Thursday, January 15, 2015

Story Songs: Lonely Boy

A song I thought was unusual was Andrew Gold's "Lonely Boy," which reached No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1977.

I've always liked the piano-driven tune because it was so different from other pop songs from that era.

Gold, a multi-talented singer-songwriter, penned what appears to be a somewhat autobiographical tune about a boy who finds out that he's no longer an only child -- and has become a lonely child.

It begins:

"He was born on a summer day, 1951,
And with a slap of a hand, he had landed as an only son
His mother and father said what a lovely boy
We'll teach him what we learned, ah yes just what we learned
We'll dress him up warmly and we'll send him to school
It'll teach him how to fight to be nobody's fool"

But two summers later, personal disaster strikes the boy as he learns that he has as sister. So his response is:

"Well he ran down the hall and he cried
Oh how could his parents have lied
When they said he was an only son
He thought he was the only one"

The boy leaves home when he's around 18, and later his sister becomes a mother. And the cycle begins:

"Well his sister grew up and she married a man
He gave her a son, ah yes a lovely son
They dressed him up warmly, they sent him to school
It taught him how to fight to be nobody's fool"

Although Gold was born in the summer of 1951 and his sister in the summer of 1953, he said the song was not autobiographical and that he enjoyed a happy childhood, according to The Independent.

Gold is probably most remembered  for "Thank You for Being a Friend," which was used as the theme song for the popular TV series, "The Golden Girls" from the 1980s.

Gold, who died in 2011 at the age of 59, should be given serious consideration induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But that's a post for another day.

"Lonely Boy" lyrics

Until the next time...

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