The Seekers, and Other Guilt-less Pleasures
Driving home the other day, I got to thinking of specific songs that make me smile, no matter whom I’m with, where I am, or what I’m doing. In other words, there are songs (and books, TV shows and movies) I’m not ashamed to enjoy, no matter how completely dorky, un-hip and/or anachronistic they reveal me to be.
Life’s too short to worry about what other people may or may not think.
I was listening to a CD of The Seekers (the fab 1960s Australian group) and on came “Georgy Girl,” their biggest US hit (1967) and title song of the James Mason/Lynn Redgrave movie. I couldn’t help but smile, something which happens EVERY TIME I hear “Georgy Girl.” Seriously, EVERY TIME.
Sorry if I’m shouting.
The Seekers cavorting, mid ’60s style. Left to right: Athol Guy, Bruce Woodley, Judith Dunham and Keith Potger. Why shouldn’t we smile? Looks as if Keith is about to take a header.
Anyway, it was a long drive, so I had time to consider why that happens…that smiling EVERY TIME thing. Part of it is the song itself: catchy, bouncy, hopelessly upbeat. But there are other reasons, dating back to when I was nine years old.
My younger sister took dance lessons, and in that wonderful year of Apollo 11, she danced in a recital which I was obligated to attend. All I could say afterwards was “thank you, Mom,” for that afternoon I fell in love with Tami Dalen, a nine-year old blonde who tap danced her way into my heart to the melodic strains of — you guessed it — “Georgy Girl.”
Move over, Neil Armstrong, that’s my moon you’re walking on.
Eighteen years later, in the privacy of our own home, I cajoled my new bride (no, not Tami) into singing “Georgy Girl” as a duet — accompanied by my trusty guitar — with the cassette player (remember those?) on record, something that hadn’t happened before or since. That tape is now a personal treasure…fun yet conclusive evidence that a) her voice is better than she thinks, and b) mine isn’t.
A few years ago, my two daughters frequently selected The Seekers’ Capitol Collectors Series CD for our morning sing-a-long soundtrack on the way to elementary school. So instead of singing duets with my wife, I was able to partner with my oldest daughter, who sounds much like Judith Durham, which is a good thing. Of course, I was left to drift among the three guy parts (that’s “guy” as in male, not as in “Athol Guy,” the bespetacled bass player), often skipping around like an excited puppy.
So, in parts of four short decades, I’ve gone from blissful ignorance to hormonal happiness, marital joy to fatherly pride…all to the glorious and harmonious soundtrack of The Seekers’ “Georgy Girl.”
That’s a lot of life for one song.
I hope you have a song like that.
If you’re one of the unfortunate uninitiated, here’s a YouTube video of a live performance of “Georgy Girl,” recorded (not lip-synched) in 1967 with a full orchestra and chorus at the Sidney Meyer Bowl in Melbourne. An intimate crowd of 200,000 were on hand that day to welcome them back home after their triumphant world tour. The Guinness Book of World Records STILL lists it as the largest concert crowd ever in the Southern hemisphere.
Check out all of those screaming fans, and ask yourself if I really am a dork to like them so much.
And if I am, so what?
PS: Remind me to tell you sometime about “My Cup Runneth Over” by Ed Ames, “Do Wacka Do” by Roger Miller, “Jordan’s River” by the Modern Folk Quartet and “Roll to Me” by Del Amitri.
Clockwise from the top, The Seekers: Bruce Woodley, Athol Guy, Judith Dunham, Keith Potger
*Adapted from a previous Get it. Got it. Good post.