John Sebastian: Younger Girl

Hugh Shirley Candyside – John Sebastian performing in concert in East Lansing, Michigan, August 1970 – from Wikimedia Commons

John Benson Sebastian is an American singer and songwriter born in 1944. In 1965 he formed the band The Lovin’ Spoonful, for which he sang and played the guitar, also he authored all their hit songs during that period. He left the band in 1968 to start a solo career that went on until now.

He is famous for his impromptu performance at the 1969 Woodstock festival. After a rain break, the organisers could not set up amplifiers on stage until the water was swept off, so an acoustic performer was asked for, and John Sebastian who attended as spectator came on stage.

In November 1965, The Lovin’ Spoonful released their first album Do You Believe in Magic (on the Kama Sutra label), whose 10th track is the song “Younger Girl”, written and sung by Sebastian. The song can be heard on YouTube, and the lyrics can be found on Genius.

This song tells his fascination with a “younger girl” who captivates him with her “eyes soft, dark and brown,” so he “can’t seem to leave her memory behind.” He hints that normally he should wait until she is a bit older, but he can’t wait:

And should I hang around acting like her brother
In a few more years they’d call us right for each other
And why, if I wait I’ll just die, yeah

The song was also interpreted by The Critters in May 1966 and by The Hondells the same year. However my favourite version is the live recording of the song by John Sebastian himself on July 21, 1970 in the Tanglewood music venue in Lenox, MA:

Here are the lyrics from SongLyrics:

She’s one of those girls who seems to come in the Spring
One look in her eyes and you forget everything
You had ready to say, and I saw her today, yeah

A younger girl keeps a rollin’ cross my mind
No matter how much I try
I can’t seem to leave her memory behind
I remember her eyes soft, dark and brown
Said she’d never been in trouble not even in town
A younger girl keeps a rollin’ cross my mind
No matter how much I try
I can’t seem to leave her memory behind

A younger girl keeps a rollin’ cross my mind
And should I hang around acting like her brother
In a few more years they’d call us right for each other
And why, if I wait I’ll just die, yeah

A younger girl keeps a rollin’ cross my mind
No matter how much I try
I can’t seem to leave her memory behind
I remember her eyes soft, dark and brown
Said she’d never been in trouble not even in town
A younger girl keeps a rollin’ cross my mind
Yeah, a younger girl keeps a rollin’ cross my mind

Compared with the version by The Lovin’ Spoonful, the last two verses

She’s one of those girls who seems to come in the spring
One look in her eyes and you forget everything

have been replaced by the single final verse

Yeah, a younger girl keeps a rollin’ cross my mind

Some people have remarked that today it would be near-impossible to know success with such a song, the love of an adult man for a young girl being considered reprehensible.

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2 thoughts on “John Sebastian: Younger Girl

  1. Since post-WW1 ongoing mass hysteria seX-magnets. Roarin’ 20s Valentino; Flirty ’30s Vallee; Nawty 40s SINatra; Rockin’ 50s PEDOS Presley, Berry, Lee Lewis; Swingin’ 60s Beat-alls, Stones, Who, Spoonful, Zepp, et el; SeXy 70s Bowie, Bolan, Glitt, et al.

    Name ONE famed Film/Rock/Pop star (including famed Femmes) NOT GROOMED by attractive seX-crazed kids, AAMs/AdultAttractedMinors/ADULTOPHILES!

    http://modernnotion.com/before-bieber-rudoloh-valentino/

    http://www.pophistorydig.com/topics/sinatra-riots-1942-1944/

    Liked by 1 person

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