Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Favorite Songs #1: What Am I Doing Hangin' 'Round

Our friend Randy mentioned a few days ago how he didn't recall if I had ever posted about my favorite songs. I think Randy is correct. So here we go. This will happen as often as I am inspired. Each post will feature, unequivocally, my favorite song by that particular artist. Feel free to add your favorite by the featured artist and maybe there will be enough to tally up votes for a Top 5.

I decided to start with The Monkees for a few reasons. I recently picked up the three new Mike Nesmith reissues from Sundazed, so I am on a bit of a kick and also because I read that "Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones" was one of Andy Partridge of XTC's favorite albums. I had always been a "Headquarters" fan myself, but I love "What Am I Doing Hanging 'Round" so much, it might just give "Pisces" the edge.

Though written by Michael Murphy and not Nesmith, it feels more like Nesmith than most Nesmith-penned tunes. And according to All Music, it is one of the rare tracks where all four Monkees played on the same track. It's a great lyric with great harmonies and an impossible not to sing chorus.

Just a loud mouth Yankee I went down to Mexico
I didn't have much time to spend, about a week or so
There I lightly took advantage of a girl who loved me so
But I found myself a-thinkin' when the time had come to go
What am I doin' hangin' 'round?
I should be on that train and gone
I should be ridin' on that train to San Antone
What am I doin' hangin' 'round?
She took me to the garden just for a little walk
I didn't know much Spanish and there was no time for talk
Then she told me that she loved me not with words but with a kiss
And like a fool I kept on thinkin' of a train I could not miss
What am I doin' hangin' 'round?
I should be on that train and gone
I should be ridin' on that train to San Antone
What am I doin' hangin' 'round?
Well, it's been a year or so, and I want to go back again
And if I get the money, well, I'll ride the same old train
But I guess your chances come but once and boy I sure missed mine
And still I can't stop thinkin' when I hear some whistle cryin'
What am I doin' hangin' 'round?
I should be on that train and gone
I should be ridin' on that train to San Antone
What am I doin' hangin' 'round?


Squints said...

Shoulda been a hit. Heck, shoulda been a single. A better follow up to "Pleasant Valley Sunday" than "Words." (Which is OK. But it ain't this.)

Anonymous said...

I'm not as familiar with the Monkees' catalogue as I should be. As I've grown older and my taste in music has expanded, I'd have to say Porpoise Song is my fave. But my sentimental choice has to be A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You because I cut my musical teeth on that song (and others) listening to my parents' Magnavox console system in the living room when I was about eight-years-old.

Oddly enough, one of my favorite Monkees songs is a version done by The Vulgar Boatmen, The Kind Of Girl I Could Love, which is on a Monkees tribute album from the 90's.


buzzbabyjesus said...

I always assumed it was written by Mike. Good start to a new feature.

dogbreath said...

Forgotten this one but the lyrics swung it as I'm on a San Antone musical ride at the minute (Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues" and Garrett T. Capps with "Born In San Antone") -- I know, I really must get a life real soon! Good pick, though. Cheers!

Chris Collins said...

I had never heard this song. thanks for the intro!

Unknown said...

One of my faves too!

Dayn McBee said...

Great song choice Sal. Spurred me to go spin some Monkees songs and needless to say, I’m happier for it.

FD13NYC said...

Yep, definitely a good tune. My fave I would have to say (out of quite a few) is Valleri. The vocals still give me goosebumps and make me smile.

itsok2beright said...

Great way to start this off. The Monkees, a highly under-rated band. Dogged by their image over their talents.

My favorite of theirs has been Me and Magdalena, with Stepping Stone a close second.

Your choice always reminds me of my father. He would always say 'San Antone'.

Troy said...

Happy new year to all. Love the new topic. There are so many great songs to choose from, but my favorite is probably 'You Just May Be the One'. Lyrics, harmonies, the melody, it's got it all. Always liked Stepping Stone a lot too.

Mr. Baez said...

Great song! The Monkees have so many great songs. When I was around thirteen, I won a radio promotional contest (KRLA) for the start of their show-roundtrip train ride-"Last Train To Clarksville" train ride from Union Station (L.A.) to train depot in Riverside, CA. That was a fun day. I always liked "She" a lot, great harmonies on that one. And "Me and Magdalena" is a real beauty. Thanks, Sal.

Shriner said...

This, too, has been my favorite ever Monkee's song. I put a list of my top 10 on the Hoffman forums. If I cut that down and limit it to the next 4, they would be:

The Door Into Summer
Forget That Girl
Sometime In the Morning
The Girl I Knew Somewhere

(for those wondering, the next 5 would be):
Love Is Only Sleeping
As We Go Along
Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow)
Me & Magdelena

Sal Nunziato said...

I just want to add..."Me & Magdalena" is really something special.

Anonymous said...

I also love this song, and ask - have you heard Michael Murphy's version? or the original version that was by the Lewis & Clark Expedition? (the latter includes Michael Murphy)

Joe said...

For me, it's Stepping Stone. Played that in my high school r & r band. joe

Robin said...

"(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone" is my favorite, the B side of "I'm a Believer" of course. I can't help my fondness, it's been my number one Monkees since I was a young child when the 45 was part of a glorious bunch of 45s my mom brought home for me- someone at the hospital where she worked as a nurse gave them to her (still the best gift I ever got, especially when I realized later that my mom probably proactively procured that music for me- as it wasn't the last time she came home with awesome hand me down records just for me). "Last Train to Clarksville" would be the second choice and I love to sing Mike's "Some of Shelly's Blues", which I first heard from The Stone Poneys and Linda R. I agree "Me & Magdalena" is a stunner. Shriner your list is just wonderful. Happy New Year all.

rick said...

What a great idea, and what a great song to start it off! I hope you do this often. I'd throw a vote in for 'Take a Giant Step', and I'm still a sucker for 'Daydream Believer'. And even though it's not a Monkees song, Mike Nesmith's 'Different Drum' is still fresh and wonderful (and has one of my favorite rhymes: "not that I knock it/not in the market").

M_Sharp said...

Great song, and it's the very first I bought from iTunes.

Guillermo Soler said...

"The door into summer" is one of my favourites, apart from the obvius hits. Still, "Pleasant valley sunday" is almost perfect...