Girly Music, Part 3: The 1960

Lesley Gore - Maybe I Know

Lesley Gore - Sunshine Lollipops & Rainbows

(from The Best of Lesley Gore)

Most recognized for her song "It's My Party" (and I'll cry if I want to.), the anthem of 16-year-old drama queens everywhere, Lesley Gore's voice is not particularly pleasing - it's a bit scratchy and piercing, much like a 16-year-old drama queen. Her songs, however, were perfect for her, which was perhaps the biggest problem with her career. Although she has tried to continue recording music, she never really escaped that typecasting of the whiney teenager.

But who cares! I still love it! It's bubblegum and twee and such a perfect example of 1960's girly music. It's got touches of sexism - "That's the Way Boys Are" (ironic since she is a lesbian) and "Maybe I Know" where she bemoans, "Maybe I know that's he's been a-cheating, maybe I know that he's been untrue, but what can I do?" Indeed, Lesley, what can you do? Sing a peppy song, complete with hand claps and a lively horn section! Weren't the 1960s a grand time?

Following suit, she capitalized on the success of her classic single "It's My Party" with an unnecessary sequel, her revenge song "Judy's Turn to Cry," in which she gloats about having Johnny, who cheated on her with Judy, leave Judy for Lesley. I mean, you don't mess with Lesley Gore. Although I think it would have been much more fun for her to sing about breaking Johnny's heart by dating Judy.

However, my all-time favorite of Lesley's songs is "Sunshine Lollipops & Rainbows." The song just burrows into your brain and I find myself with an uncontrollable urge to sing it at completely inappropriate times. It's irresistible - I bet you're singing it now.

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