Song Lyric Sunday — Pleasant Valley

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday theme, Jim Adams (via Paula Light) has given us Delightful, Pleasant, and Sweet. I’m going with the first song that came to mind, even though my guess is that a lot of others will select this song as well: “Pleasant Valley Sunday.”

“Pleasant Valley Sunday” was written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin. The Monkees recorded the song in June of 1967 and released it a month later. The single peaked at number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was featured in the second season of the Monkees’ television series. The song also appeared on the fourth Monkees album, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd, in November 1967.

The song was inspired by a street named Pleasant Valley Way in the Manhattan suburb of West Orange, New Jersey, where Goffin and King lived at the time. The two wrote the song about their dissatisfaction with life in the suburbs.

According to Carole King’s autobiography, her then-husband Goffin disliked their suburban life and wrote lyrics to document this feeling. The lyrics were a social commentary on status symbols, creature comforts, life in suburbia, and “keeping up with the Joneses.”

The tempo and some of the lyrics in the Monkees recording of the song were fairly different from King’s original 1966 demo recording, which is presented here.

Interestingly, I was working in midtown Manhattan and lived in West Orange from the late 70s to the mid 80s, only about a quarter of a mile west of Pleasant Valley Way. I actually thought life in that New Jersey suburban community was, indeed, quite pleasant.

Here are the Lyrics to “Pleasant Valley Sunday.”

The local rock group down the street
Is trying hard to learn their song
They serenade the weekend squire
Who just came out to mow his lawn

Another pleasant valley Sunday
Charcoal burning everywhere
Rows of houses that are all the same
And no one seems to care

See Mrs. Gray, she’s proud today
Because her roses are in bloom
And Mr. Green, he’s so serene
He’s got a TV in every room

Another pleasant valley Sunday
Here in status symbol land
Mothers complain about how hard life is
And the kids just don’t understand

Creature comfort goals, they only numb my soul
And make it hard for me to see
(Ah ah ah) ah thoughts all seem to stray to places far away
I need a change of scenery

Ta ta ta ta, ta ta ta ta
Ta ta ta ta, ta ta ta ta

Another pleasant valley Sunday
Charcoal burning everywhere
Another pleasant valley Sunday
Here in status symbol land

Another pleasant valley Sunday (a pleasant valley Sunday)
Another pleasant valley Sunday (a pleasant valley Sunday)
Another pleasant valley Sunday (a pleasant valley Sunday)
Another pleasant valley Sunday (a pleasant valley Sunday)
Another pleasant valley Sunday (a pleasant valley Sunday)

16 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday — Pleasant Valley

  1. suze hartline September 19, 2021 / 6:14 am

    As a young person, I loved watching the Monkees…and today when I watched this video I wondered…how did they get away with the videos when NONE of them are actually playing those instruments? LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  2. newepicauthor September 19, 2021 / 7:01 am

    The Monkeys had such great songwriters, the best that money could buy. I always liked this song, but this is my first time hearing the Carole King demo, which is nice. I always associated this song with the quaint charm of Peyton Place.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Maggie September 19, 2021 / 7:30 am

    Love this choice for today. I remember hearing Carole King’s demo before end of course I knew the Monkees version well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango September 19, 2021 / 11:41 am

      So do I. It’s much more personal.

      Like

  4. J-Dub September 19, 2021 / 12:22 pm

    Carole King for the win, especially now that I know the story behind the music.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. willowdot21 September 20, 2021 / 12:52 am

    Great choice I love both versions, I really liked the Monkees when I was younger, still do they were much more talented then they were ever credited for. Yet when it comes to it now I have to go with Carole King just love her voice 💜💜

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nope, Not Pam September 20, 2021 / 2:23 am

    A pleasant place to live isn’t a bad thing

    Liked by 1 person

  7. aisasami September 26, 2021 / 9:42 am

    Such an iconic song! I think this one song I have to share with my students this week. (I am trying to play more 60s music for 4 years old, they like it)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. leigha66 September 27, 2021 / 1:47 pm

    I was not aware that Carole had co written this. Still, I am a Monkees fan for life…ah, Davy❤!

    Liked by 1 person

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