After another resurgence of interest in Simon in the late 1980s, due to Graceland, even more of this early material was gathered and published in many, many compilations. The earliest of these I can find are Tom & Jerry Vol. 1, which came out in 1993, as did Early Simon and Garfunkel, also issued in Germany. However, I do not know which of these two came out first that year; since Early has more tracks-- 27, to Vol. 1's 22-- let's start there.
Many of these songs were released on 45 between 1957 and 1964, but only the most dogged collectors could find them all in that format. Further, not many of this blog's readers can even play 45s anymore (although I wager more can, percentage-wise, than in the general public!). So I have elected to continue the pattern held to thus far-- discussing entire albums, song by song, and in the order in which they were released.
Track 10 on Early Simon and Garfunkel is "Anna Belle," and it is credited to Jerry Landis, Simon's "Jerry" half of Tom & Jerry (Art was "Tom Graph"). It's a sock-hop number with a healthy helping of rumbling sax.
The song is an ode to the power of confidence and persistence. The speaker is trying to win over one Anna Belle, who is playing hard-to-get.
One of her main reasons for rebuffing his advances is his age, or at least his maturity level. She starts with "Well, later, maybe," and "You gotta keep on waitin'." Later, she clarifies: "When you're old enough."
She may have a point. At one point, the speaker voices his frustration thus: "Ooo-wee!/ Gosh! Oh, gee!"
The speaker, however, says that he is ready, but she is the reluctant one making excuses and stalling: "Stop your hesitatin'."
The song itself is presented as the speaker relating his various conversations with Anna Belle. One went: "I said, 'Let's go to the show.'/ She said, 'I don't wanna go.'/ I said, 'Whatcha wanna do?'/ She said, "I ain't tellin' you!'"
Finally, he is able to demonstrate his desirability sufficiently: "I said, 'Well, watch my stuff!'/ She said, 'Well, I'll take a chance." The speaker revels at even this uninterested-seeming acceptance: "I said, 'Here comes romance.'"
"Watch my stuff," in this case, does not mean, "Keep an eye on my belongings momentarily, would you?" but "Check out my amazing dance moves!"
On The Drew Carey Show, Carey's character once said: "If you can't dazzle, wear 'em down." Our speaker here had to wear Anna Belle down just for the chance to dazzle her.
Perhaps she was working with a different quote in mind: "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em."