Monday, November 19, 2007


... or"Maybe she's just not that into you"

In a recent post (Tues 1 Nov) I described how this whole business about covers totally baffles me. Like, why are the lyrics sometimes so different? If you recall, I even gave a detailed example, "Long May You Run" by Neil Young, and covered by Emmylou Harris. Well, here's another example (which I already referred to in the post before this one). Today we'll look at them a little closer. We'll take the DC5 version first, since that's the first version I heard back in the day, even though Bobby's was released two years earlier.

"Over and Over" by the Dave Clark Five, 1965
Well, I went to a dance just the other night
Everybody there was there
I said over and over and over again
This dance is gonna be a drag

Didn't you always kind of wonder about that last word in the second line when Dave and the boys sang it? "Everybody there was there"? I don't know about you, but to me that always seemed a little too metaphysical for rock and roll. I mean, I hear it in my head in a more David Carradine intonation ("Ah Grasshopper, everyone there was indeed fully there!") and not Dave Clark. Maybe it's me. Anyway, some time later I happened to catch the wonderful 1963 original by Bobby Day, and things suddenly made much more sense -- at least for a moment (hold that thought).

"Over and Over" by Bobby Day, 1963
Well I went to a dance just the other night
Everybody there was stag
I said over and over and over again
This dance is going to be a drag

Now isn't that better? For one thing, "stag" actually rhymes with "drag." For a brief span of time I was content. Then I got to those last two lines of the song; the ones where she blows him off by telling him she's waiting for her steady date. My first thought was, Wait a minute -- why would a guy who's trying to pick up a chick be complaining about a dance where everyone is unattached? Then, even more to the point, I thought -- why would a girl be waiting for her "steady date" at a stag dance in the first place. Hmm. I think she probably just told him she was waiting for her date just to politely get rid of him. Wonder if he got the message.

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