no Manhattan lofts, but a diversion: a song that changed America

for people of a certain age, another anniversary

Before we get to a truly tragic 50th anniversary on Friday, there’s a musical one from 1963 that tracks only as “late November”. I can’t relate (at all!) to the musical commentary in this November 11 piece from the culture blog on, but I surely remember the song. I didn’t know in 1963 that it “revolutionized pop music”, because I then had little awareness of what had come before. But, man! What a thrill.

Go ahead and invest 2:28 to listen, especially you kids out there. I dare you to tell me that it didn’t make you smile.

I don’t get any of the musical analysis (e.g., “half-bar phrases governed by its fourth-dominated harmony”), but it makes me smile. I “sing” it in my head with a slight skip about 40 seconds in, where my record always and forever had a slight skip. Then, as it ends, I (mentally) launch into “she’s just 17, you know what I mean …” as the opening burst of the next song on that album. Always and forever.

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