Monday, August 12, 2013

(Pretty Baby) Don't Say Goodbye

This song is usually titled simply "Don't Say Goodbye," but in rare cases "(Pretty Baby) Don't Say Goodbye."

This is a rollicking number that, with different instrumentation, could work well as a country tune.

The speaker is either doggedly optimistic or massively deluded. He makes many protestations of love to his beloved-- and all we learn about her is that he finds her "pretty"-- but it seems she does not return his affections.

He begs her not to leave, pleading, "You'll make me cry if you say goodbye/ Don't leave me, honey, 'til the day I die/ Pretty baby, don't say goodbye," and "Don't let your love pass us by."

He assures her that his affections are deep: "I'm in love with you" and even "I'm so in love with you." In fact, he would even marry her, if she would only return his ardor: "Please, pretty baby, won't you love me true?/ I'm gonna hold you tight till you say 'I do'."

However, it seems his affections are doomed to lie unrequited. It's not just that she's interested in someone else, but more that she's interested in anyone else: "I love to call you on the telephone/ But when I call, I see you're not alone."

I recently watched the classic Italian film The Bicycle Thief. In it, a "wise woman" counsels a man in a similar predicament: "Go plow another field."  Our speaker would be well to follow this timeless advice.

Next Song: True or False


  1. I really appreciate this blog. I found it around mid may and every night before bed I went through a few posts. I admit I skipped the capeman and much of rythyhm of the saints stuff. Personally I connect with his early music that he did with Artie more than the newer stuff. I'm still very young( 14 ) so maybe it just takes time and experience to appreciate his recent work. Anyway, I have discovered so many songs that I now love. My inner fangirl thanks you.

  2. Thanks so much for your comments and compliments. You are at the age when I first discovered Simon's music and yes, the S&G stuff (specifically the Greatest Hits) was how I started too. The great things about artists like Simon are how you can grow with them, and how their music deepens its meaning with you as you grow. Listening to S&G material now, I have both my adult understanding and my teenage memories of the music-- and someday, you will have both, too. (PS: You really have to listen to the Capeman stuff all the way through, in order, to get it, just like any other musical. Maybe someday we'll get it on DVD...)