Song Lyric Sunday — Would You Marry Me Anyway?

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday prompt, Jim Adams has given us the words Could, Might, Should, and Would as the theme. The song I decided to go with is the Bobby Darin version of “If I Were a Carpenter.”

The song was written by the folk singer Tim Hardin, who performed it at Woodstock in 1969. Hardin dealt with drug problems and died in 1980 at age 39. In 1966, it was a top ten hit for Bobby Darin, reaching number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It turned out to be Darin’s last big hit. Darin died in 1973 at age 37.

Hardin was unhappy with the way Bobby Darin had appropriated his vocal style for the song. He apparently hated Darin’s lushly orchestrated version. Hardin appreciated that people were listening to his music, but he wanted them to hear him doing it.

There were covers of the song from Joan Baez, The Four Tops, Johnny Cash and June Carter, Bob Seger, and Robert Plant. Here is the version sung by its writer, Tim Hardin.

The song is the story of a man asking an elegant woman if she would still love and marry him and have his baby if he was just a carpenter. Some have suggested that there may have been some biblical meaning, as Jesus was a carpenter.

Here are the song’s lyrics.

If I were a carpenter
And you were a lady
Would you marry me anyway?
Would you have my baby

If a tinker were my trade
Would you still find me
Carryin’ the pots I made
Followin’ behind me?

Save my love through loneliness
Save my love for sorrow
I’m given you my oneliness
Come give your tomorrow

If I were a miller
At a mill wheel grinding
Would you miss your color box
And your soft shoe shining?

If I worked my hands in wood
Would you still love me?
Answer me babe, yes I would
I’ll put you above me

If I were a carpenter
And you were a lady
Would you marry me anyway?
Would you have my baby?
Would you marry anyway?
Would you have my baby?

Song Lyric Sunday — Runaround Sue

For this week’s edition of Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams has given us the themes of Around, Down, Sideways, and Up. I chose the theme “around” and a song about a girl who ran around with every single guy in town.

“Runaround Sue” was a pop song written by Dion DiMucci and Ernie Maresca. It became a number 1 hit for the singer Dion during 1961 after he split with the Belmonts. The song tells the story of former girlfriend who was unfaithful. The singer warns all potential lovers to avoid her at all costs, as Sue “runs around” with every guy she meets and never settles down with any man in particular.

There were rumors that the song was written about Dion’s wife, Susan, but Dion denied that. He said that the song was simply “about some girl who loved to be worshiped but as soon as you want a commitment and express your love for her, she’s gone. So the song was a reaction to that kind of woman.” But in 1990, in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, his wife said that the song was, indeed, about her.

Here are the lyrics to the song.

Here’s my story, it’s sad but true
It’s about a girl that I once knew
She took my love then ran around
With every single guy in town

Yeah, I should have known it from the very start
This girl will leave me with a broken heart
Now listen people what I’m telling you
A keep away from a Runaround Sue yeah

I might miss her lips and the smile on her face
The touch of her hair and this girl’s warm embrace
So if you don’t want to cry like I do
A keep away from a Runaround Sue

Ah, she likes to travel around
She’ll love you and she’ll put you down
Now people let me put you wise
Sue goes out with other guys

Here’s the moral and the story from the guy who knows

I fell in love and my love still grows
Ask any fool that she ever knew, they’ll say
Keep away from a Runaround Sue

Yeah, keep away from this girl
I know, know what she’ll do
Keep away from Sue

She likes to travel around, yeah
She’ll love you and she’ll put you down
Now people let me put you wise
She goes out with other guys

Here’s the moral and the story from the guy who knows
I fell in love and my love still grows
Ask any fool that she ever knew, they’ll say
Keep away from a Runaround Sue, yeah

Stay away from that girl
Don’t you know what she’ll do now

Song Lyric Sunday — Hide Your Love

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday theme, Jim Adams gave us “Lost/Found/Hide/Seek.” I chose to go with “hide,” and the song I chose was “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away,” written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney and recorded by The Beatles.

“You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away“ was released on the album Help! in August 1965. There were rumors that this was the first gay rock song, a song about hiding one’s homosexuality, and a message to Beatles manager Brian Epstein, who was gay.

But John Lennon denied that the song was about Epstein or homosexuality. The song’s lyrics are ambiguous, perhaps telling of an unrequited love and hidden feelings. Lennon could also have been writing about his feelings of isolation and paranoia related to fame. Lennon said that he was at home songwriting for the Help! album, and every day he would attempt to write a song. “It’s one of those,” he said, “that you sort of sing a bit sadly to yourself, ‘Here I stand, head in hand…’”

Paul McCartney said of the song that it was “just basically John doing Bob Dylan.” The song is similar to the kinds of folk songs Dylan was known for and used a Dylanesque acoustic guitar, no backing voices, and light percussion, with a flute replacing the harmonica that Dylan typically used.

Here are the lyrics to the song.

Here I stand head in hand
Turn my face to the wall
If she’s gone I can’t go on
Feeling two-foot small

Everywhere people stare
Each and every day
I can see them laugh at me
And I hear them say

Hey you’ve got to hide your love away
Hey you’ve got to hide your love away

How can I even try
I can never win
Hearing them, seeing them
In the state I’m in

How could she say to me
Love will find a way
Gather round all you clowns
Let me hear you say

Hey you’ve got to hide your love away
Hey you’ve got to hide your love away

Song Lyric Sunday — Dock of the Bay

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday theme, Jim Adams has given us “lean,” “sit,” and “stand.” My first inclination was to go with “Lean On Me,” from Bill Withers. And then I thought about “Stand By Me” from Ben E. King. But ultimately I decided on “(Sitting on) The Dock of the Bay” from Otis Redding.

The song was co-written by Otis Redding and Steve Cropper. Redding ended up sitting on a dock on the San Francisco Bay thanks to Bill Graham, who ran the Fillmore West Auditorium. Redding played three shows there in December 1966 and Graham gave Redding a choice: he could stay at a hotel, or at a boathouse in nearby Sausalito. Redding liked the outdoors, so he chose the boathouse. He started writing the lyrics to the song while sitting on that rented houseboat in Sausalito, and completed the lyrics with the help of Cropper, the guitarist for Booker T. & the M.G.’s.

Redding died in a plane crash on December 10, 1967, a month before this song was released (January 8, 1968) and three days after he recorded it. After Redding’s death, Cropper mixed “Dock of the Bay” at Stax Studios. He added the sound of seagulls and waves crashing to the background, as Redding had requested, recalling the sounds he heard when he was staying on the houseboat.

The end of the song contains perhaps the most famous whistling in music history. It wasn’t planned, but when Redding started whistling at the end of the song, Cropper and Stax engineer Ronnie Capone heard it and knew it had to stay. Cropper said in an article, “Hey man, that’s great, leave that in there. It sure is a cool melody to go out with.”

“(Sitting on) The Dock of the Bay” was released on Stax Records’ Volt label in 1968, becoming the first posthumous single to top the charts in the US.

Here are the lyrics to the song.

Sittin’ in the mornin’ sun
I’ll be sittin’ when the evenin’ comes
Watching the ships roll in
Then I watch ’em roll away again, yeah
I’m sittin’ on the dock of the bay
Watchin’ the tide roll away, ooh
I’m just sittin’ on the dock of the bay
Wastin’ time

I left my home in Georgia
Headed for the Frisco Bay
‘Cause I’ve had nothin’ to live for
It look like nothin’s gonna come my way
So I’m just gon’ sitt on the dock of the bay
Watchin’ the tide roll away, ooh
I’m sittin’ on the dock of the bay
Wastin’ time

Look like nothing’s gonna change
Everything, still remains the same
I can’t do what ten people tell me to do
So I guess I’ll remain the same, yes

Sittin’ here restin’ my bones
And this loneliness won’t leave me alone, listen
Two thousand miles, I roam
Just to make this dock my home
Now I’m just gon’ sit, at the dock of the bay
Watchin’ the tide roll away, ooh yeah
Sittin’ on the dock of the bay
Wastin’ time

Song Lyric Sunday — Nowhere Man

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams has given us “drifter, loner, transient, and vagabond” as the theme. I was originally going to go with Neil Diamond’s “Solitary Man,” but I’ve already included this song in two previous posts, here and here. So instead, I’m going with “Nowhere Man” by the Beatles.

“Nowhere Man” was released in December 1965 on the Beatles album Rubber Soul, except in the United States and Canada, where it was first issued as a single A-side in February 1966 before appearing on the album Yesterday and Today. In the US, the single peaked at number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100.

John Lennon, who wrote the song (although it was credited to Lennon/McCartney), came up with it after struggling to write a song for the album. Lennon said, “I thought of myself sitting there, doing nothing and getting nowhere. I remember I was just going through this paranoia trying to write something and nothing would come out so I just lay down and tried to not write and then this came out, the whole thing came out in one gulp.”

“Nowhere Man” was one of the first Beatles songs to be entirely unrelated to romance or love and reflects a philosophical look inward that was primarily driven by Lennon.

Here are the lyrics to “Nowhere Man”.

He’s a real nowhere man
Sitting in his nowhere land
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody

Doesn’t have a point of view
Knows not where he’s going to
Isn’t he a bit like you and me?

Nowhere Man, please listen
You don’t know what you’re missing
Nowhere Man, the world is at your command

He’s as blind as he can be
Just sees what he wants to see
Nowhere Man can you see me at all?

Nowhere Man, don’t worry
Take your time, don’t hurry
Leave it all till somebody else lends you a hand

Doesn’t have a point of view
Knows not where he’s going to
Isn’t he a bit like you and me?

Nowhere Man, please listen
You don’t know what you’re missing
Nowhere Man, the world is at your command

He’s a real Nowhere Man
Sitting in his nowhere land
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody