Monday, 5 November 2012
Songs Everybody Should Know
“Monday, Monday” by the Mamas and the Papas (1966)
Why would a song writer think that anyone could relate to a day of the week? I guess because it is a universal experience – wake up on Monday morning (“Manic Monday” the Bangles, “I Don’t Like Mondays”, Boomtown Rats), get your butt through the week (“Tuesday Afternoon” Moody Blues). Get over hump day (“Wednesday Week” Elvis Costello, “Wednesday Morning, 3AM” Simon & Garfunkel) and cruise through to Thursday (“Thursdays Child” David Bowie) until we make it to Friday (“Friday I’m in Love” the Cure, “Friday on my Mind” Easybeats). Then comes Saturday, (“Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” Elton John, “Another Saturday Night” Sam Cooke, “Saturday Night” Bay City Rollers1, “Saturday Night” Skyhooks).
So I think you get my point. It is the cheating lyricists’ way out. Of course we can relate – we are alive aren’t we!
This particular day of the week song was the 1966 #1 hit for the Mamas and the Papas from their debut album “If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears”. It is a great album which also has their hit “California Dreaming” which is absolutely embedded in the tapestry of popular culture now. I mean teenagers know this song and that is saying something. This is prime hippy freedom/hedonism gone commercial. But a very solid album blessed by the song writing of John Phillips – not too spacey so that you can’t relate to it. No, it was sort of a folk-rock melodica, somehow transcending pure folk.