Turtle Lovin’

It’s been sort of a long and trying week at work. Meetings that run a little too long. Getting in a little early, leaving a little late. The usual.

So this morning I woke up sort of cranky. Slept well, and got to bed by 11, but 6 AM seemed an hour earlier than usual. Down to the kitchen to start coffee, as I always do first thing when I get up. I turn on the radio in the kitchen, and hear “You Baby” by The Turtles, which has one of the greatest pop guitar riffs ever recorded.

In an instant, the day begins to suck a little less ass.

I turn it up, of course. You can hear the riff here.

Later, in the car … I just happen to have The Turtles Greatest Hits in the car CD player. “You Baby”, and then “She’d Rather Be With Me”.

I turn it up, of course.

Some girls love to run around
Like to handle everything they see
But my girl has more fun around
And you know she’d rather be with me

Me, oh my, lucky guy is what I am,
Tell you why you’ll understand,
She don’t fly although she can

The day continues to look up.

So I hit rewind, and play it again. And a third time. Certain moods and songs lend themselves to that: you can attain a certain kind of focus on a song and play it over, and over, until every note is burned into your brain. Even after listening to it 5 or 8 times in a row, when it begins to fade towards the end, you just have to hear it again. What is that about?

The Turtles, by the way, are an interesting band. They are noted for the sarcasm in their “love” songs. And they do come across that way, at least in song; they are the kings of using one phrase, or even one word, to plant seeds of doubt about the true intent of the song. “Me, oh my, lucky guy is what I am”? “She don’t fly, although she can”?

They seem to be saying “Hey pal, a little advice. Maybe, just maybe, she’s actually a whore and you’re a loser dipstick for trusting her. I’m just sayin’.”

Another sarcastic song is “Elenore”:

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

The Turtles: when only Cynical Sarcastic Power Pop will do.


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