The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

1 June 2004

Just the artifacts, ma'am

Before Freddie cuts in — he does that constantly, you know — here's the chorus:

Johnny get angry, Johnny get mad,
Give me the biggest lecture I ever had,
I want a brave man, I want a cave man,
Johnny, show me that you care, really care for me.

Hard to imagine that Hal David, wordsmith for such eloquent songs as "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?" and "Don't Make Me Over," would ever have come up with something like that, but hey, it was 1962, and you can't do everything with Burt Bacharach at your side. And besides, Sherman Edwards' melody is perfectly tailored to a (presumably) teenage singer to whom angst is more important than range.

Joanie Sommers (née Joan Drost) was actually twenty, but no matter: she had Sweet Sixteen all over her lovely face. I know this because right in front of me, I've got a copy of the original sheet music for "Johnny Get Angry," published by Tod Music, Inc., and the reason I have this is because Dawn Eden, who has a smile even bigger than Joanie's, was kind enough to send it along as part of her effort to reduce her volume of pop ephemera from "Crushing" to "Overwhelming."

Thanks, Dawn. If I never seem to wish that I were dead anymore, it's at least partially because of you.

Posted at 6:12 PM to Tongue and Groove