank.  The music to this song was written by Paul Leka, whose other claim to fame is the song Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye.

The song’s instrumentation contains the titular tambourine as well as an electric sitar.  Another hook is the heavy, psychedelic tape echo applied to the word “play” in each chorus and at the end, fading into a drumroll (“Listen while I play play play play play play play my green tambourine”).

While the Lemon Pipers played on the record, producer and joint author-composer Leka hired a string section to accompany the band, to add extra depth to the already psychedelic arrangement. The string section consisted of Elliot Rosoff, David Sackson, Irving Spice, Louise Stone, Louis Gaborwitz, and Deborah Idol on violins; Seymour Berman on viola; and Seymour Barab and Sally Rosoff on cellos.

I did a bit of digging into the band itself, for I couldn’t recall another song by them.  Imagine my surprise when I learned they were from Oxford, Ohio, just a few miles up the road from where I live.  Green Tambourine hit #1 in the U.S. and Canada, #7 in the UK, and I was right, it was their only chart-topping record.  They had a couple of others that made it to the top 100 in the U.S. — Rice is Nice – #46, and Jelly Jungle of Orange Marmalade – #51.  The Lemon Pipers dissolved in 1969.

Green Tambourine
The Lemon Pipers

Drop your silver in my tambourine
Help a poor man fill his pretty dream
Give me pennies, I’ll take anything
Now listen while I play
My green tambourine

Watch the jingle jangle start to chime
Reflections of the music that is mine
When you toss a coin you’ll hear it sing
Now listen while I play
My green tambourine

Drop a dime before I walk away
Any song you want I’ll gladly play
Money feeds my music machine
Now listen while I play
My green tambourine

Listen while I play

Writer/s: PAUL LEKA, SHELLY PINZ
Publisher: BMG Rights Management
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

♫ Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye ♫

Those who saw my post titled Just For Laughs yesterday will fully understand why this song has been in my head since early yesterday afternoon, and why I am playing it for this morning’s music post!

This is a song written and recorded by Paul Leka, Gary DeCarlo and Dale Frashuer, attributed to a then-fictitious band they named “Steam”. It was released under the Mercury subsidiary label Fontana and became a number one pop single on the Billboard Hot 100 in late 1969, and remained on the charts in early 1970.

Leka, DeCarlo and Frashuer wrote a blues shuffle version of the song in the early 1960s when they were members of a doo-wop group from Bridgeport, Connecticut, called the Glenwoods, the Citations, and the Chateaus, of which Leka was the piano player. The group disbanded when Leka talked Frashuer into going into New York City with him to write and possibly produce. In 1968, DeCarlo recorded four songs at Mercury Records in New York with Leka as producer. The singles impressed the company’s executives, who wanted to issue all of them as A-side singles. In need of a B-side, Leka and DeCarlo resurrected an old song from their days as the Glenwoods, Kiss Him Goodbye, with their old bandmate, Frashuer.

According to Paul Leka …

“I said we should put a chorus to it to make it longer.  I started writing while I was sitting at the piano going ‘na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na’… Everything was ‘na na’ when you didn’t have a lyric.”

The song reached #1 in the U.S., #6 in Canada, and #9 in the UK.

Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye
Steam

Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey, goodbye

He’ll never love you, the way that I love you
‘Cause if he did, no no, he wouldn’t make you cry
He might be thrillin’ baby but a-my love
(My love, my love)

So dog-gone willin’, so kiss him
(I wanna see you kiss him, wanna see you kiss him)
Go on and kiss him goodbye, now

Na na na na, hey hey, goodbye
Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey, goodbye

Listen to me now

He’s never near you to comfort and cheer you
When all those sad tears are fallin’ baby from your eyes
He might be thrillin’ baby but a-my love
(My love, my love)

So dog-gone willin’, so kiss him
(I wanna see you kiss him, I wanna see you kiss him)
Go on and kiss him goodbye, na na na na, na na na

Na na na na, hey hey, goodbye

Hey hey, goodbye
Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey, goodbye
Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey, goodbye
Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey, goodbye

Hey hey, goodbye
Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey, goodbye
Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey, goodbye
Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey, goodbye

Hey hey, goodbye
Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey, goodbye
Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey, goodbye
Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey, goodbye

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Dale Frashuer / Gary De Carlo / Paul Leka
Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group