Rant of the Week

Silence is Golden (1967)

By the Tremeloes 

This is one of those songs I vaguely remember as part of the aural wallpaper of the rooms of my youth.  Nowadays, you would hear a song that you like as much as I liked this and immediately go home and download it.  Well, no-- you would just immediately download it onto your iPhone or whatever.

I probably hadn't heard it in 30 years when I suddenly remembered it.  Actually, it's the name of a recent column by Maureen Dowd in the New York Times.   And I remembered part of the song:  "and if I tried, she would say that I lied" then something something then "... don't hurt her, you fool".

So I went to Youtube and there it was.  And I was frankly astonished at the harmonies. 

Even more astonishing in this video: they are actually playing and singing!  Live! 

The lyrics, for an early 60's pop song, are surprisingly allusive: 

Talking is cheap, people follow like sheep.
Even though there is no where to go.
How could she tell he deceived her so well?
Pity she'll be the last one to know!

But it's the vocal arrangement that is... well, really quite stunning, with the harmonies on the italicized words:

How many times will she fall for his lines
Should I tell her or should I be cool?
And if I tried I know she'd say I lied.
Mind your business don't hurt her you fool!

The solo falsetto voice insinuates itself into your mind, like a distant conscience, only to be hammered into full awareness by the choral harmonies, and then that wonderful sliding should I be "cooooool".



All Contents Copyright Bill Van Dyk 2011 All Rights Reserved