Two songs from the Sixties

It’s a Black Dog Day, I walked to work this morning in the chill and drizzle, I have a piece to write, and my duck is gone.  That’s reason enough to post two songs that I have on my iPod.

The first is virtually unknown to generations S to Z; it’s by the Cryan’ Shames, a band that briefly flourished in the mid-Sixties. They had only two hits: “Sugar and Spice” (1966) and “It Could Be We’re in Love” (1967), the years of my prime music indoctrinability.  Here’s the latter song, by far the better. The original single had a brief psychedelic vibrato interlude at 1:42 ; this album version replaces that with a tinkling bell and a some badinage—not good.

Now you’ve surely heard of the great group The Mamas & the Papas. I think this song, which didn’t chart at all well in the U.S. (it reached #25), is one of their best. Here’s a review from AllMusic:

A Top 40 hit in autumn of 1966, “Look Through My Window” is one of John Phillips’ finest songwriting efforts, as well as one of the most underrated Mamas & Papas records. Written in about 1964 during a temporary separation from his bride, Michelle Phillips, the song was inspired by the fact that although John thought Michelle was out in California, she in fact was just blocks away in Greenwich Village. The pain of separation is the obvious lyric thrust here, and Phillips’ lyrics contain his usual literate grace. Musically, these emotions are mirrored perfectly, with a melancholy chord progression and simple, intertwining melodic lines. Near classical in its approach, this tune should always be recognized as one the group’s best.

Indeed. How many people remember this one? Of the four original members, all are dead save Michelle.




  1. Posted October 11, 2017 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    You sound in the mood to write a country & western song – on the theme of “ma duck’s flown off with ma best friend…”

    • Posted October 11, 2017 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      The thrill is gone from 51 popped in my head, but country’s good too.

      My duck is gone away
      You know you done me wrong baby
      And you’ll be sorry someday
      My duck is gone

      It’s gone away from me
      My duck is gone baby
      The thrill is gone away from me
      Although, I’ll still live on
      But so lonely I’ll be
      My duck is gone


  2. Randy schenck
    Posted October 11, 2017 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Have to admit I do not recall that first group at all. Certainly the Mamas and Papas were in top form at that time. Another long forgotten group from that time, The Young Rascals did not hang around very long.

  3. ladyatheist
    Posted October 11, 2017 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    How about Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog” for the day?

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted October 11, 2017 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      Exactly what I was expecting

      DIS A PPOINT ED <— that’s an Internet thing but usually with a GIF

  4. Liz
    Posted October 11, 2017 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    The first song is not ringing a bell (no pun intended) but I know I’ve heard the second before.

  5. Steve
    Posted October 11, 2017 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Great Mama Papas song. Love em all.
    One of my favorites was also one that wasn’t a big hit-“12:30”- has similar chord progressions and tempo.

    • Neil Faulkner
      Posted October 11, 2017 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      Yup, “12:30” aka “Young Girls Are Coming to the Canyon”, possibly the quintessential Flower Power song. Don’t know if it was ever released as a single, certainly didn’t chart in the UK.

    • Kiwi Dave
      Posted October 11, 2017 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      One of many great MnP songs, but the greatest, in that it always utterly enchants me, is Dancing Bear.

  6. rebscar
    Posted October 11, 2017 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Jerry, thanks for your blog in general which I read and enjoy every day. But special thanks for the Daryl Hall video today. I like all kinds of music, but listening to rock just makes me feel “at home.” So sad to think it’s no longer the music of youth.

  7. Don Mackay
    Posted October 11, 2017 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Peter, Paul and Mary do a wonderful spoof of The Mama’s and The Papa’s in their “I dig rock and roll music’.

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