Monday, March 24, 2014


This is a throwback number, even as early in rock history as it falls. It would be home in the repertoires of the Andrews Sisters or Bing Crosby; one can imagine a Fred Astaire-style tap dance number to accompany it. The song even starts with syncopated snaps that recall tap dancing.

The lyrics mostly expand on the title, with the speaker explaining in various ways how, when he is in the presence of the object of his infatuation, he becomes tongue-tied: "I'm so shy when I'm with you/
Don't know what to say or do" and "When you come walking by/ All that I can do is sigh" and finally "I/ know I love you til I die/ I can't say it cause I'm shy."

He does regret this state of affairs-- "Gee, I wish I weren't shy"-- and does attempt to overcome his reticence. "Each night I look in my mirror," he explains, "And practice what I'm going to say to you." He gives himself pep talks: "I tell myself, 'Be confident.'" He sallies forth with brave intent:"I/ raise my hopes up to the sky."

Of course, once the moment presents itself: "I'm scared to death the minute that I'm with you." Oh, dear. Sigh, indeed.

Since we don't know of the woman's reaction, we have to assume there isn't one. She isn't flattered that he is overcome when he is with her. She isn't annoyed by timidity. It's possible that this is one of those cases in which the boy moans, accurately, "She doesn't even know I exist."

The song plays the idea for comic effect, and the tone is lighthearted. We can image it as a vaudeville number, with a sad-sack crooner mooning and batting his eyes over a hotsy-totsy flapper way out of his league. She flirts with the audience instead of him, inviting their hoots and wolf-whistles. At the end, she leaves the stage, bored. He smiles, sighs, shrugs broadly, and toddles after her, still mooning. Curtain.

Next song: Play Me a Sad Song

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